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The Punchestown Festival Free Bets

The Punchestown Festival takes place every April and is the Irish equivalent of the Cheltenham NH Festival. It takes place over five days with a succession of Grade 1 races every day. The 2017 Punchestown Festival runs from Tuesday April 25 to Saturday April 29 and there are plenty of chances to use our free bets with one top race after another and several top handicaps.

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The format of the Punchestown Festival is fairly similar to that of its Cheltenham counterpart with the top race being the Punchestown Gold Cup. The festival attracts the very best horses with those successful at the Cheltenham Festival held a month beforehand looking to win more big prizes.

The Punchestown race course is close to Naas in County Kildare in Ireland. It's a right-handed course and has a cross country course too. They've also held rock concerts with AC/DC and U2 having played there.

2017 Punchestown Festival Free Bets

Tuesday April 25

There are three Grade 1 races on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival. The day's feature race however is the Boylesports Champion Chase, where the Willie Mullins trained Un De Sceaux is the odds-on favourite.

Guide to the Champion Chase 

2017 Punchestown Festival Day One – Tuesday April 25th 

Steeplechase (Two miles) 

Open to horses aged five-years-old and older 

Winners Over The Last 10 Years 

Year Horse Odds Trainer Jockey
2016 God’s Own 9/1 TR George   Paddy Brennan
2015 Felx Younger 5/1   Willie Mullins Danny Mullins
2014 Sizing Europe 7/1 Henry de Bromhead Andrew Lynch
2013 Spinter Sacre 1/9 Fav Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2012 Sizing Europe 8/1 Fav Henry de Bromhead Andrew Lynch
2011 Big Zeb 9/4 Colm Murphy Barry Geraghty
2010 Golden Silver 12/1 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2009 Master Minded 30/100 Fav Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh
2008 Twist Magic 6/4 Fav Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh
2007 Mansony 13/2 Arthur Moore Davy Russell


Number of winning favourites over the last 10 years: 3

Average price of the winner over the last 10 years: 5/1

Biggest priced winner over the last 10 years: 12/1

Shortest priced winner over the last 10 years: 1/9

Wednesday April 26

It's the Punchestown Gold Cup on the second day of the Punchestown FestivaL. Favourite will be Sizing John who recently won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He'll be bidding to become the first horse to win the Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups in the same season since War of Attrition in 2006.

Guide to the Gold Cup 

2017 Punchestown Festival Day Two – Wednesday April 26th 

Steeplechase (Three miles and one furlong) 

Open to horses aged five-years-old and older 

Winners Over The Last 10 Years 

Year Horse Odds Trainer Jockey
2016 Carlingford Lough 12/1 John Kiely Barry Geraghty
2015 Don Cossack 5/2 Gordon Elliott Paul Carberry
2014 Boston Bob 5/2 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2013 Sir Des Champs 2/1 Fav Willie Mullins Davy Russell
2012 China Rock 20/1 Mouse Morris Barry Geraghty
2011 Follow The Plan 20/1 Oliver McKiernan Tom Doyle
2010 Planet Of Sound 14/1  Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson
2009 Notre Pere 15/8 Fav Jim Dreaper Andrew Lynch
2008 Neptune Collonges 9/10 Fav Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh
2007 Neptune Collonges 8/1 Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh

 

Number of winning favourites over the last 10 years: 4

Average price of the winner over the last 10 years: 7/1

Biggest priced winner over the last 10 years: 20/1

Shortest priced winner over the last 10 years: 9/10

Thursday April 27

The Champion Stayers Hurdle is Wednesday's main attraction and Nichols Canyon and Uknowwhatimeanharry will contest that one whilst there's also the Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle.

Guide to the Stayer’s Hurdle 

2017 Punchestown Festival Day Three – Thursday April 27th 

Hurdle Race (Three miles) 

Open to horses aged four-years-old and older 

Winners Over The Last 10 Years 

Year Horse Odds Trainer Jockey
2016 One Track Mind 10/1 Warren Greatrex Gavin Sheehan
2015 Jezki 5/2 Jessica Harrington Mark Walsh
2014 Jetson 20/1 Jessica Harrington Davy Russell
2013 Quevega 6/4 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2012 Quevega 11/10 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2011 Quevega 8/11 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2010 Quevega 5/2 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2009 Fiveforthree 5/4 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2008 Blazing Bailey 10/3 Fav Alan King Robert Thornton
2007 Refinement 16/1 Jonjo O’Neill Tony McCoy

 

Number of winning favourites over the last 10 years: 6

Average price of the winner over the last 10 years: 6/1

Biggest priced winner over the last 10 years: 20/1

Shortest priced winner over the last 10 years: 8/11

Friday April 28

The Champion Hurdle is the feature race on the penultimate day of the festival. Annie Power will be raring to go after missing Cheltenham and she will be the favourite in this one, closely followed by Arctic Fire.

Guide to the Champion Hurdle 

2017 Punchestown Festival Day Four – Friday April 28th 

Hurdle Race (Two miles) 

Open to horses four-years-old and older 

Winners Over The Last 10 Years 

Year Horse Odds Trainer Jockey
2016 Vroum Vroum Mag 4/6 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2015 Faugheen 1/6 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2014 Jezki 4/5 Fav  Jessica Harrington Tony McCoy
2013 Hurricane Fly 1/4 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2012 Hurricane Fly 4/11 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2011 Hurricane Fly 1/2 Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2010 Hurricane Fly 3/1 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2009 Solwhit 2/1 Fav Charles Byrne Davy Russell
2008 Punjabi 2/1 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2007 Silent Oscar 20/1 Harry Rogers Robbie Power

 

Number of winning favourites over the last 10 years: 7

Average price of the winner over the last 10 years: 3/1

Biggest priced winner over the last 10 years: 20/1

Shortest priced winner over the last 10 years: 1/6

Saturday April 29

The final day of the Punchestown Festival includes the Four Year Old Hurdle and also the EBF Mares Champion Hurdle.

Guide to the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle 

2017 Punchestown Festival Day Five – Saturday April 29th 

Hurdle Race (Two miles) 

Open to horses aged four-years-old 

Winners Over The Last 10 Years 

Year Horse Odds Trainer Jockey
2016 Apple’s Jade 8/13 Fav Willie Mullins Brian Cooper
2015 Petite Parisienne 11/4 Fav Willie Mullins Brian Cooper
2014 Abbyssial 15/2 Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2013 Diakali Evens Fav Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2012 Hisaabaat 4/1 Dermot Weld Andrew Lynch
2011 Grandouet 5/2 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2010 Barizan 4/1 Evan Williams Jason Maguire
2009 Jumbo Rio 5/2 Edward O’Grady Andrew McNamara
2008 Won in the Dark 4/1 Sabrina Harty Davy Russell
2007 Punjabi 6/4 Fav Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald

 

Number of winning favourites over the last 10 years: 4

Average price of the winner over the last 10 years: 3/1

Biggest priced winner over the last 10 years: 15/2

Shortest priced winner over the last 10 years: 8/13 

Using Your Punchestown Festival Free Bet

There are plenty of opportunities to use your free bets during the Punchestown Festival. These include betting on:

  • The winner of each race
  • Distance a horse wins its race by
  • Match betting in each race
  • Jockey with the most winning rides during the festival
  • Trainer with the most winning rides during the festival

Facts and Figures about the 2017 Punchestown Festival

  • The Punchestown Festival is Ireland’s version of the Cheltenham Festival.
  • Punchestown is the home of Irish National Hunt racing.
  • The meeting takes place from Tuesday April 25th to Saturday April 29th.
  • There are seven races on the first two days from 3.40 until 7.15.
  • There are eight races on the next two days from 3.40 to 7.45
  • There are eight races on the final day from 2.35 to 6.45
  • Therefore, there are 38 races in total.
  • The meeting features 12 Grade 1 contests.
  • On the first four days there is a feature race with a value of €250,000
  • Punchestown is the finale of the Irish National Hunt season.
  • The whole meeting is shown live on At The Races.
  • Some bookmakers will be offering Best Odds Guaranteed on all 38 races. 

Leading Trainers Over The Last 5 Years

2016 - Willie Mullins 12 

2015 - Willie Mullins 16

2014 - Willie Mullins 9

2013 - Willie Mullins 14

2012 - Willie Mullins 10

Overall Leading Trainers

Trainer, Number of Winners, Strike Rate %: 

Willie Mullins - 148 - 27.66

Gordon Elliott - 52 - 16.51

Jessica Harrington - 35 - 16.67

Noel Meade - 23 - 11.11

Henry de Bromhead -22 - 12.22 

Leading Jockeys Over The Last 5 Years

Year, Jockey, Winners: 

2016 - Barry Geraghty - 4

2015 - Ruby Walsh - 6

2014 - Ruby Walsh - 6

2013 - Ruby Walsh - 8

2012 - Ruby Walsh - 3

Overall Leading Jockeys

Trainer, Number of Winners, Strike Rate %: 

Ruby Walsh - 87 - 32.71

Davy Russell - 37 - 17.21

Brian Cooper - 34 - 16.11

Mark Walsh - 26 - 12.44

Robbie Power - 24 - 15.69

History of the Punchestown Festival

Punchestown has been holding horse racing since 1850. 11 years later Punchestown Races were reorganised as 'Kildare and National Hunt Steeplechases.' They weren't always successful and the first day of the 1868 meeting only had one spectator turn up. The event has certainly grown over the years and is now a five-day festival and the best National Hunt meeting held in Ireland.

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