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Wishfull Thinking Cut for Champion Chase


 Next week's Punchestown Festival is rapidly becoming clearer for many ante post punters as a variety of horses begin getting cut down in price as connections firm up their intentions. The Philip Hobbs-trained nine-year-old ran a credible second to Finian's Rainbow in his sensation performance at Aintree in the Melling Chase. The seven length score reaffirmed who's the top 2m4f chaser at this point in time.


It doesn't mean Wishfull Thinking doesn't deserve his credit as he's battling it out in a very tough division. Punters will be buoyed by the fact that he won here last year in a novice chase, but that came after a much more solid season than the one he's had this year. He bossed the novice circuit and was only really blemished by the loss to Noble Prince at Cheltenham when sent off as the 7/2 betting choice.

Wishfull Thinking, having moved off the novice circuit this season, can't duck anybody anymore and Sizing Europe awaits in the Champion Chase.

Sizing was well-beaten by Finian's at Cheltenham and is taking a significant amount of money here – having been bet down to 4/6 ante post. Sizing's old rival Big Zeb – who looks to have lost a bit of a step, continues to take money and trades at 7/2.

Realt Dubh is also in the reckoning at a 12/1 price tag.

The Punchestown Gold Cup should be a fascinating encounter the following day with some serious talent set to be on offer.

There are quite a few recognizable names for this one – in particular many of the Irish runners from this year's Grand National. Punters will find the likes of Alfa Beta, Ballabriggs, Organisedconfusion, Planet of Sound, Rare Bob and The Midnight Club heading into this one.

Follow The Plan returns to defend his title and should be able to tackle Hennessy Gold Cup winner Quel Esprit.  

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