Punchestown Festival Day 1 Tips: Monty to Star on Tuesday

 | 29th April | 

4 mins read

Punchestown Racecourse

Punchestown's annual five-day festival gets underway on Tuesday and I'll be on-hand all week, bidding to keep up my good form.

I've got three Punchestown Festival Day 1 tips, including a NAP in the last of as many Grade 1 contests, below.

Punchestown Festival Day 1 Tips

  • 15:40 - Mystical Power @ 11/4
  • 16:15 - Toto Too e/w (6 places) @ 17/2
  • 18:00 - Monty's Star @ 2/1

15:40 - Mystical Power @ 11/4

The G1 Champion Novice Hurdle sees the Supreme winner, runner-up, third, fourth and eighth renew rivalries.

Slade Steel, who landed the Cheltenham Festival's curtain-raiser, heads the betting at time of writing, but he's one I want to oppose with conditions as they are - it's currently good to yielding, good in places at the County Kildare venue. Tullyhill too.

Asian Master looks overpriced, but I suspect he lacks the required class to win - while Ile Atlantique, King Of Kingsfield, Fun Fun Fun and Fascile Mode are all hard to advise.

That leaves MYSTICAL POWER and Firefox. The former has twice finished ahead of Gordon Elliott's six-year-old and I expect him to make it a hat-trick.

On likely better ground - it was practically heavy at both Cheltenham and Aintree - Willie Mullins' son of Annie Power should be even better than what he's showed to date and at just five years old, with fewer miles on the clock than all eight of his rivals, there ought to be a lot more to come.

Mystical Power to win the 15.40 Punchestown at 11-4

16:15 - Toto Too e/w (6 places) @ 17/2

I'm fearful of Daddy Long Legs, who could be chucked in off a mark of 135, in this Listed handicap hurdle over an extended two miles, but he's far too short for a horse who's bombed twice this season, ran just six days ago in England and has 24 rivals to beat.

Instead, I suggest an each-way wager - with Betfred paying six places - on TOTO TOO.

The seven-year-old son of Ocovango looked a fair prospect for Peter Fahey over the summer, but he disappointed when fifth, beaten nearly 10 lengths, in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham in the autumn.

I suspect he's had issues since as he was subsequently kept off the track for 160 days - and during that time he switched to Gavin Cromwell's yard.

His first outing for new connections came in a Rated Novice Hurdle at Naas earlier this month and he won cosily, beating the 122-rated Dark Note, who was in receipt of eight pounds, by a couple of lengths. Grade 3-placed Stoke The Fire was back in fourth too.

A mark of 133 could easily underestimate him so he's the play with question marks about several of his rivals.

Toto Too each-way for the 16.15 Punchestown at 17-2

18:00 - Monty's Star @ 2/1

MONTY'S STAR in the G1 Champion Novice Chase is my best bet of the day.

Henry de Bromhead's seven-year-old has enjoyed a solid season over fences. He was third in a red-hot beginners' chase before getting off the mark in style at the next atttempt - and then he was runner-up to Fact To File in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Beaten just under four lengths, that was a fine run behind the hottest of prospects who is now 4/1 at Betfred for next year's Gold Cup.

The selection meets nothing of that calibre here. Spillane's Tower is consistent but his form leaves a little to be desired and the step up in trip to three miles is an unknown. Embassy Gardens has it all to prove after a poor run in the National Hunt Chase, while American Mike and Sandor Clegane were a fair way behind Monty's Star at HQ.

Three Card Brag also has plenty to find on the latter, while Salvador Ziggy is frankly uninspiring. Sharjah is probably overpriced but it'd be disappointing if an 11-year-old who ran just 10 days ago was up to winning this.

Simply put, I don't think any of these could get within even five lengths of Fact To File. Monty's Star has stacks of improvement in him too, so I make him a strong fancy.

Monty's Star to win the 18.00 Punchestown at 2-1

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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