3.40pm Punchestown Tips & Betting Preview 25/04/2017

Improving drastically on his latest run, last year’s second ENNISKILLEN looks booked to go close if taking another step forward for Peter Maher. Mainly raced in point-to-points, he won at Punchestown on his penultimate start over the point course and he backed that up with a good third in March at Gowran Park, only three lengths behind eventual second Foxrock. His form in that run brings him straight into the equation and the better ground will not be an issue as he has had some decent performances on it. This race looks much easier and if running up to the level of his recent runs he should take all the beating and gain his first win under rules.

Although he is yet to take victory after 16 runs under rules, the nine time point-to-point winner Need To Know perhaps has been unlucky at times and so would not be a shock winner. Despite winning a point-to-point at Tinahely three starts ago, he found nothing for pressure on his latest rules start at Downpatrick when pulled up before two out and he was not travelling with his usual zest. His latest pointing run when second at Courtown would suggest that he does have a rules race in him. With conditions to suit and likely no better opportunity than this, he has to be respected.

With only two rules under his belt, there is perhaps more to come from five time point-to-point winner Treo Eile for the Slevin yard and Michelle Ryan. The nine-year-old arrives at the race in brilliant form after winning back-to-back races at Lingstown in the pointing sphere when well backed on both occasions. His previous rules runs when midfield over C&D would suggest that he can be competitive. However he does need to reverse form with both Need To Know and Enniskillen who had his measure in this race last year. Conditions are to suit and he is likely to have the services of JJ Slevin which is a plus, so he certainly has strong place claims.

Running respectably in point-to-points of late, Froggy could earn a place if improving markedly on most of his rules runs over fences. He has placed on his last three point-to-point races, but his last chasing run under rules did not go to plan as he was pulled up before four out after a mistake at the eight after which he quickly lost ground. Based on the best of his pointing runs he would certainly be entitled to be involved, but his overall record under rules is far from inspiring. Although he has conditions in his favour and he will stay on well, others are readily preferred on this occasion.

It is hard to assess Mia’s Milan with all of his form set in the point-to-point sphere but, if at his best, he cannot be ruled out entirely for the placings. Despite his only run under rules ending with a poor eighth in this race last year, he has shown improved form in pointing runs since and posted a career best when finishing third in a point-to-point last month. Although not backing that up when last seen, he has conditions to suit in this and could be expected in the placings at a nice each way price.

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