Friday 28th December 2018
This festive period of top class racing just keeps on going as the Leopardstown meeting hosts yet another day of quality action with the Christmas Hurdle and Savills Chase taking centre stage. Yesterday we saw yet more unmissable drama with the old boy Simply Ned running down Footpad close home and Auvergnat taking the Paddy Power Chase for Edna Bolger.
The Christmas Hurdle is the first Grade 1 of the afternoon here and it see’s the top class Apple’s Jade head affairs for Gordon Elliott on the back of a third win in the Hatton’s Grace where she won in devastating fashion. She should be bang there again in this however this is reflected in her price of 4/7. That’s far from a betting proposition for me and henceforth I will be trying to take her on and doing so with one of my favourite horses of all time in the machine FAUGHEEN (3/1). His reappearance run last time in the Morgiana was a real disappointing and laboured effort when getting turned over by stablemate Sharjah at very short odds. However at this stage in his career a longer trip looks certainly what he’s after as he showed when bolting up in the Stayers at Punchestown. If turning up in that kind of form here he’s everything chance of serving it up to this talented mare and giving his legions of supporters something to cheer about.
The Savills Chase kicks off at 3.00pm which is a valuable Grade 1 chase that’s contested over 3 miles and it see’s Road To Respect head into the race as a hot favourite at around 2/1 and head a whole host of Gigginstown runners. These include the likes of JLT winner Shattered Love. Ryanair winner Balko Des Flos. The returning Grade 2 winner Disko and Down Royal Champion Chase winner Outlander. So all in all, not a bad old bunch. Willie Mullins has two in the race, Kemboy to start with, i’m a big fan of this horse and he’s been progressing nicely over fences culminating in a smart win within Grade 2 company last time. It’s the more experienced stablemate i’m going to take a chance on though and that’s BELLSHILL (13/2 E/W). Winner of the Punchestown Gold Cup last term this workmanlike gritty performer has every chance of competing in some of the elite races this term such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup and a big run here as a starting point wouldn’t at all be a masssive surprise. Ruby is in the saddle.