Punchestown Festival Day 5 Tips: Two for Saturday’s finale

 | 3rd May | 

3 mins read

Punchestown Racecourse

The Punchestown Festival concludes on Saturday with an eight-race card that runs from 14:30-18:30.

Below are my Punchestown Festival Day 5 tips as I bid to end what's been a great week on a high.

Punchestown Festival Day 5 Tips

  • 16:15 - Cruz Control @ 9/2
  • 17:25 - Waterford Whispers @ 4/1

16:15 - Cruz Control @ 9/2

British winners on Irish soil are a rarity these days, but I hope there'll be one on Saturday courtesy of CRUZ CONTROL in this Listed handicap chase over an extended three miles.

Tom Lacey's seven-year-old is in the form of his life right now. Off a mark of 130, he won a five-runner affair at Newcastle by a widening seven lengths in mid-March before a career-best effort in a Grade 3 at last month's Aintree Festival off six pounds higher.

He races here off a mark of 140, which I think is quite generous given the strength of that race on Merseyside. I've seen significantly harsher rises for horses that didn't even win last time out.

The son of Saint Des Saints is ground versatile, so whatever the weather decides to do over the next 24 hours will be of no concern to him, and there's confidence to be taken by the form of Lacey's yard right now. He's operating at a 27% strike rate with four winners from his last 15 runners - including a victory at this very meeting on Tuesday.

I actually think this is a significantly weaker assignment than the one he faced at Aintree. Several of his rivals are out of form and/or come here having run poorly in the Grand National, while Better Days Ahead - who according to the betting is the main threat to the selection - has been raised five pounds for a 12-length defeat.

I reckon there's a great chance that Cruz Control completes the hat-trick here.

Cruz Control to win the 16.15 Punchestown at 9-2

17:25 - Waterford Whispers @ 4/1

My NAP on the final day of the Punchestown Festival is Henry De Bromhead's WATERFORD WHISPERS in this Listed handicap hurdle over 2m4½f.

Cruz Control's rise of four pounds for winning at Aintree is generous, but this six-year-old son of Westerner racing off a mark of just two pounds higher than when runner-up in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival is even more so.

I'm a big fan of that Cheltenham form. The winner Better Days Ahead ran very well in the Grade 1 novice hurdle over three miles here earlier in the week, while the third-placed Quai De Bourbon was victorious at Ayr recently. Answer To Kayf, who was fourth and over 12 lengths ahead of the rest at the Festival, was second in a valuable race on Wednesday too.

Waterford Whispers travelled like the best horse in the Martin Pipe before getting outstayed late on, in heavy ground, by a proper three-mile chaser in the making. I think on a better surface he can post an even better performance.

This will be only the sixth run of his career, so it's fair to suggest there could be a lot more to come. I fancy his chances quite strongly.

Waterford Whispers to win the 17.25 Punchestown at 4-1

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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