There is no top-class action at the Foxrock track today but Tony Keenan still finds it an appealing card for betting purposes...
"Bishopslough was an eye-catcher in this year’s race, meeting trouble at the turn and coming home well despite having his first run since July. I tipped him up here over Christmas before he was taken out in the belief that he will have improved for the switch to Alan Fleming and his last run seems to confirm that."
Today's card won't suit everyone with no graded weight-for-age races and Cheltenham clues thin on the ground but this sort of mid-level action can present good bets as the horses tend not to be as well-known as some of the classier types.
Leopardstown 14:00 - Shark's Stowaway can break his duck
Plenty of these have holes in them, not least Space Cadet who has built up an unhealthy run on seconds and is looking increasingly temperamental of late; he wasn't giving his jockey much help here over Christmas and it was the same last time. Potters Point holds his head high, comes off a break and may prefer better ground while Jett is a keen sort that could find this trip beyond him.
That leaves Stowaway Shark who brings the best recent form to the table. Well-regarded as a young horse, he was supported for a valuable bumper in April 2014 when the ground was too quick for him before shaping with promise on his first outing in 20 months at Limerick in December, travelling well for a long way. His last run at Down Royal was excellent and he might well have won but for the attentions of a loose horse and that form makes him solid here.
Leopardstown 14:30 - Bishopslough will be hard to beat
The Coral.ie Hurdle, run over course-and-distance in mid-January, tends to be one of the best handicaps run in Ireland each season and Bishopslough was an eye-catcher in this year's race, meeting trouble at the turn and coming home well despite having his first run since July. I tipped him up here over Christmas before he was taken out in the belief that he will have improved for the switch to Alan Fleming and his last run seems to confirm that. He is the one to beat.
With the sectionals he did as a bumper horse, Anibale Fly will have no issue with this drop in trip but his stable's form remains a concern; the Martin yard are 8/137 in Irish jumps races since the start of September which is well below their typical strikerate. Beau Mome looked short-runner on his last two runs and is one to oppose but Good As Gold could make the frame having not gotten home over 18 furlongs last time.
Leopardstown 15:30 - Place your faith in Dysios
Alisier D'Irlande is very exciting to watch, tearing off in front like a poor man's Un De Sceaux, but he's far from a safe conveyance and always in danger of falling. It's hard to like Fine Article either; this trip is too sharp for him, he comes off a break and was pulled up last time.
Dysios on the other hand is solid. He won a decent race here at Christmas and has a good record at the track, including when second to a subsequent Grade 1 winner in this race last year. He'll be hard to keep out of the frame.
Leopardstown 16:00 - Oppose Dressedtothenines to place
This Grade B is more competitive than the betting suggests. Federici has his chance having shaped well over an insufficient trip last time while both the Karl Thornton horses, Bearly Legal and Colms Dream, can go well. I wouldn't rule out good runs from Ballyadam Approach, The Mooch or Kylecrue either.
Consequently, it could be worth place laying Dressedtothenines. Her old hurdles form when she was officially rated 145 leaves her well in but those runs came over two years ago and there was no real promise in her plodding on seventh in a slowly-run Navan race in December.
1.5 Points Back Stowaway Shark @ 9.08/1 or bigger in the Leopardstown 14:00
1.5 Points Place Back Stowaway Shark @ 2.26/5 or bigger in the Leopardstown 14:00
1.5 Points Back Bishopslough @ 6.05/1 or bigger in the Leopardstown 14:30
1.5 Points Place Back Bishopslough @ 2.35/4 or bigger in the Leopardstown 14:30
1 Point Place Back Dysios @ 2.47/5 or bigger in the Leopardstown 15:30
1 Point Place Lay Dressedtothenines @ 2.01/1 in the Leopardstown 16:00