King Can Cause Heartbreak At Leopardstown
There’s plenty of prize money up for grabs at Leopardstown on Sunday and with two of Ireland’s major handicaps taking place there’s opportunities for punters to be rewarded.
From Flemington to Foxrock
Tony Martin is renowned for his annual raids on big races and while winning them has become harder, in Heartbreak City Martin looks to have a fine candidate.
Having finished second in the Emirates Melbourne Cup on quick ground, Heartbreak City was a flat winner at Cork on heavy ground so conditions won’t bother him and despite taking seven attempts to open his account over hurdles, he has won his two most recent starts over flights during a spell where his flat form put him up with the best stayers in the world.
The seven-year-old has had his issues but they look to be well and truly behind him and it’s amazing to think that a €100,000 handicap hurdle at Leopardstown could be a prep run for a race on Dubai World Cup night in Meydan. But such is Heartbreak City’s versatility and ability within the last year, he appears to have a catalogue of options.
Each Way Appeal
A price of 9/4 for a race that is renowned for being so competitive is not going to appeal to most and an each way alternative will be looked for and there’s a chance Martin may have an ideal candidate at 25/1.
At Leopardstown on Champions Weekend, Martin sent out Quick Jack to win a €150,000 handicap, beating stable companion Pyromaniac by a neck with Golden Spear back in fifth.
When the Meath trainer lines them up for a day, they don’t generally go too far wrong.
Golden Spear is among his four for this one as well and is second favourite, but it’s the JP McManus-owned Gladiator King that is picked to run into the places.
Since dead-heating in a maiden hurdle with subsequent Grade One winner Prince Of Scars back in 2015, Gladiator King hasn’t gone on to fulfil his potential and indeed, that is the only victory he has recorded. But there were signs here at Christmas that he could be ready to pounce of a decent mark.
Gladiator King finish fifth behind That’s A Wrap who benefited from a majestic ride from Ruby Walsh that day, but the run of the eight-year-old on that occasion suggested that Gladiator King can give a good account of himself with Niall Madden booked for the ride.
Stellar Chance For Henry
Ruby Walsh has two odds-on chances early on in the day that should go in, with Capital Force for Henry de Bromhead and Yorkhill for Willie Mullins. His booking on Rolly Baby in the Leopardstown Chase has also seen the odds of that horse more than halved in price.
It was interesting to see Willie Mullins say before the Paddy Power Chase that he thought the horse could be well handicapped but the 12-year-old was beaten over 40-lengths that day and it’s hard to see how he is only 12/1.
At 6/1, another horse who comes here after running at Leopardstown over Christmas is Stellar Notion and…
He looks likes giving Henry de Bromhead another winner in what has been a memorable season.
Losing the patronage of Alan and Ann Potts should have been a massive blow for de Bromhead but in obtaining more Gigginstown House Stud horses, the Waterford trainer is enjoying one of his finest ever seasons.
Stellar Notion ran a blinder for a long way here last time and looked for a while like he may take some reeling in and although he could only finish fourth under David Mullins, he wasn’t beaten that far and the drop back to 2m5f from 3m should be in his favour as well as the decent ground. So at 7/1 he looks to hold solid claims.
Stellar Notion (13/2) – 2.40 Leopardstown
Gladiator King EW (20/1) – 3.10 Leopardstown
*Prices correct at time of publication.