Punchestown Gold Cup Betting Tips and Offers – 1 May 2019

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.

This isn’t, of course, the only big race at Punchestown this week. Check out our tips for the Punchestown Champion Chase too!

Punchestown Gold Cup Tips 2019

Willie Mullins is not holding back in an attempt to secure a fifth Punchestown Gold Cup champion. The Kilkenny trainer is responsible for three of the eight declared names for the Grade 1 event, helping to ensure it’s another mouth-watering renewal. One of the major highlights of the five-day Punchestown Festival, it sees runners compete over a trip of three miles and half a furlong featuring 17 fences.

Al Boum after Gold Cup double

Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo (7/4, RaceBets) is back in action here as he looks to join Sizing John, War of Attrition and Kicking King as champions of both races. On the back of his showing in Britain’s most valuable non-handicap race, you’d have to think the seven-year-old stands a good chance too.

Punchestown’s equivalent is only two furlong shorter and will be run on going very similar to what we had at Cheltenham. The seven-year-old is also set to ride with the same jockey, with Willie Mullins indicating it would be difficult to break up the partnership with Paul Townend.

Kemboy can avenge Cheltenham disappointment

Setting off at odds of at 8/1 at Cheltenham, Kemboy seemed to stand a real shot of Gold Cup success. Hopes of a famous win went up in flames early on though as the Mullins runner unseated the jockey just after the first fence when squeezed for space. Enjoying a clearer run two weeks later at Aintree, the seven-year-old showed what he was capable of during a fine Betway Bowl victory. Eager to avoid running into traffic that time, Ruby Walsh sent Kemboy into an early lead which he easily held for the entire race despite the presence of King Gorge winner Clan Des Obeaux.

Bellshill completes Mullins trio

Third up in the betting is the final contender stemming from the Mullins yard. Much like Al Boum Photo and Kemboy, Bellshill (6/1, bet365) also featured in the Cheltenham Gold Cup but several mistakes over the fences forced Ruby Walsh to pull him up.

Although he’s far from the most solid jumper around, it’s important to remember that the Cheltenham fences are about as stiff as they come. On Irish soil, the nine-year-old has generally fared better over the obstacles as he demonstrated when winning this race last year. No horse has won this race back to back since Neptune Collonges (2007 & 2008) but Bellshill is not without hope of managing the feat.

Betting Predictions

Whatever happens in the Punchestown Gold Cup renewal, Willie Mullins looks set to be celebrating by the end. His three entries are all capable of clinching glory and stand a long way clear of their rivals in this contest.

Out of the trio though, it’s Kemboy (6/4, Coral) who makes for the most attractive option. Unable to show what he’s capable of at Cheltenham, he showed off his true quality at Aintree and looks set to do the same over this similar trip.

Previous Winners

  • 2018 – Bellshill – jockey David Mullins, trainer Willie Mullins
  • 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 two behind Irish supremo Willie Mullins, who took this with the hugely popular Florida Pearl (2002), Sir Des Champs (2013), Boston Bob (2014) and Bellshill (2018).