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Four bankers for Ireland’s version of Cheltenham from Tuesday

THE Punchestown Festival features some of the most competitive jump racing action of the entire season.

There are big handicaps and competitive Grade 1s everywhere, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few bankers throughout the week.

Energumene was a commanding winner at the Cheltenham Festival

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Energumene was a commanding winner at the Cheltenham Festival

With several Cheltenham Festival winners set to show themselves one last time this season, we list the four horses for whom losing this week would be a major shock.

energuma
William Hill Champion Chase, 5.25, Tuesday

A no-show from Shishkin and a fall from Chacun Pour Soi made Energumene’s task in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham that much easier.

Still, the eight-year-old won with top-class authority and it would be a serious surprise if he were to fold at Punchestown.

Chacun Pour Soi is back in the field and poses the biggest threat to the favorite but in reality Energumene should and will get the job done.

Easy Vegas
Race & Stay At Punchestown Champion INH Flat Race, 6.30am, Wednesday

In horrendous conditions on day two of the festival, Facile Vega lit up Cheltenham in the Champion Bumper.

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He was absolutely dominant and probably would have been even more so if the conditions hadn’t gotten so bad.

Some of its biggest rivals were thoroughly put in their place last time out and it’s hard to see them reversing that form.

honeysuckle
Paddy Power Champion Hurdle, 5.25, Friday

With connections from Constitution Hill deciding against an ambitious Punchestown mission, little stands in Honeysuckle’s way as she seeks a 16th straight win.

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She excelled in the Champion Hurdle last time, she is currently unrivaled in this division and will be until the start of next season.

Turning it around here will without a doubt be one of the biggest shocks of the entire season.

Vauban
Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle, 4.25, Saturday

Vauban’s victory in the Triumph Hurdle was one of the most impressive of the week at Cheltenham.

And with Pied Piper then improving on form at Aintree, the win now looks even better.

Fil Dor looks to be his biggest challenger here but he failed to land a gauntlet on Vauban last time out and will certainly find it difficult to do so again.

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/18365024/punchestown-festival-four-bankers-cheltenham-festival/ Four bankers for Ireland’s version of Cheltenham from Tuesday

Ashley

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