I’ll be at Leopardstown over the next few days and I don’t know a whole lot about SEA WEED, who is my first ride of the festival. He’s trained by Tony Martin and has only run once at Navan, so this ride is a little unknown, but we’ll be hoping he can be competitive in the first race.
I am on TOP OF THE RA in the 1.50 Handicap Hurdle, who has a very good chance. I won a bumper with him three years ago and if the ground is not too soft, he has a great chance.
The Racing Post Novice Chase is a very hot race and I’ll be on THREE STARS for Henry De Bromhead. We have experience in this one, so may have a very small chance, but that being said we might find it a little hard, especially up against horses like MIN and IDENTITY THIEF, who will be very hard to split. IDENTITY THIEF was a high class hurdler and MIN was a very good novice hurdler, so it will be a quick race no matter what the ground is like, so jumping and experience might tell a lot.
My final ride of the day will be LAKE TAKAPUNA in the 2.55 Handicap Chase. Again, I don’t know too much about him, but if he jumps well and travels on soft ground he’ll be in with a chance.
Over in the UK, Kempton Park should be a great day of racing today. The Christmas Hurdle has some super runners, but I think YANWORTH is the one to beat and he’ll want to win this race well to be considered good enough to be a serious Champion Hurdle contender in March.
In The King George VI, any one of CUE CARD, THISTLECRACK, JOSSES HILL, SILVINIACO CONTI or TEA FOR TWO would be great rides to pick up, they’re all good horses, who are capable of winning the race, but as I mentioned in last week’s blog with RacingFX, I’d say CUE CARD could have the edge.
I ride STELLAR NOTION in tomorrow’s Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown, who I came second on in the Munster National and if he’s in the same sort of form, he could run a big race. He travels well, jumps great, but just needs a bit of soft ground and could take some beating.
There are plenty of great races to look forward to in the next few days, where we’ll see DOUVAN run at Leopardstown tomorrow, who should win his race comfortably. If I’m totally honest, it’s not the most competitive Grade 1, but racing can make a fool out of you, so they’d be wanting another big performance out of him to continue his excellent form.
The Lexus Chase on Wednesday will be exciting, and I think it should be between VALSEUR LIDO and DJAKADAM. DJAKADAM was good enough the last day and he will improve on his last run. VALSEUR LIDO has a lot of class, goes on soft ground and will go round Leopardstown well. He’ll be hard to beat over three miles so it should be a great race if they all show up.