Timeform’s Tony McFadden highlights a Nap, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Punchestown on Sunday.
Allaho – 14:00 Punchestown
It is surprising that Allaho is only third in the market for this cracking edition of the John Durkan as the form he showed when running out a stunning 12-length winner of the Ryanair Chase from Fakir d’Oudairies at the Cheltenham Festival is comfortably the best on offer. His second to Chacun Pour Soi over two miles at the Punchestown Festival is also probably better than anything his rivals can boast and there’s no doubt he’s a top-class chaser. Envoi Allen and Fakir d’Oudairies have race fitness on their side but this prestigious prize is the obvious early-season target for a top-notch two-and-a-half miler, so Allaho should be tuned up.
Glenquin Castle – 15:05 Punchestown
Glenquin Castle continues defying the handicapper and he can do so again to make it seven in a row. Remarkably, Glenquin Castle’s six victories have been achieved by a cumulative distance of around only four and a half lengths, and those narrow-but-cosy wins have allowed him to stay a step ahead of the handicapper. His last three wins have been achieved over hurdles but he looks well handicapped on his return to chasing, only 9 lb higher than the last chase mark he defied and only 5 lb higher than the hurdles rating he won off here last month.
Shantou Lucky – 12:25 Punchestown
Shantou Lucky caught the eye when finishing third at Fairyhouse last month, moving through the race in the style of a well-handicapped horse. Shantou Lucky travelled best and quickened well to lead on the home turn, but he was joined at the last and could offer no extra in the closing stages. That race should prove to be decent form for the grade, though, and Shantou Lucky is still relatively lightly raced, so he might have more to offer for the excellent Gavin Cromwell yard.