Frank Hickey has identified three top bets at Leopardstown that could get your Irish Champions Weekend off to a flying start.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth, our top trader picked out a trio of markets worth checking out – including one without Irish Champion Stakes favourite Ghaiyyath.
This looks a cracking renewal and Paddy is offering us 5 places, which is a massive help.
Persia is the one that could be chucked in now going handicapping. Placed in a Group 3 here last year as a juvenile, an opening mark of 100 could really underestimate him and the only concern is that he hasn’t run in nearly a year. If he is fully wound up, he could prove tough to beat.
The one I like at a decent price is GRANDMASTER FLASH for the in-form Joseph O’Brien stable. He has run really well on his last two starts off a mark of 88. He was third beaten a length and a half in the Ebor Trial at The Curragh and followed that up with a fifth in the two-mile premier handicap at Galway, beaten less than two lengths by Princess Zoe.
Princess Zoe was running there off a mark of 83 and followed up later in the week and won at Listed level earlier this week. Golden Spear was third and Zenon was fourth, and they were the first two home in a premier handicap at Killarney since, with Zenon coming out in front. Grandmaster Flash has been dropped a pound to a mark of 87 and he nicely drawn in stall six. I can see him outrunning his odds.
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Ghaiyyath will be very tough to beat and has already beaten Japan and Magical this season, so there will be plenty of longs faces if he gets beaten. He is too short to be backing but I still think there is a bet in the race.
In the Without Ghaiyyath market, I think SOTTSASS makes plenty of appeal. An impressive winner over Persian King in last year’s French Derby, he was third in the Arc behind Walkgeist and Enable and I think this season has been all about two races for him – The Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc.
He should get a decent pace to aim at and it’s not impossible to think he could win the race but I do think he will be running on strongly at the finish and can take care of Magical and Japan. I don’t think the 10-furlong trip is ideal for Japan and it must be a negative for Magical that Ryan Moore has picked Japan.
TIGER MOTH should be very difficult to beat here. He won his maiden here earlier in the season, and there were plenty of subsequent winners in behind that day, and he followed it up with a fantastic second to Santiago in the Irish Derby – only going down by a neck.
The only concern here is that we haven’t seen him since, but if he is fully fit he should take plenty of beating in receipt of the favourable three-year-old weight for age allowance.
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Frank Hickey’s Leopardstown bet summary – Saturday, September 12
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