A healthy blend of the action takes place on the Emerald Isle on Thursday night, with Flat action up Leopardstown taking place from 5.15pm, along with an interesting little Jumps card in Tramore, which kicks off with a Beginners’ Chase at 4.50pm.
Joseph O’Brien is 0/20 with Tramore runners in the past 3 years, but BOSTON SPRAY could get him on the board at the Waterford venue, with a win in the opening Beginners’ Chase at 4.50pm. The 6yo son of Presenting shaped well in a maiden hurdle over 3m last time out, this step back to 2m6f reads well for his chasing debut and he should give a good account of himself.
In a competitive Handicap Hurdle at 6.30pm, Eoin Doyle’s INGLEBY MACKENZIE is worth another chance at continuing his winning summer thus far, despite falling off the wagon a little when 6th of 20 at Galway. A former course and distance winner, who was progressive before his latest start at the Festival, the 4yo remains competitively handicapped on a mark of 105 and he rates a fair each-way proposition in this company.
At 7.35pm we have a hotly competitive Handicap Hurdle over 2m5f, where one horse to look out for is the seemingly progressive COTTONVALE, who has improved through each of his last three starts over hurdles and is interesting here in first time cheekpieces. Another step forward would make a handicap rating of 92 thoroughly exploitable. Eoin Doyle has trained 12 winners from 94 runners around here the past 3 years, amounting to a +£25.30 profit to £1 level stakes at BFSP.
Pair of Leopardstown Picks…
Focus Of Attention is the form choice in the 5.45pm 60-90 rated Handicap over 6f and will be hard to beat, but if there is a fly in the ointment, it could well be FLAWLESSLY, who has run to RPRs reading: 80, 66, 76 recently, and runs here from a handicap mark of 72. Ignoring the middle run and acknowledging the perceived form level (RPRs) in relation to the handicap scale of the other two runs, she could be weighted to give these a real race of it if turning up on song. Sheila Lavery’s stable is in good form lately and her Exceed And Excel filly could make her presence felt at a decent price in this small field.
An interesting renewal of the Group 3 Desmond Stakes over a mile takes place at 7.20pm and Aidan O’Brien’s THREEANDFOURPENCE has a sound opportunity to put a disappointing effort at Glorious Goodwood behind him in first-time blinkers. This 3yo War Front colt is talented and the joint highest rated in the field, but he is a bit inconsistent. O’Brien’s horses haven’t been firing on all cylinders as we’ve come to expect in previous seasons, but what we can look forward to is a strong second half of the 2018 Flat season, as those disappointing early on begin to find their feet and fitness edge. Threeandfourpence comes out on top of the RTR and Topspeed ratings I use and I think he has this Group 3 prize within his grasp if putting it all in, around a track which should suit him.
Leopardstown is a trappy card and it is difficult to pinpoint clear value against the top of the markets, but hopefully, the two horses mentioned above can give their best and runners a good run for their money.
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Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.