7.55pm Leopardstown Tips & Betting Preview 13/07/2017

A quality handicap for a Thursday evening, with a first prize of €59,000 on offer. Read on for our expert tip and runner by runner preview to Leopardstown’s feature contest.

IN SUMMARY: Tennessee Wildcat is interesting now back to form for a yard who are flying along, but he may find it difficult to confirm that form with CEOL NA NOG, who is ten pounds better off for less than two lengths. She is proven over this stiff course and distance and looks to be on a winnable mark. Castle Guest hadn’t shown much form this season until last time out, he is too well weighted to totally dismiss even though he needs considerably more to win this.

1 ELUSIVE HEIGHTS – Runner up in Listed races the last twice, running on both times late in the day. The step back up to this trip from a mile looks a plus, although the only time he has tried it in handicap company, he was well beaten at the Curragh, Has the form in the book to get competitive but is giving away weight all round.

2 SPEED COMPANY – Yard 0/7 with their raiders to Ireland since 1999 so a very rare runner for the John Quinn yard. They have been struggling a little for form in recent weeks but a winner at the weekend may be the catalyst they need to push on. A three pound rise in the weights for a narrow Ayr win isn’t going to make things easy for him, no better than an outside squeak here.

3 TENNESSEE WILDCAT – Made the most of a small field last time at Gowran to run out a decent winner. He has struggled in the main for the last couple of years, but was runner up in a similar race last year from the same mark. Has an each way chance if able to repeat his last run for a yard who have had eight winners from their last twenty six runners.

4 ELLEVAL – Infrequent winner has always kept smart company but one has to go back to February 2014 to find his last win. A record of 3/52 overall inspires little confidence that he is able to get his head in front and despite running a fair race in the Royal Hunt Cup last time out, he didn’t smack of a next time out winner from this mark.

5 TANDEM – A winner of four of his last six starts, stretching back to August 2015. His pair of wins this season have both come over further, most recently beating Jaqen H’Ghar half a length. Isn’t handicapped out of things on his very best but the drop down in trip into a more competitive field may see him winning run come to a halt.

6 JAQEN H’GHAR – Two pounds better off with Tandem for a half length beating, should see him reverse that form, but he has run poorly twice since. His better form has come over further, while this mark was too much for him in softer opportunities in the past, this looks much more difficult.

7 LE VAGABOND – Two good runs in 2017 have both come at Cork, disappointing in his other three. He is effective over both this trip and slightly further, a decent pace up front would help him bring his extra stamina into play, but nine pounds above his last winning mark, the percentage call is to oppose.

8 WINDSOR BEACH – Produced a career best in first time cheekpieces last time over a trip short of his best. The step back up to a mile and a quarter is in his favour so would be a huge player if the headgear works as well a second time. He won first time in blinkers, but was comfortably seen off when they were re-tried, so the cheekpieces having such a profound effect again has to be a doubt.

9 CEOL NA NOG – Was a length and three quarters behind Tennessee Wildcat last time out, a massive ten pounds better off with that rival now back in a handicap. She has won over this course and distance and off this mark of 90 when scoring at Navan last October, looks to have an excellent chance of getting her head back in front now.

10 THE MOORE FACTOR – Ran poorly in three starts over hurdles this year, the handicapper knocking four pounds off the flat mark, despite not running in this discipline since third at Limerick in October. He is yet to race over this trip on the flat, shaping over a mile as if it will be within his grasp, but the hurdles run for his new yard leave him with questions to answer.

11 MY DIRECTION – All three flat wins have been over a mile and a half at a lower level that this. He is ten pounds higher than his most recent win on turf, when scoring by a short head at Tramore last August. This looks a tough task for him, easily passed over.

12 CASTLE GUEST – Won over this course and distance in July 2015, adding a mile Curragh handicap to his resume last year. He has made a disappointing start to 2017, shaping a little better last time out. Is tough to be confident on the majority of his form this campaign, but is too well treated to totally ignore with conditions to suit.

13 TILLY’S CHILLI – Rattled up a quick hat-trick earlier this season, pushing her mark up by twenty pounds in the process. She was far from disgraced when stepped up to this class last time out in the Ulster Derby, but this step down in trip off the same mark doesn’t look in her favour.

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