Punchestown Festival 2022: Day 3 Spot Plays

April 27th, 2022

Day three at the Punchestown Festival is dominated by the Champion Stayers Hurdle, featuring a good field racing over three miles. It highlights a day featuring two Grade 1 races, the popular La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase, and some competitive handicaps.

Here are some spot plays for Day 3 at Punchestown.

Race 2: Handicap Chase, 2 miles, open steeplechasers

There are 12 potential runners for this steeplechase, but the contest largely looks down to two horses — #2 Mt Leinster and #4 Grange Walk. They looked like fighting out the Boylesports Novice Handicap at Fairyhouse April 17 with two fences to go but Grange Walk fell, leaving the way clear for Mt Leinster. They look a fair chance of doing so again here, but I’m going to tip that Grange Walk can get his revenge.

  • $20 win/$30 place: #4 Grange Walk
  • $1 trifecta: 2, 4 with 2, 4 with all

Race 3: La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase, 4 1/4 miles, open steeplechasers

The field of 17 for the Cross Country Chase looks wide open, with some form hard to measure. However, I think #14 Potters Corner is a serious chance. He ran bravely for a long time in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham last month, and if he can stick on for 4 1/4 miles he should have a very good winning chance. #1 Shady Operator, who was close to Potters Corner at Cheltenham, #8 Three Loud Knocks, and #6 Go Another One look the best of the rest.

  • $10 win/$20 place: #14 Potters Corner

Race 4: Champion Stayers Hurdle (G1), 3 miles, open hurdlers

The top two staying hurdlers in Britain and Ireland (Flooring Porter and Thyme Hill) are missing, but there are enough quality horses to make this a strong contest. It includes one of the Cheltenham disappointments in #3 Klassical Dream, and the rejuvenated #5 Sire Du Berlais, who was directed to a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham rather than Grade 1 level. However, he bounced back with a victory in the Liverpool Hurdle (G1) at Aintree April 9, and if he stays in similar form he can win again.

  • $10 win/$30 place: #5 Sire Du Berlais

Race 6: Barberstown Castle Novice Chase, 2 miles, novice steeplechasers

A great collection of novice two-mile chasers are lining up here, barring the Arkle Chase winner Edwardstone. However, the horse that beat Edwardstone at Aintree, #4 Gentleman De Mee, is present, and he will take a world of beating. #3 Gabynako and #1 Blue Lord are the best candidates for the exacta.

  • $30 win: #4 Gentleman De Mee
  • $1 trifecta: 4 with 1, 3 with all