After Yanworth impressed in Kempton’s version of the Christmas Hurdle, it’s Leopardstown’s chance to shine with a race of the same name at 1.50pm.
Vroum Vroum Mag had more engagements than Liz Hurley this week, but Willie Mullins’ mare will finally get her chance to shine. She’s clear on Timeform ratings and should come on for her Hatton’s Grace run, however the value might lie with Snow Falcon at 9/2 who is a strong stayer and he can take top honours if none the worse for his fall in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month.
Noel Meade’s star looks to have ideal conditions and he can see off the likes of Clondaw Warrior and Shaneshill.
The Lexus Chase at 3pm looks a belter of a renewal and Djakadam is the horse to beat. Willie Mullins’ charge has been a runner-up in last the last two Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups but he got his head back in front when winning the John Durkan (for the second successive year) last time out, beating Outlander into second.
He faces that rival again, but can claim another big-race win for Mullins and owners Rich and Susannah Ricci. Valseur Lido looks a big danger, having hacked up in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal last time, however runner-up Silviniaco Conti is no world-beater these days and he was easily brushed aside in the King George at Kempton yesterday.
The 2014 Lexus winner Road To Riches swerved a trip to Kempton in favour of this race and he is capable of outrunning his odds, despite not shining on his reappearance at Gowran in October.
The best other bets on the card include Acapella Bourgeois in the 1.20pm Beginners Chase who shaped as if needing the run when third behind Martello Tower and A Genie In Abottle at Fairyhouse earlier this month.
The runner-up has won since and the form looks likely to work out better than that ill-fated attempt to get granny playing Twister on Christmas Day. Acapella Bourgeois can beat Gangster who shaped nicely on his chasing debut and will be suited by the longer trip here.
In the very first race the Maiden Hurdle at 12.15pm, Black Key isn’t the usual recruit for Gigginstown, however he ran well on his hurdling bow at Navan earlier this month. He has a big chance, but the French recruit Montalbano looks the most interesting on his debut for Willie Mullins. Montalbano’s second in a listed race in France stands up to close inspection and he can make a winning Irish debut.