The Punchestown Festival is the highlight of the jumps racing season in Ireland. It has become Ireland’s version of the Cheltenham Festival with five days of exciting horse racing action.
This year’s Punchestown Festival gets underway on April 30, 2019, and around 130,000 fans are expected to head to Punchestown for the biggest sporting event of the region. And while the Punchestown Festival has a half-a-dozen Grade 1 races on deck, none of them can match the grandeur of the Punchestown Gold Cup. Many of Ireland’s top chasers have won this Grade 1 chase with the names Beef Or Salmon, Florida Pearl, Kicking King and Carlingford Lough ringing a bell in punters heads.
The Punchestown Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase for horses five years or older. It is run at Punchestown in Co. Kildare, Ireland during the annual Punchestown Festival in late April or May. The race covers a distance of three miles and a ½ furlong or approximately 4,938 meters and during it’s running, a total of 17 fences are to be jumped by the horses. The total purse for the race is GBP300,000.00. This year’s Punchestown Gold Cup is slated for 5:30 p.m. on Day 2 of the Punchestown Festival which means it will be on May 1, 2019.
Last year, Bellshill, ridden by David Mullins, won the 2018 Coral Punchestown Gold Cup. He returns this year hoping to become the first horse since Neptune Collonges in 2007-08 to win back to back Punchestown Gold Cup races. But there is a solid field around him hoping to become the next winner. Will Bellshill repeat as champion? Or will we crown a new winner in 2019? New to horse racing then get some betting tips before you wager.
Here are the odds to win the 2019 Coral Punchestown Gold Cup. Odds taken from William Hill as of 4/23/19:
|Al Boum Photo||15/8|
|Road to Respect||12/1|
|Tout est Permis||20/1|
|Balko des Flos||20/1|
Who Are The Favorites?
Kemboy failed to advance after the first fence when he landed awkwardly and unseated his rider during his Gold Cup debut in the Magners-Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade1) last March 15, 2019. However, he rebounded impressively by winning the Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1) at Aintree last April 4, 2019.
The 7-year old bay gelding is owned by the Supreme Horse Racing Club and is trained by the popular Willie Mullins. Kemboy has 7 wins and 2 places in a total of 14 runs. He has five wins and one place in seven steeplechase starts in Ireland,
Al Boum Photo is coming off his victory at the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) at Cheltenham last March. That win at Prestbury park came as a surprise but he managed to outstay a quality field and win the most coveted prize in jumps racing. He may have come of age at that race and with momentum on his side, Al Boum Photo does have a good chance to win here.
This Willie Mullins trained bay gelding has run six chases in Ireland and has a winning percentage of 50% with three wins and one place. Overall, he has six wins and two places in a total of 12 runs.
Bellshill outmuscled Djakadam to score a narrow victory in the Punchestown Gold Cup last year. Since that victory, he finished 4th in the Savills Chase won by Kemboy, won the Unibet Irish Gold Cup (Grade 1) at Leopardstown and then pulled up in his last race which was the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) which Al Boum Photo won.
The Willie Mullins trained 9-year old bay gelding has 11 wins and five places in 22 total runs. He has won five out of eight Chase races in Ireland.
Road To Respect has not won since the JNwine.com Champion steeplechase on November 3, 2018. He was 3rd in the Savills Chase, 2nd in the Unibet Irish Gold Cup, 3rd in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham and 5th in the Betway Bowl Chase, all of which are Grade 1 races.
Noel Meade trains this 8-year old chestnut gelding and owned by Gigginstown House Stud. He’s won a total of 7 races with 12 places in 24 total runs. Road to Respect also has five wins and seven places in a total of 13 steeplechase races in Ireland.
Monalee recorded a strong victory over Anibale Fly at the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park last February 16th. However, he finished only 4th in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham on March 19th. He also finished next to Kemboy at the Savills Chase last December 28, 2018.
Henry De Bromhead trains this 8-year old bay gelding and owned by Barry Maloney. He has a total of five wins and seven places in 16 total runs. As for chases in Ireland, Monalee has three wins and two places in seven runs.
Except for the mishap at Cheltenham, Kemboy has been very good and an improving horse. He won the Clonmel Oil Chase last November and the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. Then his win at Aintree earlier this month proved that the Gold Cup debacle at Cheltenham was a fluke and that he is a horse to be reckoned with. However, Al Boum Photo has also shown excellent form heading to the Punchestown Gold Cup and as I said earlier, I think he turned of age at Cheltenham and carries a lot of momentum heading to this race. With better betting value and momentum on his side, I’m going with Al Boum Photo here.
Prediction: Al Boum Photo