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DAVY RUSSELL blog: Punchestown Festival Saturday

I hope to be at Punchestown again on Saturday for the final day of a terrific week. The lads have said the ground has dried up as the week has gone on – so keep that in mind when looking at Saturday’s racing.

I’ll have a look at the two Grade 1 races that close out the week but would also like to wish Hannah Smullen (Pat’s daughter) the very best of luck on her first ride in the closing charity race. I’m sure Pat would have been incredibly proud to see Hannah riding Dalton Highway who is poignantly trained by Dermot Weld.

SATURDAY

PUNCHESTOWN FESTIVAL

3.50 Coolmore N.H. Sires Mogul Irish EBF Mares Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) 2m 3f

This looks quite open and a great renewal with the UK raiders Love Envoi and Epatante holding strong claims. Love Envoi is a grand mare who made Honeysuckle pull out all the stops in Cheltenham the last day (pictured below) and would hold Gordon’s (Elliott) Queens Brook (3rd) on that form. My only concern is the way the ground has moved this week and if it dries any further she’ll be in uncharted waters. Equally the ground has moved in favour of the likes of Epatante who was well behind in the same Cheltenham race and could run much better. However I’ll take a chance with Echoes In Rain ? (4th Cheltenham) but ran so well here last year in the Champion Hurdle last year when chasing home Honeysuckle on similar ground to what we are expecting on Saturday. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET ⭐

5.00 Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo) 2m

Not for the first time this week it looks destined to go to Willie Mullins who trains four of the eight runners. Lossiemouth’s chance looks obvious after her Triumph Hurdle win the last day (pictured below) but just like the race above she is unproven on this quicker ground. I’ll go with Zarak The Brave ? who needs to find three lengths on her stablemate Lossiemouth on Fairyhouse form but he’s still likely to progress over hurdles and showed form on the flat on quicker ground. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET ⭐

Good Luck
Davy


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