13:50 Leopardstown

Wednesday 27 December 2017

All12:1012:4013:1513:5014:2515:0015:35

Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

Class 1  |   2m  |   Soft (Yielding in places)  |   7 Runners  |   Turf
Off time: 13:51  |   Winning time: 4m 0.5s
Weighed In
1
Age: 5|  Weight: 11-10  |  J: D N Russell |  T: G Elliott|  D
25/1

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.

2
Age: 4|  Weight: 11-7  |  J: B J Geraghty |  T: J P O'Brien
8/1

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.

3
Age: 4|  Weight: 11-7  |  J: Alexis Poirier |  T: W P Mullins|  D
33/1

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.

4
Age: 4|  Weight: 11-7  |  J: J W Kennedy |  T: G Elliott|  D
1/1

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.

5
Age: 4|  Weight: 11-7  |  J: P Townend |  T: W P Mullins|  D
11/4

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.

6
Age: 4|  Weight: 11-7  |  J: Mr P W Mullins |  T: W P Mullins|  D
8/1

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.

7
Age: 4|  Weight: 11-7  |  J: D J Mullins |  T: W P Mullins|  D
9/1

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.

Betting

Forecast

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)

Verdict
Mengli Khan sets the standard on the back of his Royal Bond success at Fairyhouse this month. He was backed like a good thing that afternoon and obliged without any great fuss, ensuring his credentials are clear. REAL STEEL however made a very impressive debut at Thurles for the Mullins team and gets the nod form Paul Townend from a quartet of Closutton contenders in this. The trainer/jockey team claimed this 12 months and with potential for significant improvement, can do so again. Sharjah isn't overlooked in the Ricci colours having won two from two over timber and, as a winner on the Flat, would be suited should this get tactical.
  1. Real Steel
  2. Mengli Khan
  3. Sharjah

Previous Winners

2016
Saturnas
Weight: 11-10  |Age: 5
Weight: 11-10  |  
Age: 5  |  
J: P Townend
  |  
T: W P Mullins
9/2
Prize Money
1st: €50,150.002nd: €16,150.003rd: €7,649.004th: €3,400.005th: €1,700.006th: €849.00

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