*Odds quoted on some races below are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run you will lose your stake under Antepost rules.
ASTERION FORLONGE can improve further from his debut victory over fences at Punchestown to land the feature race at Limerick on St Stephen’s Day. Going right-handed here will be a positive and he’s bound to improve on several slight mistakes at Punchestown.
The form of that victory has been boosted with Conflated hacking up at Navan with several others securing place finishes in races afterwards. Janidil and Colreevy also run here for the Mullins team with no Envoi Allen to worry about among a small declared field of five-runners. The champion trainer has won five of the last ten-renewals and looks bound to secure back to back wins after Faugheen’s success last year.
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The Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase could be a very interesting affair with the second-best rated chaser in Ireland, CHACUN POUR SOI, having his second start of the season. He beat very little at Cork on return, but it turned out to be a nice starting point before facing much better rivals over Christmas and beyond. Ruby Walsh thinks he looks sharper for the run and will hopefully improve further to win this Grade 1 on Sunday.
Henry de Bromhead runs Put The Kettle On here following the Covid travel restrictions with the UK which were announced earlier this week. His participation here alongside stable-mate Notebook and makes this an exciting contest. The better the opposition here, the better chance Chacun Pour Soi might turn into a much more valuable price compared to his earlier ante-post standing.
Joseph O’Brien is coming into the Christmas period in good form with Battle Of Actium, Fils D’oudairies and Jack Dillinger all recent jumping winners over the past week. KESKONRISK could be a dark horse here against the likes of Appreciate It and Ballyadam. He showed a lovely turn of foot after the last to beat Indigo Breeze on the line at Fairyhouse after the Elliott runner got first run on him turning for home.
He was sold to new connections for €370,000 having won a bumper for Timmy Hyde and will appreciate a fast gallop here and might surprise plenty in a race which has only produced three-winning favourites in the past decade.
The race of the Christmas period in Ireland with all the big-names likely to run here in a rematch to a classic encounter from last year. Monalee is expected to run here after the introduction of travel restrictions with the UK, while stable-mate Minealla Indo and possible runs for A Plus Tard and The Storyteller add to the Savills Chase puzzle – it looks a serious Christmas cracker.
I’m hoping DELTA WORK can improve from Down Royal and become the first horse since Beef Or Salmon (2004/5) to secure back to back wins in this race.
The 170 rated chaser has shown previously he improves from his seasonal opener and like 12-months ago will be staying on at the bitter end of this Grade 1. He was staying on at Down Royal and only beaten by just over six-lengths by The Storyteller and despite Presenting Percy looking fit and well, I’m hopeful Jack Kennedy will continue his partnership with the Gigginstown runner and go close to victory.
Ruby Walsh’s post-race analysis of the Morgiana Hurdle on Racing TV needs to be watched again as our Racing Ambassador couldn’t have summed up the race and the defeat of SAINT ROI any better. The key area at Punchestown came between the third and second last were the Mullins recruit was stuck inside with Abacadabras able to get a first run and jockey Mark Walsh having to sit back and suffer until getting his horse into full momentum after the last.
“I think the best horse didn’t win.”
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 15, 2020
Having been keen in-running and those unlucky race-tactics all played into the defeat of Saint Roi, but hopefully he’ll reverse the form with Gordon’s horse next Tuesday.
Subject to declarations, Sharjah, Saldier and Petit Mouchoir should make the pace a strong one, while Aspire Tower could be the biggest danger as another strong Christmas runner for Henry de Bromhead. The improving four-year-old beat Abacadabras fair and square at Down Royal and won here at the Christmas festival last year.
It’s another cracking contest at Leopardstown to look forward to and hopefully the Mullins team can land a seventh victory over the past decade here with Saint Roi.
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