Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 16 December 2017

Elliott's charge can Cause a stir despite step up

Davy Condon
Davy Condon
Davy Condon

Davy Condon

THERE were a couple of short-priced winners in Leopardstown yesterday and they won't have filled too many coffers, but there seems to be a bit more value around today.

Among one of my fancies is Gordon Elliott's Cause of Causes in the Paddy Power Chase at 2.55.

It might seem unusual to fancy a horse so strongly in such a massive field but he's one I know well, having ridden him to second in the Galway Hurdle last year, and we also plundered the Ladbroke Hurdle over in England.

This race represents a step up in trip but it's one I think he'll be able for, and AP McCoy's mount will be helped by the fact that he's around 20lb lower over fences than hurdles.

He's a good jumper so the bigger obstacles shouldn't be that much of a problem for him and once he gets a bit of luck in running in that big field, I expect him to be right up there.

Scanning the card for the opening race of the day, Ivan Grozny jumps off the page at me.

Looking at some of the others in the field, there are a lot of first-timers, while Willie Mullins' entry has form in the Flat in France and I think he's the pick for the opener.

Ted Walsh has a real chance in the second race with Champagne James, but it will be Willie and Ruby teaming up to take the spoils in the Dial-A-Bet Chase at 1.20.

Arvika Ligeonniere has won his last two outings so he's in the right sort of form. Baily Green is another consistent type and might be a good each-way bet, while there's plenty who'd love to see another big win for warrior Sizing Europe. But I'm not sure he has the speed of the other two.

Ruby and Willie will again attract plenty of attention in the 1.50 Future Champions Novice Hurdle with Moyle Park and there's no doubting his credentials, but I give The Tullow Tank a real chance of beating him home. He has won his last three outings and I think he's improving all the time -- Philip Fenton has a right good horse on his hands.

In the 2.20, the fact that Ruby rides Blacklough for Willie Austin might be a tip in itself and he could be set up for a big run in that handicap hurdle.

The day could finish the same way as it starts -- with a Willie Mullins success -- as Bosman Rule is in with a good shout to round off the day's action.

There's a full card of action down in Limerick as well and in the big race of the day, Speckled Wood for Alan Crowe and Christy Roche looks an intriguing sort.

She's a well-bred filly and some recent form suggests she's got a real chance in the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase. She was second last time out to Willie's Smashing, which won in style in Limerick yesterday. She also beat Leish Oscar in Wexford last month, which also managed a convincing win in Down Royal yesterday.

CONDON'S CALL

Leopardstown

12.20 Ivan Grozny

12.50 Champagne James

1.20 Arvika Ligeonniere

1.50 The Tullow Tank

2.20 Blacklough

2.55 Cause of Causes

3.30 Bosman Rule

Limerick

2.35 Speckled Wood

Irish Independent

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