Paddy Power Chase: essential insight for one of the season's hottest handicaps
Paddy Power Chase | 3m | 5yo+ | RTE 2/RTV
There typically aren't many tougher races to unravel than the €150,000 Paddy Power Chase, and this year's edition is no different.
Gordon Elliott has won two of the last four runnings and filled the second, third and fourth spots in one of the years he was absent from the winner's enclosure.
This time around he could run as many as seven, with Munster National winner Aforementioned and Delta Work's half-brother Elwood featuring in the reserves, but former Triumph Hurdle winner Farclas could be the pick of the Cullentra squad.
The six-year-old isn't overly exposed, should handle the ground and comes here on the back of a satisfactory run to blow away the cobwebs at Punchestown last time.
The Joseph O'Brien-trained Home By The Lee is an extremely hardy five-year-old who could be underestimated by a mark of 139, but this is a serious test considering his lack of chasing experience.
Dunvegan, trained by Pat Fahy, is another who has the potential to be ahead of the assessor, making his first start beyond 2m6f here.
Lock's Corner represents Jonjo O'Neill, having travelled to Ireland before the UK travel ban kicked in and is of obvious interest, while Mitchouka is a capable operator when bringing his A game and could go close at a big price.
What they say
Willie Mullins, trainer of Castlebawn West, Saturnas and Class Conti
Even though Castlebawn West is topweight, he could be the best of ours. He's had a run, will handle the ground and likes the track. Class Conti pulled up over hurdles the last day and it will be difficult to have faith in him here. I am just hoping he can run well and finish out his race. Saturnas came back after a long break at Navan and may need a couple more runs to be back to his best.
Dermot McLoughlin, trainer of Captain Cj
He's in good nick but we'll need rain to come to soften the ground for him to take his chance. He can hit flat spots at times and then run up again so we thought he'd try something different with the tongue-tie this time.
Paul Nolan, trainer of Fitzhenry
He's been disappointing in his two runs so far this season but he goes there in good form and we're just hoping that returning to Leopardstown can bring out the best in him again.
Sunday's tipping and analysis:
Pat Fahy, trainer of Dunvegan
Bryan Cooper reckons he needs a step up in trip and he'll get that here. He's in good form and I'd be confident of a big run from him.
Joseph O'Brien, trainer of Home By The Lee, Speak Easy and Choungaya
Home By The Lee is unexposed but the worry would be his lack of experience. He's a tough horse though and we're hoping he'll run well. Speak Easy is in good form and should enjoy the step up in trip, while we think Choungaya will improve from his last run. On the pick of his form he wouldn't be without a chance.
Jonjo O'Neill, trainer of Lock's Corner
He seems to be improving but he's off his highest-ever mark and he's done most of his winning on better ground. It's a great prize though, and one we've won before.
Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Minella Times, Plan Of Attack, Trainwreck and Myth Buster
They all have chances. Minella Times is in good form and so is Plan Of Attack. He was only just beaten in it last year and I'd say the heavy ground just got to him last time. Trainwreck and Myth Buster have run well around here before too.
Sunday's previews and analysis:
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