4.20pm Punchestown Tips & Betting Preview 27/04/2016

Course and distance winner Balko Des Flos (6/1) looks like a very progressive five year old, having put in a number of good runs so far this season. He was a strong favourite when winning here on very soft ground in January, and despite only winning by three lengths, he was dominant throughout. He was then an outsider at both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals, but ran well in both those Grade Ones, finishing fifth in the three mile Albert Bartlett, before improving on that to finish fourth in the Sefton. He’s Willie Mullins sole entry and the drop back in trip should see him improve in our ears as he hasn’t appeared to say 3 miles on his two attempts so far.

50/1 shot Walk To Freedom was the surprise winner of this race last year, racing clear of a good quality field to win by a relatively wide margin. Trainer Jess Harrington will be hoping Woodland Opera (11/1) can repeat the feat his stablemate managed last year, but he hasn’t been in the best of form since the turn of the year. The six year old edged out Coney Island to win on his reappearance at Navan, but has struggled since moving up into Grade company, finishing ninth and last in a two miler at Leopardstown, then a distance third over this trip when last seen in January. He’s got plenty to find in a field of this quality.

Henry De Bromhead’s Supasundae was seventh on his last outing in the Supreme Novices at Cheltenham, which wasn’t a bad result considering the quality in that race. He fare far better in his previous two outings this season, beating odds-on favourite and former Cheltenham champion Silver Conchorde at Leopardstown in December. That was only over two miles, but he ran away from the field there on heavy ground, suggesting he might be well suited to a step up in trip. He’s the highest rated entrant in the field but at a short price with plenty of potential improvers at bigger odds doesn’t look a good bet at the odds.

Andrew McNamara’s Val De Ferbet (8/1) beat Grand National winner Rule The World this time last year, in a Grade Two three miler at Limerick. He has been dropped back in trip since, but hasn’t managed to win another race, finishing second in three of his last five runs. That form stacks up well here but he’s looking more exposed than many others in the field and his progression seems to have tailed off.

Moon Over Germany (5/1) was eighth in the JLT Flat Race on the first day of last year’s festival, but he’s looked a much more dangerous prospect since moving to hurdling. The five year old has had two big race battles with the highly rated Ball D’Arc this season, beating his rival in the first of those meetings at Navan in December, before finishing runner up to him on his maiden Graded appearance. He was well fancied in a Grade Two at Fairyhouse on his last run and stayed on well to finish third suggesting this step up in trip will suit, although he struggled on his only run on ground this Good even if that was back in April 2015.

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