There are a few short-priced bankers on the first day of Leopardstown’s Christmas fixture, and Footpad (2.20) may be the best of them, with Death Duty helping to make the market for the favourite, but vulnerable at the trip in ground on the quick side for the time of year.

Cardinal Capital Handicap Hurdle

The handicaps on the card should provide more ammunition for value seekers, however, and we should get a fair price about Champagne Pat (1.50) in the Cardinal Capital Handicap Hurdle. The four-year-old gelding was far from disgraced in the big juvenile event on this card last year, and started life in handicaps on what looks a very competitive mark, a point he’s proved with excellent efforts to be placed on both starts after a break this season. Second to Lex Talionis at Punchestown in October, he was favoured to beat that rival at Navan next time, but could only finish third, although was badly hampered there, and is clearly better than the result. I reckon Jonathan Sweeney has had this race in mind since, and the Rathcormac handler gets excellent results with a small string.

Cerealice showed plenty of ability in bumpers and has been handed a potentially lenient mark on her handicap bow over timber, so is feared most, and this half-sister to the smart Bacardys has the look of a gamble about her.


Bet Through The Racing Post App Handicap Chase

In the Bet Through The Racing Post App Handicap Chase, it may pay to forgive Lake Takapuna (2.55) a stinker of a run on rain-sodden ground in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November, and this represents a marked drop in class for the Jim Culloty charge, who won this contest off a slightly lower mark a year ago, and has caught the eye a couple of times since.


Good ground is a bonus for Lake Takapuna, and he would have gone close in the Leopardstown Chase in January but for a last-fence blunder. Blast of Koeman was hit and miss as a hurdler, but Robert Tyner’s gelding is a half-brother to smart staying handicap chaser Theatre Guide, and he looked a much more reliable proposition over fences when winning at Fairyhouse last month, and he’s a potent threat if progressing as expected.



Champagne Pat

Lake Takapuna

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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