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Mullins second-string the clear early value at Leopardstown

| 15.01.2015

It is a wonder to this day as to how Briar Hill was allowed to go off at 25/1 for the Champion Bumper at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival, bearing in mind he was representing the dream team of Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh?

There is huge potential for something similar at Leopardstown this weekend, so don’t say you weren’t warned. Here are some best bets for the Boylesports Handicap Chase and Boylesports Hurdle.

Boylesports Handicap Chase – Dogora @ 20/1

Djakadam travelled well for a long way for a horse so inexperienced in the Hennessy Gold Cup and he will be a worthy favourite if lining up for this 2m5f handicap.

However, the feeling is that Mullins will take the six-year-old to Gowran Park next week for the 3m1f Thyestes Chase.

If this happens, Dogora will become the Mullins first string at Leopardstown and will likely be ridden by Walsh. 20/1 on almost any horse from this partnership simply has to be snapped up.

Dogora was an eye-catching second on only his second chase start, but has failed to live up to expectations since.

There have been excuses though as he had bust blood vessels on his next two starts, seemed to need his seasonal reappearance this season when travelling well for a long way right around the outside and then fell on his last start.

The drop back in trip looks a sensible move and there is a high possibility that Dogora remains well handicapped.

Boylesports Hurdle – Waxies Dargle @ 8/1

It is really interesting that every winner of this in the last decade has carried no more than 10st10lb to victory and the fact that the Leopardstown ground will be on the soft side only enhances the claims of a horse towards the foot of the weights.

Waxies Dargle has been allocated 10st8lb thanks to a handicap mark of 131 and it is of note that this is the same mark he was successful off last time when a comfortable winner at Fairyhouse.

His winning margin could easily have been more that day and Noel Meade’s six-year-old looks capable of further victories off a higher mark.

If Paul Carberry takes the ride for the third successive race, this would only boost his chances too.

A strong performance may also bring him into consideration for the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Snake Eyes and Clondaw Warrior are already prominent in the betting for that race and are among the Boylesports Hurdle opposition at Leopardstown.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.