Horse Racing Tips

Leopardstown Christmas Festival Tips: Don't sleep on Klassical Dream

Klassical Dream
Mark likes the look of Klassical Dream on Tuesday

"It's a big plus that he's proven fresh, and if he's in the same sort of form as when we last saw him, we could be in for a treat"

On to Day Three of the Christmas Festival on Tuesday and Mark Milligan casts his eye across the top class card, with a selection in the Christmas Hurdle...

The top-class action in Ireland just keeps on coming, and Leopardstown stages another card filled with absolute quality on Tuesday.

A pair of Grade 1s are the highlights, with the Savills Chase at 14:20 the most valuable of them, and one in which A Plus Tard is sure to take all the beating.

Henry De Bromhead's Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up returned in imperious fashion in the Betfair Chase last month, completely dismantling an admittedly not top-class field by 22 lengths.

However, it was hard not to be impressed by the way the 7-y-o travelled through the race, quickly settling the issue once he was asked to take the lead approaching the third last.

He's got upwards of 8 lb in hand of his rivals on Timeform ratings here and should really be taking this with a bit in hand.

I'm not an odds-on backer, but A Plus Tard looks really solid for those who might be looking for an anchor in multiple bets. It's a real thrill watching these top-notch staying chasers, and I can just sit on my hands and watch this race without the need for an investment.

Sweet on Klassical Dream

The staying hurdlers get their turn in the limelight in the Dornan Engineering Christmas Hurdle at 13:45, and I'm really sweet on the chances of Klassical Dream.

Clearly a fragile sort (this will be only his second start in the last two years), he has the potential to be a top-class staying hurdler if connections can get a clean run with him from now on in.

His only run this year came in the Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown in April, where he dismantled the opposition in devastating fashion, coming home nine lengths clear of James Du Berlais.

That was Klassical Dream's first try at a staying trip and he absolutely relished it, travelling with loads of verve in the first-time hood. It's also a big plus that he's proven fresh, and if he's in the same sort of form as when we last saw him, we could be in for a treat.

There's nothing between Klassical Dream and Flooring Porter on official ratings, with both sat on a perch of 164, though Timeform differ slightly as they have the latter rated 2 lb superior.

It's hard to argue with that on what both have achieved to date, though it goes without saying that the more lightly raced Klassical Dream could still have some residual improvement to come.

The likes of Abacadabras, Ronald Pump and Sire Du Berlais will all have their supporters, though we pretty much know what we're going to get with that trio, whereas our selection could still have untapped potential. I'm happy to wade in at anything around the 9/4 region.

Keep an eye on these novice contests

The opening 2m 4f maiden hurdle at 12:00 could well be informative with one eye on the future, with several lightly raced and exciting types in opposition.

Roaring Potter was second to the exciting Grangee on his hurdling bow at Punchestown last month, shaping with plenty of encouragement once the penny dropped late on.

Under normal circumstances, he should be a shoo-in for a race such as this, but this could be no ordinary novice hurdle, with Willie Mullins also fielding a couple of really exciting prospects.

Heia and Horantzau D'airy are both French recruits who won bumpers over there at the first time of asking.

My preference of that pair is for Horantzau D'airy, who is related to several winners and is also the mount of Paul Townend. He will need to settle better than when landing his bumper, though it's to his credit that he took that impressively despite pulling hard.

Again, though, this isn't a race to bet in, but is one that should be absolutely unmissable in terms of its impact for future events. It would be no surprise whatsoever were it to throw up a potential Cheltenham Festival winner.

The 2m 5f beginners chase at 14:55 also has the potential to be a cracker, with Grade 1 winning hurdler Galopin Des Champs likely to head the market on his first outing over the bigger obstacles.

Willie Mullins' son of Timos really came into his own when tackling trips in excess of 2m over hurdles and this race looks a good starting point for one who could take high rank in the novice chase sector.

Not that he'll have things all his own way, however, with the likes of Fury Road and his own stable companion Blue Sari in opposition.

The former has already placed at Grade 1 level, while the latter made an eye-catching start to his career over fences, finishing second to Farouk D'alene, who was narrowly touched off in the Grade 1 Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick on Boxing Day.

Another corker of a race on what should be a highly informative day with the future in mind, though again it's a no-bet contest for me.

Hopefully Klassical Dream will get the job done for us on a low-key punting day and we can add a little more to the coffers with some excellent racing still to come over this festive period.

Recommended bets

Mark's 2021 P&L (not including Monday 27th December)

Staked: 70
Returns: 96.27
P/L: +26.27

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