8.00pm Leopardstown Tips & Betting Preview 22/06/2017

An intriguing eight runner, 0-90 handicap over a mile and a quarter. Read on for our betting preview and runner by runner guide to the 8.00pm at Leopardstown.

IN SUMMARY: It’s hard to know which Song Of Namibia will turn up, but he will be in with a decent chance if the first time cheekpieces have the desired effect. Ezanak is lightly raced enough to be of interest and should go close to reversing the form with AARED from their run at Naas earlier in the season but the Dermot Weld yard are still scuffling for form. The selection gets on well with Chris Hayes and with – what looks on paper – a truly run race in prospect, he gets the vote to score again.

1 AARED – Won at this track from a ten pound lower mark in the hands of Chris Hayes who is in the saddle again here. His form was a steady progression last season, kicking off 2017 in a similar vein, scoring over this trip with a little in hand at Naas. It was a little surprising to see him stepped back to a mile given how strongly he came home at Naas on the next occasion before getting caught out in a falsely run race at the Curragh last time. Despite the small field, there are a number who like to get on with things so given a truly run race and this uphill finish to suit him perfectly, he can score off what looks a winnable mark.

2 OUR CHANNEL – On his third trainer since December, unable to halt his decline so far. Formerly smart when trained by Willie Haggas, he won three times in early 2016 but has struggled badly for consistency since. He showed nothing for the Amanda Mooney yard on his Irish debut last time and is impossible to support at present.

3 EZANAK – Four year old has only hit the track three times, not seen until making a winning debut at Gowran as a three year old. He missed a further year, kicking off 2017 when two and a half lengths behind Aared. Six pounds better off for that and far less exposed, he will have plenty of supporters to reverse that form but Dermot Weld is having a poor season by his high standards and he is opposed.

4 SONG OF NAMIBIA – First time blinkers worked the oracle, winning over just shy of a mile and a half at Limerick. The headgear failed to work at the second time of asking so cheekpieces are now employed in a bid to sharpen up his ideas. On a line through Sister Blandina, he would be very close to Aared, but such is his inconsistency, it is difficult to know whether he will put his best foot forward or not.

5 KEBLE – Performed well the first time he wore cheekpieces at Glorious Goodwood in 2015, runner up in a handicap off a mark of 91 when with John Gosden. He has not shown anything like that form so far in Ireland for Adrian Joyce, but this is his trip and with the headgear refitted, it will be interesting to see if there is some support for him in the market beforehand from 84.

6 DUCHESSOFLORENCE – 0/14 so far on turf but 3/9 on the all weather so she needs to prove that she can cope with these conditions. The very pick of her form has come over a mile and a half as well so chances are that she is going to find at least a few too good at this level, still nine pounds above her highest winning mark.

7 TOTAL DEMOLITION – Enjoyed a very successful 2016, winning three times, including at the Galway Festival. That saw his handicap mark sky rocket, with a record of 0/10 when his rating has been 70+. He ran well the last time he was seen, when third at Limerick last week over a mile from the same mark as this. All three of his Irish wins have come over that trip but he won over ten furlongs in the U.K and has placed over twelve so the trip will be no concern, nor the ground so he has an each way chance.

8 NEW DIRECTION – Since kicking off a winning run at the Curragh last October, he has climbed two stone in the weights, to a mark that he was well beaten off last time. Generally better with a little more cut in the ground than he is likely to get here, his sole run on good to firm saw him finish last of eleven. Looks to have enough on his plate from this perch under the prevailing conditions.

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