Horse Racing Tips: James Shortt’s 5 Festive Fancies in Ireland

PPTV's main man fired in a winner and a 3rd on Monday and here's the rest of his picks for the Festive schedule.


Irish Horse Racing Tips

Monday 13:10 LeopardstownLossiemouth
Monday 13:23 Down RoyalJack In The Box
Tuesday 15:00 LeopardstownDonkey Years
Wednesday 13:45 LeopardstownBob Olinger
Thursday 13:45 Leopardstown – Gaillard Du Mesnil


Monday 13:10 Leopardstown – Lossiemouth

LOSSIEMOUTH was impressive on her sole start in France at Auteuil for Yannick Fouin and was equally so on her Irish debut when scoring at Fairyhouse earlier this month – a performance which led to Willie Mullins saying, “I think we found a good,” in his post-race comments. It was the standout performance from a juvenile this season with the daughter of Great Pretender travelling beautifully before showing a fine turn of foot in the closing stages to win in fine fashion.

She’s our ante-post favourite for the Triumph Hurdle next March and can remain unbeaten and take this contest before returning for the Grade 1 back here at the Dublin Racing in February. Elsewhere, Gowran Park and Down Royal winner Cougar for J.P McManus and Nusret who scored for Joseph O’Brien at Punchestown last month are her biggest dangers as the Closutton team look to win this prize for the first time since 2016.

Monday 13:23 Down Royal – Jack In The Box

Gordon Elliott has a wonderful record in this 2-mile 4-furlong Beginners Chase with JACK IN THE BOX looking the one under Ben Harvey who can score on his chasing debut for the Magnier Family with a tongue tie fitted for the first-time. The son of Solider Of Fortune is related to some nice national hunt winners, including Gold Present and Presenting Julio and the move over fences should bring out more progression and see him spark.

He was lightly raced over hurdles, winning his maiden at Naas back in March before returning at Galway and finishing third at Thurles when stepping up in trip last month. The ground won’t be an issue and the drop back in trip from his disappointing effort over further at Thurles is another advantage to see the Cullentra House team land this race again, following success with Noble Endeavor (2015), Sutton Manor (2017), Isle Of Destiny (2019) and Fakir D’alene last year.


  • Odds quoted on the below widgets are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

Tuesday 15:00 Leopardstown – Donkey Years

Panda Boy has been the big ante-post mover for the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown on Tuesday with Martin Brassil’s six-year-old making his handicap debut over fences having contested graded novices at Cork and Punchestown. The majority of winners over the past decade have been seven or eight year-olds with Minella Foru (2016) and Roaring Bull (2019) the only six-year-olds to land this contest since 2012, with Colbert Station the last favourite to score that year.

DONKEY YEARS gets into the race with Mark Walsh in the saddle and looks to have a lovely profile, a handicap always targeted by leading owner J.P McManus. Eric McNamara’s runner has plenty of experience and a 134 rating looks spot on to see him run very competitively and challenge for victory. The son of Robin Des Champs has already landed a big handicap with success at Punchestown in April and comes into this race following an excellent third to The Big Dog in the Munster National in October – he’s a big player.

Wednesday 13:45 Leopardstown – Bob Olinger

After the heartbreak and devastating loss of Jack De Bromhead earlier this year everyone in racing would be ecstatic if BOB OLINGER could win the Christmas Hurdle named in young Jack’s memory on the third day of the Christmas Festival – the biggest roar of the week anywhere on both sides of the Irish sea will be heard if this horse wins and he certainly has an excellent chance. It was the right decision to bring him back hurdling this season following his sole season as a novice chaser following his earlier heroics over the smaller obstacles last year.

He came there travelling and looked the winner two from home on his return at Navan before Home By The Lee found extra to run out a surprise winner after the last in the Lismullen Hurdle.

The De Bromhead camp are heading into Christmas in excellent form with Hiddenvalley Lake, Slade Steel, Journey With Me and Inthepocket recent winners and there’s no doubt they’ll have Bob primed for this one.

Henry believes the longer trip can only improve his jumping and you would imagine he’ll be put asleep under Rachel Blackmore and will reverse the form with Joseph O’Brien’s runner and have his spark returned to see off both 2020 and 2021 winners Flooring Porter and Klassicial Dream (once declared). The Mullins horse looks the main danger after his fine return when finishing ahead of Honeysuckle when second in the Hatton’s Grace earlier this month.


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Thursday 13:45 Leopardstown – Gaillard Du Mesnil

The Neville Hotels Novice Chase has always been fantastic affair and one I love over the Christmas with big names like Pandorama, Bostons Angel, Back In Focus, Don Poli, Our Duke, Delta Work and Monkfish some previous winners worth a mention. The two powerhouses in Irish Racing in both Closutton and Cullentra House have dominated this race over the past decade with Gordon Elliott winning five of the previous seven renewals, so it will be interesting if Minella Crooner takes part following his success over fences at Fairyhouse earlier this month.

The son of Shantou has a nice profile for this race and will appreciate the step-up in trip having previously won a point-to-point at Cork and scoring easily in a maiden hurdle over 3-miles at Punchestown in January.

However, it’s Irish Grand National third GAILLARD DU MESNIL who gets the vote to score for Willie Mullins and looks sure to improve from his comeback run when second in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse’s Winter Festival.

His hurling form was top-notch, he likes the track here at Leopardstown and despite not winning over fences yet, this looks a fine opportunity considering his efforts behind Galophin Des Champs and L’Homme Presse last season. We’ll see a much-improved runner on Thursday following his seasonal return behind Mighty Potter and he’ll provide us with a winner on the closing day of the Christmas Festival in Dublin.

Horse Racing Tips

Monday 13:10 LeopardstownLossiemouth
Monday 13:23 Down RoyalJack In The Box
Tuesday 15:00 LeopardstownDonkey Years
Wednesday 13:45 LeopardstownBob Olinger
Thursday 13:45 Leopardstown – Gaillard Du Mesnil

*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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