Value seekers may have profited from Or Jaune De Somoza's sixth place at 40/1 at Leopardstown yesterday. I did, but for an each-way tip I'll account for it as a loss. The Shunter ran well to finish third while JP O'Brien scored a 1-2 with JP McManus owned horses both improving on recent efforts.
The 4.10 at Leopardstown is a very similar event to yesterday's handicap chase. 2m5f today and Grade A (not B) in class but it doesn't look too much more competitive.
A key formline to this race is the 3 mile Paddy Power Chase run here just after Christmas. Willie Mullins' Castlebawn West won that quite impressively. Minella Times (2nd), Farclas (3rd), Trainwreck (4th) and Myth Buster (5th) all show up here. Trainwreck, second in this race last year, looks very interesting and should be suited by the reduction in trip. Worryingly he is 0-10 from his chase starts.
Recent winners Treacycseeniscorthy (Cork, 2 Jan), Crossed My Mind (Navan, 5 Dec), The Long Mile (Limerick, 28 Dec) and Uisce Beatha (26 Dec, Leopardstown) don't appeal to me but are obvious possibles. The Long Mile looks the best value of these.
Gordon Elliott enters three. Farclas has come in for strong backing in this race. Has as good a chance as any but now looks very poor value. Aforementioned is dropped in trip which is a strange move but his American pedigree suggests it might suit. The Munster National winner has ability, is on a workable mark still and he's one you'd want to seek out six places for in an each-way bet. I think he's overpriced.
Willie Mullins runs four: Fan De Blues (disappointing so far and still with potential), Bapaume (has been disappointing recently; Paul Townend's choice, perhaps a little up against it at the weights), Blazer (fourth in this race last year; back from a break) and Livelovelaugh (11yo now but still capable and a fair each-way play).
Calling a winner of this race is difficult. Gordon Elliott's Aforementioned and Willie Mullins' Livelovelaugh both appeal as place or each-way bets. They don't really look likely winners but could run well and are both on good handicap marks. Livelovelaugh struggled and disappointed in the summer but he ran second in the 2019 renewal of this race, returns from a break, has proven himself over the years both at short and long distances (he actually completed the 2019 Grand National). There'll be worse bets out there. As with yesterday, seek as many places as you can. Betfair are currently offering 6/1 for the straight 4 to be placed bet or 9/2 if you seek five places. These might be the most sensible bets. The more exciting e/w bet is recommended here.
(E/W) Livelovelaugh (40/1 William Hill & BetVictor, 1/5 odds 5 places)
6 Feb: 2.45 Leopardstown Or Jaune De Somoza (E/W) 6th/20 @ 40/1
5 Feb: 4.15 Newcastle (AW) Bobba Tee 3rd/11 @ 17/2
4 Feb: 3.00 Southwell (AW) Gulland Rock (E/W) 4th/11 @ 40/1
3 Feb: 7.30 Kempton (AW) Zhui Feng 1st/9 WON @ 4/1
2 Feb: 2.55 Newcastle (AW) The Steward 1st/12 WON @ 9/1
Account (Level Stakes Profit)
Feb 2021 LSP: +12.5
All 2021 LSP: +12.5