Dortmund Park (1.10) has become a short-priced favourite for the Golden Cygnet Novices’ Hurdle which kicks off the card at Leopardstown on the back of an impressive win at Thurles, but it’s worth considering that there was only one runner sent off a bigger price than him in that non-graded race, and it’s difficult to be confident of the merit of that win in what were absolutely atrocious conditions.
He faces a completely different test here with the ground likely to ride no worse than yielding to soft, and although this isn’t a great race for the grade, he can be opposed at 3.0 or shorter.
I’d not be keen on the overhyped Carter McKay at the prices, either, and my personal play will be to lay the pair combined.
In the Coral Dublin Chase (13.45), punters seem happy to forgive Yorkhill his flop in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase, but while the trip was no help to him that day, he wouldn’t have won at any distance and essentially just ran himself into the ground by refusing to accept restraint from the saddle.
He is undoubtedly a big talent, but his idiosyncrasies are becoming more of an issue with age, and while I’d not want to chase his price out too far, anything south of evens represents an opportunity to oppose this wooden-headed enigma.
In the BHP Insurance Champion Hurdle at 15.30, the only realistic play is to oppose Faugheen in the place market. The former champion is untouchable on his best form, and there must be a chance that his lamentable effort in the Ryanair Hurdle was a blip, but his training problems are well documented, and nobody who watched him capitulate so tamely at Christmas could possibly want to back him at around even money in a much better race now.
The fact is that we all expect a binary performance, that is he will either bounce back or he will flop, and therefore taking him on in the place market makes much more sense than risking more in the win market.
I’d expect this to be a popular enough approach and there is likely to be a discrepancy in expected price between the two markets, so the recommendation is to play early to maximise value.
Rory’s Leopardstown (Saturday) Recommended Bets:
- 13.10 Lay Dortmund Park @ 3.0 or shorter
- 13.45 Lay Yorkhill @ 2.0 or shorter
- 15.30 Lay Faugheen for a place @ 1.5 or shorter