Djakadam to land the John Durkan hat-trick

Steve Hughes has a selection for Sunday’s big race

With British racing wiped out by the wintry weather I am just concentrating on the big race in Ireland today, the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial at Punchestown. Politologue was a 7/2 winner for us at Sandown yesterday.

Punchestown 2.05: Djakadam

This 2/4f Grade 1 chase at Punchestown seems to be tailor made for Djakadam and he can make it three in a row – and in a case of deja vu, his previous two wins have come first time out off the back of finishing second in the Punchestown Gold Cup at the Festival – it is the same situation today.

I am not sure Djakadam truly stays a strong run 3m plus, hence he keeps coming up just short in the big races like the Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups. There are no stamina doubts at this trip – he can be ridden positively if necessary and he has beaten Valseur Lido and Outlander with the minimum of fuss in the last two editions.

The vibes have not been great about his conqueror in those spring Festivals, Sizing John, but on form this race should be between the two. However I suspect Djakadam will be the more ready for this and he was only beaten a short-head by his market rival here in April.

Recommended bet:

2pts win – Djakadam – 13/8 Paddy Power

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