We had a fantastic day yesterday by going 5 for 5 with our selections and landed a 180/1 accumulator.
Hopefully we’ve topped up everyones funds for the Cheltenham Festival.
I don’t think we can top a day like that today but we’ll certainly give it a go!
There is a top class card at Leopardstown today where the first race gets under way at 1:30.
First up we’ve a mares handicap hurdle.
Who’s That has won this race for the last two years and has a fair chance in this race again today.
She is 6lb higher than last year’s win though, and that could well hinder it from winning this race again.
Mill Quest is a consistent mare and she rarely runs a bad race. She’s on the right side of the handicapper and has more to offer.
I think she’ll run another great race today but the one I like and strongly fancy is the John Kiely trained TOE THE LINE.
This mare has a touch of class about her.
Rated 102 on the Flat and she’s won Listed Races and is still unexposed over hurdles.
She ran with a lot of credit in three novice hurdles and then won a maiden hurdle at this track last month.
This is her first handicap and I think she’s very well handicapped.
She could well be running in graded company by the end of the season.
The ground looks perfect for her and she’s could well have too much pace and stamina for these today.
The 2:00 looks an open handicap hurdle on paper but I think it might be pretty clear cut for the Gordon Elliott trained canelie.
This ex French five year old is unexposed, possibly the most unexposed horse in the race. He was 2nd to Presenting Percy in a maiden hurdle at Galway in October on his first run in Ireland.
The winner is a decent horse and is a real good stayer.
I think he’ll go close in the Pertemps at the Cheltenham Festival. Canelie did well to get as close as he did to that one then.
Canelie disappointed on its next run but there were viable reasons for that defeat. He ran much better when 2nd to Chateau Conti on his most recent start.
He and the winner pulled well clear that day. He ran well to a point and then he just found the winner too classy. Chateau Conti had previously won two races and his experience won the day for him then.
Canelie has been given a nice mark after those 3 runs and comes here with a great chance on handicap debut for these shrewd connections.
Gordon Elliott is a clever trainer and it’s interesting to note that he has the top weight in the race too.
That horse is most likely in here to keep Canelie’s racing weight low.
Lagostovegas is a fair horse and ran a nice race last time out when 2nd.
He has to give 3lb to the less exposed Canelie today though and that could prove difficult. Canelie’s biggest threat may way well come from Dandridge.
This horse is better known for a chaser. He was 2nd at both the Cheltenham and Aintree festival last season.
This race could well be a prep for Cheltenham but it’s very interesting to note that he is rated 28lb lower over hurdles than fences.
That’s 2 stone lower which could be a big advantage today.
Whether he’s as good as Canelie is another question though. I think Dandridge will run a nice race at 14/1 but CANELIE is my choice for this race.
The 3rd race on the card the 2:30 is a very open juvenile hurdle. This looks a very tricky race to find the winner of.
There isn’t much between Bapume and Mega Fortune on form – they’ve run very close to each twice.
Bapaume has come out in front on both occasions.
Cheekpieces are tried on Mega Fortune today which tempers enthusiasm. I think he needs a step up in trip to be seen at his best or a very stiff 2 mile.
The Fred Winter at Cheltenham could well be a target for him and most of these. Bapaume was strong in the finish that day and should confirm placings today. He will go close for Ruby Walsh today but he will have a fight on his hands.
Dinaria Des Obeaux won with a lot of ease last time out but that was a very bad race. He could show up for most of the race but he could be found out late on.
The Joseph O’Brien trio of Housesofparliment, Bhutan and Sword Fighter all have chances but might come up short.
The one who I think is the best of these is the Willie Mullins second string Meri Devie. This horse was a runaway winner of his only start.
He had Housesofparliment and Sword Fighter in behind. Ruby has sided with Bapume because it’s got proven graded form but I think MERI DEVIE is the one to be on in the Graham Wylie colours.
The 3:00 is another great race, it’s the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle.
This race is always a great pointer for the Supreme Novices Hurdle. Champagne Fever and Vautour won this race and then went on to win the Supreme.
This is yet another tough race to find a winner.
Willie Mullins has six of the ten runners in this field.
He will be very disappointed if he doesn’t leave with the winner of this grade 1. Saturnas will be his main hope and Ruby has decided to side with this one.
This ex french trained horse won with ease on debut for this yard. He then ran into a real good one in Airlie Beach on his 2nd start.
Saturnas followed that run up with a win in a Grade 1 at this course in December over today’s rival Brelade.
I think that race was a poor Grade 1 but he can only win what’s in front of him. The step up in trip will suit him today and bring out more improvement. He should confirm placings with Brelade.
Stablemate Bunk Off Early was very impressive on his only run so far. The 2nd horse in that Outspoken won yesterday, so the form is good.
This one is going to be bang there at the finish today. Of the Mullins six I like the chances of Bacardys.
This horse was 3rd to Ballyandy in last years Champion Bumper and then beat Ballyandy in the Aintree Champion Bumper.
He was then 3rd in the Champion Bumper behind Blow By Blow.
That horse has yet to be seen this season but will take a lot of beating wherever it runs. Bacardys fell when going really well on his hurdle debut.
He made up for that on his next start by winning a maiden hurdle at this track. The form of that might not be as strong as some of the others form but this horse comes alive at this time of the season.
Stablemates Saturnas and Bunk Off Early will take beating in this but I like the chances of BACARDYS in this each way at a nice price of 16/1.
The feature race on the card is the Irish Gold Cup at 4:00.
The John Kiely trained Carlingford Lough has won this race for the past two years is in the field again this year looking to make it 3 in a row.
Last years race was a strange race, Carlingford Lough was outpaced and out the back and made up an awful lot of ground in the closing stages to get up and win.
He ran a decent race when 4th in the Gold Cup and he won the Grade 1 Punchestown Gold Cup at the end of the season. Had a great prep run over hurdles recently behind Jezki which will have him spot on for this. Barry Geraghty takes the ride and that to be noted.
I had fancied Minella Rocco for this race but when I saw that Geraghty decided to ride this one I jumped ship. I think Minella Rocco will run a big race but he has it to find with some of these on the ratings.
Don Poli is sure to put it up to Carlingford Lough and they could well fight out the finish. Empire of Dirt is stepping up in grade from handicaps to a Grade 1. It’s a big jump but they have to find out how good he is. He could come up short today.
More of That who won the World Hurdle a few seasons back ran an okay race in the Lexus behind some of these. He has a squeak but he doesn’t look the same horse. Sizing John is the most interesting runner in the field.
This horse finished runner up to Douvan in an awful lot of races over hurdles and fences. His connections decided to stay away from that one and he won a decent race at Thurles.
The step up in trip with this one is a bit of a surprise. I’m not sure he’ll see this out but could well be a Ryanair horse come March.
I think CARLINGFORD LOUGH can make it three wins in a row in this race.
I’d suggest doing a Lucky 31 on my five selections today:
Toe The Line 1:30 Leopardstown
Canelie 2:00 Leopardstown
Meri Devie 2:30 Leopardstown
Bacardys 3:00 Leopardstown
Carlingford Lough 4:00 Leopardstown