Leopardstown best bets – Monday 8 March Irish racing tips
Monday Irish horse racing tips 8 March
With just eight days to go until the start of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival we look over Monday’s Irish racing action and pick out our Leopardstown best bets.
We enter the final few days before the Cheltenham Festival gets underway and along with the three UK racing meetings going to post there is also a fixture over the sticks in Ireland.
An eight-race card will take place on Monday at Leopardstown as trainers put the finishing touches to their Festival teams although we won’t see any big name runners heading to post today. We’ve looked through the card and picked out our Leopardstown best bets and tips.
MONDAY IRISH HORSE RACING TIPS – LEOPARDSTOWN BEST BETS
1:20 Leopardstown – TRI Equestrian Maiden Hurdle (Div I) (5yo+) 2m
Emmet Mullins is flying at present with his limited runners and GEE REX can get off the mark at the third attempt having shown some decent ability already over hurdles.
The Requinto gelding was a multiple winner on the level for Joseph O’Brien last year where he picked up four successes before joining this yard where he made a fair first fist of things over hurdles at Navan in December where he finished seventh of 19 behind Magic Tricks.
He built on that experience subsequently to find only Get My Drift too good over course and distance on Boxing Day and he might have finished closer but for a mistake at the last although it is unlikely he’d have got to the winner. That form though has been boosted with both the third and fifth running into the places again since with the latter also registering a win.
Brian Hayes takes over now from the claimer who rode him last time and with the drying ground a positive to his chances he can improve again on recent efforts to strike here.
3:30 Leopardstown – Equine Products UK Handicap Hurdle (4yo+ 80-109) 3m
HOKE COLBURN returns to hurdling for this latest outing having been campaigned over fences following his move to Brian McMahon.
The Beneficial gelding has proven himself a decent and consistent sort over the larger obstacles, winning on his penultimate start at Punchestown before posting a creditable third to Ballea Fox at Fairyhouse in January.
He’s been given a break since that effort which suggested the handicapper might have him and he returns to timber for the first time since finishing third at Worcester when under the care of Brian Barr back in September 2018.
A mark of 109 over hurdles is further reduced by his rider’s 7lbs claim and he was a past winner off 108 in this sphere for Harry Whittington so it would be no surprise to see a big run from him reverting to the smaller obstacles where he could exploit a favourable mark.
4:00 Leopardstown – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase (5yo+) 2m1f
It might be worth giving another chance to STAR MAX who turns out in reapplied blinkers and the Maxios gelding has been running better than the bare result in recent outings including when finishing third to Cusp Of Carabelli at Thurles last month.
Joseph O’Brien’s charge hasn’t won over fences but he’s run a number of solid races in defeat and this looks an easier assignment than he’s been contesting so this might finally be his day.
He has won over hurdles in the past and the last time he wore blinkers he ran well to finish fourth to Darver Star and a subsequent winner before a spell back over hurdles. If he were to replicate that effort then it wouldn’t be a shock to see him going close here.
5:00 Leopardstown – TRI Equestrian Superstore & Cafe INH Flat Race (5-7yo) 2m
TOP BANDIT sets a decent standard on his two runs to date in bumpers where the Kayf Tara gelding has finished runner-up both times, latterly over this course and distance and Gordon Elliott’s charge can get off the mark at the third attempt.
Beaten three lengths at Sligo on his debut back in October he found only Harry Alonzo too good for him here on Boxing Day although that form has since been boosted by the fourth winning next time.
He could have further improvement to come and while he faces a couple of interesting debutantes here his experience might prove decisive and he gets the vote under leading amateur Jamie Codd.