StevieDay1983 Posted March 2 Share Posted March 2 A race for four year olds only and they take in eight jumps over two miles. This race was taken hostage by the Irish last year as they not only won it the third year in a row but the first five home were all trained by Willie Mullins or Gordon Elliott. Vauban came out on top beating a useful field including the likes of Fil D'Or, Pied Piper and It Etait Temps. Statistics-wise favourites have a disappointing record in the race and have only won four times within the last decade. Six of the last eight winners have used Leopardstown as a warm up for this race (Vauban, Quilixios, Farclas, Ivanovich Gorbatov, Tiger Roll and Our Conor). All of the last ten winners had their previous run within fifty-five days of this race. No French horse has won this since Snow Drop in 2000. Of the home contingent, Nicky Henderson has won the race four times in the last twenty years and two of those came within the last six (Peace And Co and Pentland Hills). Five of the last six winners of this race won last time out. Lossiemouth Was rather unfortunate at Leopardstown as she was given a brutal ride at the back of the field. When given the office to mount a challenge, her stablemate Jourdefete actually drifted back on top of her and she lost any sort of chance. It was left to another stablemate in Gala Marceau to pick up the prize as a consequence. This will likley attract a big field so she cannot afford to find herself in a similar position. Whether that has any bearing on how she runs here is anyone's guess. Her class may shine through. Gala Marceau Jumped well in the main and enjoyed the better fortune when beating Lossiemouth at the Dublin Racing Festival. He certainly wasnt stopping on the run to the line and whether she would have beaten him with better luck in running will always be open to scrutiny. Gala Marceau improved markedly from his first run and is likely to improve further going forward. He has to have every chance of lining up here and looks to be a major player. Blood Destiny Made all the running in a facile win at Punchestown back in January beating Common Practice by eighteen lengths. He is clearly a very useful sort and it was a clear improvement on what he had shown previously than when winning at Cork. Paul Townend will find it a difficult choice between the Mullins trio and you have to respect his decision either way. Blood Destiny carries the familiar colours of the great Florida Pearl and it would be great to see them back in the winners' enclosure at the Festival. Comfort Zone Clearly thrives on his racing and has been wonderfully consistent this year. The Joseph O'Brien trained youngster thrives on a soft surface and has won three of his last four races including last time out over the course and distance when beating Scriptwriter. He will certainly let the others know they have been in a battle. He was quite useful on the flat and won a race over a mile and a half. He is battle hardened and looks solid each way material. Scriptwriter Was unfortunate to lose his winning sequence at Cheltenham behind Comfort Zone last time. He too is as tough as they come and he has not looked over his shoulder since leaving Ballydoyle and joining Milton Harris. He knows every blade of grass on this track having won twice here over the winter and if there is to be a UK winner of this race, he is very likely to be it. He will have been freshened up for this by his astute trainer and provided he hasn't been over-raced, is likely to make his presence felt. Nusret Looks to have it all to do in order to reverse recent form with Blood Destiny and Lossiemouth. Had looked progressive earlier in the season but the yard looks to have a stronger contender in Comfort Zone. Looks up against it here. Bo Zenith Showed significant improvement from his first to his second start and won a decent looking juvenile hurdle race at Haydock just a few days ago. This will take a further step forward and he has yet to prove he is truly up to being graded class. He has no prior experience of Cheltenham and others look to have better chances. Summary This will be one hell of a race with so many exciting types ready to line up. Given what happened to Lossiemouth last time out at Leopardstown, there has to be question marks as to how she reacts to that. Paul Townend will have a nightmare trying to decide his mount and he may well prefer her conqueror Gala Marceau on this occasion. A horse that leaps out at current prices is Comfort Zone. He was a well regarded type on the flat and has done nothing but improve since being faced with hurdles. He took the noteable scalp of Scripwriter here last time and if the ground turns soft, he has to hold every chance. Punters Lounge Tip: Comfort Zone E/W @ 8/1 at >bet365 - Click Here To Bet by Karl Hedley @Tumbleweed King Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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