• Sun 25 Sep, 2016
  • 09:48 BST
  • 05:48 EST (BST-4)
  • 11:48 CEST (BST+2)

Don Poli 11/4 @ Leopardstown

Paul Ferguson has one selection for us on Monday; Don Poli in the Leopardstown 15:05. Compare odds and bet.

Arguably the race of the day is Leopardstown’s Grade 1 Topaz Novice Chase, in which a case could be made for all of the seven runners.

That said, I have had this race in mind for Don Poli (3:05) ever since he went down by ¾ of a length to Beat That in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Punchestown in April and he did little wrong when making a winning debut over fences at Gowran last month.

He jumped well in the main to beat the useful Wounded Warrior (won next time before failing to shine at Limerick on Friday) and Smashing (the only horse to attempt to chase down Un De Sceuax recently) over an inadequate trip.  The step up to 3m should bring about considerable improvement and, given how he was easy to back on his seasonal return, he should be expected to strip a fair bit fitter.

The selection was available at 11-4 with Betfred overnight, though due to the competitiveness of the contest, I’d be hopeful that one of the bookmakers would be prepared to offer 3-1 this morning.

Gordon Elliott’s Mala Beach should also relish conditions, as he looks to possess plenty of stamina, so it would not be at all surprising to see him reverse form with The Tullow Tank from earlier in the season; the latter needs to bounce back from his disappointing effort in the Drinmore.

Apache Stronghold finished runner-up in that event, probably the strongest novice chase run so far this season (before this one), though he has yet to race beyond 2m4f and this could stretch him on testing ground.

Regular readers of my column will know I’m a fan of Shanahan’s Turn, who has looked a natural in two starts over fences and hails from the in-form yard of Henry De Bromhead.  He is again respected, but this could turn into a grueling affair, which will probably play more to the strengths of Mala Beach and Don Poli.

Monday’s selection:
3:05 Leopardstown: Don Poli; 11/4 betfred

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