- Back Great Field to Win on Thursday at 5/1 with RedZone
- Back Presenting Percy to Win on Friday at 7/2 with BetVictor
Leopardstown's Christmas Festival has become an integral part of the holiday festivities and offers the casual punter no end of great betting opportunities.
So how do you find the best bets across a superb four-day jumps festival that includes no fewer than eight Grade 1’s? Well, with great difficulty; so here is my attempt at indentifying five tips that will give you a good run for your money over the Christmas period at Leopardstown.
Runs Wednesday, December 26 in Racing Post Novice Chase
As you well know there are no sure-fire favourites when it comes to betting on horse racing, but Mengli Khan (4/5 Ladbrokes) is about as strong a certainty as you’ll get on day one of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
The current second-favourite for the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Mengli Khan ran out the convincing winner of his chasing debut at Punchestown. Despite one or two early concerns, the five-year-old took to the fencing game well as he cruised to a 10-length victory.
The Gordon Elliott-trained five-year-old will be using the Racing Post Novice Chase as a natural stepping-stone towards the Arkle and he is sure to have him A1 for the Racing Post Novice Chase.
Second favourite Voix De Reve has a very poor record at Leopardstown which gives more credence to my tip here.
Runs Thursday, December 27 in Paddy Power Chase
Last Easter, Pairofbrowneyes (9/1 Ladbrokes) started favourite for the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse but crashed out at just the fifth fence.
The nine-year-old, who won the Leinster National prior to his Fairyhouse tumble, is normally a very solid jumper and can give each-way backers, and fans of trainer Willie Mullins, plenty of interest throughout the course of the Paddy Power Chase.
Runs Saturday, December 29 in Ryanair Hurdle
The Ryanair Hurdle betting is all about favourite Samcro, despite the Cheltenham Festival winner looking every inch a chaser. His connections still keep persisting with the hurdling route for him, despite no win yet this season, and I don't think he's going to start at Leopardstown.
Should the Gigginstown 'good thing' get turned over once again it is my tip Melon (4/1 Betfred) that is the most likely candidate to do so. It is my belief that Melon’s neck-second to Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle trumps any form line Samcro may hold with the aforementioned.
Runs Friday, December 28 in Savills Chase
If the rain falls steadily on Leopardstown during the Christmas break then Presenting Percy (7/2 BetVictor) is an excellent tip to cement his position at the top of the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting with a bold showing on home soil.
Presenting Percy’s main rival in the Savills Chase is likely to be Road To Respect, who comfortably won the JNwine.com Chase at Down Royal, but the RSA Chase winner should have too much ammunition for him if on song.
Given the rich vein of form that trainer Henry de Bromhead is in at the moment, I would expect any real danger to Presenting Percy to come from Monalee.
Monalee finished second to Presenting Percy in the RSA Chase over 3m at Cheltenham and made a promising start this season at Down Royal. He is sure to improve and will be on the premises.
Runs Thursday, December 27 in Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase
My number one betting tip for the Leopardstown Christmas Festival is Great Field (5/1 RedZone), who may have only made it to the second fence before falling in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork, but is unquestionably a much better horse than that and is fancied to bounce straight back at Leopardstown.
The JP McManus-owned seven-year-old is two from two at Leopardstown, which is an encouraging statistic, and there is no reason why he cannot take that tally to three.
Great Field does have the tendency to throw in a jumping howler from time to time, but his regular jockey Jody McGarvey always manages to gain some sort of equilibrium to keep the partnership intact, and they gel well together.
With Footpad also blotting his copybook last time out, this is a great opportunity for the Willie Mullins-trained star to continue his progress.
Have a profitable Christmas!