Saturday’s Daily Double – 12/1 double at Leopardstown

Saturday’s Daily Double

Jon Vine rolls his NAP and Next Best at Leopardstown into this Daily Double for day one of the Dublin Racing Festival on Saturday 1st February.

Over on, I’ve covered the full card on day one at Leopardstown. For Racing Tips, I’ve rolled my two best bets into this daily double. Best odds available with William Hill.

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3:10pm PCI Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m

I backed Klassical Dream to win the 2020 Champion Hurdle at the start of the season. Many who have done the same will probably have ripped up their slips after the two shoddy performances last year’s Supreme winner has produced this season. Yet, on softer ground around a track he relished last season, I reckon Klassical Dream will bounce back to his best and looks excellent value in the Champion Hurdle betting.

As does Honeysuckle, who would almost certainly get switched there from the Mares’ Hurdle if she were to win this Grade One. Henry De Bromhead’s mare is clearly a superstar and her triumph in the Hatton’s Grace was a joy to behold. However, trip, ground conditions and course form are firmly in SHARJAH’S (NB) favour this weekend.

Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old has bounded home on his two most recent starts over course-and-distance, both wins coming in the Grade One Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival. Quick ground is key to Sharjah’s chances and I’m expecting this speedy sort to have too much pace for both Honeysuckle and Klassical Dream, who would both prefer a great deal more cut in the ground.

3:45pm Ladbrokes Hurdle (Extended Handicap Hurdle) (Grade B) 2m

I try not to include handicap runners in doubles, but UNEXCEPTED (NAP) looks rock-solid at the head of the betting. Willie Mullins’ novice has been handed a kind opening handicap mark of just 137 and looks an excellent punt on 4/1.

Following an effortless victory on his stable debut over two miles, Unexcepted shot featured in many people’s 2020 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle tips. His price took a nose-dive after Limerick, though, where Mullins’ charge was beaten 22-lengths by the talented Easywork.

That race was run over 20-furlongs on heavy ground. Unexcepted simply didn’t stay. On this ground over this shorter trip, I’m expecting Mullins’ hurdler to prove he’s still worthy of an appearance in the Supreme with a comfortable victory on his handicap debut. He’s one of my best Leopardstown tips of the day.