Steve Hughes fancies a Cheltenham winner to double up at Punchestown
The middle day at Punchestown and it is another Willie Mullins trained horse that is of most interest on Thursday.
Punchestown 6.40: Duc Des Genievres
A mightily impressive winner of a fast run Arkle at Cheltenham when dropped back to 2m, I fancy Duc Des Genievres to do the same in a contest likely to be raced in similar circumstances.
A really strong traveller, he also jumped the best around Cheltenham and effectively had the race won three from home as others faltered. That backed up a facile Beginners Chase victory at Gowran the previous month over 4f further when allowed to race positively from the front.
He does not have to lead though, he just needs a strong gallop and with Ornua in the field and stablemate Chacun Pour Soi having made all last time, this race should set up perfectly for the selection to dominate late on. I prefer him to Defi Du Seuil who might just find the stronger gallop over the shorter trip disrupting his rhythm.
2pts win – Duc Des Genievres – 6.40 Punchestown – 2/1 general