herald

Sunday 19 January 2020

Aspire to Tower over his rivals in juvenile contest

Slate House. Photo: Martin Lynch
Slate House. Photo: Martin Lynch

The busy period gets underway with the usual jam-packed afternoon of racing at home and across the water as three Irish meetings go to post, while all eyes in the UK will be firmly fixed on Kempton.

Leopardstown kick off four days of top-class action and ASPIRE TOWER (1.10 Leopardstown) can get punters up and running in the Grade Two Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle.

Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore's partnership continues to go from strength to strength and they can kick off the Christmas with a win in this.

While the talented three-year-old may look inexperienced on our racecards, he has done plenty of running on the Flat, winning a Newmarket Nursery when trained by Richard Hannon.

At one point he was rated 88 on the level and was a fine handicap third on his final Flat start at Ascot in a Shergar Cup contest.

Since then he has made the switch to go hurdling and really impressed at Punchestown when bolting up on his jumping debut, scoring by 13 lengths after a fairly rough passage through the race.

It marks this fella down as one who could potentially be a Triumph Hurdle contender later in the season and, should he win today, connections will have very high hopes indeed.

The Racing Post Novice Chase is the main event of the afternoon, with a small but select field going to post as Laurina, Fakir Doudairies and Notebook clash.

This promises to be a cracking renewal of a great race and Willie Mullins' mare Laurina will need to be at her very best if she is to see off Joseph O'Brien's Fakir D'oudairies (2.20 Leopardstown).

The four-year-old has been a joy to watch over fences this season and had Samcro in serious trouble in the John Durkan last time with his jumping really impressing.

With Samcro crashing out at the last that day, we were robbed of an informative finish, but Fakir D'oudairies can do the same today.

He was one of the better juvenile hurdlers around last year and will take top rank among the novice chasers this season - he can add a second Grade One success to his campaign.

CALLTHEBARMAN (2.55 Leopardstown) can pay for drinks after he wins the 'Bet Through The Free Racing Post App' Handicap Chase.

Gavin Cromwell's five-year-old was in the process of winning at Down Royal last time before he unshipped Chris Timmons five strides after the last following a mistake.

The handicapper has reacted by raising him 5lb but he is worth that and more and should be capable of making amends.

In the Kauto Star Novices' Chase, Herald man Robbie Power looks to hold outstanding claims with SLATE HOUSE (1.55 Kempton).

He would have won the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham two starts back only for falling at the second last but has reganined the winning thread since when winning at Huntingdon.

That will have restored confidence and he is a novice chaser who could go all the way to the top.

Another of Power's rides today is already at the top and LOSTINTRANSLATION (3.05 Kempton) can upset Cyrname and bring up a Grade One double for trainer Colin Tizzard. It is an extremely strong renewal and Cyrname will be tough to beat but with doubts around that one's stamina Lostintranslation can cement himself as one of the best around.

Ian's tips

Leopardstown

1.10 Aspire tower

2.20 fakir d'oudairies

2.55 callthebarman

Kempton

1.55 slate house

3.05 lostintranslation

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