Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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+353 (0) 59 9721786

Leopardstown 6th February

We run four in the Grade 1 Novice Chase over 2m 5f. Capodanno (Mark Walsh) ran well when second at Punchestown last month and hopefully this is not coming too soon for such a big horse. Fighter Allen (Sean O’Keeffe) and Gaillard Du Mesnil (Bryan Cooper) are both maidens over fences so this is a tough ask for them. However, they will gain valuable experience and there is plenty of prize money on offer. Galopin Des Champs (Paul) looks best of ours after an exhibition of jumping and galloping on his chasing debut over this course and distance at Christmas. He has been working well and we are expecting a big run.

We have two runners in the Grade 1 Chase over 2m 1f. We ran Cash Back (Danny) over hurdles at Clonmel last time to get his confidence back after a few indifferent runs over fences. If all the forecast rain comes he would definitely enter the picture. Chacun Pour Soi (Paul) has won this race for the last two years and is a course and distance winner three times in all. He was very disappointing in the Tingle Creek at Sandown last time but he loves this track and on the evidence of his recent homework he should go very close.

We have three in the Grade A Handicap Chase over 2m 5f. Paul has elected to ride Blackbow who is twice a course winner here. He has plenty of weight but he is built to carry it. Annamix (Jack Foley) was fifth in a hurdle at Fairyhouse last month but we are drawing a line through that run. His early season form gives him a chance but he does need to improve. Fan De Blues (Sean O’Keeffe) has a nice racing weight and has an each-way chance in an open race.

We will have two runners in the Irish Champion Hurdle over 2 miles. Saint Roi (Mark Walsh) was third behind Sharjah in the Matheson Hurdle over this course and distance at Christmas having done a lot of the donkey work up front. He will improve and, while Honeysuckle will be hard to beat, he has every chance of finishing second. Echoes In Rain (Paul) has a big task in front of her. A first time tongue strap should help and hopefully she might improve her breeding value by finishing in the first three.

We have four in the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle over 2 miles. El Fabiolo (Sean O’Keeffe) won a maiden at Tramore impressively on New Years Day but this is a huge step up in grade. Farout (Brian Hayes) was third over this course and distance at Christmas but realistically a first four or five finish is probably the best we can hope for. Sir Gerhard (Paul) is probably our best chance. He jumped like a handicapper when winning on his hurdling debut over this course and distance.  His bumper form was very good and those two attributes should see him very competitive here. Statuaire (Danny) won the Royal Bond and that form gives her every chance here. Hopefully, a first time hood will make things easier for Danny. With her mare’s allowance, jumping ability and speed she won’t be far away.

We have six runners in the Coolmore Grade 2 Mares Bumper. Ashroe Diamond (Pat Taaffe) won a bumper at Weford and was then second in a bumper at the Galway Festival. She has her chance here. Eabha Grace (Jody Townend) won in good style on her debut at Thurles. She has a pedigree second to none and is the type who reserves her best for the racecourse. She can improve and has every chance. Flemencello will be ridden by Elliot Ohgren who has ridden plenty of winners in Sweden. She ran very free when fifth behind The Nice Guy over this course and distance at Christmas. Different tactics and the forecast rain might give her a chance of getting some black type. Nikini (Declan Lavery) and Tasiteasai (Charlie Mullins) won’t be helped by any more rain. They have a big task and a mid-division finish would be great for either of them. Pink In The Park (Patrick) was hugely impressive when landing a bumper at the Listowel Festival by 14 lengths. We put her by for this race after that and she has been in good form at home.

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