Thursday’s Irish Racing Tips: Leopardstown4 min read
There’s another exciting day of racing from Leopardstown on Thursday with the Christmas Hurdle and the Christmas Chase and plenty of great horses to keep an eye on.
Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle
Apple’s Jade is well up to winning this assuming she stays the three-mile trip. She has been regarded as a stayer for her current yard, but I’m one of the few who would love her pitched against Buveur D’Air and Faugheen in the Champion, and I’d not be dismayed if she was beaten here if her stamina was found wanting. That may be wishful thinking, but there is a degree of value in taking her on at three miles, especially bearing in mind how proven stayer Supasundae (1.20) shaped against her in the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse, appearing to blow up before staying on strongly into third. It’s bonkers that he’s so much bigger in the betting than Nichols Canyon based on that running, and there is every chance that he can give the brilliant Apple’s Jade a fright with conditions in his favour.
Leopardstown Christmas Chase
It’s hard to imagine a better field that could have been assembled for the Christmas Chase. Plenty will be keen on mercurial Yorkhill as he seeks to underline his Gold Cup claims. I’m far from convinced about the suitability of the latter race, however, and it seems to me that the longer Yorkhill has to think about what’s going on around him, the more that can go awry. He still rates a threat at this track and trip, but his idiosyncrasies are not really catered for in his price, and the ultra-straightforward Sizing John ought to have his beating.
Sizing John is rarely spectacular, and has never enjoyed the sort of reputation which is afforded to Yorkhill, but his achievements speak for themselves, and a haul since stepped up to this trip of an Irish Gold Cup, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup is both remarkable and unprecedented. Throw in the John Durkan on his return, and it’s clear that we’ve been entertaining angels unawares with this modern phenomenon. His profile should make him almost unbackable, and yet he’s freely available at 6/4. That price should not be questioned.