Day one of Punchestown Festival 2016 sees Neptune and Mersey winner Yorkhill attempt to score a rare hat-trick of spring Festival wins in this Grade 1 novices’ hurdle.
He was awesome in the Tolworth at Christmas, even more so at Cheltenham when turning over a supposed dead-cert in Yanworth, and then slightly laboured when successful at Aintree.
He’s the class horse in the race but I wouldn’t be surprised if a long, hard and extremely successful season had caught up with him, so I’m keen to take him on here with a long-odds each-way shot.
BRAIN POWER travels over for Nicky Henderson after winning a small pot at Kempton.
This is a massive step up in class but an eye-catching one too, and he’s so unexposed that he could make a mockery of his 33/1 quote.
While others may be tired, he arrives a fresh horse on just his fourth start this season and has the good ground in his favour.
He barely came off the bridle last time out but his jumping was sketchy and will have to improve plenty if he is to take top honours, but at that price he’s worth trying to place.
Paddy Power offer 10/1 in the ‘without Yorkhill’ market and combining that with a win bet at 33/1 pays more than betting each-way.
Charbel (7/1) beat him earlier in the season and ran well in the Supreme at Cheltenham, but he along with Petit Mouchoir (4/1) hardly scream class and I don’t think they deserve to be so much shorter in the betting.
Make no mistake, Yorkhill is brilliant and will probably hose up, but this game is rarely that straightforward.
0.4pt win Brain Power @33/1, 16:20 Punchestown, Tuesday
0.6pt win (w/o Yorkhill) Brain Power @10/1, 16:20 Punchestown, Tuesday (Paddy Power)