NAP OF THE DAY: Dysart Diamond, (1310 Leopardstown) 2pts win, 4/1:
A big day for Willie Mullins yesterday and another looks set on Day 2, starting with this mares race in which he fields six. Dysart Diamond looks the top choice off the back of an easy win here last time. She has been raised a fair bit for that, but seemed to have tons in hand and this race was the obvious next rung up the ladder.
RACE OF THE DAY: Minella Indo, (1540 Leopardstown), 1pt win, 6/4:
Some old favourites here and Delta Work is very interesting given his track record. That said we haven’t had much chance to test last year’s staying novice form with no sign yet of Champ and with Minella Indo and early faller here at Christmas. This test in deep ground should suit and in a small field he should get in a good jumping rhythm under Rachael Blackmore.
Rest Of The Card
Ha D’Or, (1340 Leopardstown), 1pt win, 10/1: whilst the juvenile hurdle looks something of a match between Quilixios and Youmdor, neither makes great appeal at the prices and this looks the one Grade 1 of the day where it could be worth taking a chance. Ha D’Or ran on well behind Zanahiyr here at Christmas in a slowly run race and may be capable of better if there is any pace on today.
Appreciate It (1410 Leopardstown), Monkfish (1510 Leopardstown) & Brandy Love, (1645 Leopardstown), 1pt win treble c 5/1
It felt a bit foolish opposing the Willie Mullins hotpots on Day 1 and watching them all sluice home. Lesson learnt. He has three more hotspots on Day 2 and with the value of opposing looking pretty thin, it’s time today to wheel out the old Willie Wonka and treble them up:
Appreciate It is a horse we have long been on ante post for Cheltenham- annoyingly for the 2m4f Ballymore. His romp here in a 2m Grade 1 at Christmas seems sure to keep him on the 2m track, and a likely easy win against the same opponents he vanquished last time should book him a place in the Supreme (dammit!).
Monkfish is a warm favourite for the 3m novice chase at Cheltenham and has looked a future Gold Cup type in his chase efforts to date. He won a good tussle with Latest Exhibition here at Christmas and this slightly shorter trip gives that rival some home, but with the ground rising testing m, this should be enough if a stamina test for another Monkfish triumph.
Brandy Love is named after an actress, so my colleagues tell me, and looks to have the closing mares bumper at her mercy. The first choice on jockey bookings she should have too much for these opponents.
Pure Genius, (1440 Leopardstown), 1pt win, 8/1: an open looking handicap although the bookies seem to think its Damalisque’s for the taking. He was certainly very impressive at Navan, but a hike in weight and distance presents a bigger challenge. We prefer another of JP’s in the Ted Walsh trained Pure Genius. He has looked a useful ko ice and win as he liked stepped up in trip last time. That wasn’t a strong race but he sneaks in here off a low weight and has the golden claim of Simon Torrens seem to good effect in winning both big handicaps here yesterday.
Braeside, (1610 Leopardstown), 1pt win, 14/1: a very competitive race in which cases can be made for many not least Crossed My Mind, Off You Go and Farclas, but they are all plenty short enough. Better value may come from novice Braeside whose only handicap run has been amply advertised by the first and third winning since. He arguably could have won that day and with his jockey taking off 7lbs he could be fairly well in here.
The Daily Yankee:
Dysart Diamond – Pure Genius – Minella Indo – Braeside
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