Leopardstown Tuesday 27th December
12.15 Paddy Power 363 Christmas 3yo M’dn H’dle 2m
Ruby Walsh rides Merie Devie in this race, she is doing everything right at home but this looks a very hot race. Both Housesofparliament and Swordfighter trained by Joseph O’Brien were highly rated on the flat but our mare is doing everything right at home and I expect her to be bang there at the finish, a slight worry would be the ground – I expect her to be more suited by a slower surface but I think she is overpriced for this race and should go well.
12.45 Paddy Power Easiest Mobile App M’dn H’dle 2m
One of our best bumper horses from last year Bacardys takes his chance in this maiden. He was very unlucky to fall in Cork but the horses that were going to be first and second to him that day have both won since and I expect him to gain some compensation here. Capital Force made an eye-catching debut but I think Bacardys could be in a different league to this field. Paul Townend rides Kolumbus in this race also but Bacardys is the horse they all have to beat.
1.20 Paddy Power Cashcard Chase (Grade 1) 2m 1f
There’s not much to say about Douvan, let’s just hope he does what he always does. Black Hercules drops back in trip and takes his chance in this big Grade 1. There was no real reason for his bad run in the John Durkan a few weeks back so we have just written it off. It is a bit of an experiment dropping back to 2m 1f but the way he jumps and travels he should be right there with a chance but I think this race will give us a better indication of where to aim him later in the season.
1.55 Paddy Power Future Champions Novice H’dle 2m
Two more from the yard line up here and Ruby Walsh rides Riven Light. He won well in Thurles and he shows a lot of speed at home and we are expecting another big run from him. Paul Townend takes the ride on Saturnas who had a very good run in the Royal Bond but the ground is a worry with him, the ground is quite good at the moment and he’s a real soft ground horse. Probably the horse to beat in the race is Avenir D’Une Vie who left our yard earlier in the season. He’s a real high class sort and looks the one to beat.
3.00 Paddy Power Chase 3m 100y
In total, we run four in this race. The Crafty Butcher is our main hope in this race. He gets in off 10 stone 1lb which is probably Ruby Walsh’s minimum weight. He’s a horse I part own and he made a very eye catching debut for the stable in Navan. He got going very late and really came alive when he began to pass a few horses. We are the third yard to have him and he’s a bit older so we just try and keep him sweet but he ticks all the boxes for me and I think he’s in great form. He sneaks in at the bottom of the handicap and I would be hopeful of a big run with a bit of luck he’ll go very well.
3.35 Paddy Power Games INH Flat Race 2m 4f
I travel up from Limerick to take the ride on Ballyward. He goes very well at home and is well up to winning a bumper. This is a hot race however and there are some good horses trained by the likes of Gordon Elliott, Dermot Weld and Jessica Harrington. Despite the presence of some good horses I’m very pleased with Ballyward, he has pleased me with his work at home and he’s well up to winning a decent bumper like this.
Limerick Tuesday 27th December
12.00 David Fitzgerald Take It Easee M’dn H’dle 2m 6f
I take the ride on Some Neck for the Ricci’s. Although beaten in five bumpers, this horse always ran well without winning. I’m hoping that the longer trip in this race will bring out the best in him and he can hopefully break his duck. I take the ride on this horse then drive to Leopardstown for the ride on Ballyward in the final race so I’m hoping Some Neck is worth the drive and the sweat – I have to shed a bit to make the 11 stone 4lb but I did the same today on Haymount so it won’t be too hard. I would be hoping for a big run and it would be great to have a winner.
12.30 Goggin Buckley (Mares) M’dn H’dle 2m 2f
Danny Mullins rides Chambord Du Lys for the Supreme Racing Club. This is a French mare who was placed in France. She is working well and should go very well. We’re happy with how things are going and Danny is riding out of his skin at the moment so we’re hoping she can hit the target.
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