Celebs line up for festive treats


Omicron, eh? More like oh my god, as another Christmas takes a Covid buffet – and that includes sports.

n these shores, today’s inter-provincial Leinster-Munster has fallen apart and in England the Premier League is in almost as much chaos as the Conservative Party with one in six players still unvaccinated. It takes away a lot of sympathy from them.

Normally there was nothing quite like wrapping up, arranging transport to Leopardstown, Limerick or Down Royal, seeing the superpowers cut off from each other and also participating in some terrific cross-channel action from above. level. Mulled wine, pâtés, good company, a festive atmosphere and the best horses. Happiness.

The race must be careful to strike the right balance between lobbying for what it sees as right and the lawless when hospitality, arts and tourism are just three sectors on their top due to restrictions, and about 130,000 people spent Christmas Day by themselves. -isolation.

But it has remained puzzling that running capabilities have been reduced to levels far above those of sporting stadiums, as the industry has unmistakably proven its ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The fact that it takes place in much larger open spaces is a big contributing factor.

The Racing Post Novice Chase is the star as the four-day Leopardstown festival takes place behind closed doors today. Ferny Hollow is the one to beat, representing Cheveley Park and Willie Mullins. The 2020 Bumper Champion winner ended a year away by comfortably beating Couer Sublime in a beginners chase in Punchestown three weeks ago. He beat none other than Bob Olinger as they both made their hurdles debuts last time around, albeit on a three kilometer trip that would be more to his liking than his rival.

Couer Sublime is in the realm of six and should be respected, although a history of health issues has always hampered consistency. Chris Jones has moved him to Henry’s backyard from Bromhead now, so it will be interesting to see if he can put together some good runs.

Gordon Elliott was the first coach of Couer Sublime and he saddles Riviere D’etel, who is a fantastic rider with already four pursuit wins to his name, three of which are classified. Jack Kennedy will be on board when he returns after another long injury absence and his mount takes 13 pounds from the aforementioned rivals due to her gender and being in her dying days at the age of four.

She poses a real threat, but with two of Cheltenham’s easiest winners, Bob Olinger and Appreciate It, among his previous kills and the hope that he will come in droves for his first outing in 12 months, Ferny Hollow is set to score with confidence.

Munster’s only Level 1 is in Limerick, and Gavin Cromwell has declared Gabynako and Vanillier for the two-and-a-half-mile Boylesports Faugheen Novice Chase. Albert Bartlett’s winner isn’t a certain rider to be suspected, with a potential engagement of over three miles at Leopardstown later in the week, but a lot will depend on the weather, with ground fluency required for align with the Dublin site.

Gabynako is a very good stallion. After a series of flawless jumps taking into account Fury Road at Fairyhouse, the six-year-old made a few costly mistakes in the Drinmore Chase, especially at the penultimate hurdle, but still remained after another flawed jump last .

Jessica Harrington’s lifetime ambition was delayed on this occasion, having been a very impressive winner at Down Royal and the tactics deployed on this occasion will be interesting. Farouk D’alene is another with good odds, with Jordan Gainford having his first freshman engagement on the six-year-old trained by Elliot, so eye-catching beating Blue Sari and Ashdale Bob in Navan three weeks ago during his first race in a year, when he beat Vanillier over hurdles.

Gabynako is the one for the winning bets, but Master McShee is likely to be a tempting prize considering the quality and the fact that he is trained by license holder Paddy Corkery. He was a good handicap hurdles winner at this meeting last year and received a nice introduction to fencing by Ian Power when he didn’t mind the big guns and stayed third behind Bob Olinger and Bacardys at Gowran Park last month. With improvements expected, it could be one of those making the frame at attractive odds.

Willie Mullins sends the talented but eccentric Asterion Forlonge and Tornado Flyer to Kempton for the King George VI Chase, but it is Bromhead’s Henry and Rachael Blackmore who carry Ireland’s top prospects with Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.

He will give a bold account but I think his colors will be lowered by the Clan Des Obeaux. Making his first round of the season is not a problem. Paul Nicholls has won it 12 times and when he is aiming for a race, fitness will never be a concern. Teammate and defending champion Frodo should be treated with respect, but the Des Obeaux clan have won the race twice and were it not for the fact that they hate Cheltenham they would be considered close to the best pursuer in training, beating more recently the two-time Gold Cup winner Al Boom Photo at Leopardstown in an exciting way after also winning the Betway Bowl by 26 lengths at Aintree less than three weeks earlier.

Back in Leopardstown, a lot of people will think of the Fitzpatrick family, given that Hey Johnny and Sir Gerhard compete in the first two opening hurdles. The first is a two-time bumper winner named after Jonathan Fitzpatrick, who was killed in a car crash at the age of 23 in August 2017, but in a tragically short life he had already raised the winner. of the Bumper Champion Sir Gerhard.

Johnny had the Midas touch. We could do a little this week.


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