2m Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo)
Triumph Hurdle favourite Aspire Tower sets a good standard and probably deserves to be odds-on considering his stand-out piece of form came at Leopardstown, but NEVER DO NOTHING was rated higher on the flat, beating him three times including when conceding 3lb at Ascot last summer. Good ground is key to this horse, and conditions at Leopardstown should be in his favour, so it really should go down to jumping and whether his inexperienced jockey can get the best out of him. I’m happy to ask the question at 8/1.
1pt win Never Do Nothing @8/1, 13:25 Leopardstown, Sunday
2m5f Flogas Novice Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+)
Sentimentality isn’t the reason the 12-y-o Faugheen is favourite for this as his novice chasing form this season is very strong, but he is always going to be vulnerable to younger legs, especially on this better ground. Willie Mullins has a very strong hand in this race with Easy Game, Tornado Flyer and CASTLEBAWN WEST having chances, but at the prices I’m siding with the latter who was such an easy winner over fences last time out. He was run in Grade 1 hurdles last season and didn’t do a whole lot wrong, so he must be well thought of, and the switch to fences looks like suiting him as he jumped really well on his second attempt at Fairyhouse. Being by Westerner you’d expect him to relish the better ground and he’s worth a bet at 16/1.
1pt win Castlebawn West @16/1, 15:00 Leopardstown, SundayLeave a comment