Leopardstown Betting Tips – Monday March 8th
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Leopardstown Betting Tips – Monday March 8th

After a stunning season that yielded plenty memories 'behind closed doors' at their Christmas Meeting and the Dublin Racing Festival, Leopardstown stages their National Hunt Finale Weekend with two days racing on Sunday and Monday, bringing down the curtain on this jumps season at the famous Foxrock venue. Follow all the action from Ireland as The Racing Post brings exclusive race-by-race betting tips and analysis for both days, concluding with Monday's card at Leopardstown (1.20pm-5.00pm, eight races).



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1.20 - TRI Equestrian Maiden Hurdle Division 1 (2m)

No major shocks with the opening selection as Willie Mullins and Paul Townend look to get their Monday off to a perfect start with GRAND BORNAND in the Rich Ricci silks. He showed promise on his debut for this firm at Cork in November, finishing fourth, and built on that last month at Fairyhouse (2m, soft to heavy) when runner-up behind Grand Paradis.

The Gordon Elliott-trained winner has since landed a Grade 3 novice around Thurles (2m5f, heavy) in good style and compensation surely awaits Grand Bornand now.

Champagne Sparkles runs for Elliott here in the same Andrew and Gemma Brown silks as Grand Paradis. He has shaped well in bumpers and should be fit to make an impact in first-time cheekpieces now going jumping.

The Emmet Mullins-trained Gee Rex was second in a maiden over C&D at Christmas at odds of 40-1 and won't be overlooked in the betting now, with that form fairly solid. Buddy Rich could harbour place claims, while Rachel Blackmore is a positive booking for point winner and rules debutant Maccloud.

Selection: Grand Bornand

Next Best: Champagne Sparkles

 

1.50 - TRI Equestrian Maiden Hurdle Division 2 (2m)

It's the same yards with leading hopes in the second division of this maiden, quelle surprise, and DON DIABLO is preferred for Elliott and Jack Kennedy over the Mullins/Townend/Ricci hopeful Elite Charboniere.

The latter has already had four goes over hurdles, spanning a two-year timeframe from December 2018 here to early December just gone at Cork. The drop back to this trip at the Mallow venue most recently yielded fourth - best result to this point - but he was still beaten more than 17-lengths and is going to need to improve to open his account.

That most recent start came after 558 days out, so there is perhaps reason to suspect he can find extra now, while those that were in front of him have combined for three wins in four starts since (exception being a Grade 1 here last month).

Don Diablo still gets the nod. He was useful in bumpers without winning in three attempts but he improved on that form when second in last month's hurdling bow at Naas (1m7½, yielding to soft) behind odds-on favourite Gentleman De Mee from the Mullins camp. He ought to build on that here and is in with an excellent chance of going one place better.

Ex-Ger Lyons Flat-maiden The Virginian is one to monitor now starting out over timber for Padraig Roche, while Blackstair Rocco was second in a point-to-point last time and is representing the red-hot Emmet Mullins yard on his hurdling introduction.

Selection: Don Diablo

Next Best: Blackstair Rocco

2.20 - Connolly's RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Novice Hurdle (2m)

This looks a guilt-edged opportunity for EUROTIEP to supplement January's wide-margin maiden hurdle success at Thurles. That came on softer ground than is forecast here but he has run well on yielding in his bumper career and is yet to finish worse than second in five career starts.

He did it pretty effortlessly in that jumping intro 40 days ago under this claiming rider and the 7lb he takes off certainly won't be a hindrance now. There's more to come and Eurotiep should be hard to handle with the form of that Thurles success looking solid.

Gevrey won a Limerick maiden hurdle in November on heavy ground and drops back in trip after some mixed fortunes since in novice company, he's got claims to be involved while Breakeven won a Fairyhouse maiden last month (favourite fell two out) - though that form leaves him with more to do in order to get a handle on Eurotiep, based on the proximity of the runner-up Stranger Danger.

Martin Brassil's string are in good form and ?42,000 newcomer Colemanstown Lad makes plenty appeal on paper. This is an interesting starting point for him with Mark Walsh a positive booking. It's perhaps an underestimation of his chances to see him forecast as the outsider in the betting.

Selection: Eurotiep

Next Best: Colemanstown Lad

 

2.55 - Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle (2m)

Fou Diligence prevailed at Naas last month in a similar event, producing a career-best in doing so, he's got claims again with that run in mind having gone up 4lb. One Cool Poet is 0-10 over timber now but was fifth in a big-field novice handicap over C&D at the Christmas Festival here and deserves to be on the shortlist.

The mare ISLAND MAHEE didn't get to deploy her normal front-running tactics at Navan in December (2m4f) and she failed to run with the same purpose as in her earlier efforts at Thurles and Carlisle over shorter.

She went very close off a layoff at Thurles (2m, yielding) in October and, with that Navan run being her fourth in a relatively short spell, she might be worth siding with as an each-way contender to give this a bold go from the front. She's on a fair mark and Richie Deegan takes off 2lb, so the mare certainly has a chance from close to the foot of the weights if reproducing that autumn spark.

Lunastar has been in good form on the all-weather at Dundalk recently and so cannot be discounted back over timber, while handicap debutante Brides Hill is one to monitor in the betting after a welcome winner for trainer Gavin Cromwell at the weekend.

Selection: Island Mahee

Next Best: One Cool Poet

 

3.30 - Equine Products UK Handicap Hurdle (3m)

Fierami ran well at Navan on Saturday, backing up a previous win at that venue, and could go well again here tackling three-miles for the first time if turning out again 48 hours on.

Hoke Colburn has been in a very consistent run of form over fences this season, including a win at Punchestown (2m4½f heavy) on penultimate start in December. He ran well in January at Fairyhouse and can avail of a 6lb lower mark back over timber (rider also claims 7lb) which certainly puts him in the picture.

This increased distance could bring I Don't Get It into the mix, while the lightly-raced Kilandra is another to consider following a solid fourth at Punchestown last Monday. BRONSON IN BLUE with fifth in the 2m4f Navan race won by Fierami last month and Conor Orr's mount is given a chance to shine now upped in distance.

That form is reliable and he might have finished closer to the winner bar a mistake late on. He shapes as though this trip will be within reach and the handicapper has eased him a pound for his latest run.

Selection: Bronson In Blue

Next Best: Hoke Colburn

 

4.00 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase (2m1f)

All eyes likely to be drawn to Breaken here, racing in the Al Boum Photo colours of the Donnelly's. A Limerick maiden hurdle winner on debut for Willie Mullins two years ago, it had been some 655 days since his previous start in France when he justified odds-on favouritism in short order that afternoon, so the fact he comes here after another layoff isn't a massive source of concern.

He was in front and clear when he fell on his chasing bow at Punchestown 15 month ago - a race won by the smart Dunvegan after his departure - and he could well take some stopping now.

There are dangers lurking however and there might prove better value elsewhere in the market with a dozen set to contest this Beginners Chase.

Soviet Pimpernel was 15-lengths second over C&D at Christmas behind January Jets (in the same ownership) but he likely wouldn't have finished ahead of JUNGLE JUNCTION had Jessica Harrington's runner stood up at the last.

There have been positives in all three of his starts over fences thus far, including when third in a useful event at Gowran Park (2m, heavy) at the end of January. He's a key piece of this jigsaw and should represent value at the forecast prices.

The Very Man was quite useful as a novice over timber and while he was tailed off in a ?75,000 handicap over hurdles at the Dublin Racing Festival here last month, it wouldn't be a shock to see him back in the groove now commencing his chasing career in the Gigginstown silks.

Selection: Jungle Junction

Next Best: Breaken

4.30 - John Thomas McNamara Series (Q.R.) Handicap Chase (2m5½f)

Not for the first time, the market favoured IT'S ONLY A NUMBER at Down Royal (2m4f, heavy) last month and he justified the support in very ready fashion, eased down at the line by Simon Torrens.

Despite that (won only by three-lengths) the handicapper took a dim view and raised him 12lb. Given the ease with which he completed the task, there's likely plenty more to come from him and this could be a good piece of placement from Francis Flood.

Rock On Barney has three wins already this season and just missed out when second at Clonmel on Thursday, he's clearly in fine heart and shortlisted again, while Diggin Deep has form over further in Britain since he was last sighted on these shores and need monitoring from a reduced Irish mark now returning from an absence for new connections.

It's still early days for The Inbetween as a chaser and he's one to consider at likely decent odds returning from a break. His autumn efforts at Cork and Fairyhouse certainly entitle him to place notions.

Selection: It's Only A Number

Next Best: The Inbetween

 

5.00 - TRI Equestrian Superstore & Cafe Flat Race (2m)

TOP BANDIT found only one too strong over C&D on St Stephen's Day, his second runner-up finish from as many attempts in bumpers. He sets the bar for this contest and Jamie Codd's mount sets a useful standard on paper. The form of the Christmas race here was boosted when the fourth won convincingly at Thurles last month and this Kayf Tara gelding can make it third time lucky.

The dangers are in the unknowns. Prize Fighter cost ?75,000 as a three-year-old, is related to Getabird who did well for this trainer and has to be on any shortlist starting out for powerful connections here. Grand Jury was an impressive point-to-point winner in November and has joined Henry De Bromhead since, he's also deemed capable of having a say in the Leopardstown season finale.

Selection: Top Bandit

Next Best: Prize Fighter

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