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Leopardstown to be a cracker

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Bog Warrior

Bog Warrior

Bog Warrior

The calendar may have turned over to it's last page, the radio stations are rejoicing in playing Fairytale Of New York every hour and the Advent calendar may be a few sweets short of what it originally was, but the real sign that Christmas isn't far away is the release of entries for the early closing races at Leopardstown.

Yesterday we had the weights and betting for the Paddy Power thrown at us and already there will be shrewd pundits trying to pick out the horse that looks 'thrown in' to the race that is the most valuable of all four-days and is rivalled only by the Boylesports Irish Grand National as the biggest handicap in Ireland.

companion

Tony Martin's Bog Warrior is the top weight for the Paddy Power and his stable companion, Gallant Oscar, is one of three co-favourites for the race alongside Troytown winner Balbriggan and Ted Walsh's Foxrock, who are all 12/1 with the sponsors.

A total of 68 horses were entered at the first stage for the Paddy Power including last year's second and third Cause Of Causes and Ipsos Du Berlais.

The main topic of conversation for the Leopardstown Christmas Festival is already the sixth meeting of Hurricane Fly and Jezki, which is due to take place in the Ryanair Hurdle.

This year's Cheltenham Champion Hurdle hero Jezki looked an absolute picture at Harrington's Commonstown base on Monday morning and the trainer acknowledged that "there's no shame in finishing second to Hurricane Fly," before admitting : "But I'm hoping we can reverse that at Leopardstown by making it three-apiece between them."

Reflecting on the Morgiana at Punchestown, she added: "The grass gallops were quite good and I probably left him a bit short as you couldn't do as much as you'd like. He's in great order and we'll bring him away for a couple of bits of work between now and Christmas - he is bouncing."

Harrington was also pleased with Jetson who finished second in the Hatton's Grace and was looking forward to stepping him back to three-miles for the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle.


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