A truly fabulous card at Leopardstown today with fascinating handicap and Grade 1 action.
In the Christmas Chase we are already invested in Sizing John (“It Might Be A Merry Christmas”), where the win of Might Bite leaves us with 2pts at an effective 11/2 on the 5/4 favourite- we’re very happy to let that ride without addition.
The Grade 1 3m Hurdle sees a fascinating clash between two Cheltenham Festival winners in Apple’s Jade and Nichols Canyon, with Apples likely to have the edge.
We will be paying close interest in that race to Baupame who was a top notch juvenile last year when looking likely to need further. We’re not generally fans of 4yos going as far as this, 2m4f may eventually be the trip, so we will leave him unbacked today – with funds set aside for Coral Cup weights day in late Feb !!
The race for a bet is the notorious Pertemps qualifier (1250). Recent rule changes now require a prominent finish to qualify for the Cheltenham final, which our beloved Presenting Percy did when an eye catching 5th here last year.
The favourites look strong, with the Mullins 4yo Didero Vallis under just 10st 1lb of Katie Walsh (well done for keeping off the mince pies Katie) looking particularly dangerous.
Last year’s 6th, Billy’s Hope, steps back from chasing still on a decent mark and could reward each way support.
For our bet though we will chance another returning from a novice chase campaign in Babbling Stream for the in form Henry de Bromhead yard.
This lightly raced 6yo will be contesting his very first handicap having had a light novice hurdle campaign last season with a good debut win and a reasonable 5th in Grade 2 company.
His chasing campaign at least has him race fit, and this switch back to hurdling is an interesting move. As a son of Authorised you would think hurdling long distances will suit, and this will be his first test at anything like this trip.
It doesn’t feel like a frivolous move to interrupt a chasing career to try to qualify in this race, and Babbling Stream may well reward each way investment.
Recommendation: Babbling Stream, (1250 Leopardstown), 0.5pts each way, 33/1 generally available
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