Connect with us


The Mandarin’s Thursday Selections for 28th December 2023

The Mandarin’s Selections from Leopardstown & Limerick


Irish Daily Star Handicap Hurdle 12.40
West Away
It may pay to side with John McConnell’s recent Cork scorer West Away for this competitive handicap. With plenty of weather about this week, that form on soft ground stands out, and Alex Harvey’s 7lb claim adds to the appeal. Joint co-favourite has been Henry de Bromhead’s Music Of Tara, who comes out of an in-form stable, and has the excellent Rachael Blackmore on board, so these two can fight it out

Ballymaloe Relish Rising Stars Beginners Chase 1.15
Fact To File
Willie Mullins’s Poliglote gelding was sent off an odds-on favourite to score on his first try over fences, but after a messy jump at the last left the race to American Mike. He should only come on for that run, and with a bit more accuracy in his fencing can lose the maiden tag here. Stablemate Minella Cocooner has had a long time off after some injury issues, but is a quality rival, while Gordon Elliott’s Zanahiyr has raced at the highest level over hurdles so has to be feared, and these are the three principals. Fact To File has bigger days ahead of him over fences, so gets the nudge for this Beginners Chase

Jack de Bromhead Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1) 1.50
Irish Point (nap)
This race was won by the re-opposing Home By The Lee last year, but the ready preference is for Irish Point, who was smart enough in the Novice Hurdling division last season. Runner-up in both the Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse behind Marine Nationale and the Lawlor’s Of Naas, he finally took top Novice honours at Aintree in his final run of the term. Irish Point made a winning start to this season when landing a Grade 3 Hurdle at Down Royal, and should make a winning start over fences here

Savills Chase (Grade 1) 2.25
Gerri Colombe (nb)
What a race is in store as Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Galopin Des Champs lines up next to Gerri Colombe and Fastorslow for this Grade 1 feature. The preference is for Gerri Colombe, who looked to be due to suffer just his second defeat in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal last month, when third of four before the last, only to somehow find enough to collar Envoi Allen on the line. That proved his mettle, and with Galopin Des Champs surely on course to defend his title in Cheltenham’s Blue Riband in March, trainer Willie Mullins won’t be wanting him to peak just yet, with the Dublin Racing Festival just a few weeks away. Given that, the unknown known is just how good Fastorslow is, having beaten Galopin Des Champs twice already, which puts him firmly in the reckoning. However, this track might suit Gerri Colombe better, so he’s the pick of these three top-class seven year old chasers


Guinness Faugheen Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2.05
Gaelic Warrior
Willie Mullins looks to have one right out of the top drawer here with Gaelic Warrior. The French import beat the re-opposing Inothewayurthinkin by 15 lengths at Punchestown on his chasing bow, even then easing down such was his dominance. Any repeat of that performance makes him very hard to oppose, and the bookies will be taking no chances after that run. Gordon Elliott’s American Mike reeled in hot favourite Fact To File in a Beginners Chase at Navan, so will be looking to build on that, while Gaelic Warrior’s stablemate, Il Etait Temps is not here just to make up the numbers. A brilliant Novice Chase in store, but Gaelic Warrior looks the one to follow

The Mandarin

Advertisement alternative_text
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *