Punchestown tips for Saturday: Identity Thief return stars on a competitive day
De Bromhead looking forward to seeing his charge back in action
A seven-race card at Punchestown gives followers of Irish racing a real interest for Saturday afternoon, with the 3.35 and 4.10 events of particular interest.
A two-mile beginners chase, due to post at 3.35, is open to four-year-olds and above with nine-runners expected to go to post. Of that field, Identity Thief has attracted most attention and is sure to be a popular choice amongst punters on the day.
The Henry de Bromhead trained six-year-old gelding boasts a CV of four wins and four places from 10 career starts, and is expected to enhance that with a comeback victory here. The highly-rated hurdler makes his debut over fences and that’s something followers have had marked down in their diary for a while now.
He was last seen finishing runner-up behind Vroum Vroum Mag at this course in April, which goes down as a big effort, but is better remembered for exploding out of the boxes last term, winning the Hurdle at Down Royal in October before following up in the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle a couple of weeks later.
Trainer de Bromhead told reporters that he was delighted with the way Identity Thief has been working at home, and was looking forward to seeing him in action again on Saturday. He assured punters that this race was their main concern but expected to move things forward from there.
Crest to take the dairy among Punchestown tips for Saturday
Next on the agenda, a 2m 4f beginners chase starting at 4.10, is seen as a worthy support and Gordon Elliott’s Crest jumps off the page at us as the most likely participant to come home in front.
The five-year-old gelding, a product of Kayf Tara, is most notable for a debut win at Navan over today’s trip in a maiden hurdle, coming home with a bit to spare. He travelled smoothly that day before turning up the heat on the leaders at the business end and was going away at the post.
Crest was last seen ending as the best of the rest behind eventual winner Be The Hero at Kilbeggan, but punters can take confidence from the fact Elliott won this race last year with No More Heroes and Saturday’s entry goes as his only hope for two-in-row. Jockey David Mullins has been booked to do the steering and arrives on the back of some solid recent results, which only adds weight to our claims.
Punchestown tips for Saturday
1.55 – Bilko
2.30 – Ballyegan Hero
3.05 – William Du Berlais
3.55 – Identity Thief
4.10 – Crest
4.45 – Myles Ahead
5.20 – Bel Ami De Sivola
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