Superstars delay Punchestown showdown – Betfred Blog

Updated: 24/05/2022

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Willie Mullins still has the favourite for Punchestown’s Champion Stayers Hurdle despite Benie Des Dieux and Laurina not running.

The Champion Stayers Hurdle on day three of the Punchestown Festival has lost some of its shine after Apple’s Jade, Benie Des Dieux and Laurina were all left out at the final declaration stage.

Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins both have three entries for Thursday’s feature race but both trainers have opted not to enter their star mares for the Stayers.

Apple’s Jade is set to finish her season at Punchestown and Elliott was hoping she would finish on a high after below-par efforts at both Cheltenham and Aintree.

That is still the plan with the seven-year-old, Benie Des Deiux and Laurina all holding entries for the Punchestown Champion Hurdle on Friday and Saturday’s Mares Champion Hurdle.

In the mares’ absence, Mullins’ Bapaume gets top billing in the Betfred ante post market, being priced at 2/1 to win the feature.

The six-year-old was last in action when finishing a respectable fourth in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and will bid to land the Champion Stayers Hurdle for an eighth time for the Mullins camp.

The Closutton handler also has Killultagh Vic (16/1) and Bacardys (7/1), while Elliott runs Cracking Smart (9/1), Dortmund Park (14/1) and Prince Of Scars (33/1).

A strong British contingent will challenge for honours with Unowhatimeanharry bidding to reclaim the crown he captured in 2017.

The Harry Fry-trained 11-year-old is a 10/1 shot, while Aux Ptits Soins and Vision Des Flos are the others flying the flag for the British trainers.

Odds subject to change.



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