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IRISH INSIDER

14:30 Leopardstown

Wolf Prince has to carry a penalty here and has a bit to prove given his recent runs, including when finishing last of six when last seen. That being said Gavin Cromwell's horses are starting to hit form so the classy individual can’t be discounted. Gallant John Joe reverts back to hurdles are a string of creditable efforts over the larger obstacles of late. He was a listed winner over timber earlier in his career and should be involved. The twice-raced Making Country ran moderately in a bumper on debut last year but was a decisive winner of a point to point in the interim so is an intriguing runner.

At weights, I’ll have to side with Whiskey Sour for Willie Mullins, who’s the top-rated in the race and carries bottom weight. The former Grade 1 winner ran with credit to finish third behind Darasso at Nassmost recently and this look s gilt-edge opportunity for him to get his head back in front.

WHISKEY SOUR (WIN)

16:50 Leopardstown

A typically competitive handicap here where any number of horses could get involved, which is no surprise given the €45.000 on offer. Barry Conell’s string continues to be in fine fettle with the stable currently operating at a 38% strike rate. They are represented by Mount Pelier here who’s returning from a 280-day break. He only has three runs to his name over fences and has already shown a great aptitude for them, with a wide margin victory on chase debut followed by a third-place finish in a Grade 2 behind the classy Notebook. He disappointed when last seen but has been given plenty of time by connections and is a fascinating runner.

Winter Escape has been contesting these valuable handicaps and Graded races for many a season and put in another solid effort when chasing home Birchdale and Foxy Jacks at the Dublin Racing Festival. That form is as good as there is on offer and he’ll no doubt be involved once again. Top-weight Max Flamingo was well fancied at Leopardstown last time but unseated mid-race. The Kalanisi gelding had been far from disgraced when fourth in Grade 1 company previously and could still be on a nice mark.

Donkey Years continues to rise through the handicap ranks and put in a career-best performance to chase home the re-opposing Fakir D’alene at Thurles when last seen. He only went up 2lb for that effort. He has a nice turnaround at the weights now with Fakir D'alene who has been a solid enough seventh in a hot handicap at Leopardstown since

MOUNT PELIER (E/W) written by Peter Keogh

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