Trust Thief To Steal The Spoils
Leopardstown will play host to a number of Cheltenham hopefuls on Sunday, one of which is Identity Thief who remains in the Arkle.
Trust the Thief
Identity Thief’s place at the Cheltenham Festival does look unlikely but when asked last weekend his trainer Henry de Bromhead didn’t entirely close the door. “He’ll go to Leopardstown and we’ll see how he gets on there but I’d say Cheltenham is unlikely.”
It would have been hard for connections to run in the Arkle on the back of pulling up at Christmas and a first fence exit in the Irish Arkle, but maybe a pretty facile victory at Leopardstown may lead them to take their chance.
Identity Thief is a Grade 1 winning hurdler in open company and judging by his price for this novice chase (7/4) some are opting not to trust him to return to winning ways here. You should.
This is a horse many believed could be a live Arkle contender a few months ago and while he wouldn’t be a match for Altior, he can be forgiven for his last two outings. Clearly there was something amiss at Christmas and the Irish Arkle was rotten luck. Henry de Bromhead’s horses are genuinely top class jumpers and Identity Thief can put things right here.
Rebel Can Come Good Again
Recent course and distance winner Grand Partner is going to be hard to beat in the handicap hurdle but Another Rebel is a horse who could have a big say.
The Mick Winters-trained 10-year-old was a faller on his last two starts over fences but in between those outings he ran a decent race at Cork over hurdles.
His form is solid and there is definitely a liking for heavy ground which is a big plus.
Over fences last year he won a beginners chase by 12-lengths and that too was on heavy ground. That was his first run in almost three years after he beat the decent Balnaslow in a lucrative handicap hurdle at Killarney.
Despite being a 10-year-old, Another Rebel hasn’t got a lot of miles on the clock and on a more favourable hurdle mark than he has over fences, he may be a horse to keep an eye on at a decent price with Barry John Foley claiming 7lbs off.
Paper To Light Up
Karl Thornton is an up and coming young trainer in Dublin that is worth following and he can enjoy a local winner with Paper Lantern in the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Chase.
Thornton has the benefit of Donagh Meyler for this 2m5f contest and Paper Lantern can return to winning ways here having won at Fairyhouse last month, even though he struggled to cope with the quick turnaround at Thurles a few days later.
The eight-year-old has had just over three weeks since then and even off his revised mark, the son of Oscar looks to be the pick of these.
Another Rebel (10/1) – 3.10 Leopardstown
Identity Thief (7/4) – 3.40 Leopardstown
Paper Lantern (11/2) – 4.40 Leopardstown
*Prices correct at time of publication.