ROCKY’S SILVER will need to produce another personal best having gone up 11 lb for his Punchestown success, but it was a taking performance and there may be more to come from him over fences. He gets the nod ahead of British raider Onefortheroadtom, who will be a big threat if reproducing the form of his Cheltenham reappearance. The consistent Charlie Stout and Shanroe Al C are others with claims.
Willie Mullins has landed two of the last three renewals of this race and THE BIG GETAWAY could be another for the yard. The imposing five-year-old achieved a useful level of form in bumpers and looks just the type to improve further now going up in trip over hurdles. He should prove hard to beat. Cobbler’s Way chased home a highly-regarded novice at Navan and is feared most ahead of January Jets and Sempo.
A fourth successive victory in this race beckons for Willie Mullins, courtesy of STORMY IRELAND. She had little trouble in dispatching with Black Tears, Eglantine du Seuil and Barra (in that order) at Punchestown and is equally effective over this trip. Eglantine du Seuil, one of three fellow Mullins inmates, was returning from a break there and may reverse the placings with Black Tears this time.
This looks a cracking renewal of this Grade 1 and it is hard to get away from the claims of BATTLEOVERDOYEN who now gets to tackle three miles for the first time. As expected, he has quickly made up into a much better chaser, and looked an outstanding prospect when winning the Florida Pearl at Punchestown last time. He was never stronger than at the finish on that occasion and he looks one of the best staying novices around at present.
Last season’s standout novice KLASSICAL DREAM tasted defeat for the first time since joining Willie Mullins when third in the Morgiana on his seasonal return, but there were mitigating circumstances that day and he is likely to be seen in a better light now. The five-year-old certainly won’t have things all his own way, though, with impressive Down Royal winner Coeur Sublime and the classy Darasso expected to offer stern resistance.
Gavin Cromwell saddled the winner of this 12 months ago and can repeat the dose with FLOORING PORTER, who did the job well when making a winning handicap debut at Cork and dropping back in trip here shouldn’t be an issue. Millen To One is an intriguing candidate off what looks a potentially handy mark and is next best ahead of similarly unexposed types Cavalry Charge and Definite Plan.
This should boil down to a straight fight between the Gigginstown-owned duo, ERIC BLOODAXE and Wide Receiver. The latter did nothing wrong when making a winning Rules debut at Navan but preference is for Eric Bloodaxe, who lowered the colours of the highly-touted Ferny Hollow on his introduction at Fairyhouse and he looks a bright prospect. Hollow Sound is best of the rest.
- Leopardstown 12:10 – Rocky’s Silver
- Leopardstown 12:45 – The Big Getaway
- Leopardstown 13:20 – Stormy Ireland
- Leopardstown 13:55 – Battleoverdoyen
- Leopardstown 14:30 – Klassical Dream
- Leopardstown 15:05 – Flooring Porter
- Leopardstown 15:40 – Eric Bloodaxe