When Is Day Four Of The Punchestown Festival 2021?
Day four of the 2021 Punchestown Festival takes place on Friday 30 April. The first race on an eight-race card kicks off at 15.40, with the last race due off at 19.35.
The highlight on day four of the Punchestown Festival is the Grade 1 Paddy Power Champion Hurdle, in which Honeysuckle bids to complete the Cheltenham and Punchestown Champion Hurdle double. But Henry de Bromhead’s brilliant mare faces some interesting opponents.
The next best race on the card is the Grade 1 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle, in which Bob Ollinger also looks to complete a Cheltenham and Punchestown double after his impressive win in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Paddy Power Champion Hurdle 2021
The 2021 Paddy Power Champion Hurdle takes place over two miles and the winner pockets a tasty €150,000 first prize.
Paddy Power Champion Hurdle 10-Year-Trends 2021
The last ten winners of the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle have been aged between six and nine, though the two winners before that were both aged five. Only one winner in the last decade has been a mare, though not many quality mares have run in the race.
Eight winners have been returned at 3/1 or shorter, but there have been a couple of bigger-priced winners at 7/1 and 12/1. Willie Mullins has trained seven of the last ten winners, with Nicky Henderson being the only other winning trainer in that period who has a runner this year. Eight winners didn’t run at Aintree but the last two did.
Who’ll Win The Paddy Power Champion Hurdle 2021?
Eight runners are set to go to post for the 2021 Paddy Power Champion Hurdle and it’s hard to see Darver Star winning. He is held by several of these on last year’s hurdling form and has regressed over fences and hurdles this season.
Jason The Militant and Abracadabras both ran at the Grand National Meeting at Aintree. The former was backed into favouritism but unseated too far out to know whether he might have landed the money had he stood up.
That left the door open for Abracadabras to record an easy success, though the placed horses probably wouldn’t feature in this stronger race. It’s generally proved tough to win at Aintree and Punchestown over the years but the last two winners both ran at the Grand National Meeting prior to their success.
The first four home from the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival reoppose and the fourth Aspire Tower may again finish behind the first three.
Epatante was third, but she has looked below her best form on her last two starts and she probably needs to put up a career-best performance to win.
Sharjah is always a potential threat, as he travels smoothly off the pace, and the faster the ground the better his chances. But he has over six lengths to make up with Honeysuckle, who should be just as good on this right-handed track, and she’ll be incredibly tough to beat.
But at the prices that are available, it’s worth giving Goshen one last chance to shine. He showed some of his potential star-quality best two starts ago, which saw him sent off at 11/2 for the Champion Hurdle. But he threw his race away by hanging right. He’s no chance if running to that form but the return to the right-handed track makes him an interesting each-way punt at a big price.
Alanna Homes Champion Novices Hurdle 2021
The Alanna Homes Champion Novices Hurdle is run over 2 miles and 4 furlongs.
Alanna Homes Champion Novices Hurdle 10-Year-Trends 2021
Five-year-olds have an excellent record in the Alanna Homes Champion Novices Hurdle, winning six of the last 10 editions. One 4-year-old, two 6-year-olds, and one 7-year-old have also been successful.
Willie Mullins has won four of the last ten renewals, and he’s the only winning trainer represented in this year’s race. Six winners have been returned at odds of 10/3 or shorter, but there have also been winners at 13/2, 10/1, 16/1, and 16/1. Six winners had won their previous race, with the others finishing second, fourth, eighth, and pulled up.
Who Will Win The Alanna Homes Champion Novices Hurdle 2021?
N’Golo won three of his first four runs over hurdles at around two miles but he could now be suited by 2 miles 4 furlongs after not quite staying three miles last time. Ganapathi may also enjoy stepping up to this trip. Decimation has already proven himself at this trip but was beaten in receipt of 5lb last time by a re-opposing rival. It will be disappointing if any of this trio proves good enough to win.
Ashdale Bob was the horse that pipped Decimation last time and that was a welcome return to form. But he’s been beaten by the two market leaders already this season and this experienced type doesn’t quite have the scope to improve as much as those two horses.
Gaillard De Mesnil looks the pick of the Willie Mullins-trained trio and, as a 5-year-old, he could have the most improvement to come. But he has over seven lengths to make up with the favourite on their running at Cheltenham and he put up his worst performance of the season at Punchestown, though he may not have been particularly fit that day on his first start for his trainer.
Bob Ollinger could be one of the superstars of next season over fences and, though it’s tempting to take him on at short odds, it’s hard to make a solid case for any of his opponents beating him. His three wins this season have all come at around today’s distance and he’s taken to make it a four-timer with the minimum of fuss.