We’re backing Tell Us More, Alpha Des Obeaux and Don Poli in the 1.20, 1.55 and 3.05 races.
The last time we saw TELL US MORE was in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, where he shaped with an abundance of promise in sixth behind stablemate Douvan, before weakening late in the day. He reappears in the 1.20pm beginners’ chase carrying a hurdles mark of just 139, but it is fair to say he is value for considerably more than that. The six-year-old son of Scorpion can get off the mark at the first time of asking under Bryan Cooper and get Gigginstown House Stud off to a potentially memorable day at Leopardstown.
Blazer, Balbir Du Mathan and Zabana are all respected in the race, along with My Hometown who probably didn’t show his best behind Sizing John last month. But Tell Us More is built for chasing and should be a little too good for them.
Arctic Fire steps up to three miles in the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at 1.55pm, in a somewhat adventurous move by Willie Mullins and connections to stake his claim as a potential World Hurdle horse in due course. Albert Bartlett winner Martello Tower makes his seasonal return and it will be interesting to see what kind of form he’s in, but the Mouse Morris trained ALPHA DES OBEAUX could be the one to get between the pair and improve for this step back up in trip. He finished second to Arctic Fire last time out over two miles four furlongs, but is entitled to improve for that run and he is very lightly-raced, so it would be little surprise to see him progress well this term.
Willie Mullins, remarkably, has never won the Lexus Chase but is presented with a gilt-edged chance to lift that particular monkey from his back in the 3.05pm feature contest. This race so often and so successfully attracts British raiders in recent times, but not so this year as a moderate enough (relative to what the race could have been) field of six Irish trained horses go to post. DON POLI is sure to be suited by a more searching test of stamina, like the one he’ll get in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. But almost by virtue of there being precious little by way of “in-form” opposition today, he actually looks a pretty decent value odds-on shot.
Sir Des Champs was good enough on his return last time, but still has a bit to prove and the like of First Lieutenant, Foxrock and Carlingford Lough are a far stretch from the form punters would like to see in order to feel comfortable in supporting them as an each way alternative. Don Poli may be a stamina merchant, but he was impressive at this meeting last year and looks well placed here to cement his Cheltenham claims.
1.20 Leopardstown – Tell Us More, 2pts win – 9/4 bet365
1.55 Leopardstown – Alpha Des Obeaux, 1pt win – 5/2 bet365
3.05 Leopardstown – Don Poli – 3pts win, – 1/2 bet365