Many of us will be rolling out of bed hungover and well fed from the festivities of the night before to find that we have yet again been thrust into some sort of lockdown. But worry not, thanks to the hard work of HRI racing has been allowed to continue throughout Level 5 so the tradition of Stephens’ Day racing can continue. Due to some moving around of meetings to make life easier for staff we now have 2 four day meetings rather than 3 thanks to Down Royal moving to before the Christmas Break. Still, we will have plenty of ammo to send to the remaining Limerick and Leopardstown meetings.
Firstly we will head to Leopardstown where racing will kick off at noon with the 2m Join tote.ie With A €10 Bet Maiden Hurdle where a max field of 20 look set to run. FIELDS OF DREAMS managed to run a nice race on his debut over hurdles before falling two out. The bit of racing he did get will have been of huge benefit to this young horse and hopefully he can put that to good use. PURDEY’S GIFT got a nice freshener over in Dundalk on the flat not too long ago which will set him up nicely for his debut here, Jack Kennedy has been booked to ride.
Next up is WIDE RECEIVER who ran a very creditable race when 3rd in a Gr3 hurdle, we have decided to drop him back from 2m4f to the 2m as he didn’t quite see it out the last day, Jack Kennedy has been booked to ride.
The breathtaking ZANAHIYR moves up in grade for the Gr2 Frank Knight Juvenile Hurdle over 2m. This horse could be anything as the Spring looms around the corner. He has met a few of these before but will be 3lbs worse off for his win last time. Jack Kennedy has been booked to ride.
It’s another big field for the Holden Plant Rentals Novices Handicap Hurdle over 2m where ONE DOWN is joint top weight as he has been running well outside of Graded races, he will be ridden by Jack Wildman who claim 7lbs. ENVIOUS EDITOR has been improving and his form reads 3322 so maybe we’re in store for a double based on that? Jack Kennedy has been booked to ride.
FELIX DESJY returns for the Grade 1 Racing Post Novices Chase. He has taken each step in his chasing career well having won both starts well. This will be his biggest chase run to date so far and he looks to be a classy sort especially with Jack Kennedy in the saddle.
A valuable pot awaits in the 2m1f Bet Through Racing Post App Handicap Chase where our highest rated contender is OR JAUNE DE SOMOZA who will be ridden by Kevin Sexton, he has been doing well since joining us but may need a further drop. TIMOTEO gets in off a very handy mark and will have Jack Kennedy in the saddle. This looks right up his street as he has been running very well of recent in big handicaps.
Finally for Leopardstown we have 2 in the 2m Holden Plant bumper. IMPERIAL SACHIN’S has the benefit of a start and a very good one at that. Lisa O’Neill has been booked to ride. Our second runner is TOP BANDIT who probably found the extra 2f a bit of a stretch the first time but looked like he learned a lot from his run where he came second, Jamie Codd has been booked to ride.
Moving across to Limerick we start things off with ON GUARD in the 3YO Maiden Hurdle over 2m. He has been fitted with a hood for this run after running away with things the last day. He doesn’t lack talent and a turn off foot and he will have Keith Donoghue in the saddle. We also have the second and third reserve in the shape of newcomers Saeer and Raamez.
CLONDAW SECRET makes up one of the small 5 runner field in the Signsplus Hurdle over 2m4f. This looks a nice race for Clondaw to continue his education having won last time out. It’ll be a competitive race and we will know where to place him next, Keith will ride.
A much bigger field compete for the Eden Capital Maiden Hurdle over 2m4f again as we have GRANGECLARE NATIVE who has been running well of late and will have cheekpieces fitted for the first time here, Keith Donoghue has been booked to ride.
SASSY YET CLASSY has really come into herself of late having followed up her win with a very valent 4th place last time. She will be giving away plenty of weight in this mares contest but we hope she can give connections another good run with Keith Donoghue in the saddle.
PENCILFULLOFLEAD looks to be the thorn in Willie Mullins’ side for the Grade 1 Novices Chase as it is us and Joseph against Willie’s three runners. This is a race with a good history and this horse was made to go chasing as he has shown us recently to great effect, this will be another ride for Keith Donoghue.