13:40 Leopardstown - Time to take on Meade runner
Backing Noel Meade's The Comediologist has been no laughing matter in two bumper runs (apart from those who pressed the pink). He was turned over at a Betfair SP of 1.684/6 on his debut at Naas over 2m3f, and subsequently got beat at Punchestown at 2.427/5 - sent off favourite on both occasions.
He looked a hard ride for Patrick Mullins during his first start, and his head carriage wasn't convincing either in that outing. He travelled well at Punchestown latterly, but didn't find an awful lot for pressure when asked for an effort.
Meade has gone for the tongue tie to straighten him up today, and he runs over hurdles for the first time on the quickest ground he will face to date.
Two of his rivals have already raced over the obstacles. Capital Force looked a nice horse on debut at Fairyhouse but didn't back up that run over Christmas at Leopardstown, whilst Liz Doyle's Justmemyselfandi ran well at Limerick and also has previous bumper form with Joey Sasa.
For those reasons, I'll be looking to lay the Gigginstown-owned horse in the run.
15:10 Leopardstown - Mullins can sting rivals at big price
A dash of intrigue is sprinkled in this highly-competitive handicap hurdle, as Melbourne Cup runner-up Heartbreak City makes a return to action over the jumps - and he could be thrown in from his mark. However, looking at the early prices, I wouldn't be in a mad rush to back him at 2/1 in a 23-runner race - especially for his first start back after travelling to the other part of the world.
I'd rather side with the 22/1 for Thomas Mullins' Sir Scorpion - a horse who is really improving at a rate of knots this term. He makes plenty of appeal in the place market.
He finished second to a well-handicapped winner at Listowel in September, and then produced a tidy victory to land a 2m4f race at Naas in November. Sir Scorpion saw out the extra yardage well in a contest run at a good gallop.
The selection is versatile with conditions underfoot and has both good and soft ground wins to his name. The fact that he stays further than today's trip is a plus, and he was unlucky when brought down in a decent contest at Fairyhouse last month. He wouldn't have beaten Campeador (who fell in front of him), but hopefully he's none the worse for that dramatic spill.
Racing from a mark of 131, he can continue his progress with a good run here.
Sunday's Recommended Bets
Lay The Comediologist 0.5pt @ 1.814/5 in-play in the 13:40 at Leopardstown
Back Sir Scorpion 0.5pt @ 6.05/1 in the place market in the 15:10 at Leopardstown
*Click here to view Tony Keenan's preview of Sunday's action at Leopardstown