Timeform Irish SmartPlays: All Roads lead to Talbot

Talbot Road is taken to prevail in a competitive handicap

Sunday's meeting at Leopardstown has survived an inspection and our in-form Irish team bring you three selections on a top-quality card...

This looks a competitive handicap, but Talbot Road promises to be better suited by this grueling test than most and is open to further improvement...

Pont Alexandre (13:25) was mightily impressive on his debut for Willie Mullins at Navan and, on what could be a very productive day for the champion trainer, the French import is taken to preserve his unbeaten status in this Grade 2 contest. The thoroughly likeable Our Vinnie is respected, but Pont Alexandre looked a class act the last day, having the well-touted Don Cossack well beaten in second when that one fell at the last, and he can enhance his Cheltenham credentials this afternoon.

Talbot Road (14:30) won his sole start in points very easily and, having shaped well on his debut under Rules in a bumper, he made a winning start over hurdles in C&D maiden last month, beating Thunder and Roses by two lengths with that pair miles clear of the remainder. This looks a competitive handicap, but Talbot Road promises to be better suited by this grueling test than most and is open to further improvement. He's worth a chance at around 10.09/1

Formerly useful hurdler Pineau de Re (16:10) looked to be getting his act together over fences at Thurles last time, producing easily his best effort in maiden chases when beating Stony Grey Soil by a head. Competitive from marks in the high 130's over timber, he looks well treated in relation to his hurdles form from a mark of 123 and should be capable of following up his Thurles win.

Recommended Bets:

Back Pont Alexandre in the 13:25
Back Talbot Road in the 14:30
Back Pineau de Re in the 16:10

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