The Punchestown Gold Cup is the highlight of today’s action from the five-day festival. Top jockey Ruby Walsh joins the Paddy Power Blog team to go through Wednesday’s card and give punters a helping hand. Ruby picked out two winners yesterday and paid for a pizza and a few pints for the lads in the office last night. Same again please Champ!
Day 2, Wednesday, April 24
Inish Island ran a cracker to finish third to At Fishers Cross in Cheltenham- who franked the form at Aintree but Ballycasey (4.55) missed the race at Cheltenham and has been in good form at home since and I ride him in the 3m Grade One Novice Hurdle.
Kauto Stone looks like he’s going to take his chance in the Punchestown Gold Cup (5.30). He won well at Down Royal beating First Lieutenant but has been disappointing since. Paul Nicholls has completely freshened him up since then and if he ran like he did at Down Royal he’d have a chance – if he doesn’t he won’t. I’m not sure if the heavy ground will help or hinder him.
I think Sir Des Champs will be okay on the ground. I watched him canter on Tuesday morning and seemed well after his Gold Cup exploits when second to Bobs Worth. First Lieutenant has run well all season but has been to Newbury, Cheltenham and Aintree so whether that has an effect we’ll have to see. Long Run takes his chance too.
Patrick (Mullins) takes over on Briar Hill in the Champion Bumper (6.05) after he won for me at Cheltenham. He shows nothing at home and keeps his best for the track but is trying to emulate Champagne Fever (2012) Cousin Vinny (2008) by ‘doubling up’ after winning the Cotswolds in March.