By Sean Goff | Punchestown
Day four at Punchestown and we’ve had a quick look at the books to see who you’re backing to get the weekend off to a flyer. Hurricane Fly is the star attraction and at 1/3 he’s been punted in doubles, trebles and accas to get Friday’s festivities rolling. Trainer Willie Mullins had as many wins yesterday as Reading have had all season – five – with top jock Ruby Walsh banging home four.
And the pair have been well punted in Paddy’s five best-backed horses this afternoon at Punchestown.
1. Immediate Response 4/1
3.40pm Novice Steeplechase
Punters have latched onto Immediate Response after a Willie Mullins five-timer yesterday and the prospect of six on the board with Hurricane Fly loomimg ever learger. With five non-runners in the novice chase the opposition to Immediate Response is falling away quicker than a Spanish side’s Champions League assault. A winner over 2m 4f at Clonmel on soft ground last time Ruby Walsh does the steering here fresh from yesterday’s treble at the track.
2. Panther Claw 6/1
4.55pm Champion Novice Hurdle
With 19 runners going to post for this 3m 6f contest your selection will need more stamina than a Reading supporter to draw here. Paul Nolan’s mud lover finished fifth in the Irish Grand National the last time and previously won a 3m chase on heavy ground at Navan. At 6/1 and Paddy paying 1/4 the odds the first 5 home expect this one to be staying on when others have cried enough.
3. Un De Sceaux 5/4
6.40pm Novice Hurdle
Paddy will be checking his pants if this one scoots in as he’s been backed as if defeat is not an option. Expect the bookies to be running for cover as all the doubles and trebles roll up – and the punters to be heading for the bar if they’ve been on.
4. County Champions 6/1
7.10pm Bumper NH Flat race
Trainer Robert Tyner is going for his second win in three years in this race and punters have latched on all morning. Unpenalised for a Cork bumper win in heavy ground over 2m 3f looks the one to give the Mullins duo at the top of the market most to worry about.
5. Oscar Delta 13/8
7.45pm Hunter Steeplechase
The re-match after Jane Mangan looked to have the Cheltenham equivalent in the bag before her mount jinked sideways and dropped here halfway up the run-in. Salsify breezed past here then but if this one handles the going better than the good-ground loving Salsify – revenge could be sweet.