Punchestown day two tips: Sizing Granite (50/1) and Delta Work (9/1)

There were scarcely believable scenes at Punchestown on Wednesday as our 5/1 selection Al Boum Photo was booked for Grade 1 victory before his jockey, Paul Townend, appeared to panic approaching the last and attempt to steer him around – around – the fence, taking out Finian’s Oscar in second and himself for good measure.

A 21 day ban was swiftly dished out for dangerous riding and both jockey and trainer have declined to comment in the heat of the moment – fair enough.

Obviously we’ve had our fingers burnt – and I’ve never seen anything quite like it – but talk about rotten luck…

Sadly that’s part of horse racing and we still have four days left of the meet to make amends, with the Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday looking quite open.

We’ll start with the favourite Road To Respect, fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and a Grade 1 winner at Christmas.

He’s the form horse and will appreciate this better ground, and there’s no arguing he is fair value as a general 2/1 shot, if you’re that way inclined.

I’m sorely tempted to back Edwulf to bounce back to form after giving him such a big shout for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but we was beaten a long way out in that race and has a mountain to climb if he’s to reverse the form with Road To Respect and Djakadam, so a best price of 12/1 might not be big enough.

I can’t have Killultagh Vic because of his jumping and supposed liking of soft ground, as it’s decent ground out there and 5/1 is an awful price.

It’s difficult to fancy anything that ran in either the Irish or English Grand National marathons either, as Bellshill, Outlander, Alpha Des Obeaux and Total Recall must have all had brutal races on the heavy ground and only the former finished.

Bellshill might be the one to be on as he travelled like a class horse for all but the final furlong of the Irish National,but the one I like is the massive outsider SIZING GRANITE for Colin Tizzard, whose horses have been running brilliantly of late.

Sizing Granite was outpaced by Politologue and Min at Aintree but still beat dual-Cheltenham Festival winner Balko Des Flos, so the form has some strength to it.

What makes me like him is both Finian’s Oscar and Vision Des Flos, who both ran at Aintree 11 days ago for Tizzard, both ran blinders on Tuesday at Punchestown and I reckon the market may overestimate the effect of the quick turnaround.

This is just his fifth run of the season and he’s never tried three miles either, which draws similarities with Sizing John who, under the same ownership, stepped up in trip last season to win all three of National Hunts Gold Cups, including this one.

By a sire of stayers in Milan, Sizing Granite could thrive at the trip and outrun his 50/1 quotes.

A facile victory in handicap company at this meeting last year confirms his course form, and that’s the icing on the cake.

0.75pts each-way Sizing Granite @50/1, 17:30 Punchestown, Wednesday (1,2,3, 1/4 with Bet365)

Earlier on the card Gordon Elliott rates DELTA WORK his best chance of the day in the Grade 1 staying hurdle.

Recent evidence suggests that’s advice we should heed, as I remember him saying the same about Cheltenham Festival winners Farclas and Shattered Love before their successes this March.

Delta Work was a winner himself at Cheltenham over three miles in the Pertemps Final,  and the market seems to rate the favourite Next Destination’s staying-on third behind Samcro and Black Op in the Ballymore the best form.

At 9/1 I’m more than happy to argue that’s not correct, and trust in Gordon.

1pt each-way Delta Work @9/1, 16:55 Punchestown, Wednesday (1,2,3, 1/5 with Betfair)

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