1pt win Fury Road @7/2, 13:15 Leopardstown, Monday

3m Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1)

A fascinating trial for the Stayers Hurdle with Sire Du Berlais currently 15/8 favourite. He steps in to Grade 1 company for the first time and deservedly so. No eight-year-old has won this for some time and I’m not sure he should be favourite based on his bare form.

Ronald Pump looked very good over an inadequate 2m 4f trip when failing to reel in Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace Grade 1 Hurdle when giving her 7lbs.

On his start before that he came down at the final hurdle when not getting the clearest of passages in a race won by Sire Du Berlais. It remains to be seen whether Ronald Pump would have won that duel, but he was still in it at the time.

While Ronald Pump has the form in the bank and is experienced over hurdles, FURY ROAD is still learning his trade, but is surely the most exciting runner in the race.

Third in a cracking Albert Bartlett last season, Fury Road opened his second season hurdling by hacking up in a Grade 2 hurdle. The form of that race may not look like much but it was a perfect preparation for a horse that is likely yo lay down a serious marker for the big one in March.

The slight concern is that Fury Road does have a question mark over this track having only finished out of the places on two start, both here at Leopardstown. But Fury Road looks a much stronger stayer nowadays and is fancied to come out on top at 7/2.

1pt win Fury Road @7/2, 13:15 Leopardstown, Monday

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