3.40pm Punchestown Tips & Betting Preview 26/04/2016

Run on the banks course at Punchestown to open the Festival, Wish Ye Didn’t (11/8) will be out to defend the title he won so impressively last year. The seven year old went off as the odds-on favourite, but still dominated the field, leading from the front with Nina Carberry on board and stretching away from the field to win by ten lengths. His form since then hasn’t been great, with two poor runs in Hunter Chases, but returning to the banks course for Enda Bolger should see him in better light here.

Another Enda Bolger runner, Be Postive (8/1) will be the top weight as he returns from a lay-off of over two years. It would take a fantastic training effort to get him here in good enough shape to challenge for the win, but his form before the injury was very strong, winning one and finishing second on his last two runs around course and distance. He’s a tough one to back as apparent stable 3rd string with a 7lb claimer on board though.

Enniskillen (10/1) was second in this race last year and is likely to be prominent in the betting to go one better this time. His last appearance was in a point-to-point here in February, where he went off as the short priced favourite, but had to share the victory after a dead-heat. He’s been an extremely frequent runner this season, notching up ten runs since last years festival, but his inability to win one outright will count against him.

One horse coming into the race with winning from will be Mia’s Milan (14/1), having come out victorious on his last two runs, both in three mile point-to-points. This race would be a step up in class, but the eight year old will come here full of confidence and his trainer, Denis Murphy may fancy a surprise festival win.

John Brennan’s Need To Know (20/1) had also won multiple point-to-point’s at the start of the season, but his last two appearances in the big festival didn’t quite go to plan. He was a long odds outsider in both races at Cheltenham and Aintree respectively, but 20th and an early fall in both Foxhunter’s Chases were the best he could muster. However, even just to be entered into those races shows he is an eight year old with plenty of promise, and he could be the best value outsider in the field.

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