“They’re not coming for the craic” – British challengers at Punchestown on Tuesday

Team Skelton

The Irish may have cleaned up at the Cheltenham Festival but that hasn’t stopped two trainers in their tracks. British raiders are few and far between in the emerald isle these days. This is down to the sheer grip the Irish have on racing at present.

Of the 28 winners across the four days at Cheltenham, incredibly 23 were Irish-trained. Not only that but 20 were Irish-bred, 17 Irish-bought, and 14 were Irish point-to-point graduates. Of the 14 Grade 1 winners over the four days, 12 of them were also Irish-trained.

It is fantastic to see Kim Bailey and Dan Skelton still opt to cross the water for racing at the Punchestown Festival on Tuesday. If you are not in, you certainly can’t win. Both trainers will take their chance in the William Hill Champion Chase.

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Dan Skelton

Nube Negra is a rarely visible Spanish-bred runner but he is high-class and deserves to take his chance in the big one. He was flying at the death when runner-up to Put The Kettle On in the Queen Mother Champion Chase last month. On a strict form line, it seems obscene that he is 11-2 for this but Chacun Pour Soi, who he beat that day, is 5-4. Big chance with a repeat run.


Kim Bailey

First Flow seemed to hate going left-handed last month and didn’t run his true race when 6th in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. A return to a right-handed track will play to his strengths and he was extremely progressive prior to his Cheltenham blip. He won the Clarence House Chase at Ascot by seven lengths and if he can repeat that effort, he could take some pegging back.


William Hill sponsor the Champion Chase at Punchestown this week. You can avail of their excellent new customer offer below.

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