The John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase is an important Grade 1 in the Irish National Hunt season. This 2 mile 4 furlong contest has been won by some high class chasers before and a small but ultra competitive field of five will do battle on Sunday. The absence of Presenting Percy is a major blow to the organisers at Punchestown but we should still have a competitive race and a very worthy winner.
John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase Tips
- Min to win at 5/4 with bet365
Min to Make Another Triumphant Return
Each of the five horses who remain in the John Durkan Memorial at the final declaration stage have all had some very good performances in their careers to date. It’s not exactly easy to make a case for all of them to win on Sunday but it’s clear that the winner will need to turn in a very good performance to see off the challenge of the others.
When it comes to the top class performance required to win, it’s Min who has the best chance. Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old is making his seasonal reappearance at Punchestown and whilst some will have concerns about a lack of sharpness his history shows those worries are unfounded. Min has won on each of his last three performances after breaks of 250 days or more and he can repeat that trick even if this is the toughest of those challenges.
Min turned in some very good performances last season but just about fell short in each of his attempts to win at Grade 1 level. You can make excuses for his being beaten by both Altior and Politologue and then last time out at Punchestown where he was clearly tired.
Mullins wouldn’t have kept Min in the running for the John Durkan Memorial if he didn’t believe he was raring to go. A fresh Min is a dangerous proposition and could simply prove to be too good for the competition so back him to win at 5/4 with bet365.
Shattered Love Will Push All the Way
Shattered Love was a popular horse before her appearance at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival but the nature of her win in the JLT Chase saw many racing fans make a space in their heart for this big, powerful mare. You don’t get many mares who reach the levels that Shattered Love has as a chaser and there is no reason that she can’t push all the way to win another Grade 1.
Shattered Love’s first appearance of the new season came in a Grade 2 at the start of November at Down Royal. She was unable to win but did very little wrong when finishing second and pushing the winner, Snow Falcon, all the way. Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old is entitled to improve for that appearance and if you want to oppose the favourite she’ll surely be a factor in the John Durkan Memorial at 11/4 with Coral.