Willie and Gordon seem to hold all the aces in the juvenile department this season and this race is no exception. Quilixios looked good on his two starts, but you’d have to question both the form of those races and why he hasn’t been seen for a long time.
Youmdor looked as though he’d have won last time out. He came to win his race, but he stretched at the last and ended up on the deck. His stablemate Ha D’or finished third in a Grade 2 on his debut, and he could improve too.
I put up Appreciate It as a horse to follow at the start of the season and I’m not surprised to see him favourite for this and the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham next month.
He’ll be a short price here, but he’s beaten most of these horses before and should make light work of doing so again. I think he’s the real deal.
I think it’s fair to say that JP McManus might be winning this!
Damalisque hosed up at Navan last week and is the chosen mouth of Mark Walsh. He travelled like the winner the whole way around and was never in any danger.
Pure Genius, trained by Ted Walsh, won by 52 lengths on his first try over 3m last month. There could still be some room in his handicap mark of 127 and he has a nice low racing weight on his back. He won’t get an easy lead like he did last time, but I expect he’ll be ridden handily.
I think the Flogas Novice Chase is going to be tight and again, it’ll be between Monkfish and Latest Exhibition. It’ll come down to the jump of a fence, there won’t be much in it.
It’ll be testing conditions that will suit both of them, it’s just down to who wants it more on the day.
It’ll be another great race to watch.
I’m going to give Melon another chance. He’s got a super career record and must be a joy to own.
He’s finished second three times at the Cheltenham Festival, and you could argue he got racing too soon in the Savills Chase last time, which served it on a plate to A Plus Tard.
He’ll be ridden with more restraint this time and I think he’ll track Kemboy who looks like he’ll make the running and won’t be too far away at the thick of it all.
Another race where JP McManus seems to have plenty of live chances.
I like his horse Crossed My Mind for Arthur Moore who did it easily at Navan last time. He’s two from two this season, has been in great form and is clearly relishing his racing. He sneaks in at the bottom, has a lovely racing weight and will no doubt be given a patient ride by Denis O’Regan.
The Mares Bumper is another cracking race, but I was so taken with Brandy Love when she won first time up.
I put her up as a horse to follow from the Point-to-Point scene at the start of the season. You’d expect her to be a part of Willies’ Cheltenham Bumper team if she wins this.
4 To Win picks
13:40 Leopardstown: Youmdor
14:40 Leopardstown: Pure Genius
15:40 Leopardstown: Melon
16:10 Leopardstown: Crossed My Mind
Visit Betway’s horse racing betting page.