Timeform focus on the action at Leopardstown, providing you with three bets...
The rapidly-improving Quick Jack won a well-contested handicap at the Cheltenham Open Meeting, beating Deep Trouble by two and a quarter lengths having travelled extremely powerfully, and the 6 lb rise that he received for winning that race should not be enough to stop him given the strength of the form...
Only four go to post in the Grade 2 novice chase at 14:15, but we could still see a couple of smart performances, with the Willie Mullins-trained Djakadam taken to come out on top. Twice a winner over hurdles last year, Djakadam ran well in defeat when tried in graded company in the spring, and he made an impressive start over fences here at Christmas, winning a beginners' chase by one and a quarter lengths. Djakadam travelled well and always seemed to have matters under control, and he appeals as the type to make above-average improvement with the benefit of that experience under his belt.
King Vuvuzela is thriving over fences at present and is taken to win an ultra-competitive renewal of the Leopardstown Handicap Chase (14:50). King Vuvuzela justified good market support to get off the mark in a two and a half mile handicap chase at Punchestown in October, and he has since shown improved form, finishing third at the same venue in November and then winning over 17 furlongs here last month. King Vuvuzela has a 10 lb rise in the weights to defy but he could yet be capable of better and is worth siding with in this form .
The two-mile handicap at 15:25, worth €100,000, is usually a competitive affair but that may not be the case this year with Quick Jack, representing Tony Martin, looking some way ahead of the handicapper. The rapidly-improving Quick Jack won a well-contested handicap at the Cheltenham Open Meeting, beating Deep Trouble by two and a quarter lengths having travelled extremely powerfully, and the 6 lb rise that he received for winning that race should not be enough to stop him given the strength of the form. Deep Trouble has since won a good handicap at Sandown and finished runner-up at Kempton: he is now rated 22 lb higher than when denied by Quick Jack. Three Kingdoms, who was third at Cheltenham, has won twice since and is now 16 lb higher, while Vibrato Valtat, who was fifth behind Quick Jack, is now 8 lb higher and would have registered a success but had the misfortune of bumping into Three Kingdoms! Obviously those horses have improved in recent months, but Quick Jack has an upwardly-mobile profile himself and it is hard to envisage that there is a better-treated horse here. With a trouble-free run he should win.
Timeform Irish SmartPlays:
All at Leopardstown
Back Djakadam in the 14:15
Back King Vuvuzela in the 14:50
Back Quick Jack in the 15:25