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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Robbie Power

Punchestown Friday tips as Robbie Power previews all the action

State Man will be very hard to beat in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle at Punchestown today if he doesn't show any ill effects from Cheltenham.

Willie Mullins has a very strong hand on the race with Sharjah and Vauban. I thought Sharjah ran very well over two and a half miles at Aintree when second to Constitution Hill and he is probably the biggest danger to State Man.

But I'd be very surprised if State Man doesn't get back to winning ways.

The opening race is the Stanley Asphalt Hunters Chase for the Bishopscourt Cup and it's not the strongest race on paper.

Gordon Elliott and Harry Swan team up with Happy Victory and he's hard to look past. The other one I'd keep an eye on is An Droichead Gorm for Peter Maher, who has a great record in this race.

Up next is a strong renewal of the EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase. It's a race that's been very lucky for me over the years. Kilcruit is obviously a horse that was very highly thought of at one stage and was probably expected to be a bit better than a handicap chaser. He gets in off a mark of 148 and should be very competitive.

Life In The Park for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore was a good third the last day behind Thedevilscoachman. That was a very good run. He wouldn't want too much rain, but if it stays away he would have a good chance.

I would have thought that going right-handed would suit Allegorie De Vassy, but she was very disappointing at Fairyhouse in her last start and it's hard to see her reverse the Cheltenham form with Impervious in the Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Chase.

Impervious missed Fairyhouse and comes here that bit fresher and she will be very hard to beat.

Impaire Et Passe is another horse that is very hard to oppose as he looks to follow up his Ballymore win with victory in the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle.

He looks a very exciting novice and was very good at Cheltenham. This trip should be ideal for him.

Champ Kiely will be a different proposition going right-handed. He hung badly at Cheltenham and threw away his chance so I think he could give the favourite more to think about, but I'd still be surprised if Impaire Et Passe doesn't continue his winning spree.

The Irish Daily Star Champion. Hunters Chase is a good race and I fancy Chris's Dream to win it. He ran a good race in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham when finishing fifth. Dropping back in trip on an easier track will suit him better.

John Gleeson is having his first ride over fences, he's great value for the seven-pound claim. He's been in Henry's to school Chris's Dream a couple of times and I think he is the one they all have to beat.

Preference is for Arctic Bresil in the SalesSense International Novice Hurdle and Paul Nolan could land the Avison Young INH Flat Race with He's My Hero.

He was second to Mirazur West of Willie's in a bumper at Naas and that could be very good form

Bets of the day

Life In The Park each-way 4.15pm and Chris's Dream 6.35pm


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