Steve Mullen guides you through Wednesday’s racing from the second day of the Punchestown Festival, Epsom, Exeter, Catterick, Lingfield and Perth
The incredible SHAMIRAN has run in the 3.40 three times spread over the past five years — and has managed to win it each time.
In another wide open renewal, there’s no reason why he cannot make it four out of four. At the massive price on offer, he must be worth a couple of quid each-way in any case.
Looking at his form you would wonder why he would be good enough to take this, but it has been a similar story when he’s won it before.
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Last season he was coming on the back of four runs where he didn’t get within 39 lengths of the leader any time.
So it’s not a massive concern that he was well beaten over fences at Thurles last time and hasn’t won since this race last term.
He didn’t taste success for 12 months before winning here in 2016 and it was a whopping THREE YEARS between drinks ahead of his 2015 success.
While I’m not suggesting you have your maximum on, it’s one of those where we’d be really kicking ourselves if he did run well. His mark of 116 is just 1lb higher than last year and we know he loves the trip and track.
If it’s too much of a leap of faith to support Shamiran, Gordon Elliott’s Dawerann has been in good form over fences and has won over timber here before.
MINELLA TILL DAWN should have won at Fairyhouse last time and can make amends in the 4.20.
He was coming with what looked like a winning run in a Grade 2 novices’ event there only to take a clumsy tumble at the last flight.
You can never be sure of the final result but he was going better than the eventual winner at the time. He had earlier gone close in a Naas Listed contest where the 2m trip was on the short side.
Provided he’s over his tumble, his obvious class can see him through ahead of Battleford who was backed off the boards before finishing midfield in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham last time out.
Willie Mullins is more than capable of improving horses and he has an interesting prospect in POLIDAM for the 6.40.
John Gosden’s talented Cracksman puts his reputation on the line in Epsom’s Investec Derby Trial
SIZING IT UP
Jessica Harrington hoping Sizing John can continue her incredible season at Punchestown
Penhill takes on two other Festival winners in Wednesday’s Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown
William Haggas reveals Call To Mind’s next run will determine if he is a Derby contender
BANK ON CODD
Top Tipster Steve Mullen’s best racing selections for Tuesday, April 25 including the opening day of the Punchestown Festival
Gordon Elliott is hoping Labaik is in the right mood for the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle
RACING CARDS & RESULTS
Get the cards and the full and fast results from Tuesday’s meet at Wolverhampton
Nicky Henderson admits he is wary of Paul Nicholls’ challenge for the title at Sandown
At the post
Fancy going to Royal Ascot? Here’s all the information you need ahead of the world famous race meeting
Paul Nicholls’ Vicente landed back-to-back renewals of the Scottish Grand National at Ayr
He has already achieved plenty in his native France — enough for current connections to get the chequebook out late last year.
He won a decent chase at Auteuil in October before improving when third in a Listed chase at the same venue in November.
That was enough to see him plucked from France and sent to Closutton. Judged on that form, he could be a couple of steps ahead of the handicapper who has him on 137.
This trip will suit, as will a little give in the ground. He needs to prove his fitness after five months off but Mullins knows what he’s doing on that score.
Rightdownthemiddle will probably be favourite and with good reason after an excellent second at Aintree last time. On paper, this represents a fair drop in class but that run was only 18 days ago.
The Gold Cup at 5.30 sees a welcome return to action for CONEYGREE and, at the prices, he is the one to support.
He’s a genuine Grade 1 performer as he showed when winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2015. Thanks to niggling problems, he’s had just two runs since then and finished second behind Cue Card in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November.
He was ring rusty there and would surely have run a big race had he made it to another Gold Cup. With this contest in mind, it may not be a bad thing that he missed Cheltenham as his main rivals in Sizing John and Djakadam both had a tough race there.
It should be an interesting clash between the three and there’s no way the English challenger should be so much longer in the betting than the home heroes.
4:20 Minella Till Dawn
4:55 Presenting Percy
5:30 Coneygree (next best)
6:05 Poli Roi
6:40 POLIDAM (nap)
1:50 Under Approval
2:20 A Bit Of Ginger
2:55 Aimez La Vie
3:25 Up Ten Down Two
4:00 Hot Hannah
4:35 Ballymore Castle
5:05 In Focus
2:00 Royal Village
2:35 Paper Roses
3:05 Aintree My Dream
3:35 A Good Skin
4:10 Late Date
4:40 Petite Power
2:10 Just That Lord
2:45 Ahlan Bil Zain
3:50 Speed Company
4:25 Carpe Diem Lady
5:00 Oud Metha Bridge
4:45 Vatican Hill
5:20 Be Be King
5:50 Krazy Paving
7:25 Angel Of Darkness
7:55 Monna Valley
4:50 Hollywood Ken
6:00 Captain Buck’s
6:35 Mount Vesuvius
7:05 Wonga Swinger
7:40 Ticket To Ride
8:10 Take Em Out