Leopardstown Monday Preview – Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle
Analysis of the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle
Leopardstown host a competitive seven-race card on Monday, with two competitive Grade 1 races across the card including the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle. Our tipsters have provided their thoughts on each individual runner as well as a tip for the race included.
Trainer Willie Mullins has won the last five out of six renewals of this event and has three chances this time around, though it will be a surprise to see ARCTIC WARRIOR land this prize despite looking like a potentially useful prospect when landing a maiden hurdle at Sligo in August.
However, the five-year-old has been disappointing on his last two starts including pulling up in Grade 3 company at Tipperary before finishing last in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
The four-year-old gelding FAROUT landed back to back hurdle events earlier on in the season at Cork and Galway before chasing home Listed winning hurdler Off Your Rocco at Listowel in September.
Willie Mullins’ charge was not beaten far in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle behind stablemate Statuaire on his first attempt at graded level. The four-year-old should strip fitter for that effort but there are others in this race that have achieved a lot more.
LARGY DEBUT caused a massive upset when pulling 10l clear of high-quality bumper performer and 1/14 favourite Kilcruit on hurdling debut at Cork earlier this month.
Largy Debut was making his stable debut after a 631-day absence and certainly looks like a horse with a bright future over hurdles based on that effort. However, there is still a nagging doubt that Kilcruit underperformed on hurdling debut and that form should not be taken too literally.
Henry De Bromhead will be hopeful his charge can prove some of the doubters wrong with another breathtaking performance.
After winning a bumper by 5l on stable debut in March at Punchestown under Jamie Codd, expectations were high as MIGHTY POTTER made his hurdling debut and he certainly impressed, winning a maiden hurdle at Down Royal by a massive 29l after being sent off odds-on favourite.
The four-year-old lined up in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse when last seen and after forfeiting ground as they turned for home, Mighty Potter made significant late headway to stay on in the closing stages to finish third under jockey Brian Cooper.
Gordon Elliot’s charge clearly has more to offer but maybe his future lies over further after that strong surge late on last time out.
Three Stripe Life
THREE STRIPE LIFE was a high-class bumper performer last season and finished a pleasing fourth in the Champion Bumper behind the likes of Kilcruit and Sir Gerhard. That performance can be upgraded as Three Stripe Life played up in the preliminaries and raced very keenly throughout.
The five-year-old made the perfect start to life over the smaller obstacles when taking a Maiden hurdle event at Fairyhouse in November and despite jumping novicey he comfortably justified short odds by 6l under Davy Russell.
Three Stripe Life looks a strong staying two-miler based on that recent run and although he may be another whose future lies over further, it’s worth noting that Gordon Elliot landed this event with a similar type in 2019 with Abacadabras.
There looks plenty more to come from Gordon Elliot’s runner and if sharpening up his jumping after that initial hurdling win, he could take high rank over hurdles as the season progresses.
Willie Mullins’ best chance to land a sixth win in this contest may come in the shape of GRANGEE who looked seriously impressive on hurdle debut after having a very productive bumper campaign last season.
The five-year-old won three bumpers including at Grade 2 and Grade 3 level and had also finished a respectable sixth in the Champion Bumper at the Festival in March. Grangee reappeared in November on hurdling debut and sauntered to an easy victory after travelling strongly throughout that Fairyhouse contest.
The mare gets a useful 7lb allowance and she has certainly looked a very smart hurdling prospect in the making. Connections will be hoping she can maintain her unbeaten start to life over hurdles and can take this on route to bigger targets next year.
Big Race Verdict
Largy Debut lowered the colours of Kilcruit on hurdling debut and could be right out of the top drawer, but it’s hard to know if that form can be trusted just yet and others make slightly more appeal. Grangee was foot perfect on her opening hurdle outing and certainly should be going close here but preference is for THREE STRIPE LIFE who finished ahead of Grangee in the Champion Bumper when the pair last clashed and Gordon Elliot’s charge made the perfect start to life over hurdles recently and is a horse that could take high order in the top hurdle races this season.