3.40pm Punchestown Tips & Betting Preview 28/04/2016

25 runners will approach the start line for this fiercely competitive two mile handicap and it’s not shock to see J P McManus’s colours likely to be carried by the favourite Sir Scorpion (8/1). He’s struggled off his revised mark since winning at Fairyhouse last April though and we opt for a bigger price in Here For the Craic (16/1) to provide some value with Danny Mullins booked. His last 9 starts have all been on the Flat where he is rated 80 – the last 18 days ago saw him finish 2nd on unsuitably Heavy ground – but he does have plenty of Hurdles experience with 11 runs. He unseated on his last start over hurdles last May off the same mark when running well and he’s well handicapped on his old hurdles form.

A. J. Martin will be hopeful Dollar And A Dream (9/1) will run a big race, having won a very similar contest on his last outing at Fairyhouse. His best result this season, before that narrow Fairyhouse victory, had been a fourth place finish at Cheltenham, where he and his jockey Ruby Walsh finished only four and a half lengths behind the winner A Hare Breath, who has gone on to win again this season. Donagh Meyler will be on board for this one and his five pound weight allowance will be a big help, he should run well once again.

Three quarters of a length behind him at Fairyhouse was The Brock Inn (16/1), who is also an entrant in this one and will be hoping to turn the tables on his rival. He is a course and distance winner, having come out on top of a large field on soft ground here in December. He had two cracks at Graded races around the turn of the year, but finished near the back of the field off big starting prices on both occasions. But that second behind Dollar And A Dream will give him a big boost going into this race.

Neil Mulholland’s Proofreader (12/1) saw off a decent horse in the Floresco, when winning a two mile handicap at Taunton earlier in the season. That win was sandwiched in between two modest third’s when he was highly fancied to go on and win, but the six year old will be delighted by the prospect of good ground here at Punchestown. At only one pound higher in the weights than he was for his last win, he’s definitely a got a big chance.

Admiral Brian (14/1) bring plenty of good form into this race, having won two of his four starts since the turn of the year. He was a convincing winner at Naas in January, despite going off at 14/1 he ran away from a modest field to win by eight lengths. The seven year old’s last outing also resulted in a win, claiming a two length victory when going off as the heavy favourite in a novice hurdle two weeks ago. The ground will be the big issue for him though, having failed to win on any ground firmer than soft.

Eleven year old Lord Ben (25/1) might be the second oldest horse in the race, but he’s still a high quality handicap performer. Rated at 145 in chases, his recent runs over hurdles don’t look like much to shout about, with his best finish being third in a Leopardstown handicap behind Copy That and Ancient Sands, who finished second in the Killashee on the first day of this festival. However, all his wins have come on good ground and Dylan Robinson will be claiming seven pounds in the saddle, so he is expected to put in a much better performance.

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