3.40pm Leopardstown Tips & Betting Preview 22/01/2017

Twelve go to post for the penultimate race at Leopardstown, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Brightest Frame demolished his opponents at Tramore in the first time blinkers and needs respecting now further upped in trip but preference is for ELISHPOUR. He travelled well for a long way at Leopardstown in December and this trip will be much more suitable for him. He should improve markedly for this extra distance and has to be respected for Alan Fleming and Denis O’Regan.

1 OSCAR SAM – Showed some improvement after a spell of poor runs when eight over C&D in December in a competitive looking race. Down another pound today and likely to fare much better at this level after being set some difficult tasks and has place claims if building upon that effort.

2 APACHE JACK – Useful at his best, finishing third in the Albert Bartlett back in 2014 among other exploits. He hasn’t however hit those heights since and has been poor this season, finishing tailed off and pulled up over both codes. He’s had his issues and is clearly a difficult horse, so it is hard to recommend him today and is likely best left alone.

3 AH LITTLELUCK – Won three starts ago at Listowel in (3m, Good) off a mark of 120 but has struggled the last twice, pulling up on his latest start at Cork (2m 4f, Heavy). Down 2lb but still 8lb above his last winning mark, so it is hard to see him fighting out the finish today. Tongue-tie tried but doesn’t make much appeal today.

4 MYDOR – Has been in poor form the last thrice and was last seen finishing 16th in Pertemps Qualifier over C&D in December. 14lb above his last winning mark and will need the tongue-tie to have a drastic effect to feature today but may fare better with his sights lessened and would have place claims if recapturing some of his best form.

5 WOODFORD ISLAND – Won three starts ago at Fairyhouse over fences (2m 5f, Good) and was a good fourth over C&D in December in a deeper race than this. Holds some of today’s rivals on that form and likely to be very competitive if building upon that effort. He also has won off this mark in the past and with conditions to suit, he has to be respected as a main danger today.

6 BRIGHTEST FLAME – Only twice raced over hurdles and ran away with a 2m 5f maiden at Tramore on New Year’s Day when fitted with first time blinkers. An opening mark of 123 doesn’t look particularly harsh and likely to be competitive if those blinkers continue to bring out improvement. The step up in trip should be no problem and must have place claims at the very least.

7 ELISHPOUR – Very inconsistent over hurdles but useful at his best over multiple codes, with a good third in the 2015 Ascot Stakes (2m 4f, Good to Firm) one of his many achievements. He travelled well for a long way over two miles here back in December, with that trip being likely inadequate and is well worth a go at this longer trip. He’s likely to improve markedly for it and is only 5lb higher than his last winning mark, so has to be respected.

8 SUTTON MANOR – Won on his penultimate start at Wexford in November (2m 2f, Soft to Heavy) but was beaten ten lengths on his handicap debut at Fairyhouse when upped to today’s distance. Likely to improve for that effort and has frame claims if doing so sufficiently.

9 DIAMOND CAUCHOIS – Relatively lightly raced with only fourteen rules runs under his belt and wasn’t disgraced on his latest start at Fairyhouse when finishing second on New Year’s Day (3m, Soft). Holds Sutton Manor on that form and is only 4lb higher today, so has to be considered a main danger with Ruby Walsh taking the ride.

10 KILCARRY BRIDGE – Has been in good form over fences of late including a win three starts ago at Thurles (2m 6f, Good) but hasn’t raced over timber since December 2014. On the same mark as his last win and likely to run well if transferring his form over fences and has to be respected for John Ryan and Danny Mullins.

11 STOLBERG – Usually saves his best for Limerick but has been out of sorts of late, with his only effort of note being his latest at his favoured track over today’s distance when finishing fifth (3m Heavy). Will need more if hes to feature today and with how inconsistent he’s been its impossible to trust he’ll put his best foot forward, and best watched.

12 JAZZ RANGER – Only win came in a maiden hurdle back in December 2015 and has been mainly struggling since. Pulled up at Listowel on his latest start (2m, Heavy) and goes up markedly in trip in a bid to revive, but its hard to trust he’ll stay if judged upon his pedigree so likely best watched today.

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