Katie Walsh: My picks for the racing on Wednesday
The Betway ambassador previews the final day of the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown on Wednesday.
Wednesday at Leopardstown
The Maiden Hurdle is one of the best we’ll see all season (12:35). Kilcruit going up against Journey With Me and Minella Crooner is going to tell us a lot. They’re all going to be very good horses and they could all reach the top but, going out in trip to 2m4f, Kilcruit should have the edge on them with his experience. He should have won the Champion Bumper, and although he was beaten on his first start over hurdles, I think he found it all happening too quickly. It’ll be a cracker, though.
Dysart Diamond did it really well at Punchestown last time and is a typical Willie Mullins mare that has just kept on improving. She has won here before and didn’t have any luck in running in the Mares' Handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival, which turned out to be one of the most informative races of the season (13:10).
Run Wild Fred was very impressive when winning the Troytown at Navan last time. He seemed to run okay last season but didn’t put it all together, whereas he looks a much better horse this year. This 3m trip will suit Vanillier and Fury Road better than the shorter trips they’ve been running over, so it’ll make for a proper race (13:45).
The big race of the day at Leopardstown is without doubt the Matheson Hurdle (14:20). Sharjah has won this for the past three years and is likely to win it again. It looks a very average renewal, and we know how much he loves this place. You know that Paul will switch him off and play his hand as they come to the last. They do it every year and it’s the only way you can ride him.
Other horses to watch on Wednesday
I’m a fan of Teahupoo who runs in the Grade 2 at Limerick (13:30). He was good when beating Quilixios at Naas and I think he’ll beat him again. He was good last season as he kept improving, and he looks to have improved again this year.
It’s interesting that Gordon Elliot is taking Gringo D’aubrelle to Newbury for the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle (15:05). Gordon is very good at placing his horses and I think he knows how average the novices are in England (bar the obvious couple), and sees this as a good opportunity to take some more prize money.
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