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Horse Racing Tips: Phill Anderson's Leopardstown Ballyroan Stakes tips

Leopardstown hosts a competitive evening of action on Thursday that includes the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes and the Racing Post’s Phill Anderson has three selections on the card.


5.15 Leopardstown
Bonnyrigg @ 1/1
1pt each-way

6.15 Leopardstown
Duke De Sessa @ 1/1
1pt each-way

7.20 Leopardstown
Oneiroi @ 1/1
0.5pt each-way

Return to form on the cards for Bonnyrigg

The seven-furlong handicap (race 2) has an open look to it and Bonnyrigg might be capable of outrunning decent odds.

He wasn’t seen to best effect when held up in a slowly run race over this course and distance three weeks ago, but he had previously shaped like a return to form was imminent when fourth at Leopardstown in June.

A return to a bigger field with a strong pace looks likely to help and he ran well in a similar event when beaten just one length in an 18-runner course and distance handicap back in October when rated 9lb higher.

He’s been dropped 2lb for his latest effort and the four-year-old seems at his best on a sound surface, conditions he should get on Thursday.

With first-time headgear (cheekpieces) another potential source of improvement and an in-form jockey, Billy Lee, back in the saddle, he may be capable of outperforming his odds in a race that has a quantity over quality feel to it.

His stablemate Cleveleys isn’t easy to predict but he could have a say if he’s on a going day and the unexposed Uisce rates as a threat to the selection on handicap debut despite a poor draw (20).

Duke can rule over his rivals

The feature race on the card is the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes (race 4) and there isn’t much to separate the nine runners on form.

Gear Up was a Group 1 winner as a juvenile but he hasn’t really gone on from that success and he might need a return to more testing conditions before he gets his head back in front at Group level.

Preference is for Duke De Sessa who returned to form with a Group 3 second in June.

The three-year-old was unsuited by a drop in trip when contesting the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on his penultimate outing but he wasn’t disgraced, beaten by only six lengths, and he got back on track at that venue last time.

A return to this venue will suit (Group 3 winner here as a juvenile) and both the way he shapes, and his pedigree suggest there should be more to come at this sort of trip.

Course specialist can get back on track

Later on the card (race 6), Oneiroi might be worth chancing back at his favourite venue in what is admittedly a very warm handicap.

He’s back below his last winning mark after some low-key efforts this term but he’s not been beaten far in either start at this venue and he’s starting to look well treated.

His sole handicap success came over this course and distance when winning from 2lb higher last term and with the step back up in trip sure to suit, he looks capable of hitting the frame.

Three Laws could be a big danger to the selection, stepping up in trip from what looks like a workable handicap mark.

By Phill Anderson

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