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Ruby Walsh's big tips for the first day of the Punchestown Festival

Ruby Walsh

Ruby Walsh

Kevin Palmer

The Punchestown Festival gets underway on Tuesday and here is Paddy Power ambassador and racing legend Ruby Walsh's big tips for Day 1 of a meeting that will serve up a host of Grade 1 races:

15:40 – SCHOLASTIC (9/1)

There are plenty of horses you could make a case for here. Jordan Gainford claims 7lbs for Denise Foster on One Down. He looked to be on a bit of a run recently, however, he was disappointing on his last start.

The one I like is Scholastic for Joseph O’Brien. She was a good third at Fairyhouse behind Jeff Kidder and Teahupoo. Scholastic has run at Cheltenham since, where he finished second in the juvenile hurdle. Scholastic is going the right way and is my fancy.

16:15 – ECHOES IN RAIN (8/11)

I’m a bit surprised that Paul Townend opted for stablemate Blue Lord. He did run really well at Cheltenham until falling at the last in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, but Echoes In Rain has been on a rapid upward rise. Paul has ridden them both but I think he may have picked wrong! I’m siding with Echoes In Rain instead

16:50 – MAGIC TRICKS (6/1)

Magic Tricks was unlucky at Fairyhouse earlier this month. He made a mistake at the last and he just lost too much ground and was unable to recover in time. Apart from that mistake, he probably should have won there but can make up for it now. He looks the one to beat.

17:25 – CHACUN POUR SOI (5/4)

Allaho was such an impressive winner of the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham but there’s no 2,4f race at Punchestown to suit him. The only other option was to go to Aintree, but he had such a hard race at Cheltenham that meeting came too soon. Hopefully he’s over the exertions of Cheltenham but you don’t know until you run and Willie Mullins line of thinking was that the way he jumps – so fast and slick – he’s more like a two-mile chaser rather than a three-mile chaser.

However, Paul Townend’s conviction and belief in Chacun Pour Soi has definitely persuaded me that he’s as good as ever. I thought he was very disappointing at Cheltenham and he should have won but he faded on the run-in.

Paul is convinced that we haven’t seen the best of Chacun Pour Soi and was in no doubt about who he’d ride of the two. That’s swayed me away from Allaho and towards Chacun Pour Soi.

Check out all the latest odds on the Punchestown Festival with Paddy Power HERE

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