Steve Hughes has selections from the two Grade 1 chases at Leopardstown
The second day of the Dublin Racing Festival takes place once more on ground much faster than the usual winter conditions. Hopefully a bit more cloud cover will avoid the danger of hurdles and fences being missed out late on and we get some more orthodox finishes today. I have selections from the big two chases where Gigginstown look set for another fruitful day. Defi du Seuil was a winner yesterday (SP 7/2).
Leopardstown 3.00: Delta Work
A proper Grade 1 novice can go the progressive Delta Work, unbeaten in three starts over fences, all on good ground.
This scopey sort was always going to be best over the bigger obstacles, but was good enough and strong enough to land the Pertemps at the Cheltenham Festival over hurdles last season. Only narrowly beaten in a Grade 1 hurdle at the Punchestown Festival, he has thrived this winter over the bigger obstacles.
He was quick enough to defeat Le Richebourg (impressive winner over 2m1f yesterday) over today’s trip at Fairyhouse and then strode away from the opposition here over 3m at Christmas. A strongly run contest can be expected with La Bague Au Roi in the line up here, but that should suit the selection nicely and one thing he has always done is finish strongly, perfect for this long run-in at Leopardstown.
Leopardstown 3.35: Road to Respect
Very unlucky in the Savills Chase here over Christmas, Road to Respect can gain significant compensation today and set himself up nicely for another tilt at Cheltenham for the Gold Cup itself, where he was fourth last year.
This year’s drier winter has suited Noel Meade’s gelding perfectly and he was a wide margin winner of the admittedly slightly substandard Grade 1 at Down Royal, despite showing his regular tendency to jump left. It is impossible to say what would have happened at Leopardstown last time had he not been hampered approaching the third last and then slipping soon after it.
However he lost valuable track position and in the circumstances did really well to recover third position. If he can avoid the bad luck today he is surely in a great position on his favoured going to repeat his course and distance win in last season’s Lexus here.
1pt win – Delta Work – 3.00 Leopardstown – 13/8 general
1pt win – Road to Respect – 3.35 Leopardstown – 2/1 general