Leopardstown 28th December
12.15 At The Races M’dn H’dle 2m 4f
Montalbano is the stable representative in the opening race. Ruby rides him and will be looking to win the opening race for the third day in a row. This horse makes his debut in Ireland after finishing second in Auteuil in March. He can be quite keen so he will have a hood on him but he has shown an awful lot at home and looks quite smart so it would be disappointing if he couldn’t do the business and continue our good run of form this week.
12.50 Pertemps Network H’cap H’dle (Qualifier) 3m
Ruby Walsh rides Noble Inn and this looks a tough assignment for him carrying a big weight of 11 stone 2lb on his seasonal return. Danny Mullins rides Wood Breizh who gets in on a lovely weight of 10 stone 4lb. The ground and trip are perfect for him and with a nice low weight he can go very well for Danny who is riding brilliantly this season – he would have a great e/w chance. I think our best chance in this race comes in the form of Isleofhopendreams who gets in at the bottom of the handicap. Andrew Ring takes 5lb off his back so he runs carrying just 9 stone 5lb which gives him a great chance. We think he’s really well handicapped and looks great value at the forecasted prices.
1.20 Ballymaloe Foods Beginners Chase 2m 3f
Bleu Et Rouge is ridden by Barry Geraghty in this hot looking chase. He won a Grade 1 over hurdles last season and has schooled very well at home. With a clear run I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t bang there at the finish. There are several Grade 1 winning hurdlers in this race and it should be great to watch. Danny takes the ride on Bosman Rule who is a half brother to Kicking King. He has won a couple of races and is coming back from injury so we’d expect him to improve from the run here.
1.50 Squared Financial Christmas H’dle (Grade 1) 3m
Three from the yard go in this race. Ruby rides Vroum Vroum Mag. We think the step up in trip should pose no problems to her and should help her settle. She will improve from her run last time out I think she will get back to winning ways. I take the ride on Shaneshill, a horse who always runs his race and always gets some prize money. The ground will suit him and he’s a great backup to have if Vroum Vroum Mag doesn’t fire on the day. He’s a lovely horse and I’m really looking forward to riding him. Clondaw Warrior is taking a step up in class but he stays very well on the flat so we think that the step up to 3m along with the yielding ground won’t pose any problems to him. He should go well and will hopefully be in the money with a bit of luck.
3.00 Lexus Chase (Grade 1) 3m
We send Djakadam for this race and I think he has a great chance. I think he has the best form and I don’t see the ground posing any problems to him. He’s stepping back up to 3m after winning the John Durkan a few weeks back and he’ll love the step up again. He has beaten Don Poli and Valseur Lido in the past and although it’s a very competitive race I do think he’s the best horse in the race. He should be very hard to beat and with a bit of luck he’ll do the business.
3.35 Midlands Legal Solicitors INH Flat Race 2m
I take the ride on Carter Mckay. He has won a P2P and has impressed me with how he’s working at home. Judging by what he has shown me in his work, I think he’s more than capable of landing a bumper of this nature and I’m hoping for a big run from him.
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