The Daily Yankee:
NAP OF THE DAY: Speaker Connolly, (1610 Leopardstown), 2pts win, 11/2 generally available
Alan Fleming’s novice chaser had shown nothing until his handicap debut here over Christmas when he destroyed the field. He also destroyed a number of the fences and that is both the challenge and opportunity here. The rise in class will put more pressure on his jumping, but equally it need only improve a bit (and it should as he gains experience), and it could unlock more progress. He looks like a horse going places, that course win has been given support by the classy win of well-beaten runner up Poker Party at Naas, and this looks a stepping stone on the path previously taken by Cheltenham winning Tully East for the same connections.
Dallas Des Pictons, (1425 Leopardstown), 5/1: represents the bang in form Gordon Elliott and jockey Jack Kennedy. Has improved with each run this season culminating in an impressive maiden win at Punchestown last time. A mark of 130 is a handicapper’s best guess but may not capture his rate of progress, or his potential at this longer trip.
La Bague Au Roi, (1500 Leopardstown), 2/1: we’ve been big sceptics of the few U.K. challengers this weekend but one could strike here. Warren Greatrex’s mare brings the best form courtesy of a brave win from RSA favourites Santini and Topofthegame. Her weight allowance leaves her best in on figures and she should enjoy this track. Delta Work leads the home defence and has looked good so far but this will be far more difficult.
Road To Respect, (1535 Leopardstown), 2/1: was probably unlucky to finish third here over Christmas and only has a head to find to catch the runner up Monalee. Al Boum Photo may be the bigger danger as these conditions will be ideal. That said, he might find Road To Respect a fraction too classy.
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