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Horse Racing tips: Punchestown tips from Gary Savage

There's a mixture of high-class action and competitive handicaps at Punchestown, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner returning to action, and the Racing Post's Gary Savage has looked through the card.

Gary Savage's tips:

12.45 Punchestown - Cher Why Not @ 12/1
3.00 Punchestown - Alpesh Amin @ 10/1
3.35 Punchestown - Zambezi Flyer @ 40/1

12.45 Punchestown - Cher Why Not @ 12/1

This 3m handicap hurdle features some improving young hurdlers with the likes of last-time-out winning 5yos Millstream Lady and Irish Envoy likely to dominate the market.

Gordon Elliott's Bob Cigar was a £110,000 purchase at last November's Cheltenham sale after a taking point-to-point run, and enters handicaps stepping up slightly in trip.

The form of that point looks nothing special now and he is likely to be too short so hopefully there will be some generous odds available for a more exposed sort, and they don't come much more exposed than CHER WHY NOT.

With the going already pretty testing and more rain likely, some of his younger rivals could find this a very different test to what they've faced so far but Tim Doyle's gelding should relish conditions.

The summary of his Punchestown runs is misleading as although he's only been placed once in eight runs here, he has run numerous good races in big fields.

One of those runs was in this race last year when fourth after being given too much to do, while he was a much closer fifth and fourth here on his next two starts and was only beaten by six-and-one-quarter lengths off a 4lb higher mark here in February.

All his wins have come under claimers so his amateur jockey, who has ridden his three winners in the last six months, should be no barrier and he has won off a break before.

Gary Savage's tip:

Cher Why Not @ 12/1 - 1pt each-way

Three conditions races follow and although not of interest from a punting perspective, they are sure to throw up some very high-class horses looking at the previous winners, and of course Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs' return in the John Durkan at 2.30 is to be savoured. 

Despite Willie Mullins training five of the six horses, it's as competitive a renewal as it ever has been, and with his Punchestown Gold Cup conqueror Fastorslow renewing rivalry it promises to be a fascinating contest. 

Mullins often has one placed at big odds in this but he has won it with the favourite seven times in the last 10 years so I wouldn't back against Galopin Des Champs, who won this last year, getting turned over.

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3.00 Punchestown - Alpesh Amin @ 10/1

The Pertemps qualifier is the other good betting race on the card and features three horses renewing rivalry from a 2m6f contest at Galway in October in the shape of Gabby's Cross, Shadow Rider and ALPESH AMIN.

With the winner of that race, Buddy One, having followed up off a 9lb higher mark at Cheltenham last week, it looks a good piece of form and of the three, it is the sixth place who interests me the most.

Like the winner, Gabbys Cross and Shadow Rider were prominently positioned at the business end of that race while the selection was ridden form off the pace and was as close to those two at the end as he had been throughout the last quarter mile.

It was the Alpesh Amin's first start of the season so improvement can be expected, and he was also ridden as if to help him try and get the trip as the only other time he ran over 3m he was too keen and didn't get home.

With a small weights pull with the other two and with connections now confident he will stay the trip, he should be able to reward each-way support at least.

Gary Savage's tip:

Alpesh Amin @ 10/1 - 2pts each-way

3.35 Punchestown - Zambezi Flyer @ 40/1

Finally I cannot resist a stab at a bumper, and with Mullins and Elliott both represented everything else will presumably be massive odds and there's one that's worth a small investment.

James Conheady has only had a handful of rules runners, and only one in the last five years, but that one won a heavy-ground bumper under his owner/trainer and is a half-brother to ZAMBEZI FLYER.

He was promptly sold and there must be a chance that that could be the plan for this one if he shows any ability. Sire Zambezi sun has bred a couple of bumper winners from only a handful of runners.

He could be one for a later date but I can't resist a small bet at a massive price.

Gary Savage's tip:

Zambezi Flyer @ 40/1 - 0.5pt each-way

Gary Savage's tips:

12.45 Punchestown - Cher Why Not @ 12/1
3.00 Punchestown - Alpesh Amin @ 10/1
3.35 Punchestown - Zambezi Flyer @ 40/1

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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