Punchestown Festival – Day 2

Betting on National Hunt racing at present can be a perilous occupation as the first day of Punchestown showed. I feel we were right not to get involved.

There is an additional dimension to the existing difficulties surrounding betting over the jumps at present which is simply the fitness – or “over the top” issue. Moreover, with the Mullins team aiming so many superstars at this meeting, we are left with the dilemma of whether to go in very short or look for each-way value, albeit in the knowledge that finding an actual winner against the Mullins group of stars is relatively unlikely.

In the end I have settled for a single bet in the Grade 1 3m novice hurdle. SHANESHILL ran a splendid race at the Cheltenham Festival and has since proved his wellbeing with an effortless success at Fairyhouse where he seemed better than ever. No More Heroes looks an obvious threat but he’s far shorter today compared to the each-way odds we secured when he placed at the Festival. In the hope that Shaneshill has retained his form, he is taken to oblige and post yet another Grade 1 success for Ireland’s dominant handler.

Recommended bet: 2 points win Shaneshill (4.55)

Staking range: 1-5 points.

It is tempting to get involved at Ascot where there is a splendid Flat card but fitness is even more of an issue on the level at this early stage and we’ll stay out and watch for the future. The Chester Cup meeting is our likely starting point for the 2015 Flat Racing season.