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Katie Walsh Betway blog: Leopardstown 28 12 22 & 29 12 22

27 Dec | BY Katie Walsh | MIN READ TIME |
Katie Walsh Betway blog: Leopardstown 28 12 22 & 29 12 22

The Betway ambassador previews the best of the racing from Leopardstown on Wednesday and Thursday.

Although he’s only five, we’re running out of words to describe Constitution Hill. He is simply a machine. An aeroplane. I don’t see anything beating him in the short term. He’s just in a different class. Roll on Cheltenham so we can see him again!

Leopardstown on Thursday

I am a big fan of Queens Brook {ODDS:1057579214:8/15}. She was very good in beating Heaven Help Us in a listed race at Punchestown last time. She’s always been very well thought of at Cullentra and I know the plan is to head back to Cheltenham for the Mares Hurdle, which they were narrowly beaten in last year. She didn’t get a clean run at it last year and still finished second, so they’ll be wanting to win this (13:10) to keep her on track for March.

The Matheson Hurdle (14:20) should be named the Sharjah Hurdle as he’s won it for the past four years and you know he’ll be bang there at the last. It won’t be that easy for Sharjah {ODDS:1057581194:6/1} this year, though, as two of his stablemates will give him plenty to think about. State Man is the chosen mount of Paul Townend and is likely to be tough to beat, but I have to say, I wasn’t in love with his jumping. I think that could be his downfall and if jumping is the name of the game, then Vauban will be winner! We haven’t seen him yet this season, but his jumping is super slick. He’s rapid over hurdles and bolted up in the Triumph Hurdle in March. He’s clearly very good but this is a big ask for a four-year-old. What a race this could be…especially for Willie Mullins!

Leopardstown on Wednesday

The 12:35 is a big field handicap that, on paper, looks really competitive, but could it be a rout for Unanswered {ODDS:1057173004:SP} like it was at Cheltenham last time. He was smashed in the betting and dotted up, looking like a horse with so much in hand. It would be good to see if he can continue to improve.

I do also think that Eddie Cawley’s West Is Awake {ODDS:1057173002:SP} is fairly treated. He’s a strong traveller and won’t mind if it the ground dries up.

Maxxum {ODDS:1057174654:9/2} has snuck it at the bottom of the weights in the 13:10. He was with Euguene O’Sullivan’s yard to start off his career but has looked a different horse since moving to Gordon’s. In two runs, he’s been second at Punchestown and was put up 17lb for winning last time at Navan. He obviously needs to show he can handle that hike, but he’s the choice ride of Jack Kennedy.

Everything that is being ridden handy here is getting home and that could be telling in the Jack De Bromhead Christmas Hurdle (13:45). The two horses I really like in this are both going to be ridden handy and I think they’ll fight the finish out between them. Flooring Porter {ODDS:1057172955:13/8} will be looking to make up for what happened in this race last year, when Klassical Dream stole the start on him. He ran well over 2m4f last time and at the moment, is the leading 3m hurdler, so he’s the one to beat, but he’s not without his quirks.

The other horse I think will go well is Home By The Lee {ODDS:1057172959:11/2}. I think he was good in the Lismullen – with Flooring Porter behind him – and I think he’s improving. His run at Cheltenham in the Stayers was very good, too.

The Savills Chase (14:20) isn’t the best renewal of the race I can remember, so if A Plus Tard brings his A-game, he’ll sluice up. But I’m not sure you could be so confident on him after he pulled up at Haydock in November. Obviously, we know he’s better than that, but I’m not 100 per cent convinced that Leopardstown is his perfect track. He’s there for the taking in this race and I think Conflated {ODDS:1057172936:11/4} is the one who can beat him. He’ll love it around here. He won the Irish Gold Cup here last year and again, I think he’ll be ridden handy and that’ll suit him.

I Am Maximus {ODDS:1057172978:SP} was second last time but should get off the mark in the Beginners’ Chase. He actually ran well at Cheltenham behind Sir Gerhard, and he’s still very lightly raced. He was only beaten a short head last time and should inch closer and get his head in front this time.

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Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh

Successful former jump jockey who, until 2021, boasted the best ever Grand National finishing position by a female jockey.

Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh

Successful former jump jockey who, until 2021, boasted the best ever Grand National finishing position by a female jockey.