Punchestown Champion Chase Guide


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1. Castlegrace Paddy

Trainer - P A Fahy

Jockey - Davy Russell

Castlegrace Paddy was a very lightly-raced hurdler, and the sooner Pat Fahy got him over fences the better.

In the last eighteen months, he has ran seven times over the larger obstacles which have only rewarded him at the Clipper Logistics Group with two wins - one of which was in a Grade Two back in December of 2018.

Fourth over the Christmas period at Leopardstown, fell at the same venue when behind Min in February, before a long way behind Altior at Cheltenham - it looks a tough ask for the eight-year-old to provide a case here.

2. Great Field

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Jody McGarvey

Standout JP McManus-owned gelding from the Willie Mullins yard on paper, but Great Field has never fulfilled his potential on the big stages around the British and Irish Isles.

Just three runs in the last twelve months - two of which he has fallen in, he will look to get back to his early chase and hurdles form which saw him win seven of his nine other career starts; the other two involved pulling up in the 2016 County Hurdle at Cheltenham, and when finishing second on debut in his French days.

Something to prove, but a winner at this meeting from 2017 does deserve respect if on top of his game.

3. Hell's Kitchen

Trainer - Harry Fry

Jockey - Mark Walsh

Hell's Kitchen's optimum performance really depends on what sort of day it is, and whether he is on his best behaviour.

When on his 'A' game, you see signs of brilliance which he demonstrated at Ascot in a Handicap in December, and when he was far from disgraced eight lengths behind Altior in the Champion Chase.

However, he lacks that real consistency all top horses have, and has plenty to find on the basis of his last outing when upped in trip at Aintree behind Min in the Grade One JLT Chase.

Back down to two miles again.

4. Min

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Ruby Walsh

Many expected Min to be the closest thing to Altior at Cheltenham, but the twice-Festival runner-up could not land any sort of blow this year, and can be excused from a certain off day.

He needed to bounce back at Aintree, and that he did in style when taking the JLT Chase by twenty-lengths over previous winner of the race Politologue.

The old Min looked back in working order, maintaining his title as one of the best two-milers around, but like his old advisory Altior, perhaps going over a further distance will suit him in the future.

5. Ordinary World

T - Henry De Bromhead

J - Rachael Blackmore

Outsider of the field, Ordinary World finished third in the Devenish Chase just over a week ago, and was well beaten by Jessica Harrington's Jett.

In what looked a weak Grade Two on paper, this nine-year-old will certainly require much more to be considered a factor in this, having only managed to beat home a pulled-up God's Own at the Cheltenham Festival.

Best form this year was second to Min in the Dublin Chase back in February, but that race only saw three finishers.

6. Un De Sceaux

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Paul Townend

Un De Sceaux's incredible record of first or seconds in Britain or Ireland when standing up to his fences finally came to an end at the Cheltenham, after almost thirty outings on the track.

The veteran eleven-year-old finished fifth in the Ryanair Chase behind Frodon, on what would have been a real disappointment for him.

However, he will be fully expected to bounce back over two-miles which down the years he has proved more than adequate to do so, including when winning this race twelve months ago ahead of stable-mates Douvan and Min.


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