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13:10 Leopardstown

The first of four races shown live on ITV from Leopardstown this Tuesday looks ridiculously competitive with a whopping 28 runners set to tackle this three mile handicap hurdle.

Despite the large field the current favourite is ridiculously short as the Gordon Elliott trained Ardhill has a current best price of 11/4. The horse is short enough in the betting but also is the first reserve and may well not even line up at the start come the 13:10 off time. Now with such a large field I’m sure one of the 28 runners preceding the market leader will eventually be pulled out but surely with such a large amount of entrants and bookmakers offering plenty of places the route for anyone having a bet in this has to be horses with much greater value.

The sole course and distance winner in the field Maze Runner deserves a tonne of respect especially as he hails from the red hot, King George winning yard of Willie Mullins. Sure to be there or thereabouts but with 10lbs more on his back than claiming success here back in February the handicapper may have given him too much to overcome.

If we’re looking for people in form you can’t look much further than the lesser known jockey and trainer combination of conditional jockey Neil Ryan and trainer Hugh Paul Finegan. The young rider has done ridiculously well of late claiming three victories and a place from his last four rides and the yard is operating at a 50% strike rate in the last fortnight. I’m sure the lesser educated punter would see the obscure names on the race card and discredit their chances with five year old Futurum Regem. A winner of his last two hurdles starts who, despite taking thirteen starts to shake off their maiden tag, has been a very consistent type who looks likely to enjoy this step up in trip. He’s given a low weight but to me minor money is probably the best he can hope for now at this level.

A fellow five year old that may seem somewhat of an obscure selection but certainly peaks my interest is Panda Boy. The lightly raced youngster has only ever stepped foot on the racecourse on four occasions but attracted plenty of market support when the well backed 7/2 favourite on his seasonal return at Naas. He failed to deliver for punters that day when finishing in the middle of the pack. I’m sure he’ll be much fitter this time around and the return to a longer trip should also be of benefit. He’s obviously got a plethora of question marks against him but he may be worth an each way punt for a yard who know how to land a gamble and with a more than capable jockey booked for the ride.

From one lightly raced runner to a horse at the other end of the spectrum who Is about to make his 38th career start is the eight year old grey Tout Et Permis. Noel Meade has his horses flying of late with five winners from his last sixteen runners. He landed the winner of the big three mile handicap here yesterday and I’m hoping the trainer can do the same once again here. Sean Flanagan rode yesterday’s winner and is set to climb aboard this experienced runner and I hope the duo can conjure up another trip to the winners enclosure. Tout Et Permis has competed at the highest level and is a former Grade 2 victor over the bigger obstacles. He was last seen tackling the National fences at Aintree but a return to hurdling isn’t likely to hurt and looks a shrewd move from his powerhouse Gigginstown connections. Now back over the smaller obstacles he finds himself on a very attractive mark and looks ridiculously overpriced at current odds of 33/1. Odds so big in fact it’d be foolish not to get stuck in.



written by Rory Paddock

13:25 Catterick

11 in go in this class 5 handicap chase at Catterick. 2 of the 11 runners here have won over this course and distance and despite Justforjames being 12 I wouldn't rule out a each way chance. Purely because Catterick as a course has a habit of course winners winning again over the course.

Sigurd is another course and distance winner winning a couple of times at the beginning of this year. Brian Hughes on board has to be taken seriously as a fancy. At an each way price this nearly made my selection. Won't mind any more rain having won on Heavy / Soft over Sigurd career winning on good to soft as well so is versatile ground wise.

Last time out winner and currently joint favourite No Cruise Yet at the time of writing has to have a chance albeit with a 6 pound rise for winning at Sedgefield last time out.

My selection though Representing Bob who clearly prefers chasing to hurdling having won 2 of his last 3 races over the fences and his only defeat was back over hurdles. Both his two wins have come over left handed tracks and with Catterick being a left handed track i think this will suit him plus going back over fences. This is a step up in trip so there is an element of the unknown in terms of the trip. But i think Representing Bob should be in contention and still being 5 years old there is more improvement in him


written by Luke Tucker

13:45 Leopardstown

Flooring Porter took this Grade 1 contest on route to landing the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. The front running tactics adopted last season proved a masterstroke by Gavin Cromwell and he appeared to be travelling well when falling on seasonal debut. If that fall hasn’t taken too much out of him, he’ll be onthe premises. The former Supreme Hurdle winner Klassical Dream returned from a mammoth layoff to win the Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown, landing a gamble in the process. He’s completely unexposed over this trip and my idea of the winner.

Ronald Pump is a very reliable sort but surely a short turnaround from his Long Walk excursions will hinder his chances, while Sire Du Berlais never runs a bad race but he looks held by Flooring Porter on their form last season. Of the others, Burning Victory would be of interest if she can hurdle with more fluency.


written by Peter Keogh

14:00 Catterick

Despite being very weak in the betting at Sedgefield last time, Findthetime knuckled down in most pleasing fashion and just got back up on the line having been headed on the run in. Still very lightly raced, one would have to think he has plenty of improvement left in him and this step up in trip looks a sensible move.

Coup De Gold often goes well without winning and did just that here last time, eventually finishing second behind a heavily bet type. Clearly in decent form of late, he has racked up a sequence of placed efforts though his overall win record (One from thirty-nine) is off-putting and a place is probably the best one could hope for.

Laskadine has shown precious little in her last three starts and has beaten only one rival from a possible twenty-seven during that time. Dropping back in grade today and off the same mark as when scoring at Sedgefield back in February are what appear to be the only positives, however, she hails from a yard known to land a 'Touch' and market strength would be a positive for those brave enough.

Hungry Tiger isn't as exposed as some and would want considering although Findthetime is taken to build upon his victory last time out and double up under Brian Hughes.


written by Chris Connolly

14:20 Leopardstown

A Plus Tard won this race last season, staying on strongly on what was just his second run over a three mile trip to hold off the sustained challenge of the re-opposing Kemboy, and having confirmed his well-being with a scintillating performance on reappearance in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock in November, he is difficult to oppose.

The most likely challenger looks to be Galvin who couldn’t quite reel in Frodon at Down Royal when last seen but still finished ahead of the likes of Minella Indo and Delta Work and had previously won six in a row including a Cheltenham Festival victory.

The aforementioned Delta Work is a three-time course and distance winner and should come on for his last run so looks the most likely to benefit from a below-par performance from the favourite or his stablemate.


written by Dean Kilrbyde

14:45 Leicester

Quite an interesting two and a half mile handicap chase.

Red Happy is an interesting French recruit to the David Pipe stable. He’s only a four year old but has plenty of chasing experience. It’s hard to quantify the value of his form, but he has won his last two races, albeit on ground softer than he faces here.

Kilbrook improved for a switch to fences winning on chase debut. He wasn’t overly impressive, but has only gone up 4lbs, so could remain competitive.

The selection is Ahead Of The Field.

There’s no doubt that this horse has some quirks, but he has a 50% strike rate under rules. Only a 6 yr old with a very good jumping pedigree. He is taken to follow up his victory at Southwell and a mark of 118 could still be lenient.


written by Matt Polley

14:55 Leopardstown

Winning form in this Beginners Chase is sparse apart from the favourite and likely winner Galopin Des Champs, the gelding is looking to complete a hat-trick of wins on his chasing debut. Cheltenham’s Martin Pipe winner has been off the track since winning a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Punchestown in April and interestingly the champion trainer is wasting no time in getting his steeplechasing career started. Granted that he takes to jumping fences and is fit for his return he should see these off.

The main dangers in the market would seem to be Fury Road and Blue Sari, the latter having only completed once in his previous five starts. The former looked to have the Grade 1 Drimore in the bag last month before effectively downing tools when getting to the front and fading to third.


written by Michael Taylor

15:20 Leicester

Lebowski is trained by Michael Scudamore and probably warrants favouritism. He’s two from two over hurdles and looked smart at Ayr and Ffos Las. He makes his handicapping debut and looks set to further his upward curve. He hasn’t got a great record on Heavy ground but Leicester isn’t a demanding track. He will be hard to beat.

Jante Law has taken a bit to get going but he eventually broke his duck at Hexham in March. He was victorious again, scoring readily by three lengths. He will have no qualms about the distance and he seems to have been treated nicely by the handicapper. However, he’s not been seen on a racetrack for nearly a year. Combined with heavy ground, it could make his return quite the ask.

Friary Rock has moved from Mouse Morris’s yard to Laura Morgan and sports a hood for the first time. The Morgan yard have been in nice form of late and so is Adam Wedge. This horse has some good form from a few races in Ireland and he was quite consistent over there. His extra stamina could help him today.


written by Kieran McHugh


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