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Update Sunday 8am: All racing at Chepstow and Limerick today has been abandoned due to waterlogged tracks.
Dark Voyager was good at Ballinrobe when second to Zanahiyr, but disappointed a little behind Druid’s Altar at Punchestown. Joseph O’Brien’s FLYING SCOTSMAN was too good for Dark Voyager on their Flat meeting and may prove too good again for him on Sunday in the Leopardstown opener.
We’ve been looking forward to KLASSICAL DREAM’s chasing debut for a bit now, and this race has been picked out for him for a while. He has got a lot of jumping done at home and is in good form. He likes to get on with his job and is brave and accurate. We’re very happy with the former Supreme Novice Hurdle winner. He could be my bet of the day.
Chacun Por Soi looks to be a lot sharper for his Cork run. I was a little underwhelmed that day, but he has improved a lot since that comeback victory. Henry de Bromhead’s two runners, Notebook and Put the Kettle On, were good novices. But, Chacun Por Soi has 9lbs in hand of them on official ratings.
He’s the second-best rated chaser in Ireland behind Al Boum Photo and as a flag bearer for the yard. We’re hoping he’s improved enough from Cork to follow up now.
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This is a cracking novices’ hurdle, and it looks a match between Ballyadam and APPRECIATE IT. If you’re a Willie Mullins fan you’re with Appreciate It (like I am) and if you’re on Gordon Elliott’s side than Ballyadam is for you.
This is a proper race. They were both really good bumper horses last season, and Ballyadam is two-from-two over hurdles. I’m a fan of Appreciate It, but would be wary of Ballyadam. Keskonrisk was very good on his debut to, but it looks a race to savour between the two market leaders.
If the ground stays dry, then HYBERY has a chance. Of the others, Master McShee was second to Appreciate It in a maiden hurdle in November and then ran out a very convincing winner of a maiden hurdle in Cork earlier this month. It’s a brave move going straight into a handicap so soon afterwards, but he could be well in.
Willie Mullins saddles one of the market leaders in CASTLEBAWN WEST, who was third behind Daly Tiger and Tornado Flyer at Punchestown recently and has form at Leopardstown. He carries top weight and Minella Times, who has snuck in at the bottom, will get plenty of weight off him.
Dunvegan is classy but has to prove he stays the 3m trip. He is one for the shortlist though. It’s just a typical Paddy Power Chase, and a case can be make for most of the 22 runners in a contest where Paddy is paying six places. I wouldn’t put anyone off Castlebawn West though.
I was disappointed when REALITY CHEQUE got beaten on debut at Fairyhouse by Highland Charge. There was very little in it that day and I’m hopeful Reality Cheque can recoup my losses – let alone anyone else’s – in the final race on Sunday.
12:05 Leopardstown – Flying Scotsman
12:35 Leopardstown – Klassical Dream
13:10 Leopardstown – Chacun Por Soi
13:45 Leopardstown – Appreciate It
14:20 Leopardstown – Hybery
14:55 Leopardstown – Castlebawn West
15:30 Leopardstown – Reality Cheque
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