There is a top class day of racing at Leopardstown on Sunday, and Timeform pick out their three best bets on the card.
"The Faugheen that dominated this division last season was back in full force in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day..."
Rogue Trader - Leopardstown 14:30
The unexposed Rogue Trader is worth forgiving his last effort at Fairyhouse, when he lost momentum at a key point and was not unduly punished once beaten. Before that he had chased home the very exiting Douvan at Navan in November, and although beaten nearly 10 lengths by Willie Mullins' Arkle favourite, that was his best performance to date, and he will be hard to beat here if building on that on his handicap debut, from what looks a workable opening mark.
Faugheen - Leopardstown 15:05
Of the four Willie Mullins-trained horses currently odds-on in the betting for races at Leopardstown on Sunday, Faugheen could prove to be the best 'value', given that he was clearly not himself on his reappearance in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, when he was beaten half a length by re-opposing stable mate Nichols Canyon. The Faugheen that dominated this division last season was back in full force in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day, however, and it is difficult to see him being beaten again here now he has proven his well-being.
Clar Na Mionn - Leopardstown 15:35
Recent form counts for a lot in this sort of race, so last-time-out winner Clar Na Mionn commands plenty of respect here, especially as he has a fair bit of form from his novice campaign to suggest that a 7 lb rise for his C&D win at Christmas is not beyond him now that he is up and running. Clar Na Mionn made the frame in graded races in 2013/14, and still has plenty of scope from a handicapping perspective from a mark of just 119 here. Art Lord - the other recent winner in the race - seems better suited by further than this these days, and looks one to take on as a result.
Timeform Irish SmartPlays (all from Leopardstown)
Back Rogue Trader in the 14:30
Back Faugheen in the 15:05
Back Clar Na Mionn in the 15:35