Empire of Dirt 50kb

Empire To Strike Back At Leopardstown

As well as the four Grade One’s down for decision at Leopardstown on Sunday, there’s also a decent fixture at Exeter to tune into with the Colin Tizzard and Potts family duo of Alary and Finian’s Oscar worth tuning in for.

There’s a decent looking bumper over there too but hopefully there are a couple of winners to be found in Leopardstown.

Gigginstown’s Empire To Rule
Sunday’s card is a difficult one from a punting point of view and…

the selection in the Irish Gold Cup is a rather tentative nod to Empire Of Dirt.

The 10-year-old goes into this race as a handicapper and has never won at this sort of level before but he deserves a crack at this calibre of contest and there is a chance that he could win a race of this nature as Carlingford Lough and Don Poli look more exposed at this level.

Don Poli’s Lexus run was very encouraging indeed but you just feel that he’d want it softer or further to be able to get his head in front and it for Carlingford Lough it would be a massive achievement if he could win the Irish Gold Cup for a third time and under a third different jockey.

Empire Of Dirt along with Sizing John are the two unknown quantities in the field snd Ireland may well have a couple of more Gold Cup contenders for the Cheltenham Festival next month if this pair are fighting out the finish here, and Empire Of Dirt is picked to shade it.

Dinaria To Step Up Again
When winning a Cork maiden Dinaria Des Obeaux didn’t beat much but couldn’t have been any more impressive and even took her own connections by surprise.

To step up to Grade One company and win again is a mammoth task but she absolutely bolted up at Cork and if she can improve from that like Gordon Elliott is expecting, she has to have a chance of being a bit special. The juvenile division in Ireland looks to be wide open and Bapaume impressed here at Christmas but getting the allowances Dinaria Des Obeaux can hopefully oblige.

Foxrock In Leopardstown
On The Fringe will go in search of the Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown treble again in the Hunters’ Chase division but this Leopardstown race hasn’t proved a happy hunting ground for Enda Bolger’s star and…

the aptly named Foxrock can continue his winning sequence for Ted and Katie Walsh.

Foxrock is obviously a very high class recruit to the Hunters’ Chases and even though he’s not eligible for Cheltenham or Aintree, there’s plenty of races still to be won with him and having beaten On His Own at Thurles last time, he can bring up the hat-trick for the season on the track for local owner Barry Connell.

Recommended Bets:
Dinaria Des Obeaux (7/2) – 2.30 Leopardstown
Empire of Dirt (4/1) – 4.00 Leopardstown
Foxrock (8/11) – 4.30 Leopardstown

*Prices correct at time of publication.