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Punchestown - Ryanair Novice Chase preview

The Novice Chase ranks are quite strong this year and a quality lineup graces Punchestown for the second feature of Thursday. Another new guest previewer steps up to the podium, Pat Conlon, NH racing enthusiast from Co.Meath. Follow him @woodlane1

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On day three of the Punchestown festival, the Ryanair Novice Chase sees some of our best novices going head to head.

Benefficent from the Tony Martin yard seems to be the one they will have to beat. He made all the running in the Jewson in Cheltenham on March 14th to beat the solid favourite on the day Dynaste. The shorter trip will not bother him and jockey of the moment Bryan Cooper is a very able pilot.

Willie Mullins sends out Arvika Ligeonniere. While you shouldn’t discount a Mullins horse, I think this one has lost its form a bit, coming off the back of a tough race at Cheltenham where he was pulled up and in Leopardstown in January where he fell in the race won by Benefficent.

The Henry De Bromhead trained Special Tiara showed how gutsy he was by beating Overturn and Alderwood with the latter running in this race as well over at Aintree two weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how he has came out of that race. Alderwood was flat enough at Aintree and would need to step up a bit to win here. Mark Walsh deputises for the injured AP McCoy.

If you discount Texas Jack's run at Cheltenham and focus on him being beaten by a nose by Boston Bob on Hennessy day at Leopardstown in Feb, he could be excellent value at around 14/1.

Realt Mor from the in form Elliot yard seems to be the pick of the rest.

With a pot of €62,000 to the winner it's all to race for. The Ryanair gets underway at 6.40pm.

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