Sunday’s Daily Double
Jon Vine rolls his NAP and Next Best at Leopardstown into this Daily Double for day two of the Dublin Racing Festival on Sunday 2nd February.
Over on CheltenhamFestival.net, I’ve covered the full card on day two at Leopardstown. For Racing Tips, I’ve rolled my tips in two of Sunday’s Grade Ones into this daily double. Best odds available with Unibet.
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3:00pm Flogas Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m5f
Faugheen was visually very impressive in seeing off Samcro to claim his first Grade One over fences. While Willie Mullins’ charge may prove himself an exception to the rule, I can’t be backing a 12-year-old to win a Grade One for novice chasers. Also, Samcro found surprisingly little when he came off the bridle at Limerick, and Faugheen simply had to outstay a fading rival to get the job done.
Faugheen will have to go a long way to outstay BATTLEOVERDOYEN (NAP), who has already won a Grade One over three miles and has the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in his crosshairs. Gordon Elliott’s charge was always going to make up into a high-quality chaser, and he’s gone on to secure three straight victories since being pointed at fences during the autumn.
I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed with Battleoverdoyen in the jumping during his early runs in chases. Yet, Elliott’s charge produced his finest round of jumping to see off Champagne Classic in the Neville Hotels over Christmas and Battleoverdoyen looks to be one of my top Leopardstown tips sitting on 15/8.
3:30pm Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m
The second leg of my big-race double on Sunday is KEMBOY (NB). Willie Mullins’ three-time Grade One winner looked desperately in need of the run when losing out to Delta Work in the Savills’ Chase. That run coming on the back of a chaotic off-season, where Kemboy was unable to run until Christmas after an ownership dispute.
Last season, Kemboy established himself as the top-dog in the staying chasing division. Mullins’ charge secured impressive victories from the front in both the Savills Chase and the Aintree Bowl. Kemboy then lowered the colours of Gold Cup-winner stablemate, Al Boum Photo at Punchestown, ending the season rated 177.
Kemboy couldn’t find his preferred pitch at the front of the field on his return in the Savills Chase. He was a little slow at practically every obstacle and ran out of steam on the run to the line. I expect Kemboy to have improved significantly between runs and, on decent ground which looks to be in his favour, I think Paul Townend’s mount will be very difficult to beat in the Irish Gold Cup and could be a good Cheltenham Gold Cup tip.