Christmas Racing at Leopardstown & Limerick

The Christmas Racing Festival meetings got underway at Down Royal, Leopardstown and Limerick with surprise winners in each of the days highlights at the tracks.

Paul Nolan scored a spectacular double at the Co Dublin track with Defy Logic and King Vuvuzela. Nolan has a nice team of horses in his care at Davidstown in Co Wexford with Defy Logic now very much the stable star.

The Flemensfirth 6 year old,owned by JP McManus has been threatening to land a big pot and he picked today to win one such at 7/2 under Mark Walsh. This horse just needed to keep a little in reserve for the final push to the line and he did so here over 2 miles 1 furlong to take the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase. The chances are that he will renew rivalry again with many of these horses again during the rest of the season.

Nolan gave Bryan Cooper the leg up on King Vuvuzela in Racing Post Handicap Chase over the same distance. This is another son of Flemensfirth and the 6 year old took full advantage of his lightweight to win at 5/1.

Cooper had earlier in the day taken the Grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle at 9/2 for Dessie Hughes with Guitar Pete. Here the hot favourite Analifet was pulled up but that shouldn’t take detract from the win of the 3 year old Dark Angel gelding.

Down in Limerick Willie Mullins took the highlight as expected but with not with the odds on favourite Felix Yonger. Instead the stables second string, The Paparrazi Kid a 6 year old son of Milan showed a clean pair of heels under Emmet Mullins to win the Grade 2 Greenmount Park Novice Chase at 5/1. This horse obviously enjoyed the underfoot conditions to overturn the odds on Felix Yonger.

The first good Hunter Chase of the season was run at Down Royal with On The Fringe announcing his return to the stage when beating the talented Tammys Hill and Salsify in the Albert Bartlett Hunters Chase. Ridden by Nina Carberry the 8 year old son of Exit to Nowhere was running for the first time since May 2012. It he repeats this display he will be a major force in the Hunter Chase category during the coming months.

Doubles on the day saw Pat Fahy score with Western Boy at 12/1 at Leopardstown confirming his bumper promise in this maiden hurdle, while the Co Carlow based trainer also won with Stack the Deck in the bumper at Limerick at 11/10 under Katie Walsh.

While Gordon Elliot won with Moonshine Lad at Limerick at 2/1 on in addition to saddling Noble Endeavour to win 25/1 at Leopardstown while winning with Roll it Out at Down Royal at 6/1.

Another trainer on the double was Stuart Crawford with Man With Van winning at 6/4 and Twentytwo’s Taken at 6/1 both ridden by his brother Steve.

All in all it was a good day and tomorrow promises more of the same, weather permitting of course, but with a code red weather alert out at present lets hope we can race!

Guest Post By Dick White From