Consistent Felix can come good at top level

Felix Younger can trump better-fancied stablemates

Felix Yonger

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Betting Tip: @ 6/1 with williamhill

Day one of the Punchestown Festival sees a couple of Willie Mullins’ superstars – Douvan and Don Poli – back in action and a repeat of their Cheltenham form would see them home and hosed.

Of the pair, Don Poli probably has the harder task in the Growise Champion Novice Chase (6.40pm) as his main rival Apache Stronghold got to within three lengths of him at Leopardstown over Christmas and may finish closer still on today’s better ground. He’s tempting at 6/1, but there’s a better bet lurking in the 2m Boylesports Champion Chase (5.30pm) in the shape of FELIX YOUNGER.

He’s one of three Mullins-trained runners in the race and is the third string according to the latest betting, with stablemates Champagne Fever and Twinlight preferred by the layers. However, the former ran flat at Aintree last time and is perhaps best over further these days, while Twinlight is too inconsistent to trust. On the other hand, Felix Younger, the mount of Danny Mullins, never seems to run a bad race – he’s finished first or second in 15 of his 19 races – and arrives here in terrific form, having landed a hat-trick in a Grade 2 at Navan late last month.

That success came on heavy ground but he’s actually better when it’s riding good, as evidenced by his second to Simonsig on a quickish surface in the 2012 Neptune Novices’. He’s yet to win a Grade 1, admittedly, but he’s finished runner-up a couple of times and this race has likely been his target for a long time, whereas it may be an afterthought for some of his rivals coming as it does at the end of a long season. Thankfully, the presence of those rivals serve to inflate his price to what is a very backable 7/1.

Betting Tip: @ 6/1 with williamhill

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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