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Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Leopardstown 29th December

We have two runners in the 2m 4f maiden hurdle. Stattler (Paul) was third at Naas on his hurdling debut and we are expecting him to improve a lot from that run. He will love this trip and the testing ground and we are expecting a big run. Glens Of Antrim (Mark Walsh) will improve from her fourth behind Blue Lord over 2 miles at Punchestown last month and with her mares’ allowance she should run well.

We run three in the Grade 3 Mares Hurdle over 2m 4f. Concertista (Paul) looked really good when winning at Fairyhouse last month and is probably our best chance here. On ratings she has a bit to find with Black Tears but she is on an upward curve and should go close. Buildmeupbuttercup (David) is in great form but, depending on the pace of the race, she just might find this trip too far. My Sister Sarah (Bryan Cooper) is suited by the race conditions and while she would prefer further she could be good each-way value.

Monkfish (Paul) goes for the Grade 1 Novice Chase over 3 miles. He was very impressive on his chasing debut at Fairyhouse and if can put up a similar performance today it will take a good one to beat him.

We have three runners in the Grade 1 Hurdle over 2 miles. Saint Roi (Mark Walsh) was a bit unlucky in the Morgiana last time and if we can get the tactics right today he should run a big race. Saldier (Paul) has been off a long time but has been working well and we need to get a run into him. He might be best watched today. Sharjah (Patrick) has a fantastic record in this race and can’t be dismissed. However, the recent rain will have blunted his chance.

Eurotiep (Aubrey McMahon) runs in the winners bumper. Aubrey did well on him at Punchestown and a similar performance here would give him every chance.