Leopardstown preview: Paddy Power Chase (14.55)
David Metcalf | December 24, 2015
Gilgamboa shaped really well on seasonal reappearance, so looks decent each-way value in a wide open renewal of Sunday’s Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown (14.55).
The Enda Bolger trained gelding developed into a very smart novice chase last season when winning three of his six starts, and showed a tremendous attitude in the last of those when beating The Tullow Tank in a Grade 1 contest over 2m 4f at Fairyhouse.
After showing plenty of pace to track the leaders, Gilgamboa made a bad mistake four out and quickly came under pressure.
The seven-year-old then responded well to the urging of jockey AP McCoy and stayed on powerfully to join the leaders approaching the last before asserting on the run-in to score by 1/2 a length.
Get behind Gilgamboa each-way
It was a performance which showed Gilgamboa had both class and guts, and one which suggested he needed keeping firmly onside this season.
That view was confirmed when the son of Westerner made an eye-catching return to action when third to Djakadam in a hot Grade 1 contest over 2m 4f at Punchestown earlier in the month.
Gilgamboa raced kindly after being settled just off the pace, and after a mistake at the seventh kept on nicely to be gaining all the way to the line and beaten 13 1/4 lengths without being unduly knocked about.
The winner is a top class 168-rated gelding who finished runner-up to Coneygree in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Festival, so that is strong form in the context of this contest and makes Gilgamboa’s mark of 153 looks exploitable now he is stepped up to a trip which promises to suit.
First Lieutenant may be Sizing Gold
There are a whole host of dangers in a wide-open contest, and First Lieutenant looks weighted to go well if building on his best run for a long time when third to Smad Place in the Hennessy at Newbury.
Sizing Gold, who hails from the powerful yard of Henry de Bromhead, looks another big player having shaped well when third to Sumos Novios on his seasonal reappearance at Punchestown.
The eight-year-old has always been held in high regard, and having been rated 140 is now able to race off a reduced mark of 135.
That gives Sizing Gold major claims at the weights on the pick of his form, and he also remains open to further progress after just five starts over fences.
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