The Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown is one of the eagerly-anticipated clashes of the season with a high-quality field of eight going to post in the €175,000 contest.
One of the most exciting battles of the campaign takes place as last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Galopin Des Champs, takes on Gerri Colombe, who landed the Champion Chase at Down Royal last time out.
Trained by Gordon Elliott, Gerri Colombe finished a neck clear of Envoi Allen that day and he is 13/8 to follow up that success and take the Savills Chase and record a sixth win from seven starts over fences in the process.
His chief market rival Galopin Des Champs, who is 2/1 for the 3m½f event, was beaten at odds-on when finishing third to Fastorslow in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown in November.
Between the pair, they have won 10 Grade 1s and this could well be a match-up we’ll see in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. Galopin Des Champs is currently for that contest, while Gerri Colombe is 7/2.
The Henry de Bromhead-trained A Plus Tard will make his first start of the season and the nine-year-old is 12/1 to return with what would be a surprise win.
It’s hard to believe a Gold Cup winner having double-figure odds for a race, but he has a bit to prove after a disappointing campaign last term.
A Plus Tard was last seen finishing third of five in the Grade 1 Aintree Bowl in April. Before that, he failed to finish both his two starts in the Betfair Chase and Gold Cup after being pulled up by regular jockey Rachael Blackmore.
His last success came when he ran out a 15-length winner of the Gold Cup in March 2022 and if he runs to a similar level then he certainly has a chance.
This race promises to be a high-quality affair given that it’s not just the first three in the betting who are capable of winning.
Conflated won it 12 months ago and provided his trainer Gordon Elliott with a third win in the past four seasons. Owned by Gigginstown House, he finished five-lengths clear of Kemboy but has not won in four subsequent starts since.
The nine-year-old finished last of five in a Punchestown Grade 3 on his season return in October, before beating one rival home when third in the Champion Chase last month.
It’s been almost a year since Appreciate It last tasted victory - a 2m novice chase at Naas in January - but he has produced some good efforts in defeat and he is an interesting outside contender at a big-price of 10/1.
Trained by Willie Mullins, he finished third to El Fabiolo at the Dublin Racing Festival before running home in fourth behind Stage Star in the Turners Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.
Appreciate It did produce a career-best effort over fences when second to Fastorslow in the John Durkan, though, and could run well again.
Stablemate I Am Maximus is 7/1 in the betting for the Savills Chase and recorded a second successive win on his seasonal return when landing the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.
The seven-year-old is in the form of his life after ending last season with success in the Irish National, and the step up in trip to the extended three miles could see him run a big race and big odds.
Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.