Leopardstown Boxing Day Preview - 26/12/21

Leopardstown - December 26 2021
Leopardstown 12:00
6
Mark Walsh

Hercule Du Seuil

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 4
Weight: 11-9
OR: N/A
Days: 431

The first event of the Christmas festival in Ireland is the Leopardstown Maiden Hurdle over two miles and the horse that catches the eye is the Willie Mullins trained French exploit, Hercule Du Seuil.

Owned by JP McManus, the four year old gelding is making his Irish debut having been bought for £185,000 off the back of finishing a short head second at Strasbourg in October 2020.

Making his debut in this event that has been won by the likes of Klassical Dream and Cedarwood Road in recent years, it looks a nice stepping stone for future events.

He is obviously thought of highly and the racing world is excited to see what he can do this term.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/10/20STB17.5Sft10-82
Leopardstown - December 26 2021
Leopardstown 12:35
18
Paul Townend

Sir Gerhard

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 12-0
OR: N/A
Days: 242

One of the most eagerly anticipated hurdles debut takes place in this race with the Champion Bumper winner Sir Gerhard taking his first steps in his hurdles career.

The Cheveley Park owned six year old has been seen five times in his life, once in a P2P when bolting up by 12 lengths ahead of the smart Minella Drama.

Last season he was seen on his rules debut in October at Down Royal, never coming off the bridle to saunter clear of the field by 14 lengths.

It was a sign of things to come as he did the same next time out at Navan and then off the back of that went to the Cheltenham festival and saw off stablemate Kilcruit in a tight affair.

Looking to do the same on his final start at the Punchestown festival, he was beaten for the first time in his career by Kilcruit and the smart O'Toole.

Still holding unbelievable ability he makes his exciting hurdles debut in this event and if anything like he was in bumpers he should not be beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y11-123
16/03/22CHL21Sft11-71
06/02/22LEO16Y/Sft11-121
26/12/21LEO16Sft12-01
28/04/21PUN16.5Y12-23
Leopardstown - December 26 2021
Leopardstown 13:10
1
Davy Russell

Fil Dor

J:
 
Davy Russell
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 3
Weight: 11-3
OR: N/A
Days: 28

The first big race of the day is the Grade Two Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle over two miles and the horse we can't look past is Fil Dor for Gordon Elliott.

Fil Dor left the impresssion of being a juvenile hurdler of the highest quality when winning on debut over obstacles at Down Royal.

The son of Doctor Dino jumped superbly, travelled strongly throughout, and won by an eventual 16 lengths, eased down and at a canter.

He was then sent to Fairyhouse last time out up in Class for the Grade Three Juvenile Hurdle and in a different kind of race he battled to the line to eventually get up and win well close home.

Learning on the job he has taken big steps forward on both occasions to date and it is hard to see him not doing so again.

Leopardstown - December 26 2021
Leopardstown 13:45
15
Dylan Robinson

Trebizond

J:
 
Dylan Robinson
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 4
Weight: 10-12
OR: 111
Days: 90

One of the more trickier contests on the card is the Novice Handicap Hurdle and at the weights we are siding with the Henry De Bromhead trained Trebizond for owner Robcour.

The four year old gelding, this season has become a new animal over hurdles, having two starts last term and needing them both, but this year has been a force to be reckoned with.

Making his seasonal debut in August at Tramore he was a bold second of 15 behind a nice type for Noel Meade.

Off the back of that he was seen at Wexford finishing second again behind a progressive type, but used both those runs to get off the mark at Roscommon last time out.

Now moved into handicap company he has been given a very workable mark of 111 and if progressing like he has, getting weight off the field he should go close.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/21LEO16Sft10-129
27/09/21ROS15.5Gd11-91
04/09/21WEX16.5Gd11-42
12/08/21TRM16Gd11-42
18/01/21PUN16Sft/Hy11-67
Leopardstown - December 26 2021
Leopardstown 14:20
2
Paul Townend

Ferny Hollow

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 12-0
OR: N/A
Days: 21

One of our best bets of the day at Leopardstown comes in the feature race of the day with the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase set to be a cracker.

We can't get past the superstar Ferny Hollow that has been electric for Willie Mullins, although having his problems last season he looks back to his best.

Being a very smart bumper horse, albeit taking some time to start winning, he landed the Cheltenham Champion Bumper in 2020, seeing off stablemate and superstar Appreciate It.

Sent hurdling last term, he was only seen once before his season got cut short and he was seen beating the mighty Bob Olinger over two miles at Gowran Park.

Not seen since then, he was sent chasing by Mullins on his seasonal debut this term and having learnt on the job his last four fences were jumped brilliantly and he showed some good pace to settle the race late on.

He will be sure to improve on that run for fitness and quality and although giving 13lb away to the second favourite, if as good as we think he is, he should win.

Leopardstown - December 26 2021
Leopardstown 14:55
2
Paul Townend

Fan De Blues

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-11
OR: 141
Days: 36

The penultimate selection of the afternoon on the first day of the Leopardstown meeting is another for Willie Mullins with Fan De Blues looking a top performer.

Never really getting going over fences last term, he has looked a much better prospect this term, being seen four times, winning twice and placing twice.

He started his campaign off at Punchestown over two miles when breaking his duck over fences, easily landing a beginners chase.

He made it back to back wins next time out up in trip to 2m2f at Galway when seeing off the highly talented Gin On Lime, who has since franked the form.

Upto 2m4f for his last two runs, Gin On Lime reversed the form in a Grade Three at Tipperary and last time out he had to settle for second again at Gowran when four lengths behind a nice type on handicap debut.

We think he is better than his mark of 141 and could be a Grade Three/Two horse in a handicap.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/03/22LEO21.5Y11-119
06/02/22LEO21.5Y10-8F
26/12/21LEO17Sft11-116
20/11/21GOW20Sft11-102
03/10/21TIP20Y11-102
Leopardstown - December 26 2021
Leopardstown 15:30
6
Mr P W Mullins

Facile Vega

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 4
Weight: 11-11
OR: N/A

The final event of the afternoon is the Leoaprdstown Flat Race over two miles and we have taken a liking to the potential superstar Facile Vega.

The Willie Mullins trained debutant has a superb jumps racing pedigree being a son of Walk In The Park out of the super-mare Quevega.

He is a half brother to impressive bumper winner Princess Vega for the same yard and with Mullins record in these types of races, he is hard to look past.

Certainly one to watch.

James Mackie

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