One of several Grade 1 contests in Ireland over the festive period, the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle will give us big clues towards the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Festival. Sire Du Berlais, one of the leading antepost favourites, makes his return to three miles on Monday.
You also have last year’s second, Ronald Pump, and the Albert Bartlett third Fury Road in attendance to make this a titanic clash. We’ll have horse racing tips for all the action at Leopardstown, who also host the main bulk of Monday’s ITV Racing tips.
Looking through the card, I’ve found a horse who does not deserve his huge odds for the feature event. Trained by powerful connections, I’m expecting a big run and you can find all the details below!
Mullins’ charge severely underestimated
Fourth in the 2019 Stayers Hurdle, a strong looking renewal, Bapaume didn’t take to fences as expected last season. He did win one of his five starts, but the form wasn’t comparable to his chasing exploits, including a recent sixth in a Grade B Handicap at Punchestown on seasonal debut.
A return to hurdling on Monday looks to be just what the doctored ordered. A Grade 1 winner as a juvenile, he’s run some mighty races at the top level since. That includes the aforementioned fourth in the 2019 Stayers, which he followed up with a third in the Punchestown equivalent. That 2018/19 campaign is the one to focus on, as the form is strong and he consistently ran his race in defeat.
Granted, his chasing form has been disappointing, but if you can forgive that, I’m unsure why he’s such a big price. He’s not a 33/1 shot to me if you take the best of his hurdling form.
On ratings, he has just three pounds to find with Sire Du Berlais. You could easily say he’s not entirely exposed over the staying distances too. Ridden by Paul Townend, he’s seemingly the stable first string for Willie Mullins.
This course and distance should suit him and now he’s race-fit, he’s surely capable of out-running these odds.