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Punchestown Friday
Fri, Apr 27th, 2012

Punchestown has to pass a precuationary inspection at 8:00 am but a reduced five race card is expected to go ahead starting at 16:50.

The rejigged race programme sees the day start with the two mile Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase. Arkle Trophy third Menorah and RSA Chase second First Lieutenant are set to clash. Tommy Cooper trains Luck William and Barry Geraghty has tipped his mount to prevail on the expected testing ground. Timeform have also put upĀ  First William as their pick at the prices. There are more Ryanair Novice Chase tips on our Punchestown forum.

The Friday feature race is the Rabobank Champion Hurdle. Just four horses are expected to run with the impressive World Series Hurdle winner Quevega unlikely to be turned out again. Willie Mullins trained horses account for three of the four in the field and are likely to give the champion trainer another big race 1-2-3. Hurricane Fly disappointed at Cheltenham but Mullins horses seem to be in much better form at this meeting. The race does come quickly for Thousand Stars after his gallant second in the Aintree Hurdle and Zaidpour may be one for the forecast.

The Cathal Ryan Memorial Novice Hurdle over 2 miles 4 furlongs is the other Grade 1 on the card. Willie Mullins has won this race five times in the last decade and Neptune Insurance Novice Hurdle runner up Felix Yonger is favourite to maintain his impressive record in the race.

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