Punchestown betting tips: Active Force, Buildmeupbuttercup and Gun Digger have Sunday shouts

Punchestown betting tips for January 13 on Horsebetting.com have Active Force down as the NAP of this seven-race card in Ireland in the 2m maiden hurdle. Buildmeupbuttercup, meanwhile, gets weight all-round, so she is the next best bet in the 2m Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle. Gun Digger is a solid each-way bet for the Grade 3 novice chase over 2m 4f. For more on these horses, read our detailed Punchestown betting tips for January 13 below.

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Odds
4/1
NAP
Active Force
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5/2
NB
Buildmeupbuttercup
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Odds
13/2
E/W
Gun Digger
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Smart bumper performer Active Force appeals on hurdles bow

Active Force switches to hurdles after putting in a string of fine efforts in bumpers, so looks the one to be on in the 2m maiden at Punchestown on Sunday (15:20). The Gigginstown House Stud owed gelding is trained by Noel Meade and also previously won an Irish point, keeping on best from the last to score by six lengths.

The son of Oscar will want further in time, but has run into some very useful sorts in bumpers progressing in four starts in that sphere. After finishing a close-up 3 1/2 lengths fourth to Alighted at Leopardstown last Christmas, Active Force chased home Willie Mullins mare Sancta Simona, who was subsequently bought by leading Irish owner JP McManus.

Bumper form strong

Although beaten 11 lengths, he pulled a further 17 lengths clear of the third horse home and the remainder in-behind were also well strung on. Active Force was also far from disgraced when a 12-length third after a break to Battleoverdoyen, who has since landed both his hurdles starts including the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle.

Such form commands Active Force respect in relation to this maiden, and his solid bumper career culminated in a deserved victory last time out where he made all at a steady pace over 2m 2f at Limerick. Connections quickly turn him out over hurdles on the back of that and he may take some stopping if allowed to dictate proceedings on the front end.

Everything looks in place for a big run, so – provided he copes with the large field – Active Force can take this en route to potentially bigger and better things. He thus rates the NAP of our Punchestown betting tips for January 13.

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Buildmeupbuttercup the Moscow Flyer fancy

The feature race is the 2m Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle (14:50), and Buildmeupbuttercup can capitalise on a handy sex allowance to give trainer Willie Mullins a sixth winner of this in the last seven seasons. This five-year-old daughter of Sixties Icon won a couple of bumpers when in the care of Mick Channon, and was then far from disgraced in the Grade 2 mares National Hunt Flat Race at Aintree last spring.

Although three subsequent runs on the level were fruitless, Buildmeupbuttercup was then sent to County Carlow handler Mullins and won on debut for him at Navan. That 2m maiden hurdle had 29 runners, but she led going best after two out and was driven clear on the run-in to score by half-a-length.

This demands more, but the same can be said for all of the six runners. The trip looks a little sharp for Swordsman, while fellow Gigginstown runners Jan Maat and Felix Desjy have questions to answer. Mullins’ other mount Harrie is preferred by Ruby Walsh, but he’s always been campaigned over further on bottomless ground.

As Buildmeupbuttercup is relatively unexposed compared to Jetez, who has had 10 hurdles starts to her one, she appeals as the type that acts on the forecast good going. We therefore put her up as the next best wager among our Punchestown betting tips for January 13.

Gun Digger a solid each-way bet

A Grade 3 novice chase over 2m 4f is the other top class event on the card (13:15), and Gun Digger looks a solid each-way bet in a competitive renewal. Although the Gordon Elliott trained seven-year-old is somewhat flattered by his margin of victory last time out due to fallers at the last, his jumping passed muster and he has a progressive profile over fences.

After finishing a three-length third to Dr Mikey on his chase bow at Gowran Park, he now meets the runner-up A Plus Tard on 2lb better terms. That gives Gun Digger every chance of running Henry De Bromhead’s mare even closer in this. Both horses come here off the back of victories, yet there is a relatively large difference in price.

Gun Digger went on to chase home Chris’s Dream at Navan, and then profited from Bacardys and another rival coming to grief at the final fence in a 2m 5f beginners event at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival. He could only capitalise on the situation, however, and deserves credit for improving with each outing.

There are a few with plenty of prove in this race too; stablemates Blow By Blow and Ben Dundee among them. Gun Digger is Jack Kennedy’s chosen mount in this and, with the jockey on a 25 per cent strike rate in the last fortnight at the time of writing, he is thus an obvious each-way selection for these Punchestown betting tips for January 13.

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