Leopardstown Tuesday Preview – Savills Chase
Analysis of the Savills Chase
Leopardstown host another competitive seven-race card on Tuesday, featuring the 2021 running of the Grade 1 Savills Chase. Our tipsters have provided their thoughts on each individual runner as well as a tip for the race included.
A Plus Tard
Henry De Bromhead’s charge A PLUS TARD cemented himself as a top three-mile chaser when taking this event 12 months ago when staying on dourly to deny Kemboy and landing a second Grade 1 win over fences.
From that day, A Plus Tard has not looked back, beating all bar stablemate Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before thumping his rivals to give Ireland a first-ever Betfair Chase success at Haydock finishing 22l ahead of his nearest rival Royale Pagaille.
The seven-year-old is one of the top three-mile chasers in training and is already ante-post favourite to go one better in next years Cheltenham Gold Cup. It’s hard to envisage him fluffing his lines in this contest and A Plus Tard can make it another win at Leopardstown’s Christmas festival this season.
DELTA WORK won this event in 2019 for trainer Gordon Elliot and after following up in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup in February 2020, He ran very well to finish fifth in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup after being forced to switch late on in the Festival showpiece.
However, four below-par runs have now followed including when unseating in this contest last year and then finishing a well-beaten third when trying to make it back to back Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup wins at Leopardstown.
Delta Work was readily beaten on return from a 265-day layoff when no match for Frodon in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase and connections will be hopeful rather than confident that he can rekindle some of his old winning form in search of another Savills Chase win.
Franco De Port
Willie Mullins’ six-year-old FRANCO DE PORT made the perfect start to his chasing career last season when recording two wins including at Grade 1 level when landing the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown over 2m1f from Darver Star.
Connections were quick to step the gelding up in trip after heavy defeats to stop-class two milers Energumene and Shishkin earlier this season and despite finishing second to stablemate Janidil in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse in April, Franco De Port has struggled to get competitive in his last two starts at the highest level, falling on the first start over 3miles before a well-beaten seventh in the John Durkan earlier this month.
The six-year-old still has questions to answer on his recent form and has yet to convince that he wants this sort of trip, especially now taking on established three milers.
GALVIN landed the Grade 2 National Hunt Challenge Cup at this seasons Cheltenham Festival and then made it a sixth straight successive win over the large obstacles when taking Grade 3 honours cosily from Annamix under hands and heels riding from jockey Davy Russell.
The improving seven-year-old then put in a career-best performance when last seen, chasing home the evergreen Paul Nicholls runner Frodon in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal, finishing in front of Delta Work and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.
Gordon Elliot’s charge is clearly at the top of his game at the moment and may give the short-priced favourite A Plus Tard most to think about although this is just his second start in the highest grade over fences.
JANIDIL landed a Grade 1 Novice Chase at Fairyhouse earlier in the campaign when staying on well to comfortably defeat stablemate Franco De Port over 2m4f at Fairyhouse. The drop back to two miles on his penultimate race went against him as he was firmly put in his place by rising star two-miler Energumene who was a most impressive winner.
The seven-year-old faired much better back at 2m4f last time out when runner-up to another star stablemate in Allaho in the John Durkan and although he couldn’t match the finishing kick of the eventual winner that day, he stayed on nicely to be beaten only 2l at the line.
That was an encouraging effort last time out and it will be interesting to see how Janidil fares now up to 3miles for just the second time in his career. He remains unexposed at the distance and might outrun his odds.
Nine-year-old KEMBOY has been a regular in this event the last three seasons and after dazzling in the 2018 renewal he has posted a fourth and second in the last two renewals and clearly saves his better efforts for the Christmas Festival.
Kemboy still showed his class earlier this season when winning his fourth Grade 1 over the larger obstacles when fending off all challengers in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown earlier this year.
However, the nine-year-old has suffered three heavy defeats in recent starts by an aggregate of 171l including in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup where he faded rapidly to finish fourth. Willie Mullins’ charge will improve for the latest run in the John Durkan and returns to a track where he has form figures of 2-1-4-2-2-1 but he has questions to answer and it’s concerning how he has regressed in recent starts.
MELON has only seen the winner’s enclosure once in his ten starts over the larger obstacles and that win came in a Beginners Chase event back in December 2019.
However, the nine-year-old has posted some decent performances in defeat including finishing second by the narrowest of margins in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival before reaching the frame behind stablemate Min and third in last year’s Savills Chase behind Kemboy and A Plus Tard.
Despite pulling up twice in three starts recently, Melon returned earlier this month with a much-improved display in the John Durkan and always strips fitter after a run. He could outrun his odds but he is not one for maximum faith especially given his lowly winning strike rate.
Things certainly haven’t been plain sailing for SAMCRO since going chasing and although successful in the 2020 Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, the nine-year-old has pulled up on his only other two outings in Grade 1 company including in last year’s renewal where he never travelled with any purpose and jumped slowly from flag fall.
Samcro returned in November this season in Grade 2 company over 2miles when no match for the Gigginstown first string Notebook. It would be a big surprise if Gordon Elliot’s runner is up to taking this and Samcro these are hardly his optimum conditions.
Big Race Verdict
It’s going to take a big performance from one of the others to lower the colours of A PLUS TARD who returned after finishing second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a huge performance in the Betfair Chase where the seven-year-old barely came out of first gear. This looks like a leading opportunity to post a fourth win at Grade 1 level before being aimed at another tilt at The Cheltenham Festival showpiece. Galvin put in a career-best effort last time out in chasing home Frodon and may give the selection most to worry about.