#8PointstoPlay – Saturday Tipping Challenge – 1st February

Leaderboard 1st FebBarry Doyle (champ.ie), Colm Finlay (BetXS), Ronan Groome (The Irish Field), Andrew Blair White (Blair White’s Blog), Thomas Coyle (Trainer), Jason Kiely (Sporting Life) & Alan Doyle (Aldorithm) take each other on for the Dublin Racing Festival #8PointstoPlay special this weekend.

Coln Finlay (110.5pts ) has now entered into the hundreds. So it’s game on now to catch him!

Colm Finlay - ProfileColm Finlay #8PointstoPlay score: +110.5pts

12:50 Leopardstown – Assemble (10/1) 8pt win

If you are looking at reasons to back this horse just go onto racing post and search for a horse called Port Stanley trained by Jessica Harrington. That horse ran right up to top end of bumper form last year beaten by Envoi Allen by 4L and Abracadabras by 2L. He’s then come out this year and been absolutely smashed by Assemble in back to races this year before returning to smart enough efforts since. Joseph O’Brien thought plenty of assemble last year and labelled him disappointed with his runs for whatever reason he didn’t show what he was capable of. He’s an out and out 3m chaser in the long run this step up to 2m 6f should be right on the money for him (albeit the same could be said for all of these) He’s beaten this years champion bumper favourite in a bumper back in November at Fairyhouse. In fairness he’s been reaping the benefit of a claimers allowance but I back him to amongst tomorrow at a good price. I just think the double digit prices are far too generous.

Alan DoyleAlan Doyle #8PointstoPlay score: +31pts

14:35 Leopardstown – Snugsborough Hall (6/1) 8pt win

Repeating what I said before but Moon Over Germany (carrying +20lbs) was 27L behind in 4th and Bun Doran (carrying +23lbs) was 28L behind in 5th in the Grade B 2m handicap chase in Punchestown last April. Moon Over Germany went on to record a solid second in behind Notebook in the Craddockstown novice chase while Bun Doran was a surprising winner of the Desert Orchid in Kempton. I picked Snugsborough Hall on his seasonal debut and while he travelled very notably for 75% of the race, it soon became evident that it was just a a pipe opener. I still get the impression that there is more to come and there is a big handicap in him yet.

Andrew Blair WHite ProfileAndrew Blair White #8PointstoPlay score: -1.57pts

3.45 Leopardstown – The Mouse Doctor (12/1) 1pt ew

A progressive horse on the flat over the last two summers, this horse was very unlucky when meeting trouble in running at Christmas. He went in next time to collect with his head in his chest at Musselburgh next time and is fancied to be in the shake up here.

4.10 Sandown – Stick with Bill (3/1) 6pt win

I had brilliant luck with these exact same connections last week (Simply the Betts) and I’m going to the well again hoping for more. This lad was progressing nicely before a step up to Grade 1 company found him out completely. He is back in far far calmer waters here and should be the one to beat.

Jason Kiely - ProfileJason Kiely #8PointstoPlay score: -8pts

3.00 Sandown – Limited Reserve (14/1) 2pt ew

Back down to a playable mark and with a bold success last time out. Looks primed for this race, at a racecourse where he is proven. Jockey/trainer combo unstoppable at the moment.

1.25 Leopardstown – À Plus Tard (10/3) 4pt win

Wins. No more to add.

Thomas Coyle - ProfileThomas Coyle #8PointstoPlay score: -16.87pts

12.50 Leopardstown – Cobblers Way (11/1) 1pt ew

Won a maiden hurdle at Christmas at the track having The Big Getaway in 4th. Looks a bit over priced to me for the Blackmore/De Bromhead combination.

2.35 Leopardstown – Ice Cold Soul (14/1) 1pt ew

Done it well the last day when winning at Thurles Eoin Walsh takes a handy 7lbs off and he has a liking for Leopardstown with two wins here already.

4.20 Leopardstown – Shakespeares Word (16/1) 1pt ew

Taking a chance with this very unexposed 4yo who is receiving a good chunk of weight from his older rivals the penny dropped late in Naas the last day and he flew home that could turn out to be a very good bumper as there was a lot of horses fancied in it I’ve heard Padraig Roche saying he’s improved for the run and thinks he’s a very nice horse

3.15 Mussleburgh – Caroles Destrier (12/1) 1pt ew

An old stager now but is always competitive in these marathon chases 2lbs higher than last winning mark but I think he’s up to winning one more race hopefully this could be it.

Barry Doyle - ProfileBarry Doyle #8PointstoPlay score: -18.5pts

12.50 Leopardstown – Elixir D’Ainay (11/4) 2pt win

Good second behind Envoi Allen at Naas and can improve with a step up in trip. High quality sort who can get the festival off to a flyer for team Mullins.

2.00 Leopardstown – Bapaume (6/1) 2pt ew

Highly rated staying hurdler who has taken to fences exceptionally well. There’s plenty of pace in here which may set it up nicely for Bapaume. Surprised Paul Townsend elected to pick elsewhere considering bullish comments after Naas. Robbie Power an able partner.

3.45 Leopardstown – Unexcepted  (4/1) 2pt win

137 looks a very attractive mark for a horse who was well touted for the Supreme Novice hurdle following seasonal reappearance at Fairyhouse. Disappointed at Limerick over Christmas but in very interesting on his handicap debut in McManus silks.

Ronan GroomeRonan Groome #8PointstoPlay score: -38.37pts

4:00 Leopardstown – Melon (13/2) 1pt win

Progressed from chase debut second to win over C&D latest and maybe able to get close to his Navan conqueror Fakir D’Oudairies now, considering he has 3lb swing in the weights, with more experience and may be suited more to this course.

14:35 Leopardstown – Quamino (11/1) 1pt e/w

Last years winner may well have his whole season planned around today as he returns here off just a 4lb higher mark having run over hurdles twice and over 3m in the Paddy Power Chase latest. Actually showed up okay in the latter, beaten less than 20 lengths but should be much more at home at this trip, over which he is a very strong stayer, so the likely fast pace will aid his cause.

15:00 Sandown – Ask Ben (6/1) 1pt e/w

Ran well on both starts this season but particularly latest at Cheltenham when second to Goodbye Dancer. Form of that race has worked out very well indeed and this horse has plenty of scope to improve again.

15:45 Leopardstown – The Mouse Doctor (12/1) 1pt e/w

Well backed already which could be significant and everything looks in place for a big run. Ran well here in what could turn out to be a good handicap hurdle (Fauguernon won) on St Stephen’s Day and then ran out smooth winner at Musselburgh latest. A lot of his best efforts on the flat have come in big premier handicaps at this course and arriving here off a mark of 117, has to be feared.

15:45 Leopardstown – Top Moon (17/2) 1pt win

Going to include this Joseph O’Brien-trained horse as well for the big Ladbrokes Handicap. Progressing fast on last four starts and the form of his second to Alfa Mix last time at Navan looks really strong. 5lbs higher now but no sign of his progress halting and strong pace over today’s 2m trip could be perfect for him.