Punchestown Festival Friday Betting Tips – Solomn Grundy Among Your Best Bets

Punchestown Betting Tips · Friday, 30th Apr 2021 - 15:40

Solomn Grundy the Champion Hunters Chase value at Punchestown

The odds-on favourites in the big races on Punchestown Festival Friday have few if any chinks in their armour. The quest for value in those Grade 1s lies in each-way alternatives, so the main fancy on this card is Solomn Grundy in the Champion Hunters Chase (18:35).

Trained by Sean Thomas Doyle for owner Roger Brookhouse, this 11-year-old has been completely rejuvenated by switching to this discipline. Solomn Grundy won a couple of Irish points after leaving Henry De Bromhead, and has since scored in a couple of hunter chases.

He has something to find with Billaway on Down Royal form, but that was a shorter trip than this. Solomn Grundy got a lot closer to that re-opposing rival at Naas. As the Westerner gelding has come out and won his last two races, he looks the best value. I have never been convinced by Billaway’s jumping as he makes mistakes.

It’s true that Solomn Grundy also has a bit to find with Staker Wallace, but he was no match for the favourite at Cheltenham. Of the leading Irish contenders, only Solomn Grundy comes into this off the back of a win. British raiders but, with JW Hendrick taking 7lb off his back, side with Solomn Grundy at 7/1 with Betfair here.

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Consider Ashdale Bob each-way in Champion Novice Hurdle

In the second Grade 1 of Punchestown Festival Friday, the 2m 4f Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle (18:00), it’s hard to look past Bob Olinger. He should confirm Cheltenham form with Gaillard Du Mesnil. There is no value in backing Rachael Blackmore’s mount. Instead, Ashdale Bob bounced back to form last time out.

He makes plenty of each-way appeal in this contest for trainer Jessica Harrington. The six-year-old son of Shantou fell far too early in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle in January, won by Bob Olinger, to say what would’ve happened. He came into that Grade 1 test off back of consecutive wins over this trip at Navan.

Ashdale Bob made himself a dual Grade 2 winner when defying a penalty at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival. The better ground seemed to suit him. There were some disappointments that day, but the way he stayed on suggests he’s wrth another crack at the highest level.

The Harrington stable has been in better form in recent weeks than over the winter. As Gaillard Du Mesneil has had two hard races at Leopardstown and Cheltenham, Ashdale Bob might just give a better account of himself here than when they met at the Dublin Racing Festival. Odds of 12/1 with William Hill look great value, as he’s effectively 3/1 to finish second.

Sharjah another each-way play on Punchestown Festival Friday

Who would bet against Honeysuckle completing a clean sweep of the Champion Hurdle races? She’s a magnificent mare and I hope that she does exactly that. In terms of value for a place in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle (17:25), Sharjah is second-best on ratings and therefore worth backing each-way again.

Trained by Willie Mullins for Rich and Susannah Ricci, this eight-year-old beat the great Faugheen on his penultimate start at this track. Leopardstown is the course that suits Sharjah best, but his two seconds in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham read very well too.

The Doctor Dino gelding reversed the 2020 form with Epatante this spring. Sharjah also went one place better than this third in the Irish Champion behind Honeysuckle. Abacadabras, who finished ahead of him at Leopardstown but fell at Cheltenham, has since come out and win the Aintree Hurdle.

That extra race may have left its mark. A better showing from Goshen is also expected, but he’s been a costly horse to follow. I just like the claims of Sharjah most of all for each-way betting. The 12/1 price about him with Bet365 looks really solid, but there’s no obvious reason why he should stop Honeysuckle scoring again.

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