300/1 Punchestown and Guineas Weekend Treble
May 2, 2019
We are into that weird point in the world of horse racing where nobody really knows if it’s the flat season or the jumps season.
The truth is, we are on a bit of an overlap with the National Hunt season coming to an end in Ireland while the flat season is just starting to kick into second gear here in the UK.
For racing fans, that delivers a juicy concoction of action which is best illustrated in the next few days with the Irish jumping showpiece at the Punchestown Festival and then Newmarket playing host to the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas.
If that doesn’t get you licking your lips for a weekend in front of the TV or even at the racecourse itself, then we don’t know what will. To boost that, here’s a 300/1+ treble for you to enjoy alongside the action from both sides of the Irish sea.
Supasundae to win the Punchestown Champion Hurdle @3/1 with Betfred
Friday’s feature race from the Punchestown Festival is the Champion Hurdle at 5:30pm. If you were planning on tucking into your Friday fish and chips around then, maybe hold off for 10 minutes as this one should be a cracker.
Dual Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air is the obvious attraction in the betting, but he’s not shown much this season to suggest anything other than the fact he is on a downward curve. Defeats have come from stablemate Verdana Blue at Kempton and then by Supasundae at Aintree, there was even a fall in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham sandwiched between those two.
In a nutshell, he is worth taking on with Supasundae facing up again. The Jessica Harrington-trained 9yo is a such a versatile performer who now has Grade One wins over 2m and 2m4f alongside placed efforts at 3m.
He was also a convincing winner of this race last year, with Wicklow Brave 3¼ lengths behind him in 2nd, and Blue Berry a 22 lengths 3rd. This is arguably a better race than it was last year, but still, he must have a fantastic chance with Buveur D’Air and Apple’s Jade both being off the boil in recent runs.
Al Hilalee to win the 2,000 Guineas @16/1 with Ladbrokes
The first Classic of the season comes in the shape of the 2,000 Guineas, a race of huge prestige in its own right, but also one that regularly acts as a great marker for the Derby at Epsom in June.
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has dominated this race in recent years, winning three of the last four renewals and eight times since the turn of the Millennium. Churchill and Saxon Warrior have taken the last two for the Ballydoyle handler, which means AOB will be seeking the first 2,000 Guineas hat-trick since trainer James Edwards in the 1830s.
To do that, he has Magna Grecia and Ten Sovereigns waiting to strike with the pair both taking big Group Ones as 2yo’s. They both fit the mould of an Aidan O’Brien Guineas winner, but there is another interesting runner at big prices for Godolphin.
The unbeaten Al Hilalee has been supplemented for the race to the tune of £30,000 by his connections, who have taken their chance after he impressed in a racecourse gallop at Meydan last week.
He’s a horse that has spent the whole of the winter in Dubai, so there shouldn’t be any concerns about him being race-fit for the big one on Saturday. Trainer Charlie Appleby has said that they have always seen him as a potential Derby horse as well, so if their thoughts are correct, he could be a big contender this weekend at an each-way price.
Skitter Scatter to win the 1,000 Guineas @6/1 with 888Sport
It might not be as strong as the grip he has on the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but Aidan O’Brien certainly has an enviable record in the 1,000 Guineas as well.
A winner twice in the last three renewals, he has a collection of four 1,000 Guineas winners racked up since landing his first with Virginia Waters in 2005. Again, he has leading contenders in the shape of Just Wonderful and Fairyland, but it could be another Irish trainer that takes the prize this year.
Skitter Scatter recently switched hands from Paddy Prendergast to John Oxx, and the man that famously saddled Sea The Stars to 2,000 Guineas victory ten years ago has been pretty impressed by what he has seen so far.
As a 2yo, the filly won four of her seven starts including a hat-trick of Group races in Ireland, which culminated in winning the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September. Reports suggest she has shown some good signs in the last month and is ready for a crack at the big one on Sunday.
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As a qualified sports journalist, Luke has worked with nationally-recognised outlets covering events from the World Cup to the Grand National. Luke is one of the few men who has to admit that their father was the better footballer, but at least he can take comfort from the fact he got to see his Dad score at Wembley. When Luke isn’t talking football, you’ll normally find him following his other passion, horse racing and has his own horses in training with Paul Nicholls and Mark Johnston.