Leopardstown is once again centre stage today with a couple of Grade One races. With the way it's been out in the Emerald Isle this week I am tipping two short ones in a win double somewhat tentatively; I wouldn't blame you if you left it well alone.
Before the two G.1's they have the Grade Three Willis Towers Watson Irish EBF Mares Hurdle at 1.20 over two-and-a-half miles. Perusing the form earlier in the week this looked to me to revolve around the four Willie Mullins entries Let’s Dance, Karlee, Contingency and Meri Devie. Two remain. Karlee has had her problems obviously in a stop-start career to date but was third to Apple’s Jade at Punchestown in April in the mares Champion Hurdle and has to go on the short-list on that form though she was beaten a fair distance. Let’s Dance has been in some pretty hot races including when winning the G.2 Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Festival. She fell on her seasonal debut last month but if she can find the form she was showing in early 2017 she would take some beating here. She is odds-on at 8-13.
At 1.55 they have the Grade One Neville Hotels Novice Chase over the three-mile. With others having run elsewhere over the festive period this now looks to be at the mercy of Monalee for Henry de Bromhead. 10-11 is the best price you can get but he was arguably the best of these over the sticks and the 6yo looked pretty good at Punchestown last time winning a Beginners Chase over 2m4f on his debut over the bigger obstacles.
The Grade One Ryanair Hurdle at 2.30 should prove to be a procession for Faugheen who looked to be at his brilliant best when winning the G.1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on his return from a lengthy absence last month. 2-9 is the best price you will get in what looks nothing more than a nice little opportunity to keep him ticking over as his season builds to the attempt to win back the Champion Hurdle crown.
Here in good old Blighty Doncaster and Kelso are abandoned.