Punchestown Festival: Jamie Codd gives his selections for day four of the final Irish jumps meeting of the season

Honeysuckle the star attraction on day four of the Punchestown Festival as she bids to make it 16 unbeaten in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle; Jamie Codd rides Colm Murphy's Mister Suntan in the Avison Young Flat Race

Jamie Codd exclusive Punchestown Festival column

Punchestown Festival winner Jamie Codd gives his selections for day four of the Irish meeting including two Cheltenham heroes.

3.40 - Stanley Asphalt Hunters Chase For The Bishopscourt Cup

The Bishopstown Cup is what they call the 'Farmers' race' and I have a fancy for AN DROICHEAD GORM for trainer Stephen Carey.

He ran well in handicap chases last year and came back this year and won a point-to-point a month ago in Monksgrange to qualify for this race. I think that experience will be key and he could take a lot of stopping.

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4.15 - EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase

There is a good pot for this and the field is very competitive with Willie Mullins saddling five of the 15.

Gevrey has a chance after winning very well in Fairyhouse the last day and he went up 5lb for that but could still run very well.

However, the one I like is FIGHTER ALLEN. He won well the last day in Tramore and his run in a beginners' chase behind Stattler at Fairyhouse turned out to be a very good run when you saw what the winner did at Cheltenham. I am going to pick him to still be on the right side of the handicapper.

4.50 - Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Chase

It is hard to get away from ELIMAY here. She is only carrying 3lb more than the rest of the field, bar Scarlet And Dove, and is a really good mare. She performs nearly every day she runs.

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She either wins or finishes second. Her record of only being out of the first three once since December 2018 is remarkable.

Jockey Mark Walsh celebrates with horse Elimay after winning the Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase during day four of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture date: Friday March 18, 2022.
Image: Jockey Mark Walsh celebrates with Elimay after winning the Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase on day four of the Cheltenham Festival

5.25 - Paddy Power Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle has cut up a bit so HONEYSUCKLE is not taking on anything with Cheltenham form so it's hard to see her getting beat if she turns up as we expect.

We are trying to look for something to finish second and for me that could be Teahupoo. He ran very poorly at Cheltenham but we do think he is better than that. If there is something to trouble her it could be him.

Honeysuckle clears the last in the Champion Hurdle ahead of Epatante
Image: Honeysuckle clears the last in the Champion Hurdle ahead of Epatante

6.00 - Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle

In the Champion Novice we have Three Stripe Life coming back from a win at Aintree over two-and-a-half miles.

State Man was very impressive at Cheltenham on only his third run over hurdles and you'd imagine he could still be improving.

But, I am going to take a stab at FLAME BEARER, who has been running consistently well. At Fairyhouse he beat Micro Manage by 12 lengths back in January and his two runs since then have been very good, beating Meet And Great and Ha D'or after getting a bit of interference. I think he is still improving and will take a chance on him.

Flame Bearer and Jack Doyle clear the final hurdle to win at Fairyhouse
Image: Flame Bearer and Jack Doyle clear the final hurdle to win at Fairyhouse

6.35 - Irish Daily Star Champion Hunters Chase

It's hard to get away from the champion hunter chaser Billaway who put up a great performance to get up on the line at Cheltenham, but I am going to go for DORKING COCK for Stuart Crawford.

He's been improving steadily all year and won a hunter chase at Down Royal at Christmas and had a run in a point-to-point at Oldcastle recently and won well there. He's only eight, he could be still improving in this sphere. He was a grand handicap chaser in the UK for Tom Lacey.

Vaucelet was very good in Fairyhouse the last day and is another to mention but I have a slight fancy for DORKING COCK.

7.10 - SalesSense International Novice Hurdle

Another race in which Willie Mullins is well represented but I am going to go for SUPREME JET, trained by Oliver McKiernan.

His performance in a maiden hurdle at Punchestown in January when he beat Mr Saxobeat by 17 lengths was very impressive. Before that he had a good run at Naas in November. I think the better ground will suit him and at a price he could run really well.

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7.45 - Avison Young Flat Race

I've picked up a ride for Colm Murphy on Mister Suntan and I'll be hoping for a nice run but I thought that Patrick Mullins' mount DON CHALANT could be the pick.

His two runs this year have been behind Joyeux Machin and Santanito and the two-miles-and-two-furlongs should suit him so I think he will take a lot of beating.

Cool Survivor probably has to step up on what he has done so far. He was well beaten by The Big Doyen and by Facile Vega.

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