13:50 Leopardstown Wed 27 December 2017
Recorded wins at Wexford and Clonmel over timber before finding promising Mengli Khan too good in the Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse (2m, soft). Similar fate may await in this contest.
Won his first three starts over timber during the summer, returned to action in the Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse (2m, soft) this month and finished 23L sixth of seven behind Mengli Khan. Fitter now and could close the gap somewhat.
French import, won a maiden hurdle at Listowel in September (2m, heavy) in convincing style, well held when pulled up before the last in Royal Bond behind Mengli Khan latest. Plenty on to turn around that form.
Made it three from three over timber for the season when readily winning Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse (2m, heavy) this month. Very well backed to do so and likely to take some stopping in this contest.
French import made a winning start for champion trainer in 2m maiden hurdle at Thurles last month (soft), doing so impressively. Has to be respected for connections, albeit this is a big jump in class. One of four for last year's winning trainer.
Flat winner in native France over 1m4f before joining Ireland's champion trainer. Perfect two from two over timber so far and would be dangerous to write off chances despite jumping up in class now. One of Closutton quartet in this.
Unbeaten in three starts for this yard, landing impressive Galway Festival double on the Flat having scored a maiden hurdle success at Tramore in June over 2m on heavy going. More called for in this grade.
Last Year's Winner
|T: W P MullinsJ: P Townend|
Mengli Khan (1/1), Real Steel (11/4), Le Richebourg (8/1), Sharjah (8/1), Whiskey Sour (9/1), Hardline (25/1), Makitorix (33/1)
- Real Steel
- Mengli Khan
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