Punchestown 5.30 (Champion Hurdle) tips – Thief can steal the show

Punchestown 5.30 (Champion Hurdle) tips - Thief can steal the show

Identity Thief

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Betting Tip: Identity Thief @ 4/1 with coral

It was poor form on the part of Willie Mullins to withdraw Vroom Vroom Mag from the Select Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday, with the trainers’ title beyond his grasp, and the £1,000 fine imposed will feel like loose change if the mare lands this evening’s Punchestown Champion Hurdle (due off 5.30pm).

There’s a first prize of 118,000 up for grabs and, according to the layers, she has a better than 2/1 chance of pocketing it for connections, with no bigger than 15/8 available. However, today’s opposition is a definite step up on what she has been facing and, while she has a pacemaker to ensure an even gallop, the fact remains she has done most of her winning over further and may be vulnerable to a speedier type. On balance, she’s opposable.

Indeed, the bookmakers prefer Nicky Henderson’s My Tent Or Yours and the nine-year-old is massively respected after twice finishing second since returning from injury, including when chasing home Annie Power in the Cheltenham equivalent, with IDENTIFY THIEF well behind in sixth. However, the latter horse can be excused that run and as he appeared ill at ease on the track and, having been freshened up since, he might be capable of reproducing the sort of form he showed when winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November. At the forecast 4/1, it’s worth paying to find out.

Betting Tip: Identity Thief @ 4/1 with coral

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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