Jacob Can Make Amends At Leopardstown
Definitely not a betting proposition but definitely the best horse in action on day two of the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown is Douvan, who is set to be the star on Tuesday.
With a 21-runner handicap hurdle, a 28-runner €190,000 handicap chase, and a typically hot Leopardstown bumper, there are more fitting opportunities to have a bet though.
Compensation For Jacob
Anyone watching Kempton on Monday saw Daryl Jacob crash out at the last fence with a Grade 1 with his name on it but the jockey comes to Leopardstown to ride for Gordon Elliott in the Paddy Power Chase and could earn some nice compensation.
Jacob, as retained rider to the owners, will ride Ucello Conti, one of six Elliott-runners in the race and after a likeable effort over the National fences last time, the eight-year-old is the pick in the Paddy Power Chase.
Elliott was pleased with the effort at Aintree earlier in the month but expected improvement from the French recruit and given that improvement will come from a yard who are in top form at the moment, Ucello Conti may be able to head towards a tilt at the Aintree Grand National with this major prize already in the bank.
Cases could be made for so many and Tom Taaffe will be hoping for a return to the big time with two of JP McManus’ six runners and the pick of the owner’s two jockeys, Barry Geraghty and Mark Walsh.
However, Ucello Conti has always been highly regarded without probably reaching the heights expected of him but all may be forgiven just after 3pm on Tuesday.
Fox to Rock at Leopardstown
It has been a fruitful summer for Swamp Fox and there’s every chance that Joe Murphy’s charge has reached handicap peak but he’s given one more chance in the handicap hurdle on Tuesday to defy his mark of 134, which is certainly lofty for a four-year-old.
Taking on the older and more experienced horses is a difficult ask for him given that his emphatic Listowel win was against his own age group but his Naas form behind Missy Tata could be quite decent and at a decent price he’s worth taking one more chance with.
He certainly owes his connections nothing having also won at the Galway Festival and he finished third in the Irish Cesarewitch but this style of race could just suit him better than the Naas race in which he certainly wasn’t disgraced last time. Obviously given his age he could still improve again for his racing so the hope is that’s the way he’ll go.
Joe Murphy has had a brilliant year and is a shrewd trainer so hopefully Swamp Fox can end it on a high…
…with David Mullins riding him and knowing the horse very well. He’s picked to get the better of top weight Supasundae and the progressive That’s A Wrap down at the bottom for Tom Mullins and JP McManus.
Weld To Score With Ferguson
As is so often the case with an Irish bumper, a good few of the field are fancied but the word at Leopardstown on Monday was all about Dermot Weld’s Scarteen, a runner-up in a Bangor bumper for John Ferguson and now residing in Rosewell House.
No trainer loves to have a winner at Leopardstown like the great DK and you could only imagine that this race has been on his radar for some time.
It’s intriguing to see that Alex Ferguson, son of his former trainer, John, is coming over to take the ride.
Ballyward represents the powerful Mullins-team and has the point-to-point profile of so many of their winners, while Drumconnor Lad is a winner between the flags for respected connections.
Scarteen may not be the most obvious on the form book but he was the talk of the town yesterday so keep an eye out for him in the lucky last.
Swamp Fox (16/1) – 2.30 Leopardstown
Ucello Conti (12/1) – 3.00 Leopardstown
Scarteen (7/2) – 3.35 Leopardstown
*Prices correct at time of publication.