Punchestown Gold Cup Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 5.30 at Punchestown, 25 April 2018
Late April each year sees the Irish track of Punchestown play host to its annual five day extravaganza. In common with the other big National Hunt Festivals, we have a feast of Graded and handicapping action to look forward to. Here we take a look at the best odds and offers and provide our betting tips for the second day’s signature event.
This Grade 1 staying chase was first run at Punchestown in 1960 over a trip of 3m1f. There are 17 fences to be tackled in the course of its running and the contest now offers €250,000 in total prize money.
Punchestown Gold Cup Betting Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Punchestown Gold Cup Betting Offers
- WILLIAM HILL BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS – New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.
- LADBROKES £50 FREE BET OFFER – 18+. New customers only. Promo code ‘F50’ required. Certain deposit methods excluded. Min £/€5 on win or each-way bet excluding Tote or pools = match max £/€50 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Bet must be made within 14 days. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. Single bets only. Free bet cannot be used on certain markets. T&Cs apply.
- CORAL BET £5, GET £20 IN FREE BETS – 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.
- Other offers coming soon…until then check out all of our racing free bets
Punchestown Gold Cup Tips 2018
Irish racing fans are heading in their droves to County Kildare this week for the Punchestown Festival. The four day meeting signals the end of the National Hunt season but it does at least go out with a bang thanks to races like the Punchestown Gold Cup. Run over a distance of just over three miles, this Grade 1 contest usually contains many of the main protagonists from the Cheltenham Gold Cup and we look to have an excellent brewing for the 2018 renewal.
Road Clear in the Absence of Key Competitors
The build up to the Punchestown Festival has been dominated by the battle between Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliot in the trainers’ championship. Not everybody is enamoured by the competition being so dominated by two men but they’re both outstanding trainers with horses who will light up Punchestown this week.
Both Mullins and Elliott have done all they can to have the best possible chance in the big races at Punchestown but it’s Noel Meade who is most likely to be celebrating victory in the big one on Wednesday thanks to Road To Respect.
The seven-year-old finished a respectable fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and while he still has some maturing to do and plenty of experience to gather in the biggest chases, the absence of Native River, Anibale Fly and Might Bite means Road To Respect is the favourite on Wednesday at 9/4 with BetVictor. Meade and connections of Road To Respect know his task remains a tough one but he should oblige favourite backers and set up next season very nicely indeed.
Edwulf to Relish the Heavy Conditions
The official going at Punchestown is yielding before the festival gets underway and things aren’t going to improve underfoot given the amount of rain in the forecast throughout the meeting. The combination of incredibly testing ground and general fatigue built up throughout the season will see plenty of horses pulled out of races over the week but it does open the door up for mudlarks and horses with bags of stamina.
Step forward Edwulf. The nine-year-old has been lightly raced by Joseph O’Brien this season so should arrive in Kildare fresher than many of his opponents in the Punchestown Gold Cup. He also has excellent form when racing on heavy ground and an almighty engine. Edwulf may lack the jumping ability to compete at the very top level but he is certainly good enough to be competitive on Wednesday. At 10/1 with Racebets, Edwulf’s each way chances must be respected.
Expect Some Shocks Along the Way
The 2018 Punchestown Festival should see some usual suspects claim even more wins but don’t be surprised to see the bookies celebrating as a string of favourites get beaten. Road To Respect should hand the bookies a bloody nose in the Punchestown Gold Cup but having betting options is the way to approach this week. Edwulf is the each way option of choice while both Total Recall and Sub Lieutenant are also tempting.
Punchestown Gold Cup Previous Winners
- 2017 – Sizing John – jockey Robbie Power, trainer Jessica Harrington
- 2016 – Carlingford Lough – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer John Kiely
- 2015 – Don Cossack – jockey Paul Carberry, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2014 – Boston Bob – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2013 – Sir Des Champs – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2012 – China Rock – jockey Barry Geraghty , trainer Mouse Morris
- 2011 – Follow The Plan – jockey Tom Doyle, trainer Oliver McKiernan
- 2010 – Planet Of Sound – jockey Richard Johnson, trainer Philip Hobbs
- 2009 – Notre Pere – jockey Andrew Lynch, trainer Jim Dreaper
- 2008 – Neptune Collonges – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2007 – Neptune Collonges – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
Punchestown Gold Cup History
Held as part of one of the biggest jumping festivals of the Irish racing year, this contest has existed in one form or another since 1960, and provides the highlight on the Wednesday of Punchestown’s five day Spring meeting.
Initially a contest restricted to Novice Chasers, the current conditions of the race were introduced in 1999, and the race has remained open to all chasers aged five years and older ever since.
Unsurprisingly – given that this is a Grade 1 staying chase – the event has attracted a number of runners who have either already run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, or have subsequently gone on to do so.
Kicking King (2005) and War Of Attrition (2006) are two examples of runners who have won both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cup’s in the same season. Don Cossack meanwhile advertised his Cheltenham credentials when taking this in 2015 for Gordon Elliott, before famously taking the Cheltenham showpiece in 2016.
Then of course there is the greatest winner in the history of this – and many another staying chase – the simply magnificent Arkle. Winning her in 1963, the horse many view as the best ever went on to take the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1964, 1965 and 1966 amongst numerous other top class victories.
Neptune Collonges deserves a special mention due to being the only horse to date to win this on more than one occasion. Taking this race in 2007 and 2008, his finest hour was to come four years later, when getting up close home to claim Grand National Glory in 2012. Having been six years old at the time of his first win in this race, the Paul Nicholls runner is also the youngest winner of the contest since its Novice status was revoked in 1999.
The lead amongst the jockeys is shared by two of the biggest names amongst modern riders. Ruby Walsh rode the winner here five times between 1999 and 2014, including twice aboard the Grand National winner Neptune Collonges. Barry Geraghty matched Walsh’s total of five when coming home in front aboard Carlingford Lough in 2016.
No trainer has really established a run of dominance here. Paul Nicholls and Mouse Morris have each taken the prize twice, but they sit one behind Irish supremo Willie Mullins, who took this with the hugely popular Florida Pearl (2002), Sir Des Champs (2013) and Boston Bob (2014).