Boxing Day Irish racing tips – Limerick and Leopardstown best bets on Friday 26 December
Top-class horse racing action goes to post in Ireland on Friday and we’ve picked out our Boxing Day Irish racing tips and best bets at Leopardstown and Limerick.
While the bulk of the Boxing Day attention will focus on Kempton and the King George VI Chase, it is easy to forget that there is top-class horse racing also going to post in Ireland with day one of both the Leopardstown and Limerick Christmas Festival meetings.
Some Cheltenham Festival contenders will be on show at both meetings despite the current ban on travel which prevented some notable Irish names forced to abandon UK raids over the Christmas period including Henry de Bromhead’s Monalee.
14 races will unfold across both of the day’s fixtures in Ireland with the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase being the feature of Leopardstown’s card; while Limerick also hosts Grade One action with the Faugheen Novice Chase.
We’ve looked through both of the Friday racecards in Ireland to pick out our Boxing Day Irish racing tips and best bets at Leopardstown and Limerick.
FRIDAY 26 DECEMBER BEST BETS – BOXING DAY IRISH RACING TIPS AT LIMERICK & LEOPARDSTOWN
12:30 Leopardstown – Thorntons Recycling Maiden Hurdle (5yo+) 2m
DECIMATION has shaped well on both his starts over hurdles to date, finishing runner-up each time and the Milan gelding may be able to go one better here.
Henry de Bromhead’s charge was beaten only a neck at Fairyhouse on his debut behind Queens Brook and followed up by chasing home Irascible at Clonmel in October where the front pair pulled clear of the rest.
Entitled to improve again he can give another good account and it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him firmly in the mix once more in a competitive contest.
12:47 Limerick – Signsplus Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4f
Lightly-raced DIOL KER can get back to winning ways reverting to hurdles and Noel Meade’s charge could prove tough to beat.
A point-to-point winner prior to joining this yard he shaped well in finishing fifth in a Fairyhouse bumper last December behind Envoi Allen after which he made the frame in all three starts over timber including beating subsequent Grade One winner Monkfish at Fairyhouse.
That form has been significantly boosted and while the Martaline gelding hasn’t quite hit the same heights over fences this term he returns to the smaller obstacles for this latest outing where he looks to hold solid claims.
Proven in heavy ground and at this trip he has the services of a 7lbs claimer for this outing and he ought to be capable of exploiting favourable terms as a result to get back to winning ways.
1:40 Leopardstown – Holden Plant Rentals Novice Handicap Hurdle (4yo+) 2m
ENVIOUS EDITOR was a point-to-point winner prior to joining Jessica Harrington for whom the Alzavoski gelding showed some decent form without winning, including finishing one length runner-up to Eclair De Beaufeu at Limerick last December.
Following a disappointing run at Gowran Park in February he joined Gordon Elliott for who he has made the frame on all four starts, beating a subsequent winner when denied by Graded performer Gabynako at Naas in November and then bumping into a smart one at Punchestown latest where he was clear of the rest.
He can race here from the same mark as last time while the less testing ground ought not to prevent an issue and back in a handicap can make his presence felt.
1:57 Limerick – O’Kelly Brothers Demolition Mares Handicap Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4f
Lightly-raced TUCANAE can follow up her latest success at Fairyhouse by taking this prize and Paul Nolan’s charge can go close under Oakley Brown whose 7lbs claim could prove significant.
A point-to-point winner the Yeats mare won the bumper on this corresponding card twelve months ago and she’s shaped with ability in all three starts since over hurdles either side of a break.
Runner-up at Punchestown and Galway she got off the mark over hurdles when running out a three lengths’ winner over Fiston Des Issards where she struck by three lengths readily and now trying handicaps she could have more to offer.
A mark of 121 doesn’t look unduly punishing but her rider’s claim will be a big help in any case and already proven in heavy ground she is expected to go close upped in trip which could yield further improvement.
2:50 Leopardstown – “Bet Through The Free Racing Post App” Handicap Chase (4yo+) 2m1f
Heavy ground might not have suited POPONG when last seen at Punchestown last month where Henry de Bromhead’s charge was beaten a fair way by Colreevy; but with the surface here likely to be less testing assuming the rain keeps away then Henry de Bromhead’s charge might be able to get back on the scoresheet.
A dual-winner over hurdles who has placed in a Grade Three and competed at the Cheltenham Festival, she has taken well to chasing, finishing runner-up on her first attempt at Tipperary in July and then going one better at Listowel in September with a defeat of Rapid Response.
She didn’t disgrace herself in a Grade Three next time prior to that Punchestown run but this doesn’t look as taxing an assignment as the Subtle Power mare has contested in recent times and she could give another good account of herself in this competitive contest where she can go close.