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2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase Tips – Can Min make it three in a row at Punchestown?

  • We take a look through the odds for the 2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase
  • The John Durkan is the Grade One feature at Punchestown on Sunday 6th December
  • Ryanair Chase winner Min will be looking to win this race for the third year in a row
  • Allaho, Ballyoverdoyen and Samcro also feature in the betting
  • We take a look through the form and pick out our best bets
min ryanair
Min goes for a historic hat-trick of John Durkan wins at Punchestown on Sunday. (Getty)

We take a look through the field set to run in the Grade One at Punchestown on Sunday and provide readers with our John Durkan Memorial Chase tips.

The day after Sandown stages their popular Tingle Creek meeting, all eyes will be on Punchestown, where the John Durkan Memorial Chase headlines Sunday’s card. This Grade One has been won by many of Ireland’s finest chasers, and Willie Mullins’ Min will attempt to become the first three-time winner of this historic race.

2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase Odds


Name
Odds
Min2/1
Chris's Dream7/2
Allaho4/1
Battleoverdoyen11/2
Samcro6/1
Melon14/1
Le Richebourg25/1
Tornado Flyer40/1

*Odds taken from William Hill on 2/12/20*

2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase Favourite


Min2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase FavouriteGET 2/1 HERE
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Min defeated Shattered Love to claim the John Durkan crown in 2018, before holding off Hardline and Presenting Percy to retain his title 12 months ago. Willie Mullins’ charge ran away with the Melling Chase at Aintree in 2019, and finally claimed an overdue Cheltenham Festival victory earlier this year, clinging on at the front to beat Saint Calvados and A Plus Tard in the Ryanair Chase.

2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase Runners


Chris's Dream2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase Market MoverGET 7/2 HERE
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Since the ground at Punchestown officially turned to heavy, Chris's Dream has been heavily backed. Henry De Bromhead's star went down by a neck to The Storyteller in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase, and was heavily supported in the betting beforehand. Although he's a strong stayer, Chris’s Dream is unbeaten in two chase starts over this distance, and will relish the ground on Sunday.

Allaho has placed in both the Albert Bartlett and the RSA at Cheltenham the last two years, and holds entry into both the King George and the Savills Chase over Christmas. Personally, I think Allaho will be more effective over this shorter trip, and his extra staying power will come in handy on testing ground.

Willie Mullins trains four of the eight entrants in Sunday's main event. Melon always seems to run well at Cheltenham, but his early-season form is usually disappointing. Tornado Flyer could appear too, but I don’t think he’s up there with Mullins’ finest over fences.

Don Cossack remains Gordon Elliott’s only John Durkan winner to date, and he will fire a couple of arrows at Willie Mullins’ market leader. Battleoverdoyen upstaged Samcro and Easy Game to win a Grade Two at Down Royal on his reappearance, and he’s sure to be a big player again if he jumps with the same fluency.

Samcro looked to be carrying a bit of condition that day, and should improve massively for the run. Elliott has his dual-Cheltenham Festival winner entered in Grade Ones over two and three miles over Christmas, and his performance on Sunday will decide which trip the team focus on for the remainder of the season.

Le Richebourg hasn’t been seen for 22 months due to injury, but the fact he holds plenty of entries suggests he’s back so early this term suggests he's back to full fitness. I'm surprised connections have chosen Punchestown over an outing in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork, as two miles seems his best trip. I don't expect to see him challenging on Sunday, but this should set him up for a big run at Leopardstown over Christmas.

RSA Chase cheltenham
Allaho (right) finishing third in the RSA at Cheltenham. (Getty)

2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase Tips


Allaho2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase TipsGET 4/1 HERE
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Despite winning two Grade Ones last season, Min ended the season rated two-pounds lower than the mark of 171 he brought into the 2019 John Durkan. Willie Mullins’ star only ran up to an RPR of 164 when beating Hardline that day, and if he produces a similar showing this weekend, he could be vulnerable.

Battleoverdoyen was mightily impressive at Down Royal, and was handed a fresh rating of 160 on the back of that win. Gordon Elliott’s charge did, however, seemed to lose his confidence quickly as a novice if things didn’t go his way, and I still don’t trust his jumping.

Chris's Dream was my confident selection at Down Royal, and I think he'll go very well again now ground is in his favoure. Despite that, I backed ALLAHO at the ante-post stage at the start of the week, and I'm going to stick with Danny Mullins' mount.

Allaho finished 21-lengths ahead of Battleoverdoyen when they met in the RSA. Despite a couple of really bad mistakes, Mullins’ charge was still in with a chance on the run to the line, only to get outstayed by Champ and Minella Indo. Although Champ is yet to make his reappearance, Minella Indo has come out and won twice this season and fifth-placed Ayr Right has run with great credit, so the form of that Grade One is already looking strong. 

On his final outing before Cheltenham, Allaho ran over 21-furlongs at Fairyhouse. Paul Townend's mount set his own pace at the front, before quickening clear of his rivals to secure an impressive 21-length win. Mullins may think he’s a three-miler, but Allaho has the perfect blend of stamina and pace to progress rapidly over this distance. 

Allaho is only six, so remains open to plenty of improvement, and his record around right-handed tracks is strong. Victory here would put him bang in the picture for the Ryanair at the Cheltenham Festival.
US

Verdict

Min will take all the beating, but in Allaho, he has a very high-quality rival who has age on his side and plenty of scope for improvement over this trip.

2020 John Durkan Memorial Chase Tips: Allaho Straight Win @400.00 at William Hill - 15 Units

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