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Robbie Wilders has picks for Naas and Cheltenham
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Horse Racing: Robbie Wilders' Wednesday Leopardstown Tips

Day three of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival features the Grade 1 Savills Chase and the Racing Post’s Robbie Wilders provides three wagers for the action on Wednesday.

(Article originally published 27/12/2022)

1.10 Leopardstown

Eric Bloodaxe @ 8/1

1pt each-way

2.20 Leopardstown

Fury Road @ 16/1

1pt each-way

2.55 Leopardstown

Gentlemansgame @ 4/1

1pt win

Bloodaxe can slice through the pack

I fancy Gigginstown to enjoy a good day at Leopardstown on Wednesday and Eric Bloodaxe can get the ball rolling in the Pertemps Qualifier (1.10).

Eric Bloodaxe made the perfect start for Gordon Elliott when winning over 2m4f at Fairyhouse in November and better is expected on his return to 3m.

This seven-year-old proved his stamina when motoring through heavy going to land a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Limerick almost a year ago and will surely step forward from the Fairyhouse run, while the booking of experienced amateur Rob James is a big plus.

James arrives at Leopardstown for just the one ride and his 7lb claim is a steal on this classy sort, who runs in a handicap for just the second time.

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Fury on Road to the top

A Plus Tard, the highest-rated horse in training, is the star attraction at the entire meeting and heads the betting in the Savills Chase (2.20), but returns with a health query after pulling up in the Betfair Chase on his return.

The going was softer than ideal for A Plus Tard at Haydock, but it was still a desperate performance from the brilliant Gold Cup winner and he makes zero appeal at the prices after stopping quickly there.

Considering he also returned a beaten odds-on favourite in the Savills last season, it is probably worth taking him on.

Conflated is the natural alternative, but I’m not sure about the strength of his Down Royal Champion Chase form last time and his stablemate Fury Road interests me each-way at a massive price. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.

While this eight-year-old has plenty to find on official figures from many in the field, he enjoyed a productive novice chase campaign last term and looked better than ever on his comeback in a Grade 2 on that Down Royal card over shorter.

Fury Road gave 16lb to a good mare in Delvino that day and showed a better attitude than is often the case when rallying to a short-head success.

The fact he began the morning as an 11/10 chance and drifted to an SP of 7/2 suggests he should come on for it, and he produced his best effort of last season over this course and distance when comfortably beating Run Wild Fred in a Grade 1 novice chase at this meeting.

An easy game for the Gentleman

Willie Mullins has been cleaning up at the meeting this week and his I Am Maximus is odds-on for the 2m5f beginners’ chase (2.55) later on the card.

However, I think that price overestimates his claims in a warm event and Gentlemansgame, a vastly superior hurdler to the jolly, gets the vote to cause an upset.

Gentlemansgame placed in three Grade 1s as a hurdler without winning - including one at this track - and his third to Klassical Dream at the Punchestown Festival on his most recent outing was a fine effort.

This is Gentlemansgame’s first start over fences and he’ll obviously need to take to the discipline, but his stable excels with chasers and I’m anticipating a good season for this six-year-old. At the early odds he is well worth supporting.

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