Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 11:07 28/04/2015
Day 1 of the Punchestown Festival and a chance to see two outstanding winners from last month's Cheltenham Festival in Douvan and Don Poli, but with both horses sure to start at prohibitive odds it is the Boylesports Champion Chase at 5.30 which appeals as the most attractive betting heat of the day.
Ten talented two mile chasers are set to go to post for the Grade 1 contest headed by 100-30 joint favourites Champagne Fever and Hidden Cyclone, but both look worth opposing on this occasion after failing to run up to their best last time at Aintree and Cheltenham respectively. As well as Champagne Fever the Willie Mullins stable are represented by Twinlight and Felix Yonger and it is the latter who makes plenty of appeal at the 6-1 available with several bookmakers including best value at Ladbrokes with each way terms of 1/4 odds for the first 3 places.
Unlike most of his rivals the mount of Danny Mullins has enjoyed a relatively light campaign, winning his last three starts after finishing second on his seasonal reappearance back in November. All three victories, two over fences and one over hurdles, were gained on soft or heavy ground and the son of Oscar looks certain to appreciate today's faster conditions for the first time since finishing fourth in the 2014 JLT Novices' Chase at the Chentenham Festival.
The nine-year-old's best performance this season came with a nose victory over fellow rival Mallowney in Cork's Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase in December, form which should be confirmed on 6lb better terms. Stablemate Twinlight was sent off the well-backed 13-8 favourite for that two mile race but pulled up putting after in a lifeless effort and despite running up to his best last time is not the most reliable of performers and is another worth taking on at about 6-1.
Flemenstar would have a great chance on his old form but has yet to prove he retains that level of ability while the thirteen-year-old Sizing Europe's best days are surely behind him now after a glorious career, but at the 25-1 on offer with most firms it would be no surprise to see Savello outrun his price under conditions that should suit.
1 Point each-way Felix Yonger 6-1 Ladbrokes