ITV Racing Sunday Leopardstown and Musselburgh Preview

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Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 13:10
6
Sean O'Keeffe

Mrs Milner

J:
 
Sean O'Keeffe
T:
 
Paul Nolan
Age: 6
Weight: 11-1
OR: 129
Days: 41

The first race on day two of the Dublin Racing Festival is the 2m2f Mares Handicap Hurdle and the horse that catches our eye at a nice price is Mrs Milner for trainer Paul Nolan.

The six year old has been a highly consistent horse for the yard over the last few seasons showing win and place form over two and three miles.

This season the mare made her debut at Galway in July and and was a good winner of a Mares Handicap Hurdle over two miles.

She then went to Ballinrobe and finished a good third a in a similar event when stepping up to 2m6f and was upped to three miles next time out at Cheltenham in November.

She finished a superb neck second to On The Blind Side for Nicky Henderson that day, who has since gone on to frank the form, placing in a Grade Two and winning a strong event after that.

Last time out Mrs Milner was a good fourth of 20 runners in a Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle over three miles at Leopardstown.

Having form over a lesser trip makes sure she will handle this race and should be the stamina option at a nice each way.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/03/21CHL24GS10-91
07/02/21LEO18Sft/Hy11-1F
28/12/20LEO24Sft10-84
14/11/20CHL24Sft10-52
06/09/20BAL22Y/Sft11-13
Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 13:40
3
Jack Kennedy

Quilixios

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 4
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 99

The first Grade One event of the day at Leopardstown is the Spring Juvenile Hurdle over two miles and the favourite Quilixios is hard to look past.

The gelding has only been seen three times in his career, winning in March at Compiegne in France in a conditions hurdle race and from there was bought by the owners and sent over to Ireland.

He made his debut for the yard at Punchestown earlier in the month and hosed up by 13 lengths, showing signs that Elliott could have another Envoi Allen.

He then went to Down Royal last time out in October and was another impressive winner of a 3-Y-O Hurdle, seeing off the field by 20 lengths.

This youngster could turn out to be anything, and off the back of his last three starts to date, he looks a seriously sharp prospect and it will be interesting to see him stepped up to this class on Sunday after a small break.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/05/21PUN16Gd/Y11-27
19/03/21CHL17GS11-01
07/02/21LEO16Sft/Hy11-21
31/10/20DRO16.5Sft11-101
13/10/20PUN16Y11-41
Musselburgh - February 07 2021
Musselburgh 13:55
1
Harry Skelton

Carlos Felix

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A

Musselburgh host a stellar card on Sunday and the first race on ITV from the Scottish track is the Listed Triumph Hurdle and we like the look of Carlos Felix.

Dan Skelton is superb at getting best out of horses coming from the flat, landing a Grade One over hurdles and fences with Allmankind.

Carlos Felix was a very useful 1m4f flat horse having a rating of 92 at his peak, winning a Class 2 Handicap at Ascot in July which looks the best of her form.

Her ex-trainer David Simcock thought a lot of this horse and if being able to jump over hurdles looks a nice recruit for the thriving yard.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
24/07/21YOR12GF9-55
09/07/21YOR12Gd9-08
26/06/21CHS12.5Gd10-07
12/06/21YOR12GF10-26
29/05/21CHS13.5GS9-07
Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
1
Paul Townend

Appreciate It

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 153
Days: 42

We can't look past the favourite Appreciate it for Willie Mullins in this event, with the six year old showing the best form on offer in the race to date and looking to stay on that upward, improving curve.

He ran in four bumpers last term, finishing third on his rules debut at Fairyhouse but since then he has turned into a different animal.

He bolted up at Christmas at Leopardstown in a two and a half mile bumper not seeing a rival for the last two furlongs.At the same track he landed a Grade Two in the same form as his other win and he then went to the Cheltenham festival where he was a narrow second behind stablemate Ferny Hollow in the Grade One Champion Bumper.

Mullins has stepped him up to hurdles this season and on debut was comfortable winner at Cork and that form has been franked with the second placed horse since going on to win twice since.

Appreciate it also cemented the form line when entered into the Grade One Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas and went on to dominate a strong field by close to 10 lengths.

Although many think he might be better suited over a longer trip, Mullins has not been shy of putting a horse that stays further into two miles event and it would need a serious performance from another horse to beat him.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-71
07/02/21LEO16Sft/Hy11-121
27/12/20LEO16Sft11-121
22/11/20COR16Hy12-01
11/03/20CHL16.5Sft11-52
Musselburgh - February 07 2021
Musselburgh 14:25
6
Sam Twiston-Davies

Fantastikas

J:
 
Sam Twiston-Davies
T:
 
Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 124
Days: 68

The Scottish Stayers Novices' Hurdle over three miles is a superb event on Sunday and Fantastikas for Nigel Twiston-Davies looks an interesting horse.

The six year old has been superb on both his runs this season finishing second on hurdles debut at Stratford, before again having to settle for runner up at Southwell last time out.

On his latest start he finished a close second behind the smart Barbados Bucks for Paul Nicholls, who has since gone on and franked the form in a better race.

The soft ground shouldn't be to bad for this gelding and it looks a good opportunity to get his head in front for the first time over flights.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/02/21FON19GS11-31
07/02/21MUS24Sft11-02
01/12/20STH24.5GS10-122
08/11/20STR18.5GS10-122
14/02/20FAK16Sft11-42
Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 14:40
10
Mark Walsh

Damalisque

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Edward P Harty
Age: 8
Weight: 10-9
OR: 123
Days: 9

The William Fry Handicap Hurdle over three miles sees JP McManus hold a superb chance with a fair amount of runners, but the one we are siding with is Damalisque.

The Edward Harty trained eight year old looks to be a bit of a handicap blot with his current mark and off the back of his last run should go close again.

The gelding was a good second in November at Naas over 2m4f on soft heavy ground and then last time out at Navan in heavy ground, went on to land a decent event by close to eight lengths.

He is now stepping up to three miles which will suit him down to the ground and although up 12lb for his last win looks a horse on the upgrade and still well treated in the weights.

Musselburgh - February 07 2021
Musselburgh 14:55
5
Ryan Day

Chapel Stile

J:
 
Ryan Day
T:
 
Nicky Richards
Age: 9
Weight: 10-10
OR: 126
Days: 56

Next up is the Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle over 3m2f and the Nicky Richards trained Chapel Stile is weighted to go well.

The nine year old has been a consistent horse during his career over both hurdles and fences, winning good races in both spheres and thats what makes his handicap mark workable today.

The gelding made his seasonal debut over three miles at Aintree and although travelling nicely faded late on and may have needed the run.

He improved massively for that run last time out when a close third in a similar event over 3m1f at Carlisle and with the soft ground and extra distance today, this proven stayer should revel in conditions.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/21AYR32Gd10-8P
22/02/21CRL24.5Hy11-131
07/02/21MUS26Sft10-107
13/12/20CRL25Sft10-93
07/11/20AIN24.5GS10-78
Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 15:10
9
Paul Townend

Monkfish

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 158
Days: 40

Monkfish is the leading three mile novice hurdler in Ireland this season and so far during his elusive career has not done much wrong at all and we fancy him to keep his winning run going in this Grade One.

The Willie Mullins trained gelding was bought by Rich Ricci at Cheltenham in 2018 for £235,000 off the back of winning a point to point and since then they have not looked back with this horse.

In 2019 he was ran twice, once in a bumper and once over hurdles finishing second on both occasions behind smart horses in Diol Ker and Longhouse Poet.

Since then he has gone on to be a superstar being unbeaten in three hurdle event and on both his chase starts showing clear staying ability and this term a superb jumping temperament.

Having won at Fairyhouse and at Thurles last term over large distances, he went to the Cheltenham festival and managed to stay three miles the best of the runners to just get up in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Sent chasing by Mullins this term he landed his debut at Fairyhouse with ease and used that run to improve further when managing to see off Latest Exhibition in a Grade One Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Although dropping slightly in trip he should still be the one to beat in this race, but will have to be on top form renewing his rivalry with Latest Exhibition.

Musselburgh - February 07 2021
Musselburgh 15:25
3
Harry Skelton

Third Time Lucki

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 6
Weight: 11-6
OR: 144
Days: 43

The final event from Scotland on ITV on Sunday is their feature race of the day with the two mile Scottish Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

Having finished second in a point to point he was given to the Skelton yard and he ran in four bumpers last term winning two of them and placing on his final start.

He managed to finish a staying on fourth in the Grade One Champion Bumper behind Ferny Hollow, Appreciate It and Queens Brook, which is obviously strong form.

The gelding was stepped over hurdles this term and has landed three of his four events, winning events at Uttoxeter, Wetherby and Kempton.

Two starts ago he finished second at Cheltenham in a Grade Two event letting the front runner go to far ahead on the day, but last time out was an emphatic winner at Kempton over Christmas and that run sets the standard in the race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/21AIN16.5GS11-44
19/03/21CHL17GS11-06
07/02/21MUS15.5Sft11-64
26/12/20KEM16GS11-81
15/11/20CHL16.5Sft11-02
Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 15:40
3
Paul Townend

Melon

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 166
Days: 41

Melon is the second runner for Willie Mullins and a bit of a surprise entry having been looking to not stay over the same course and distance in the Savills Chase over Christmas, when just fading into third, but we think being ridden with different tactics on Sunday makes him the value in the race.

That run was still a extremely special effort, having taken on stablemate Kemboy from a long way out and just not having enough in the tank in the final stages.Mullins has said he will be ran differently for this event and it may play to his strengths leaving more for the finish with his jumping being second to none.

He was a very smart horse over hurdles finishing second three times in a row at the Cheltenham festival in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Champion Hurdle Twice.

Having been finding his feet as a novice, it all came together at the Cheltenham festival when finishing a narrow second in a photo-finish to Samcro in the Marsh Novices' Chase.

Having finished a good third behind stablemate Min on debut in the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown, his run in the Savills Chase was another superb effort and now under different tactics could be a big player again.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/21PUN24.5Y11-12P
18/03/21CHL20.5GS11-10P
07/02/21LEO24.5Sft11-125
28/12/20LEO24Y11-123
06/12/20PUN20.5Hy11-123

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