Leopardstown preview: Neville Hotels Novice Chase (13.55)
David Metcalf | December 29, 2015
No More Heroes has won both his starts over fences in the manner of a potential superstar, and thus looks a worthy odds-on favourite to land the hat-trick in the Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown (13.55).
The Gordon Elliott-trained six-year-old developed into a useful staying hurdler last season, winning twice and finishing an unlucky in-running third to Martello Tower in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Connections always maintained that his future would lie over the larger obstacles and, after scoring easily on chasing debut at Punchestown, the gelding put in a scintillating performance to land the Grade 1 Drinmore Novices’ Chase over 2m 4f at Fairyhouse.
No More Heroes put in a superb round of jumping to beat Monksland with far more in hand than the 2 1/2 length winning margin suggests.
It was a performance which oozed class over a trip which was arguably shorter than ideal for No More Heroes, and the Gigginstown House Stud owned gelding should have even more to offer when stepped up to 3m.
No More Heroes is currently Coral’s 4/1 favourite for the 2016 RSA Chase on the back of that stylish success, and granted a clear round No More Heroes should have far too much class for his three rivals.
Monksland must improve to cause upset
Monksland re-opposes and looks the obvious danger.
The Noel Meade trained gelding was a very useful hurdler and, after beating the highly-regarded Roi Des Francs on chasing debut at Gowran Park, stuck to the task well when chasing home No More Heroes in the Drinmore.
Monksland looks sure to win plenty more races judged on the latter, but it’s hard to envisage him improving enough to turn the tables on No More Heroes on this occasion.
The field is completed by Rule The World and Wrath Of Titans, who like No More Heroes carry the Gigginstown colours.
Rule The World is a smart sort who usually runs his race but needs to step up significantly if he is to trouble the two principals, whilst Wrath Of Titans looks outclassed and booked for fourth spot.
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