Preview of the final day of the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown

By Luke (@lukekeena1) and Killian ( @KillianBroderi1)

12:10- Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs.
Seventeen runners head to post for this ultra competitive Handicap. I like two runners in this competitive race. The Ted Walsh trained Roxboro Road, was last seen at Punchestown when he slipped on the bend. He won his beginners chase in March over course and distance. He then went on to win a handicap hurdle impressively at Fairyhouse. He is only six and relatively unexposed over fences. I think with luck in running he will go close with Simon Torrens in the saddle.

I also think Persian Wind will run a good race at a double figure price. He was last seen finishing third behind Fairly Legal and Shanroe Al C. He made several jumping mistakes and only has half a length to find with Shanroe Al C. If he can brush up his jumping I think he will go close at a double figure price.

Killian’s Selection:

I think a mark of 119 is very fair for Best Behaviour’s handicap debut. He unseated in his first two runs over fences. I thought he was an eye-catcher last time, when staying on under a gentle ride to finish fifth in a decent beginners chase. Best Behaviour won a 2m 3f EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle on heavy ground quite nicely in February 2018 at Naas. His next run was his stand out piece of form. In a rated novice hurdle he managed to beat Minella Fair to second and finish 7 lengths behind Uradel. A reproduction of his hurdle should see him go close in this contest. Barry Browne also claims 2 pounds to make his task a bit easier.

12:45- Pigsbank.com Maiden Hurdle over two miles and a half.
Cobbler’s Way ran a nice hurdle debut finishing behind Andy Dufresne with Alpine Cobra a further five and a half lengths back in third. Andy Dufresne was since second in a Grade Two. Alpine Cobra also boosted the form when finishing second in a Grade Three at Cork. I think Cobbler’s Way will improve for the run and go close with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle.

1:20- Advent Insurance Irish EBF Mares Hurdle.
Elfile won nicely on seasonal reappearance at Thurles. Her best run came at Fairyhouse when she finished second behind Honeysuckle over two miles and four furlongs. She will enjoy the return to the trip and I think she will go close with Robbie Power in the saddle.

1:55 – Nevills Hotel Novice Chase over three miles.
Battleoverdoyen is the worthy favourite after two good runs over fences. He was a work man like winner of the Florida Pearl Chase at Punchestown last time out over just short of three miles. He bet the 150 rated Any Second Now by five lengths. The further he went the better he got.

IMG_7821Battleoverdoyen

For the same team that won the race two seasons ago with Monalee, Minella Indo makes his second start over fences. He made his chase debut at Gowran last month. He finished second to Laurina over a trip short of his best. It was a lovely introduction to fences. He was a top class hurdler winning two Grade Ones last season. He won the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham and also won a Grade One at Punchestown at the end of the season. He is made for chasing and I think he will be the one to beat for the in from combination of Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.

Carefully Selected and Champagne Classic seem like two strong stayers. Before Carefully Selected made his chase debut at Fairyhouse I thought he would win the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham and I think that will be his main aim. I think if one if the first two in the market dont win I would be disappointed.

IMG_7820Champagne Classic

Selection- Minella Indo

2:30- Matheson Hurdle over two miles.
Klassical Dream was beaten on seasonal reappearance when he could only manage to finish third behind Saldier. I think he doesn’t jump quick enough to be a champion hurdler. He put in some big jumps at Punchestown that look great but aren’t economical and wastes time in the air. If he is to be a champion hurdle winner he has to win this.

IMG_7823Klassical Dream

I like Coeur Subline who had a bloodless victory at Down Royal first time out. He won by fifteen lengths beating Coko Beach. He was second in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham behind Pentland Hills. He is an improving four year who I think will go close with Davy Russell in the saddle.

At a double figure price I think Petit Mouchoir will run a good race. He finished second in the Morgiana behind Saldier. That was a return to form. He enjoyed making the running and fought hard when briefly dropped to third but regained second before the line. He won this race three years ago . At a double figure price I think he could run a good race.

IMG_7822Petit Mouchoir

Selection- Coeur Sublime and Petit Mouchoir e/w

3:05 – Irish Stallions EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle

Killian’s Selections

It often pays to follow Gavin Cromwell in handicap hurdles, especially if one of his runners is well backed. I was at Cork when Flooring Porter won with plenty up his sleeve over 3 miles. The handicapper has raised him 13 pounds for that. I’m not sure that will stop this rapidly improving Yeats gelding. A slight concern is the drop back to 2m 4f, but there should be a strong gallop and stamina will be needed. Cavalry Master is a danger from the in form Henry De Bromhead yard

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