Timeform Irish SmartPlays: St Stephen's Day, Friday December 26

JP McManus has an exciting prospect in Gilgamboa
JP McManus has an exciting prospect in Gilgamboa

There's good racing at Limerick and Leopardstown on St. Stephen's and Timeform bring you three bets...

Gilgamboa very much caught the eye in the parade ring, arguably the best-looking horse in the line-up, and he has the physique to excel over fences.

Limerick 14:05 - Gilgamboa

A cracking renewal of this Grade 2 contest, featuring a clash between three exciting prospects in Adriana des Mottes, Gilgamboa and Wounded Warrior, and it is Gilgamboa who gets the vote. Winner of a valuable, ultra-competitive handicap hurdle last season, Gilgamboa was in the process of running a good race in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when he made a chance-ending error at the second last. He very much caught the eye in the parade ring, arguably the best-looking horse in the line-up, and he has the physique to excel over fences. He put up a most promising performance when winning on chasing debut at Navan, jumping well throughout, and he can take the next step up the ladder. 

Leopardstown 14:20 - Pires

Pires clearly wasn't right on the day when pulled-up at Cork last time (was labouring from an early stage) but his previous effort, when finishing runner-up at Down Royal, gives him strong claims and he is worth chancing. This is an open affair, in which many hold a chance, but Pires is back down to a winning mark and his rider is good value for his claim, so he could offer a spot of value. 

Limerick 14:40 - Sligo Publican

This is a tightly-knit handicap but the lightly-raced Sligo Publican could be on a good mark and is worth chancing. A point and bumper winner, Sligo Publican has shown fairly useful form over hurdles and was probably in need of the run when finishing down the field on her return over fences at Wexford last time. She is entitled to come on for that effort and a repeat of the performance she produced when fourth here in May last year could be good enough.

Timeform Irish SmartPlays:
Back Gilgamboa in the 14:05 at Limerick
Back Pires in the 14:20 at Leopardstown
Back Sligo Publican in the 14:40 at Limerick

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