Who To Follow On Day Three Of The Punchestown Festival 2023

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Punchestown - April 26 2023
Punchestown 16:25
Danny Mullins


J: Danny Mullins
T: W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 152
Days: 17

The first big event of the afternoon at Punchestown on day three is the Grade One Champion Stayers Hurdle and Monkfish off the back of his return run is a serious player.

A horse that had the world at his feet before his injury setback having proved it over both hurdles and fences is now back and ready to give his challenge.

In 2019 he was ran twice, once in a bumper and once over hurdles finishing second on both occasions behind smart horses in Diol Ker and Longhouse Poet.

Since then he has gone on to be a superstar being unbeaten in three hurdle event and on both his chase starts showing clear staying ability and this term a superb jumping temperament.

Having won at Fairyhouse and at Thurles last term over large distances, he went to the Cheltenham festival and managed to stay three miles the best of the runners to just get up in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Sent chasing by Mullins in November 2020 he landed his debut at Fairyhouse with ease and used that run to improve further when managing to see off Latest Exhibition in a Grade One Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Although dropping slightly in trip when seen next time in the Grade One Flogas Novice Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival he gave his best performance of the season to land the event by 11 lengths.

It was all systems go for the Cheltenham festival and although the race fell apart the seven year old landed the event by close to seven lengths, not being overly impressive but getting the job done.

Monkfish was seen once more last time at the Punchestown festival when taking on superstar Envoi Allen and Cheltenham festival winner Colreevy and in a shock turn of events it was his stablemate Colreevy who landed the race by eight lengths.

Having been off the track for almost two years, he returned as a nine year old at Fairyhouse, running a cracker over 2m4f to finish second to a much fitter stablemate in Asterion Forlonge.

That run would have set him perfectly for this event back at his preferred three miles and if not bouncing for the long period off, he is a serious player, showing last time he retains all of his ability.


Trainer To Follow - Willie Mullins

The man to follow on the third day of the meeting is that man Willie Mullins again who started the festival with multiple winners and he can continue his good run on Thursday.

In the opening Handicap Hurdle he fields two runners with Figaroc and Feu Du Bresil both for owner Rich Ricci looking to land the opener.

The Handicap Chase that follows sees him have the favourite Dinoblue who has gone up in the handicap for a potentially fortunate win last time out, but she is the class act in the race.

In the first Grade One event of the afternoon Mullins holds a few big chances with Klassical Dream, Monkfish, Asterion Forlonge and Whatdeawant looking to land the Champion Stayers Hurdle.

The run of good horses running on the day doesn't stop there with the Grade B Handicap Hurdle seeing Mullins fields the likes of Parmenion, Seabank Bistro, Sir Argus and Haxo.

Mullins best chance on the third day comes in the Grade One Barberstown Castle Novice Chase and El Fabiolo is looking for his third Grade One of the season, but failing that Dysart Dynamo and Saint Roi should pick up the pieces.

Mullins then fields Pont Aval in the Mares Handicap Chase and in the bumper has a whole host of runners with Ballyburn looking his number one pick.

Jockey To Follow - Mark Walsh

Mark Walsh is one of the more experienced jockeys in Ireland and he has a nice book of rides on Thursday starting in the opener on last time out winner Golf Marin.

He then rides the favourite in the Grade B Handicap Chase with Dinoblue looking to make it back to back wins in Handicap company.

In the Grade One Champion Stayers Hurdle he gets the leg up again on Sire Du Berlais who is looking to land Grade Ones at the Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown festival in the same season.

At a bigger price 12 year old A Great View is looking to get back to form in the Handicap Hurdle and is now well handicapped on his old form.

Walsh then rides Saint Roi back at two miles having ran well at the Aintree festival behind Banbridge and then in the Mares Handicap Chase he has man aged to pick up the ride of Secret She Keeps.