Leopardstown Christmas Festival day 2 tips: Bacardys, Douvan, Saturnas a tasty treble
Jamie Clark | 27 December 2016
Coral horse racing experts give their Leopardstown Christmas Festival day 2 tips, featuring Douvan bets and Saturnas odds for two Grade 1 contests on Paddy Power Chase day as part of a Willie Mullins treble.
Leopardstown Christmas Festival day 2 tips: Douvan bets your Cashcard banker
Deadly Douvan can underline his position at the head of the Queen Mother Champion Chase betting with victory in the Grade 1 Cashcard Chase on day 2 of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival (13:20).
This six-year-old put together an unbeaten novice chasing campaign last term, scoring twice over course and distance (2m 1f) before victories in the Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival, the Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree and Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown.
All were facile Grade 1 successes, and Douvan built on a flawless of career profile of 10 consecutive victories with an 11th on seasonal reappearance at Cork with a 22-length romp in the Grade 2 Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase.
On all known form, and with just four horses daring to race against him, it is impossible to oppose Mullins’ magnificent mount. Douvan bets may be long odds-on, but they have every right to be here.
Saturnas odds intriguing in Future Champions clash
The other Grade 1 on Tuesday is the Future Champions Novice Hurdle over 2m (13:55), and Saturnas gives Mullins considerable claims of a big race double as part of a treble and back-to-back victories in this contest.
Proving best of the rest behind stablemate Airlie Beach in the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last time out, Saturnas profited from the re-opposing Peace News falling two out in that Grade 1 affair.
Although Henry De Bromhead’s horse comes again, the confidence Mullins must have in Saturnas to pitch him in elite company so soon and withdraw another more experienced stablemate, Penhill, from this race speaks volumes.
It is worth taking Peace News on once more, especially as jockey Bryan Cooper abandons him to ride another of the Gigginstown House Stud owned quartet, and Saturnas odds say he can do just that.
Noble Endeavour worth a try in Paddy Power Chase
The Grade B Paddy Power Chase over an extended 3m (15:00) holds the biggest field of day 2, and of the 31 set to go to post Noble Endeavour is reckoned to have the best form, so looks worth an each-way punt.
Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell team up again to saddle and ride this seven-year-old who was runner-up to Killultagh Vic by a head in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.
Noble Endeavour has also made the frame in a further four of his nine subsequent outings. On a placed record of 50 per cent from his last 10 runs, he holds every chance off 11st 3lb.
With Gigginstown sending four runners and JP McManus owning six of the field, that shows you how open this staying chase should be. Noble Endeavour each-way may be the best value.
Housesofparliament to follow up on St Leger third
Joseph O’Brien, son of all-conquering flat handler Aidan, has a very exciting recruit to his burgeoning stable in Housesofparliament, who is fancied to make his jumps debut a winning one in the 2m 3Y0 maiden hurdle that gets day 2 underway (12:15).
Acquired by powerful Irish owner McManus following an impressive 3/4 of a length third in the St Leger at Doncaster, the selection’s placing in that Classic followed a runner-up spot in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival and victory in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.
Group 1 experience, plus big outings like those and at Royal Ascot, should give Housesofparliament a distinct advantage even over three-year-old horses already sent over hurdles.
Bacardys worth another chance
Moving back to Mullins mounts, Bacardys looks worth forgiving for falling on his National Hunt debut in the other maiden hurdle on the card (12:45) open to five year olds and above.
After posting a strong record in bumpers, including wins over course and distance at the Christmas Festival last year and at Aintree’s Grand National meeting, he was travelling well in second on his hurdles bow at Cork before coming to grief three out.
Sent off an odds-on favourite then, he pressed the leader and the speed shown on the flat suggests Bacardy could well have won the race if he’d stayed on his feet. Back him to make amends here as part of a tempting treble for handler Mullins.
Leopardstown Christmas Festival day 2 tips
13:20 Douvan (NAP)
13:55 Saturnas (NB)
15:00 Noble Endeavour (E/W)