The final jumps meeting of the season at Leopardstown to provide strong Grand National and Cheltenham Festival clues
The Carrickmines Chase (4.20) is packed full of Grand National entries and should provide strong pointers to which Irish horses will be fancied for the Aintree feature. Last year’s National fancy Colbert Station carries top weight and will be ably partnered by AP McCoy this afternoon.
Priced at 25/1 for the Grand National Colbert Station may just need this run to put him right for his National attempt next month. Owner McManus’ other runner in the race comes to it off the back of five straight wins and looks the more likely winner of the two. If Double Seven does make the winners enclosure expect price available to tumble from 33/1 for Grand National.
Last year’s Irish National third Home Farm will also use the two-mile five chase as a stepping stone to Aintree and will be the probable market leader. Moore’s horse is quoted at 33/1 for the Grand National.
After racing today, the gallops and schooling sessions at the track will provide a few more Cheltenham Festival clues for trainers and punters alike. In the last Mullin’s Aminabad could his place into the Champion Bumper (currently priced 14/1) and Dessie Hughes’ Art of Payroll’s run in (3.20) should decide what job the horse is given for the Festival.
In the Ballsbridge Hurdle (2.50) both Thousand Stars and Midnight Game are certain to have Cheltenham plans if returning safely home. Midnight Game is the more interesting of the Mullins pair holding some eyecatching handicap entries.
(Featured Photograph – Cheltenham Festival by Stuart Rice)