Punchestown Festival Saturday Betting Tips – Side with Skyace for Mares Champion

Punchestown Betting Tips · Saturday, 01st May 2021 - 14:15

Skyace great value for Mares Champion Hurdle

The first of two Grade 1s on Punchestown Festival Saturday is the 2m 4f Mares Champion Hurdle (15:20), and Skyace looks massive value to follow-up. A former inmate of the Willie Mullins stable, she was bought out of the yard for a song and has been hugely impressive since leaving.

Now trained by Shark Hanlon, Skyace has won five of her 10 hurdles and three of her last four. Underestimated in the market time and again, she sprung a 66/1 shock at Down Royal. The daughter of Westerner followed-up under a penalty over course and distance in a Listed contest.

Following a winter break, Skyace was a staying on fourth in the Dawn Run at the Cheltenham Festival. She took her form to dizzying new heights with a triumph in the Grade 1 Mares Novice Championship Final on Easter Sunday at Fairyhouse. Stepping into open company demands more, but her progressive profile is clear.

Concertista, who is favourite, comes into this off the back of a defeat at Cheltenham. Burning Victory is a very interesting runner based on how she shaped in the 2020 Triumph Hurdle, but hasn’t raced since. Stormy Ireland looked rejuvenated when winning at Fairyhouse, but this is tougher.

Skyace makes for a great each-way bet in this feature contest at 9/1 with Betfair under regular jockey Jody McGarvey. Her main market rivals all have something to prove, while her game and likeable attitude commands her lots of respect. Skyace is well worth a try in open company and backing each-way as a result.

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Quilixios the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle Choice

In the other Grade 1 during Punchestown Festival Saturday, the 2m Champon Four Year Old Hurdle (16:00), Quilixos can confirm Cheltenham form with re-opposing rivals. Trained by Henry De Bromhead for Cheveley Park Stud, this Maxios gelding seeks a hat-trick at the highest level.

Unbeaten in five career starts, Quilixios bolted up in minor events including over course and distance before going up in grade. He won the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown by 5 1/2 comfortable lengths over Saint Sam, who re-opposes. From there, Quilixios went to the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and landed the four-timer.

His preparation for that was disrupted by switching to his current stable. The fact that he defied such interruptions highlights his ability. There is no obvious reason why re-opposing duo Haut En Couleurs and Zanahiyr should reverse that form.

I also think the improving Fred Winter winner Jeff Kidder is interesting each-way in this race on the upgrade here. He is 12/1 for Noel Meade and could hit the frame, granted similar progress. However, the NAP of the day has to be Quilixios, who is a standout 9/4 with BetVictor under Rachael Blackmore.

Mister Fogpatches another Punchestown Festival Saturday fancy

A repeat of his third in the Scottish Grand National should see Mister Fogpatches go well again in the 3m 7f handicap chase earlier on Punchestown Festival Saturday (14:50). Trained by Pat Fahy, this seven-year-old grey certainly got the trip at Ayr off a feather weight. It was a massive effort from 1lb out of the handicap.

Provided this doesn’t come too soon, Mister Fogpatches looks attractive off 128 with the weights formed by some old favourites. Cheekpieces go on Anibale Fly for the first time, and he shares the welter burden of 11st 10lb with Irish Grand National hero Freewheelin Dylan. It’s unlikely that one will get his own way up front again.

Mister Fogpatches has a nice racing weight of 10st 7lb and Danny Mullins is again in the saddle. The yard saw Dunvegan run well in another handicap earlier in the meeting too. There could well be more to come from Mister Fogpatches in these extreme tests of stamina, so he looks well worth a wager at 6/1 with Bet365 in this contest.

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