Hidden Cyclone Fancied To Come Out On Top In Leopardstown Feature If Jumping Holds Up
The Dial A Bet Chase at Leopardstown looks to be a cracking contest and it looks as though there will be a fierce battle for favouritism between AP McCoy’s Uxizandre and Ruby Walsh’s Ballycasey. Both runners won their last starts, both hail from powerful stables but both may be battling for the runners up spot on Saturday.
Hidden Cyclone looks a good thing to record his first Grade 1 success under ideal conditions. He looked an improved horse last season and finished off with a brilliant close second to Dynaste at the Cheltenham Festival. That was the third time in a row he had finished runner up in a Grade 1 contest and there is certainly no shame in also coming second to Sire De Grugy and Benefficient. The big question mark over Hidden Cyclone is his jumping, he’s fallen on both starts this year. He made a few mistakes last time out but generally his jumping was decent before he fell at the last, a mistake that probably cost him a victory. Connections have had 37 days since to work on his jumping and granted a clear round of jumping he should go very close.
Of the two favourites Uxizandre is readily preferred to Ballycasey. Although Willie Mullins always has to be respected in this sort of contest, he’s actually only won this race once in the last ten years and crucially Ballycasey has generally been campaigned as more of a stayer. Even his trainer recently said 2.5 miles is his trip and on ground that might be quicker than ideal too it’s easy to see Ballycasey being outpaced.
Uxizandre also isn’t short of stamina but he does look to have more pace about him than Ballycasey. His jumping is a great asset in this sort of race and as a novice chase Grade 1 winner he also has the class. Talking of class, 8 time Grade 1 winner Sizing Europe can’t be completely ruled out but he’s really getting on now at the age of 12 and although the ground might have been too soft last time out, that has to go down as a disappointing effort.