Best bets for the horse racing Thursday 29th December

It's been a slightly frustrating three days since Christmas. I am finding winners, Bravemansgame, Conflated and Comfort Zone but it is just one a day meaning I am showing a tiny profit to level stakes over the three days but it aint about to pay for Christmas!

Best bets for the horse racing at Leopardstown

It is day four of the big meeting at Leopardstown and there is a couple of Grade One's to enjoy again. The Grade Three 2m4f Irish EBF Mares Hurdle is at 1.10. Queens Brook will be odds-on and the runner-up in the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham back in March looked well winning at Punchestown last month. Shewearsitwell has to enter calculations off the back of her recent win over three-mile at Punchestown. This is a step-up in class, and back down in trip, but if they go off at a good gallop it could set it up for her as she is guaranteed to be staying on late. She gets 3lb from the jolly. I have the 7-4 BOG this morning. 

The first of the big races is at 1.45, the Grade One three-mile Neville Hotels Novice Chase. Everything suggests it will come down to a match between Three Stripe Life and Gaillard Du Mesnil. Three Stripe Life was jolly for the G.1 2m4f Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase last time but it all went wrong with Davy Russell losing his irons and the six-year-old getting pulled-up. Gaillard Du Mesnil finished second there, behind Mighty Potter who is now an non-runner here. Tried a distances from 2m4f-3m5f the Willie Mullins trained six-year-old is talented but has got in the habit of finding one too good; in fact is yet to win over the larger obstacles. Three Stripe Life was impressive on his chasing debut at Naas before Fairyhouse and with a tongue-strap fitted is fancied to get his Chasing career back on track here. I have the 5-4 this morning.

The second Grade One is the two-mile Matheson Hurdle. Willie Mullins looks to hold just about all the aces and the four-year-old Vauban has to be shortlisted having won the Triumph last year. I was on Pied Piper for that, and still think he was perhaps a little unlucky in running, and he has shown his well-being winning twice this year already though he looks up against it here - needs to find over a stone on ratings. Sharjah has made this race his own and is bidding to become the first five-time winner, he simply can't be ignored. That said stablemate State Man is the big Irish hope in the two-mile division. He beat Sharjah by four lengths in the G.1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown last month and though he might not be a Constitution Hill he is a five-year-old on the up; won the G.3 County Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival. The one negative is the only time he has fallen was here last December on stable debut when odds-on jolly in a maiden hurdle; he has come a long way since then though. I am on BPG at 5-6.  

Be lucky