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29th Apr 2014

JOE’s Betting Preview of the 2014 Champion Chase at Punchestown

The big race on Day One of the Punchestown festival is the Champion Chase. Here’s our betting preview.


The big race on Day One of the Punchestown festival is the Champion Chase. Here’s our betting preview.

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We’ve only just recovered from two brilliant days of action at the Grand National meeting at Fairyhouse last week and this week we have the smorgasbord of racing excellence that is the Punchestown Festival to gorge on. It really is a great time to be alive.

With five days of top-class action to look forward to, the meeting kicks off with a stone-cold cracker, the Grade 1 Champion Chase. The team at are top price on every runner in the field, and below are the prices available.

Last year, Sprinter Sacre came over to add the Irish title to the Cheltenham one but 2014 Queen Mother champion Sire De Grugy, arguably the horse of the year, has not attempted to repeat the trick, instead finishing off a superb season by winning the Celebration Chase at Sandown at the weekend.

But even with that horse absent, the 2014 Punchestown Champion Chase is still red hot, with the runner-up to Sire De Grugy at Cheltenham, Somersby, heading the betting with BetPack (all prices quoted are BetPack who guarantee the top price for every horse in the race).

Mick Channon’s horse has hit the bar a few times this year. Second in the Tingle Creek, behind you know who, Somersby unseated Dominic Elsworth (main pic) in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot before coming second at Cheltenham. A horse of undoubted class, with Champion jockey AP McCoy booked for the ride, the price of 5/1 looks generous, even with slight concerns over Somersby’s jumping.

Hidden Cyclone (11/2) is the other big fancy and with Shark Hanlon in charge, you have to respect the horse. Like Somersby, it has been a season of near misses, with three seconds in last three outings, and a third before that.

The most recent second place, behind Dynaste in the Ryanair, was over 2m 5f, so we fear the two-mile trip here may be just too short.

Our pick, for what it is worth, will be Module. Just touched off for second by Somersby in the Queen Mother, we think the seven-year-old can reverse that result at Punchestown. At 11/2, he is the one we’ll be backing to win and with the ridiculously in-form Barry Geraghty doing the piloting, we feel very happy with our selection.

The other seven runners are all quality too. Baily Green, a faller in the Queen Mother, could have been in the shake up in that race and with good ground at Punchestown he could go well, if he stays upright of course.

And, after an injury lay-off, would you bet against Ruby Walsh, aboard Willie Mullins’ Twinlight, stealing this one at 7/1?

The quality of the race is such that picking an EW shot is tricky but if you want to have a few euro on the race then veteran Sizing Europe is the way to go. A true phenomenon, the 12-year-old won this race in 2012 and has had another win at the track since (last year’s Tied Cottage). Fourth in the Queen Mother last month, Henry de Bromhead’s horse always go well here, so at 8/1, we’ll have a little dabble there each-way.

The race gets off at 5.30 so make sure you are in front of a TV for the off. It should be a belter.

Punchestown betpack