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Rising stars Ballyadam and Appreciate It square up in a race with a rich history

Royal Bond winner Ballyadam is unbeaten over hurdles
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1.45 Leopardstown
Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) | 2m | RTE2/RTV

An aptly named race, given this contest has been won by Solerina, Hurricane Fly, Jezki and Sizing John in recent times and there is every chance we will see a champion of the future in this line-up. 

Willie Mullins has won four of the past five renewals and the champion trainer has one of the leading contenders once again with last season's Champion Bumper runner-up Appreciate It, an impressive winner of his maiden hurdle at Cork. 


Sunday's tipping and analysis:

Sunday's free racing tips: our experts give their fancies on another bumper day

'He looks chucked in' – David Jennings with a strong fancy at Leopardstown

'The difference in price is plain wrong' – Paul Kealy has five festive fancies

Paul Kealy isn't banking on Altior in his Kempton Placepot perm

The Punt Daily: Robbie Wilders' free horse racing tip at Leopardstown on Sunday


Ballyadam is already a Grade 1 winner having landed the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle last month. There is no question that this year's Royal Bond was a below-par renewal but Ballyadam went some way towards justifying the tall reputation that has preceded him throughout his career with a comfortable success. 

The market has billed this as a match between Gordon Elliott's charge and Appreciate It, but Keskonrisk could be open to enough progress to stake a claim.

Appreciate It: leading bumper performer from last season has made a great start to life over hurdles

A horse who made plenty of money after winning his bumper for Tim Hyde, Keskonrisk made an immediate impact for his new connections when landing his maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse and could be the dark horse in the contest.

Elliott's other runner in the race, Call Me Lyreen, has yet to taste defeat and should not be underestimated, especially with this nice ground likely to suit.

Meanwhile Mullins, who took Saturday's Racing Post Novice Chase with apparent second-string Franco De Port, also runs N'golo here, who looked unlucky when a staying-on third in the Royal Bond behind Ballyadam. 


What they say

Willie Mullins, trainer of Appreciate It and N'golo
Appreciate It did it nicely on his hurdling debut at Cork and the form of that race has since been boosted with the second having come out and won his maiden. With normal improvement we would be hopeful of a nice run. He improved a lot from his first run to his second run last year as well. N'golo will improve from his Royal Bond effort. I'm not sure he got the run of the race there. There is improvement in him. 

Keskonrisk: bought for £370,000 at the Goffs UK January Sale

Joseph O'Brien, trainer of Fire Attack and Keskonrisk
Keskonrisk hasn't done anything wrong and was good when winning his maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse. This is obviously a big step up in class for him but we're hoping he can run a nice race. We were happy with Fire Attack's first run back at Navan in a Grade 3. He's also into a higher class now and dropping to two miles, but we think he's got plenty of pace.

Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Irascible
He won nicely at Clonmel and his form was franked at Leopardstown on Saturday [when runner-up Decimation finished second]. He's in great form.


Sunday's previews and analysis:

'Rain won't stop him running' – Henderson adamant Altior will make his return

Members' Club: time and weight count against Altior in fascinating Desert Orchid

Welsh Grand National: 'He's a ridiculously short price at 7-2 in a race such as this'

Members' Club: Science and art agree – you need to be on a prominent racer in the Welsh National

Chacun Pour Soi 'much straighter' compared to 12 months ago says Willie Mullins

'Shishkin is very well' – Henderson star out to prove his quality upped in class

More rain won't bother buzz horse Houx Gris on British debut says Paul Nicholls

Paddy Power Chase: essential insight for one of the season's hottest handicaps


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Appreciate It did it nicely on his hurdling debut at Cork and the form of that race has since been boosted
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