Djakadam In Driving Seat For Lexus
Willie Mullins is operating to a near 50 per cent strike rate over the first two days of Christmas racing and will be a very short price to get on the board again at Leopardstown on day three with the Lexus Chase possibly on his way once again.
Djak To Foil Gigginstown
The Gigginstown team have enjoyed their Lexus Chase raids over the last couple of years with Don Poli last year following in Road To Riches’ footsteps from a year earlier. Both were ridden by Bryan Cooper and he would be right to fancy his chances of bringing up the hat-trick on Valseur Lido.
Henry de Bromhead has had a mixed week with Special Tiara being an undoubted highlight at Kempton yesterday and Valseur Lido will aim to cap it all off by adding a second Grade 1 this season.
The ex-Mullins inmate made the perfect start to his career with de Bromhead when taking the JNWine.com Chase at Down Royal and beating Silviniaco Conti by 11 lengths but Mullins, who trained Don Poli a year ago, can retain his crown with Djakadam.
Connections are on record about the 17 day turnaround after the John Durkan and he did have a tough enough race that day in beating off Outlander and Sub Lieutenant but he’s a tough horse,. This was proven when finishing second in two Gold Cups and there is also the feeling within the camp that this could be the season he produces his best form and a win in this Lexus Chase could emphasise that.
Softer ground would be ideal for Djakadam but the extra half mile he’ll encounter at Leopardstown compared to Punchestown is a massive help
and he’s picked to continue on that incredible run for Mullins.
Percy Primed For Pat And Philip
A horse called Mall Dini finished fourth behind 16/1 shot Forever Gold in the Pertemps Qualifier at Leopardstown last year but he would go on to win the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival for Pat Kelly, Philip Reynolds and Davy Russell and the same connections are back for the Qualifier on Wednesday, this time with Presenting Percy, who, despite winning his last two races, may still be on the right side of the handicapper.
The five-year-old bumper winner won his maiden nicely at Galway and scored again at Punchestown last time out. This time he will be stepping up to three miles which is a big step compared to those two previous efforts which came over the minimum trip, but he did shape like a horse who would relish further when winning at Punchestown and 129 may prove to be a lenient rating and one he can exploit.
Mag To Bounce Back
The three-mile hurdle should be a fascinating race.
Vroum Vroum Mag is the selection.
She didn’t get the clearest passage at Fairyhouse and probably raced a bit keenly on her first outing of the season. She steps up in trip now after that defeat by Apple’s Jade but there are few more versatile horses in training than Vroum Vroum Mag and she’s picked to see off Snow Falcon and Kotkikova.
Kotkikova was a high profile purchase from France after reaching quite a high level over there and interestingly, like Vroum Vroum Mag, Nicky Henderson’s charge held entries in this race and the Lexus Chase as she makes her first start for JP McManus so although she has a bit to find on official ratings, there is the element of unknown about her and it’ll be interesting to see how she fares.
As it will be interesting to see how Snow Falcon gets on having looked likely to be battling out the Long Distance Hurdle with Unowhatimeanharry before falling three out. Snow Falcon may be an each-way bet to nothing for some punters at a best priced 9/2 with BoyleSports but Vroum Vroum Mag should win.
Presenting Percy (11/2) – 12.50 Leopardstown
Vroum Vroum Mag (8/11) – 1.50 Leopardstown
Djakadam (2/1) – 3.00 Leopardstown
*Prices correct at time of publication.