LEOPARDSTOWN TAKES CENTRE STAGE OF THE LONG WEEKEND: The score remains 13-10 to Daqman in the value battle of the big-race holiday weekend, which is all about the Irish today with two Grade-1 events at Leopardstown, the Christmas Hurdle and the Savills Chase, and Limerick surviving an inspection.
FIVE FINAL CHRISTMAS CRACKERS TOMORROW: The final Christmas fling is tomorrow at five holiday meetings: Leopardstown and Limerick again; Doncaster and Newbury in England and Kelso on the Scottish Borders. Today’s headlines:
🔹 FLOORING THEM WITH BETDAQ 17.5
🔹 ALLAHO! HERE’S A BULL’S-EYE BET
🔹 WINNING IS IN LONG MILE’S FAMILY
FLOORING THEM WITH BETDAQ 17.5
⭕ 1.15 Leopardstown (Christmas Hurdle) After winning this three years running with Apple’s Jade, Gordon Elliott doesn’t want to let go of the 60,000-euro prize.
Two of his three runners, Sire Du Berlais and The Storyteller, are past the age of Grade-1 hurdlers. They will be 9 and 10 respectively come Friday.
Yet in March this year they were separated only half a length when first and second in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, more than six lengths clear of the remainder.
However, it would appear that Jack Kennedy’s choice of the Elliott trio is the improver, Fury Road, who went down a neck, third, in the Albert Bartlett. He stepped out of novice class and won a Grade 2 on his return. I took 4.4 on BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
Ronald Pump was heading for third place behind Sire Du Berlais when he fell at the last at Navan in November. He’s a Fairyhouse specialist but ran well at this Leopardstown meeting last year, before running second in the Grade-1 Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He looked likely to haul in Honeysuckle in the Hattons Grace had the race been today’s 3m and not the 2m 4f at Fairyhouse (Bacardys finished fourth).
The Gavin Cromwell handicapper Flooring Porter is a front-runner you have to respect, supplemented at a cost of 10,000 euros. Scooted 12-lengths clear at Navan, and a win-and-place bet in an eight-runner field at 17.5 this morning.
The Bosses Oscar, whom he beat 12 lengths at Navan the last day, is among the market leaders for the Pertemps qualifier in the race before this (12.40), and could boost his chances.
⭕ 1.30 Catterick Miss Heritage is Bryony Frost’s first booked ride since winning the King George, though she picked up a spare at Kempton yesterday.
Miss Heritage, who has won at Fakenham and Huntingdon, was three lengths down behind Miranda at the final flight at Ludlow on the last day but kept on well to reduce the gap to half a length at the line. BETDAQ 3.2.
ALLAHO! HERE’S A BULL’S-EYE BET
⭕ 2.25 Leopardstown (Savills Chase) Winners of this race are a who’s-who of quality horses: Synchronised and Bobs Worth the best.
The last two winners, Delta Work and Kemboy, were one-two in the irish Gold Cup over today’s CD in February, with Presenting Percy third and Jett fourth. All four are running today.
Delta Work needed the race at Down Royal after 232 days off since Cheltenham. The years are catching up with Kemboy, who prefers a sounder surface.
RSA runner-up Minella Indo has had two easy races, dropped to Grade 2 and 3 as prep runs on his return.
But six-year-olds are four out of five, represented here by Easy Game (likes top of the ground) and Allaho, who were one-two in the beginners’ chase at this meeting a year ago.
Allaho was favourite and a length behind Minella Indo in the RSA, after coasting home 21 lengths in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse, and is said to have improved in the break.
Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins have won two each but have been outgunned in the decade by Noel Meade (3), who saddles 86.0 BETDAQ outsider Tout Est Permis, wearing blinkers first time.
Allaho and Delta Work are both 7.9 on BETDAQ as I write and I’ll bring my bull’s-eye bets into play at those offers.
WINNING IS IN LONG MILE’S FAMILY
⭕ 2.45 Limerick Dream Conti was the plunge horse in this Grade B chase of almost 2m 4f, in from 12-1 to 17-2 with bookies overnight and crunched to 5.5 at one time in BETDAQ exchanges behind market leader Off You Go.
Dream Conti won both times last year when the money was down, favourite for a big-field maiden hurdle at Naas and for a beginners’ chase at Cork in October.
This year’s best was third at Punchestown on his chasing debut in November but he afterwards made a bad mistake at 12-1 in a four-horse Grade 2 at Navan.
Winner of this twice in the last four seasons, Westerner Point held his form well in the autumn, including third in the Ladbrokes Munster National (3m) here at Limerick.
The step back up in trip may help Off You Go’s jumping but he was not fluent at Gowran Park over today’s distance, and he is 0-6 over fences.
Articulum’s form is a bridesmaid 32323, still standing, but the first reserve, Shady Operator, appears to have been got up for this: third last year off a 3lb higher mark, he ran well on his return after being switched from Joseph O’Brien to Enda Bolger. Down to 7.9 in BETDAQ in anticipation of one dropping out and letting him in.
Rocky’s Silver was second in the Cork Grand National, and Moyhenna finished in the first four in the Kerry National and the Munster National.
At 17.0 this morning, The Long Mile, progressive last term, was needing the run on his return. The dam is a half-sister to Master Of The Hall and to Pairofbrowneyes, who won this race in 2015.
12.25 Limerick (BETDAQ 6.3 this morning)
BET 10pts win VANILLIER
1.15 Leopardstown (win 20, place 6)
BET 5.5pts win FURY ROAD
BET 1.35pts win and 2pts place FLOORING PORTER
1.30 Catterick (win 20, nap)
BET 9pts win MISS HERITAGE
2.25 Leopardstown (win 50)
BULL’S-EYE BET 7.25 pts win ALLAHO
BULL’S-EYE BET 7.25 pts win DELTA WORK
2.45 Limerick (win 50, 10 place)
BULL’S-EYE BET 7pts win SHADY OPERATOR
BULL’S-EYE BET 3pts win and place THE LONG MILE
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