Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase Tips & Betting Preview

Jessie Harrington can do little wrong at present; having a fine season and SANDYMOUNT DUKE is looking to give the yard another big winner to cap off a season to remember. The eight year old has been seen sparingly seen since switching to fences, gaining his second win over fences on his third chasing start with a comfortable win at Killarney in July, staying on strongly and showing a good resolve after being off the bridle after four out. He was last seen when only forth in Grade 3 company at Tipperary, but the step back in trip may have back fired, so he should be happier now back up in trip with conditions to suit. He hasn’t been seen for 209 days but he can go well fresh so that isn’t much of a concern and the jockey booking of Mark Bolger is positive with Robbie Power engaged with the Potts’ horse. A mark of 137 may well underestimate him on chasing handicap debut as over hurdles he was only denied by three lengths in a Grade 1 behind Bellshill and subsequent Grade 1 winning chaser Coney Island. He looks booked to go close and gets the nod from us to put up a bold display.

Colin Tizzard, the Potts and Robbie Power are a trio who cannot stop winning at present and the manner in which Sizing Coldeco won his last race was mightily impressive. Before that run he’d been performing reasonably well in the main, with a good forth at Cheltenham in a competitive race where his jumping perhaps let him down. He never seemed himself at the Festival in the Grade 3 handicap chase, so perhaps it shouldn’t have been much surprise when he rebounded to form in a big way when careering clear to win a listed handicap at Aintree. He powered clear after two out to win by thirteen lengths and as a result he’s been raised 11lb, but he looked to have plenty in the locker that time around and a repeat performance would see him go close under that man Robbie Power with conditions to suit.

Ruby Walsh opts for The Crafty Butcher of the Willie Mullins runners and he’s gone close on a number of occasions since switching to the yard this season. He’s run twice over fences for Mullins, finishing a close second behind Noble Endeavor in the Paddy Power at Leopardstown in December and an 8lb rise wasn’t enough to stop him putting up another brave effort when third at Wexford in March in a veterans handicap, though this is much tougher. He remains on the same mark and if in the same form as his Paddy Power Chase run he’d have to be considered a danger, though this better ground does raise a slight question mark as his best efforts have come at softer ground. If that isn’t an issue though he’s entitled to go close and needs a second look.

Joseph O’Brien runs his Katnap who ran a blinder at Aintree last time out and has only been raised 2lb as a result, so should be going close today. A two time winner over fences from eighteen starts, he posted a career best on his latest start at Aintree when chasing home Ultragold in the Topham last month, running on strongly and giving the impression a step up in trip was well worth a go. For such a good effort, the fact he has only been raised 2lb does make him very interesting with conditions to suit and JJ Slevin taking off a useful 5lb. The ten year old has each way claims at the very least and shouldn’t be ignored.

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