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 2021 festival takes place from Tuesday 27 April to Saturday 1 May.
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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.
2021 Punchestown Festival Free Bets
Tuesday 27 April
The top race to look out for on this day is the Punchestown Champion Chase (5.25). This sees Chacun Pour Soi looking to bounce back after only finishing third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham. Also in action is Nube Negra who finished second in that race. They will both have to look out for Cheltenham winner Allaho.
Another intriguing race is the Champion Novice Chase (6.30). Monkfish takes on Envoi Allen and also in a small field for this fascinating race is Colreevy, who has won four races this season and gets weight off the top two.
Wednesday 28 April
The feature race on day two of the Punchestown Festival is the Punchestown Gold Cup (5.55). Double Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo will be bidding to win this race. A strong field sees a rematch with Minella Indo who won the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Others taking part include Kemboy and Clan des Obeaux.
Thursday 29 April
Highlights include the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers' Hurdle (5.25) with Flooring Porter attempting to win a fourth race this season. The most recent of those wins was at Cheltenham where the Stayer's Hurdle was landed. Second in that race was Sire du Berlais and another great battle looks likely here.
Friday 30 April
Day 4 sees the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle due off at 5.25. Honeysuckle was an impressive winner at Cheltenham and is the odds on favourite to win this race. Opposition includes Epatante who won the 2020 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and was third this year.
Saturday 1 May
The Punchestown Festival ends with the Mares Champion Hurdle and 2020 Triumph Hurdle winner Burning Victory is highly fancied. It's just a three race card and also featured is the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle with the 2021 Triumph Hurdle winner Quilixios due to run.
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.