Snake Eyes can strike in big betting race at Leopardstown

Snake Eyes can take advantage of what looks a handy mark to land the Boylesports Hurdle at Leopardstown today (2.50).

The Nicky Henderson trained gelding has always had a big reputation, but after finishing a highly promising third of 19 to Clodaw Kaempfer in a hot bumper at Fairyhouse on debut failed to trouble the judge in his four starts over hurdles.

The six-year-old was turned over at 1/5 and 2/5 in two of those, but looked weak and far from the finished article.

It looked as if Snake Eyes needed more time to strengthen and mature, and there was plenty to like about his final run last season last when sixth of 24 to Gilgamboa in this contest on handicap debut.

Snake Eyes was given plenty to do before keeping on to be beaten 15 3/4 lengths and left the distinct impression that there could be better to come this season.

That view was confirmed when Snake Eyes made a winning return to action at Sandown last month.

Despite not being always fluent at the obstacles, the son of Oscar made smooth headway from off the pace and after being produced at the last showed a nice turn of foot to beat Amore Alto by 1/2 a length.

Snake Eyes scored with more in hand the the winning margin suggests under an ultra-cool and well judged ride from AP McCoy and a 5lb rise looks very lenient.

Off a revised mark of 128, Snake Eyes is just 5lb higher than when competing in this last year and given that the first two home in the Fairyhouse bumper he finished third are now rated 147 and 143 respectively he could be well-head of the assessor.

Snake Eyes also remains open to bags more improvement after just six career starts, and now that he has got his act together looks one to keep onside.

I also think that the strong pace that this race is almost guaranteed to be run at will suit, and with the champ once again in the saddle Snake Eyes looks to hold rock solid credentials of landing the spoils for leading Irish owner JP McManus.