Folks, we are back with another excellent few days of racing at Leopardstown over the Christmas period and Day One looks like a cracking card. We have hopefully get a winner or two on the board so keep a close eye out.
Don’t forget folks ye can catch all the action live on Saturday in your local Bar One Racing shop so make sure you call in and check out the daily specials and offers.
We are still guaranteed prices on singles and multiples for the month of December so why not combine a few of my selections below into a multi bet and hopefully we will be lucky.
12.00 MAIDEN HURDLE 2M
This race is all about MICRO MANAGE (4-5) and on his flat form he simply looks very hard to oppose.
Selecting short priced favourites is never the strongest option but this horse looks far too good for this field and seemingly he has schooled very well at home.
The last time we seen him on the flat he finished down the field behind Search For A Song in the Group One Irish St Leger at the Curragh. He was third in a trial for the St Leger prior to that and looks a very good prospect for this new discipline.
Patrick Mullins is on board here with Paul Townend going to Limerick. I cant wait to see what this horse can do and I will be looking at an antepost market or two prior to the off of this race.
Should be very hard to beat.
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12.30 THORNTONS RECYCLING MAIDEN HURDLE 2M
EL BARRA (6-4) returned off the back of a long break for team Closutton with a very impressive bumper win at Thurles and looks a very interesting recruit to hurdling in the second race.
His point to point second place finish behind Fury Road was well advertised considering Fury Road was a very good bumper performer and has since picked up a couple of graded races over hurdles. The third, sixth, seventh and eight from that point to point have won races since so it has stood up well.
We may have to take the bounce factor into the equation with El Barra but there is no doubt Willie Mullins will have him ready for his first assignment over obstacles.
Could be a very smart novice hurdler.
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1.05 KNIGHT FRANK JUVENILE HURDLE (GRADE 2) 2M
As like the previous two races it is extremely hard to oppose likely favourite ZANAHIYR (1-2).
He was very impressive in the Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse last time out and should confirm the form with Saint Sam who he beat by a wide margin.
This is a step up from Grade Three to Grade Two but he should be able to take it in his stride on route to the Dublin Racing Festival and then Cheltenham in March. He travelled like a dream last time and quickened from the back of the last in the style of a very progressive young hurdler.
A multiple on the first three could be the way to play as they are short prices.
Will be extremely hard to beat here.
1.40 HOLDEN PLANT RENTALS NOVICE HANDICAP HURDLE 2M
It looks like the punters may be in clover again as likely market leader ONE COOL POET (11-4) looks nicely handicapped on his flat form and has a lovely weight here over hurdles.
With the weather set to deteriorate overnight and into mid afternoon I would keep an eye on the ground but it should be perfect and Robbie Colgan should be able to hunt him round and use his flat speed from the back of the last.
He had a couple of runs at Dundalk on the all weather in recent weeks and having watched them back he ran respectably without troubling the judge. That will leave him spot on fitness wise and he looks one of the main protagonists in the field. He is a former three time Galway winner on the flat in 2019 so has plenty of ability.
He could be extremely well handicapped and far too good for this field.
2.15 RACING POST NOVICE CHASE (GRADE ONE) 2M 1F
The first of the Grade One races over the Christmas period and it looks an absolute cracker.
The horse that I am siding with here is FELIX DESJY (7-4) for Jack Kennedy and Gordon Elliott.
While he may have Blackbow to contend with up front I think he might be better to sit off the pace a little and use his speed. He was very impressive last time at Punchestown when he had Darver Star well back in third and should be able to confirm that form.
The second horse from that race Sizing Pottsie has come out and won since so that leaves the form looking strong. Felix Desjy was very good over hurdles finishing fifth in a Supreme Novice Hurdle before winning the Novice event at Aintree a month later.
While he was a little awkward at a couple of fences at Punchestown he won going away and really impressed me.
Could he give Shiskin a scare in the Arkle come March??
We will find out more this time around but I think he takes plenty of beating here.
2.50 BET THROUGH THE FREE RACING POST APP HANDICAP CHASE 2M 1F
Many of ye who follow my Dundalk previews will have seen QUAMINO (11-1) appear a couple of times in recent weeks.
I mentioned that he would likely have a Christmas target but I still thought he had the ability to pick up a maiden on the all weather.
He was going well at this meeting last season when his stamina gave way turning for home and he faded to finish ninth behind Roaring Bull in what was a memorable commentary by Jerry Hannon. He is only two pound higher than his last winning mark over fences which was a course and distance win here at Leopardstown in February 2019.
If he has been sharpened up by his recent visits to Dundalk then I could see him running a very big race.
He should be extremely hard to keep out of the frame with luck in running.
3.25 HOLDEN PLANT RENTALS INH FLAT RACE 2M
To finish the day we will go a little down the market with a quite interesting runner trained by Henry De Bromhead.
GATEAU DE MIEL (14-1) finished second in a Lingstown Point to Point but what struck me is that the front two that day were fifteen lengths clear of the third. Jamie Codd was on board the winner and had to pull out all the stops as Gateau De Miel was in front two out and just got out stayed.
He may need further in time but I think he could be slightly underestimated in the market here and is the value each way play. He looks to have plenty of ability and should give us a good run for our money.
Will be hard to keep out of the frame.