TEMPLEGATE goes in search of some big winners on Friday.
Read on for our man’s top tips – and back a horse by clicking their odds below.
GUBBASS (2.25 Newmarket, nap)
He held his own at Group 1 level last season and came back with an excellent close-up fourth behind speedy 2,000 Guineas-bound Perfect Power in the Group 3 Greenham at Newbury. Ryan Moore was in the saddle for that run and he is up again.
WIZARD D’AMOUR (3.00 Newmarket, nb)
It was good to see him gain a deserved win at Catterick and he can follow up. Karl Burke’s speedster clocked a quick enough time to step up in class over an ideal trip.
RAASEL (2.40 Goodwood, treble)
He did well last season with five wins in row over this trip. His comeback was solid and he’s up to this level.
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Punchestown Festival tips
AN DROICHEAD GORM has lots of decent chase form and comes here after winning a point-to-point well last time.
Alpha Male needed his comeback at Down Royal last time and looks the clear danger at a track he likes.
The rest appear to have a fair bit to find with Jigginstown King one who could have a fair bit more to offer.
FIGHTER ALLEN is an improving chaser who had loads in hand when scooting in at Tramore 19 days ago.
That was just his third run over fences and he handled this track well when winning over hurdles.
Birchdale landed a nice handicap at Leopardstown in February. He’s up 8lb for that but could find some improvement to be competitive again.
Fellow JP McManus runner Blue Sari was no match for Galopin Des Champs latest but was good at Gowran and can bounce back.
ELIMAY will be hard to beat if running close to the form of her Cheltenham Festival Mares’ Chase win.
She sees out this trip well and has winning form around here.
Scarlet And Dove was only half a length behind her last time and is a real contender again. She is 3lb better off at the weights today which can’t hurt.
Dolcita was value for a bit further than a neck when scoring in Listed company at Fairyhouse earlier this month.
She needs to raise her game but is capable of that.
HONEYSUCKLE can land another Champion Hurdle as her incredible unbeaten career rolls on.
She got the job done nicely at Cheltenham last time and this isn’t as tough as that contest.
Betting without the favourite, Teahupoo was miles behind the tip last month but he was impressive in landing three Graded prizes in a row before that and can beat the others.
Saint Roi is another who chased home the great mare at Prestbury Park and can challenge for the silver medal.
6.00: THREE STRIPE LIFE showed his Grade 1 class when winning the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree last time after chasing home Sir Gerhard at Cheltenham.
He didn’t have to hit top gear at Liverpool so should have enough in the tank for another big win.
State Man is a big threat after his gutsy County Hurdle victory at Cheltenham. This is tougher but he’s on the upgrade.
Kilcruit may well be happier over this longer trip after a distant third in the Supreme last time.
VAUCELET took a big step forward when winning by 20 lengths at Fairyhouse’s Irish Grand National meeting.
He stayed really well there and is only seven so could have more improvement to come.
Billaway is the obvious threat after finally landing the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
He was beaten on the nod for this last year and will be right there again.
EL FABIOLO made the classy Jonbon pull out all the stops when going down by a neck at Aintree last time.
That was just his third hurdles run and anything like that level of form would take this.
Ha D’Or has hit the crossbar in a couple of Grade 2 contests, especially at Fairyhouse last time.
He can give his stablemate the most to think about. Another Willie Mullins runner, Bring On The Night, wasn’t disgraced in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and can take third.
GREAT NAME THAT won a point to point last time and can strike on debut for English trainer Harry Fry who is in excellent form.
Jockey Rob James is great value for his 7lb and is an eyecatching booking.
Don Chalant is the pick of the Willie Mullins challenge and he went down in a photo at Navan last month.
He’s yet to win but it’s only a matter of time. Golden Wonder’s caught the eye when going close at Leopardstown last month and has more to offer.
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