Selections for Leopardstown and Doncaster on Thursday

Ben Linfoot walks you through all six races on ITV4 on Thursday and he has two recommended bets.

QUEENS BROOK – 1.10 Leopardstown

Thursday’s ITV4 coverage includes four from Leopardstown and two from Doncaster and we start with the Irish EBF Mares Hurdle from Grade 2 in Ireland.

This shouldn’t be too hard to solve though QUEENS’ CREEK is at her best, with Gordon Elliott’s mare perhaps having a bigger class advantage over Shewearsitwell than the official odds suggest.

Second in the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Queens Brook looked better than ever last time out in Punchestown when she beat Heaven Help Us by six easy lengths.

Shewearsitwell is the main handicap graduate hazard, but the Gordon Elliott mare is expected to mark her class on the proceedings.

FRONTAL ASSAULT – 1.45 Leopardstown

Elliott could have another good day, and his three-stripe life looks like a big player in the hunt for 1st-year Neville Hotel Novices if he recovers from Fairyhouse where he was arrested after a bad mistake.

Willie Mullins’ Gaillard Du Mesnil was second in this race and looks set to go short here, perhaps too short for a true stayer who is 0/6 on the fences.

With that in mind, it might be worth looking at the higher priced ones and Elliott’s second string FRONTAL ASSAULT look at the guy who can exceed expectations.

It’s unclear who will be racing here, but this horse stays further away and Jordan Gainford could get a good shot at him if he takes the bull by the horns.

Hampered a few times early in Troytown, he could just be a handicapper, but if the top two on the market don’t work, it won’t take long to win.

SHARJAH – 2.20 Leopardstown

If Mullins wins the Neville Hotels with Gaillard Du Mesnil, he will be aiming for a quick Grade 1 double with State Man leading a strong Closutton team in the Matheson Hurdle.

He beat his stable mate Sharjah by four lengths in the Morgiana but Leopardstown is the selection’s playground and he is aiming for an incredible fifth successive victory in the race under Patrick Mullins.

For his seasonal reappearance, he ran perfectly well in the Morgiana and is expected to take a step up from that in his favorite race, so much so that it may not be the penalty kick for State Man, odds would have you believe.

BOLDMERE – 2.40 Doncaster

it might be worth a shot BOLDMERES in the bet365 Handicap Chase at Doncaster despite his long absence of 607 days.

His well-being is pure conjecture, but the absence is factored into his chances and the handicapper gave him a fair chance from a mark of 128.

He won 10 lengths of that same race in 2019 with a mark of 5 pounds more and when last seen in a race at Uttoxeter in May 2021 he did not run badly at all over 135 .

Alex Hales is doing well with his recruits from other yards and the team has just got back into shape thanks to a double on Wednesday.

SPIRIT OF LEGEND – 2.55 Leopardstown

Top weight SPIRIT OF LEGEND can outclass them in the INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown.

The five-year-old of Henry from Bromhead impressed on his hurdles debut when he managed to bring back Kilbree Warrior who had taken a clear lead.

Kilbree Warrior broke form by winning a Fairyhouse maiden hurdle by 16 lengths and De Bromhead won that race a few years ago with a similar type in Mind’s Eye.

ZAMBELLA – 3.10 Doncaster

ZAMBELLA has everything in his favor in pursuit of the bet365 Listed Yorkshire mares Silver Vase at Doncaster.

Two-and-a-half miles on good ground around Doncaster seems her prime conditions and her main market rival Annie Mc was beaten by 24 lengths by her at Carlisle last time out in identical conditions.

Indeed, a bigger rival might be Pink Legend if she comes around for her seasonal reappearance in Huntingdon, but even so, she’ll have to improve a lot to disrupt Zambella.

Preview published at 15:20 GMT on 28/12/2022

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