* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
French Dynamite stepped up on his Cork debacle by winning cosily last time out and has huge potential, while Capodanno has the best form in the book following a game second to Bob Olinger in the Kildare, but GALOPIN DES CHAMPS has huge potential and probably a fair bit more. He fenced with aplomb on his chasing debut and travelled like the wrath of god so the chasing world could be his oyster. I very rarely get carried away by a first time success, but he has the physique to take high rank this spring and this looks a perfect stepping stone to greater things if not an attractive betting opportunity.
With Irish raider Calvados having been on the go for some time and looking as he was feeling the effects of such a stretch last time out at Leopardstown just before the turn of the year, his shrewd trainer has reached for the visor. However, he will have to bounce back to see off the very solid claims of the Impulsive Air and the selection INCA PRINCE. The former has loads of flat speed and will be well suited to this tight track, but at the prices Ruth Jefferson’s hat-trick seeker may have the edge. I was hugely impressed by his course and distance win last time out and there could be plenty more left in the tank.
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Back on home turf and at a track where CHACUN POUR SOI‘s form figures read 2111, the Willie Mullins’ charge can re-ignite his campaign by following up his six length success last year in this race. I felt Patrick was way too aggressive on him in the Tingle Creek at Sandown Park and he paid hugely for that in the closing stages. He is a much better horse stalking and getting a lead which is what he did here 12 months ago and then using that massive stride to put his rivals to bed over the final quarter mile.
There is isn’t much between the top three of these novices on the official ratings and 10lbs separates the top five which makes this an intriguing affair. The four-timer seeking Since One Day has won all of his races on stiff tracks so this will be the ultimate speed test for him, while Restandbethankful’s form hardly looks the strongest. This looks a cracking opportunity for SOCIALIST AGENDA to take another step forward. Unbeaten in three bumpers, I loved the way he knuckled down to his work both at Cheltenham and Catterick and his fluent jumping will prove a huge asset around here.
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This looks very competitive, but if you look at most of the big field handicap chases at the Dublin track down through the years they nearly always get racing from some way out and although the ground won’t be testing as normal at this time of the year, this could suit a hold up horse that stays slightly further – cue the novice selection MAX FLAMINGO. He may well have been beaten 18 lengths in the Neville Hotels over three miles here, but jumped beautifully in the main and was merely tapped for toe by his Grade One rivals. A mark of 135 is probably about right and if he takes another step forward I want him on my side against Birchdale (out of the handicap, but fancied) and the enigmatic Samcro.
This lightly raced novice COASTAL WORLD was also entered in the big handicap hurdles at Sandown Park and Leopardstown this weekend so the fact connections have finally declared him here makes for interesting reading. The rain expected into Sunday will be a huge plus for him and he remains the least exposed in the field following a cracking run when fifth of 15 at Leopardstown in December. The seven-year-old can make the most of the weight he is set to receive from the now well handicapped, but disappointing Saint Sonnet and Capilano Bride. The latter is surely much better than he showed last time out at Cheltenham and this is easier.
Simply HONEYSUCKLE the champ…
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There are few you can leave out of calculations in this two mile handicap chase and with several of the runners set to be involved at the sharp end initially this could be a real test of slick jumping around this sharp track. In that department, the selection FANZIO gets a B+. You can forget his run last time out at Kempton as the ground was way too soft and he simply didn’t get home over an extra half mile. With rain forecast and a pace to tow him through the race he can make his class tell against the likes of Cedar Hill and Glajou; the last named looks far from the finished article from a yard still struggling for form.
Apart from the handicap chase, this is the most attractive betting race on the card and the giant stride of Sir Gerhard will try and put his rivals to the sword with his devouring stride from the off. If he takes another step forward and jumps cleanly it is quite obvious that he will be desperately hard to beat. Three Stripe Life has the best form in the book when second to Mighty Potter in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle here, but he was well held that day and I am tempted to give the selection MY MATE MOZZIE another chance. He gave away his chance behind Statuaire in the Royal Bond with some sloppy jumping, but was still far from disgraced giving up 7lbs to the mare and a clean round could see him right in the mix here.
Paul Jacobs’ best bets:
Leopardstown 13:20 – GALOPIN DES CHAMPS
Musselburgh 13:32 – INCA PRINCE
Leopardstown 13:50 – CHACUN POUR SOI
Musselburgh 14:05 – SOCIALIST AGENDA
Leopardstown 14:25 – MAX FLAMINGO
Musselburgh 14:40 – COASTAL WORLD
Leopardstown 15:00 – HONEYSUCKLE
Musselburgh 15:15 – FANZIO
Leopardstown 15:35 – MY MATE MOZZIE
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
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