Leopardstown Day Four Christmas Festival Preview

Leopardstown - December 29 2021
Leopardstown 12:00
10
Shane O'Callaghan

Favori Logique

J:
 
Shane O'Callaghan
T:
 
Ross O'Sullivan
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 116


Another competitive affair to open the card at Leopardstown for the third day of their Christmas meeting, our pick Favori Logique has been in fine form lately hitting the crossbar in his last two starts, after starting the season in fantastic fashion with two wins coming over hurdles and fences.

He was well beaten at Fairyhouse when second on his penultimate start but was unlucky on his latest run when going to mount a challenge just before three out when a loose horse hampered him in the lead up to the fence, that caused him to jump poorly and the jockey and had to switch right to avoid the loose horse when jumping the last two.

The winner would have been hard to pass that day but considering being hampered by the loose horse Favori Logique ran on well coming up towards the line.

That was on good ground, and he clearly has a big engine, so the predicted softer conditions will suit his strengths in this, and another bold showing will be expected in the opener tomorrow.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/12/21LEO21Y11-3UR
27/11/21FAI21Gd10-102
09/11/21FAI24Gd/Y11-82
09/10/21FAI23.5Gd10-123
15/09/21SLI25.5Gd11-11F
Leopardstown - December 29 2021
Leopardstown 12:35
7
Paul Townend

Kilcruit

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 12-0
OR: N/A
Days: 24

For just a regular looking maiden hurdle to the eye for the second race of the day, it could arguably be the best race of the day with some very good prospects lining up to take each other on.

The unbeaten Journey With Me and Minella Crooner are having their hurdle debuts, but our pick Kilcruit is taken to improve from his hurdle debut run 3 weeks ago and make it second time lucky in this and get off the mark.

He was a very good bumper horse winning 3 of his 5 runs including a 2nd place finish in the Champion Bumper at the festival in March and first in a Grade 1 at Punchestown at the back end of last season.

He expected to make a winning debut as he was sent off the 1/16 favourite, he didn’t do much wrong in terms of jumping the obstacles, but he was running at a time when Willie Mullins’s horses weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders, and it looked as if he desperately needed the run in this.

The form hasn’t been franked at all as the winner that day Largy Debut pulled up in a Grade 1 two days ago, but Kilcruit always looked like the horse to be with long term.

He will come on wonders for that run, and should he be fit enough he will be hard to beat in this quality contest for a top outfit.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/22PUN19.5Gd/Y11-104
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-73
31/01/22PUN16Y12-01
29/12/21LEO20Y/Sft12-03
05/12/21COR16Sft12-02
Leopardstown - December 29 2021
Leopardstown 13:10
2
Paul Townend

Shewearsitwell

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: N/A
Days: 451

Another cracking race on a card that is full of very good races, our pick looks one of the mares to keep an eye on this season in Shewearsitwell who has had three runs in her career all over hurdles, all three resulting in winners.

She was sent off odds on favourite in all three of her starts last season, and duly obliged in winning all three starts by a combined 20 and a half lengths, including a Grade 3 romp at Tipperary last October.

She is a very good jumper of a hurdle and always seems to travel nicely throughout her race, she looks a complete natural over hurdles even though she’s had just the three career starts.

The one slight negative with her is race fitness, she hasn’t been seen in over a year whereas most of the others have already had a run or two this season, but she looks a class act and already has some black type to her name, so she is clearly a talented filly with a very nice pedigree.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/04/22PUN19Gd11-55
29/12/21LEO20Y/Sft11-7F
04/10/20TIP16Gd10-101
19/08/20SLI17.5Gd11-91
29/07/20GAL16.5Gd/Y11-111
Leopardstown - December 29 2021
Leopardstown 13:45
7
Davy Russell

Run Wild Fred

J:
 
Davy Russell
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 159
Days: 38

A pretty competitive Grade 1 contest with four of these already winning this season, Last season’s Albert Bartlett winner Vanillier heads the market in this after a 26-length romp in a Grade 2 last time out, but our pick Run Wild Fred is a progressive looking type for Gordon Elliott who was a very impressive winner last time out

That was just a handicap chase at Navan, but he won that with something in hand and looked a graded horse in a handicap, jumping well just in behind the leaders before staying on stoutly to the line.

He makes the big jump up in class in this but has been running well in some decent graded contests before this.

So will regular improvement expected in this he could be very hard to beat in this fascinating contest.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/22FAI29Y11-2F
09/04/22AIN34.5GS11-7F
15/03/22CHL30GS11-62
29/12/21LEO24Y11-122
21/11/21NAV24Gd11-61
Leopardstown - December 29 2021
Leopardstown 14:20
4
Mr P W Mullins

Sharjah

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: 164
Days: 45

Sharjah absolutely loves the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle, winning the races last three renewals and he heads to Leopardstown again to retain his crown and win it for a record fourth time in a row.

He clearly thrives at this time of year and in this race especially, saving his best form for the Christmas 2-mile feature, beating Klassical Dream in 2019, Samcro in 2018 and Saint Roi in last year’s renewal, winning the three races by a combined 9 lengths.

Willie Mullins has his horses flying like always (16 winners in his last 41 runners, 39% strike rate in the last 14 days) and Patrick Mullins keeps the ride on him, which is great news as Patrick has ridden the horse to victory in his last three Matheson Hurdle wins.

Sharjah was a winner last time out on his seasonal reappearance in the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in November, beating two younger prospects in fine style.

He looks the one to beat in this as he bids to win the race for a fourth time in a row.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/12/21LEO16Y/Sft11-121
14/11/21PUN16Gd/Y11-121
30/04/21PUN16Y12-02
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-102
06/02/21LEO16Sft/Hy11-123
Leopardstown - December 29 2021
Leopardstown 14:55
16
Conor Maxwell

Shantou Lucky

J:
 
Conor Maxwell
T:
 
Gavin Cromwell
Age: 4
Weight: 10-4
OR: 106
Days: 24

Another wide-open contest in the penultimate race of the day, and we have sided with last time out winner Shantou Lucky who was a pretty impressive winning favourite last time out, when just holding on to win by a neck.

He was always running up to the line and won with a little bit in hand.

He has a 7lb rise for this today, but he looks to be in flying form and could take advantage of a low weight in this wide-open race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/04/22PER20GS10-72
22/03/22CLO16Sft11-121
07/03/22LEO17Y11-123
19/02/22GOW20Hy10-11PU
22/01/22NAV20Y11-76
Leopardstown - December 29 2021
Leopardstown 15:25
4
Mr P W Mullins

The Nice Guy

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 12-2
OR: N/A
Days: 32

Another day and another bumper race where Willie Mullins looks to have a real nice prospect in it, The Nice Guy was an impressive 2 and a half lengths at Fairyhouse in November beating a well fancied Gordon Elliott runner Santonito, who has since come out and finished a close up second behind another nice prospect at Leopardstown on Monday (28th).

The Nice Guy was kept up with the early pace on his debut win, and when he was asked by Patrick Mullins he responded nicely and went into a clear lead with 2 furlongs to go and kept on thoroughly, running through the line.

He has slightly softer conditions this time around where he was running on good ground last time out, but his pedigree suggests that won't be an issue and that he might relish these conditions further down the line.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-101
18/03/22CHL24GS11-81
30/01/22NAA19Gd/Y12-01
29/12/21LEO16Y/Sft12-21
27/11/21FAI16Gd12-21

James Mackie

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