Owen’s Punchestown Outsiders: Grade 1 selections include 33-1 shot

Punchestown Racecourse

The Punchestown Festival begins on Tuesday, as we say goodbye to the jump’s season for another year. After Cheltenham and Aintree, Punchestown is the bow that neatly wraps it all together. It’ll be five days to savour, with some incredible battles expected on each day.

There are 12 Grade 1 races to look forward to and I for one, cannot wait to see how it all unfolds. The top-grade offering is exceptional and after some digging, I’ve hunted down some selections at value prices. With so many big names out, those at the bottom of the markets can be overlooked and you can find my choices below!

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6.30 Punchestown – O’Toole (Wednesday, 33-1)

Many will see this contest as Sir Gerhard versus Kilcruit and it’s not difficult to see why. They’ve been a class apart in the division and proved so when pulling clear at the Cheltenham Festival. That being said, it means many behind them in the Champion INH Flat Race have been overlooked.

Stuart Crawford’s O’Toole made a winning debut at Fairyhouse back in February, powering clear to the tune of fifteen lengths. That was an impressive performance, proving strongest at the finish and although the form is nothing special, he wasn’t hard pressed to pull clear. Subsequently bought by Simor Munir and Isaac Souede, he’s a lovely prospect for his new connections.

He’ll need a strong gallop to aim at, but if he gets just that, there’s plenty to like about him at a tempting price of 20-1.


5.25 Punchestown – French Dynamite (Thursday, 20-1)

There’s no doubt about it, Flooring Porter is the one to beat in this contest. He’s beaten all before him in a progressive campaign and clear on ratings, every horse in the field will need to improve to beat him on this season’s evidence.

One such horse is French Dynamte, who suffered defeat to that rival over Christmas. He looked to have a great chance turning for home, ultimately outstayed by that rival, Sire Du Berlais and Fury Road. It wasn’t a bad performance, however, and prior runs give hope that three miles will be perfect for him in time. After all, he did win his point over the three-mile distance.

The likely better surface on Thursday will be a big help in terms of staying and after just eight career starts, he remains unexposed. Two runs since that Christmas effort have seen him maintain his form, pulling too hard in a Grade 2 behind a horse who made all the running. He’s worth another go up in distance and at 20-1, he looks overpriced with the potential for further improvement.


5.25 Punchestown – Darver Star (Friday, 33-1)

It’s been a strange campaign for Darver Star, who failed to built on a highly promising start over fences. Second in a Grade 1 on Boxing Day, two subsequent starts have seen him well beaten at the Dublin Racing Festival and Cheltenham.

He’s a much better than that, however, and reverting to hurdling could be just what he needs. Back in the 2019/20 season, his hurdling campaign saw him placed behind Envoi Allen, Honeysuckle and Epatante. That sort of form gives him an excellent chance in this if he’s back to near his very best.

Gavin Cromwell has finished the season well and with ground conditions coming into is favour, he looks severely underestimated at 33-1.

£10 Welcome Offer
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UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleaware.org
tote
£10 Welcome Offer
UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleaware.org

If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.

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