Marito Chasing BoyleSports Glory At Leopardstown
The fact trainer, Willie Mullins, entered only two runners for Sunday’s valuable BoyleSports Handicap Chase sends out a message to punters, who have punted Djakadam into 9/2 favouritism.
A Grade 2 novice chase winner over C&D last season (soft), Djakadam served notice that he was a chaser to take seriously in the big events, despite falling in a Grade 1 at Cheltenham. Backed into favouritism for his return in Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup 50 days ago, the 6yo once again disappointed, and will need to show his true colours on Sunday if fulfilling his novice potential.
Some may say that Djakadam was too young to be winning a Hennessy as a 6yo, and the same argument could resurface on Sunday in a race that has favoured older runners down the years…
Of the last 10 Boylesports Chase winners…
9 were 9-11yo’s – others were 1-76
9 were non-favourites
8 won a maximum of one handicap chase
There will also be plenty of investors looking to swerve the jolly, after all only one market leader delivered during the last 10 renewals of this race, a fact that may see support for Arthur Moore’s 9yo, Fever Pitch (14/1). Although exposed with 27 chase outings under his belt, he arrives in good form and will handle conditions.
Moore also has the likes of Treat Yourself entered (10/1), a 4l runner-up in a decent handicap over 2m1f here over Christmas, though he still has yet convince over a trip this far (beaten 25l, 15l & 131l over 2m4f previously).
A mention also goes to Moore’s Back Off Mate (14/1). Tough as teak, this 7yo’s last two runs have seen him fourth in both the Munster National and Troytown Chases over 3m. He remains on the same mark and has to rate each-way value.
Another in fine fettle is Ted Walsh’s 7yo, Foxrock (6/1), who lines-up 3-8 over fences and almost won a big pot when a 1l second in the Paddy Power Chase over 3m here at Christmas (heavy). A hike of 7lb to a weight of 11st8lb, along with the drop back in trip, is slightly offputting, though.
Meanwhile, Thomas Foley throws his hat into the ring via the 12yo, Followmeuptocarlow (12/1), a 4l second in a 2m4f handicap hurdle on New Year’s Eve. He was a 2m4f winner over fences in May and looks to have been targeted for this.
Like the favourite, Enda Bolger’s 6yo Federici (14/1), will need to be seriously good if winning this at such a young age, though his close second in the valuable Tim Duggan Chase over Christmas (2m4f, soft) shows he is capable.
If history repeats itself, then experience has to be favoured over youth, which highlights the likes of the 9yo Marito,
…who has been in good form this winter (8l second to Roi Du Mee 17 days ago), and bids to become the fourth top-weight to win the race in the last nine years.