Punchestown Festival Day 3 Tips: Mullins mania on Thursday?

 | 1st May | 

3 mins read

Punchestown Racecourse

Willie Mullins has 'only' - such are his supremely high standards - saddled four winners over the first two days at the Punchestown Festival, but I think he has some great chances to further that tally on Thursday.

All three of my Punchestown Festival Day 3 tips are trained by the Closutton maestro himself - including one at 10/1 in the feature.

Punchestown Festival Day 3 Tips

  • 16:15 - Blood Destiny @ 9/4
  • 18:00 - Asterion Forlonge @ 8/1
  • 19:40 - Port Joulain @ 13/8

16:15 - Blood Destiny @ 9/4

On Tuesday, I tried to be clever by opposing Willie Mullins' Daddy Long Legs in a big-field handicap despite acknowledging he looked "thrown in"- which he was. I'm not going to do that in this Listed handicap chase over an extended two miles.

BLOOD DESTINY isn't in the exact same boat as his stablemate, as he doesn't appear to have stacks in hand, but the five-year-old son of No Risk At All could well be ahead of his mark of 150 and this doesn't look all that strong a contest.

He's been trading blows with Spillane's Tower, who won the G1 Champion Novice Chase earlier this week, all season, with the scores currently 2-1 in favour of the former. The one time the selection got the upper hand? Over two miles.

A return to that trip, in easier company, looks sure to suit. He can get Mullins off to a flyer on Day 3 - if he hasn't already won the opener.

Blood Destiny to win the 16.15 Punchestown at 9-4

18:00 - Asterion Forlonge @ 8/1

Thursday's highlight is the G1 Champion Stayers Hurdle, which sees Cheltenham Festival hero Teahupoo bid to go 3-3 this season.

Gordon Elliott's seven-year-old is one of my favourite horses in training and he's looked better than ever this term, but I do think he's a bit too short round here on decent ground. I don't subscribe to the train of thought that his form drops off vastly in such conditions, but I do agree he's at his brilliant best with cut in the ground.

He finished fourth in this race last year behind ASTERION FORLONGE, who is the suggestion at a fair price.

The 10-year-old is generally inconsistent but he usually brings his A-game when going right-handed - and he boasts solid form on sounder surfaces.

He wasn't at all far off stablemate Klassical Dream 12 months ago, under amateur jockey Patrick Mullins. This looks no stronger a renewal, Paul Townend takes the reins and he comes here off a seasonal-best run. He's the play for me.

Asterion Forlonge to win the 18.00 Punchestown at 8-1

19:40 - Port Joulain @ 13/8

Last but certainly not least, I'm backing PORT JOULAIN in the bumper.

He fetched £300,000 at the sales after winning a PTP late last year and made his debut under rules in a bumper at Gowran Park just under a couple of months ago.

The five-year-old son of Cokoriko beat a well-backed newcomer for Henry de Bromhead and Robcour by 2¼ lengths that day, with the rest of the field over 19 behind. It looked a good battle and he won a shade cosily.

I found Mullins' post-race comments very interesting. He said Port Joulain was on his Cheltenham Bumper team but he couldn't get him ready in time - a clear sign of the regard in which he's held.

My suspicion is he could have competed in the Grade 1 on Wednesday, and if that's correct then he ought to be very hard to beat in this company.

This is my best bet on Day 3.

Port Joulain to win 19.40 Punchestown at 13-8

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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