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19th January 2021

2019 Punchestown Festival Trends (30th April – 4th May 2019)

A huge week of National Hunt racing over in Ireland as the 5-day Punchestown Festival gets going on Tuesday 30th through till Saturday 4th May 2019. Loads to look forward to, including the Punchestown Gold Cup, Champion Chase, Champion Stayers Hurdle and Punchestown Champion Hurdle. Plenty of top names from both sides of the Irish Sea in attendance so we are all set for a top-notch week - hold onto your hats!

Here at TRAINERS-QUOTES we've got all the games covered from a head-to-head angle, plus our best betting option on each match based on the stats.


DAY ONE – Tuesday 30th April 2019


4.20 - Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m

7 of the last 14 runnings went to the favourite
7 of the last 13 winners had won a Grade 1 or 2 before
12 of the last 14 recent winners were priced 8/1 or shorter
7 of the last 14 returned 2/1 or shorter in the betting
No British-trained winner for 20 years (17 runners)
Supreme Novice Hurdle winners have only followed-up 3 times
13 of the last 14 were aged either 5 or 6 years-old
Trainer Noel Meade has won the race in 2002, 2005, 2006 & 2008
Trainer Edward O’Grady has won the race in 2003, 2007 & 2011
Willie Mullins won the prize in 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017 & 2018
Ruby Walsh has ridden 4 of the last 13 winners
5 of the last 11 ran in that season’s Royal Bond Novices’ Hurdle
15 of the last 19 winners came 1st or 2nd last time out

TQ VERDICT: A great race for the Willie Mullins team so it’s no surprise seeing them with four of the six entries. Aramon, Mister Blue Sky and Quick Grabim all have fair form that can see them go well for Mullins, but their Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner – KLASSICAL DREAM – looks their main player with Ruby Walsh riding. This 5 year-old has won his last three in decent in the style of a real improver and there should be more to come. His future might lie over further next season, but for now he’s rated 157 and that’s 6lbs clear of his nearest rival here – Felix Desjy – so is expected to continue his upward curve. Having said that, Felix Desjy can’t be totally ruled out as he’s the only proven course and distance winner in the field and was a gutsy winner at Aintree last time – beating Aramon by 1 ½ lengths. But he was also 11 lengths behind the selection at the Festival so does still have ground to make up. On the home front, the Henderson-trained Champagne Platinum will be flying the flag. He’s 2-from-2 over hurdles and should have more to come. The fact connections are pitching in here suggests he’s useful but he’ll need to be to beat this season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner and this is also a fairly big step forward.

5.30 - Boylesports.com Champion Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m

6 of the last 16 runnings went to the favourite
15 of the last 20 winners came from the first three in the betting
French breds have won 7 of the last 12 runnings
13 of the last 17 returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
9 of the last 17 had previous won at the track
All of the last 17 winners had won before over 2m
14 of the last 17 came 1st or 2nd last time out
Ruby Walsh rode the winner in 2008 & 2009
11 of the last 17 were Irish-trained winners
12 of the last 17 were aged 9 or younger
5 of the last 14 finished unplaced that season’s Champion Chase at Cheltenham
12 of the last 16 winners ran in the Queen Mother Champion Chase that season
6 of the last 16 winners ran in that season’s Tingle Creek Chase (Sandown)
Paul Nicholls won the race in 2008 & 2009
Willie Mullins won the race in 2010, 2015 & 2018
Un De Sceaux won the race 12 months ago

TQ VERDICT: Another race the Mullins camp are mob-handed in and with the top three in the betting coming from their yard it will be long odds-on they take this race. Un De Scueax took this race last year but at the age of 11 he does look as if he’s now on a bit of decline and might just get found out by some younger legs this time. Great Field is a proven CD winner that goes well for his rider, but having fallen the last twice does need to bounce back. So, the safe call here – despite not being very original – is to stick with the other Mullins runner – MIN. Ruby Walsh got him back to winning ways at Aintree last time out in the JLT Chase – beating Politologue by and easy 20 lengths over 2m4f so even though this is a drop back in trip he’s just as good over this distance and should be hard to beat. Hells Kitchen, Castlegrace Paddy and Ordinary World make up the six runners and of that trio it would not be a shock if the last two-named can follow Min home for the forecast.

DAY TWO – Wednesday 1st May 2019

6.05 – CORAL Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1) (5yo+) 3m1f

Past Punchestown Gold Cup Winners

2018 – BELLSHILL (4/1)
2017 – SIZING JOHN (9/10 fav)
2015 – DON COSSACK (5/2)
2014 – BOSTON BOB (5/2 fav)
2013 – SIR DES CHAMPS (2/1 fav)
2012 –CHINA ROCK (20/1)
2011 – FOLLOW THE PLAN (20/1)
2010 – PLANET OF SOUND (14/1)
2009 – NOTRE PERE (15/8 fav)
2008 – NEPTUNE COLLONGES (9/10 fav)
2006 – WAR OF ATTRITION (4/5 fav)
2005 – KICKING KING (8/11 fav)
2004 – BEEF OF SALMON (5/4 fav)
2003 – FIRST GOLD (7/4 fav)

Punchestown Gold Cup Betting Trends

13/16 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
12/16 – Aged 8 or younger
12/16 – Irish-trained winners
11/16 – Aged 7 or 8 years-old
9/16 – Had run in that season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup
8/16 – Returned 2/1 or shorter in the betting
8/16 – Winning favourites
8/16 – Ran in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last time out
6/16 – Won last time out
2/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
The average winning SP in the last 16 years is 6/1
7 of the last 14 favourites have won
Eight of the last 11 Irish-trained favourites have won
Since 1999 only 2 Irish-trained winners hadn’t won at the course before
8 of the last 20 winners had run in that season’s John Durkan Memorial Chase

TQ VERDICT: Last year’s hero – Bellshill – will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner of this race since Neptune Collonges and he’d have a squeak too being back at Punchestown, where he’s actually unbeaten (3-from-3). We last saw him being pulled up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and does have around 6-7lbs to find with the likes of Kemboy and Al Boum Photo, but – as mentioned – he seems to be a better horse at this venue and can go well. However, this looks a cracking match-up between the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner – Al Boum Photo and recent Betway Bowl hero – KEMBOY – but my money is on the Aintree winner coming out on top. He had the King George winner, Clan Des Obeaux, 9 lengths back in second, and even though ‘Photo’ also beat that runner by about the same distance in the Gold Cup, I more impressed with Kemboy last time out. Yes, he unseated in the Gold Cup so his jumping can be a tad suspect, but he made all to make amends last time and jumped superbly in the process. Ruby Walsh rode that day and remains in the saddle – he’s also 2-from-2 when riding him. Add in that he’s a proven course winner here at the track then than will be another advantage with Photo’s only two previous runs here resulting in a 5th and that famous ‘run out’ at this meeting as a Novice last season – those memories might stick. Of the rest, Monalee is certainly no back number either. But this 8 year-old has 10lbs to find on the ratings with the selection and despite running well to be fourth in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last time he hasn’t quite progressed this season as some thought he might.


6.40 – RACING POST Champion INH Flat Race (Grade 1) (4-7yo) 2m

3 winning favourites in the last 14 years (1 joint)
13 of the last 15 were aged 5 or older
The Cheltenham Champion Bumper has produced 14 winners since 1992
14 of the last 27 winners finished 6th or better in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Cheltenham)
26 of the last 27 winners had raced 2 or more times before
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 13/2
Not many mares have run in the race, but 4 have won it since 1994
Trainer Noel Meade won the race in 2004, 2006, 2007
Trainer Willie Mullins won the race in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2018
Patrick Mullins rode the winner in 2008, 2011, 2012 & 2015
The Irish have won 13 of the last 15 runnings

TQ VERDICT: The Willie Mullins camp have a cracking record in this race and with three of the 10 runners this year they clearly mean business again. They run Mt Leinster, Golden Spread and Colreevy. All three should respected but with mares having a decent record in the race when running their Colreevy gets the nod. Jamie Codd has been booked to ride too, while she’s a proven course and distance winner, who wasn’t beaten far (7th) in the 2018 Cheltenham Festival bumper. Beacon Edge, Santa Rossa and Embittered, who is another proven CD winner, are others to note, but this season’s Cheltenham Festival bumper fourth – ABACADABRAS – gets the call. The Gordon Elliott yard won this in 2017 and with the Festival bumper having produced 14 winners of this race since 1992 then this 5 year-old looks to have a lot going for him. He was only beaten just under 6 lengths that day but just wandered about a bit up the Cheltenham hill. He’ll be better for that experience and with just three career runs should have more to give. Lisa O’Neill, who rode him last time remains in the saddle.


DAY THREE – Thursday 2nd May 2019

4.50 – Mogey Communications La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase (5yo+) 4m1f

6 winning favourites in the last 13 years (3 join/co)
Trainer Enda Bolger has won 13 of the last 20 runnings
10 of the last 13 winners returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
8 of the last 13 carried 12-2 or more
10 of the last 13 winners were aged 9 or older
5 of the last 13 winners ran in the race 12 months ago
20 of the last 24 winners returned 7/1 or shorter
10 of the last 13 winners ran in the Cheltenham Festival Cross Country race

TQ VERDICT: Over the Cross Country course here so previous experience of these fences is a must. King’s Song, Jarob, Mtada Supreme and Ballyboker Bridge are all proven winners over this course, but with the Enda Bolger yard having a cracking record in this race – winning 13 of the last 20  runnings – their JOSIES ORDERS gets the nod. A familiar name in these Cross Country races and a past winner of at the Festival in this sphere. Despite now being 11 years-old he showed his well-being last time out at Cheltenham when second in the Cross Country race behind Tiger Roll and we all know that form has been more than franked since. He was also a neck runner-up in this race 12 months ago so we know the track and trip (4m2f) suit and even though it won’t be easy with 12-7 in weight to carry he looks the one for the others to aim at. Of the rest, Jarob is feared – he was fifth in the Cheltenham Cross Country race – while the Jamie Codd-ridden Sizing Coal is another to consider after running well in a Hunters’ Chase at Fairyhouse last time out. He’s run well over these fences in the past and will have one of the best jockeys in the race doing the steering – he can go well too.

5.30 - Ladbrokes.com Champion Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) 3m

Past Ladbrokes.com Champion Stayers Hurdle Winners

2018 – FAUGHEEN (11/2)
2016 – ONE TRACK MIND (10/1)
2015 – JEZKI (5/2)
2014 – JETSON (20/1)
2013 – QUEVEGA (6/4 fav)
2012 – QUEVEGA (11/10 fav)
2011 – QUEVEGA (8/11 fav)
2010 – QUEVEGA (5/2 fav)
2009 – FIVEFORTHREE (5/4 fav)
2008 – BLAZING BAILEY (10/3 fav)
2007 – REFINEMENT (16/1)
2006 – ASAIN MAZE (8/13 fav)
2005 – CARLYS QUEST (25/1)
2003 – HOLY ORDERS (6/1)

Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle Betting Trends

14/16 – Raced at the Cheltenham Festival earlier that season
13/16 – Placed in the top three last time out
12/16 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
11/16 – Aged 8 or younger
10/16 – Irish trained winners
9/16 – Won last time out
7/16 – Winning favourites
7/16 – Trained by Willie Mullins
6/16 – Ran in the Aintree Hurdle last time out
5/16 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
5/16 – Ran in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle last time out
Only one Stayers’ Hurdle (Cheltenham) winner in the last 19 runnings
14 of the last 16 winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival that season
The market leader has won 9 of the last 18 runnings
11 of the last 18 winners won their previous race
10 of the 22 runnings have been won by a British-trained horse
7 of the last 15 winners ran at Aintree’s Grand National Meeting last time out
10 of the last 16 winners had won a Grade One over 3m+ before

TQ VERDICT: Probably not the best renewal of this staying hurdle, but a race that the Willie Mullins yard have done well in over the years so their Killultagh Vic, Barcardys and Bapaume will looking to uphold that record. Of the three, Bapaume is the highest-rated and will have Ruby Walsh riding so is sure to be well supported. He was only 8 lengths back in fourth in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and that’s the best form on show here. He’s certainly a big player, but with just one win from his last 12 races then he’s not an easy horse to catch right and based on that and the fact he’s likely to be no real value he’s overlooked. Barcardys was 6th in the Stayers Hurdle and he’s not won now in seven races so has a bit to prove too. Therefore, of the Mullins runners it might pay to take a chance on KILLUTAGH VIC (e/w). He’s not quite fired this season, but a recent second at Cork was a sign that he could be coming back into form and is also a proven CD winner here. The first-time cheekpieces are on too and has won at this meeting in the past. The consistent Not Many Left is another of the Irish challengers that can go well, but does have a fair bit to find on the ratings, so the UK challengers might be worth considering too – they’ve landed two of the last three runnings. Unowhatimeanharry is a past winner of this race (2017) so has to command respect and already at this meeting the older brigade have shown they are not going down without a fight. However, it might be worth having the other main UK runner on your side – AUX PTITS SOINS – as this 9 year-old has shown a good level of form this term. He’s won two of his last three – including last time out at Aintree, when an easy 4 ½ length winner. Yes, he flopped in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Festival (7th), but is still lightly-raced (just 10 runs over hurdles, 5 wins) so could still have more to come. The only slight concern is that he’s gone well after a break both times this season, but I’m sure the Skelton camp wouldn’t be sending him over if they didn’t think he’d come out of that last race well. Vison Des Flos and Cracking Smart are others to consider and certainly have the form to go well.

6.40 - Ryanair Novice Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m

6 winning favourites in the last 8 runnings
12 of the last 13 winners returned 11/2 or shorter in the betting
10 of the last 13 winners were aged 7 or older (only 5 of the last 22 aged 6 or younger)
8 of the last 13 were aged either 7 or 8 years-old
21 of the last 23 winners returned 6/1 or shorter
8 of the last 13 winners ran in the Arkle Chase (Cheltenham) that same season
UK-based trainers have won 4 of the last 10 times they have had runners
14 of the last 15 winners had run at least 4 times over fences previously
Willie Mullins trained the winner in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018

TQ VERDICT: A great renewal. Us And Them can go well but does have a touch of the seconds at the moment so might have to fill a place again. This is another race the Mullins yard do well in – with six wins since 2009. He’s mob-handed again here with CD winner Voix Du Reve, plus recent Arkle winner – Duc Des Genievres – who has Us And Them 12 lengths back in second in that Cheltenham race. He’s certainly the one to aim at, while the UK challengers Defi Du Seuill will be popular too. He’s bounced back to form this term with three wins from his last four and landed the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Festival in gutsy fashion last time. However, I’m not sure the drop back to 2m will totally suit – we’ll see. So, it might be worth taking a chance on the other Mullins and Ricci runner – CHACUN POUR SOI – with Ruby Walsh riding. This 7 year-old has only raced once in Ireland after coming over from France and has only had five career runs in total. He dotted-up at Naas last time out, albeit in a lesser race than this, but looks a useful recruit to the yard and could have the scope to improve past the obvious calls in this race. Of the rest, we can expect the front running Oruna to take them along at a good pace and if allowed an easy lead might be hard to peg back, but – in contrast – this could also set things up for something with a bit more stamina.

DAY FOUR – Friday 3rd May 2019


7 of the last 14 favourites (1 joint) have won
7 of the last 12 winners won last time out
11 of the last 12 winners finished in the top 3 last time out
12 of the last 14 winners were aged 6 or older
11 of the last 20 winners ran in that season’s Champion Hurdle
The current Champion Hurdler is yet to finish out of the top two when running
11 of the last 14 winners returned 3/1 or shorter in the betting
Willie Mullins trained the winner in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2017
6 of the last 8 winners returned odds-on in the betting
Ruby Walsh rode the winner in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016
13 of the last 14 winners were Irish-trained



9 of the last 14 favourites have won
8 of the last 14 winners were aged 5 years-old
12 of the last 14 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old
Willie Mullins has won 9 of the last 17 runnings
13 of the last 18 winners won last time out
Since 1996 all-bar-two of the winners were aged either 5 or 6 years-old


DAY FIVE – Saturday 4th May 2019


5 winning favourites in the last 14 runnings
13 of the last 14 winners returned 15/2 or shorter
Ruby Walsh has ridden 3 of the last 6 winners
Willie Mullins trained the winner in 2006, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
12 of the last 13 winners ran in that season’s Triumph Hurdle (Cheltenham)
6 of the last 11 winners ran in that season’s Spring Juvenile Hurdle
9 of the last 21 runnings went to a British-trained horse
Owner Rich Ricci has won the last two runnings


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