All selections are now online
TOE THE LINE wasn't seen to best effect in a messy race at Fairyhouse on New Year's Day and is worth giving her another chance in the opening mares maiden hurdle based on her two previous solid efforts. The first of those saw her finish in front of today's market leader Bargy Lady when an unlucky second at Wexford, and there was no disgrace in managing only third behind the more enterprisingly-ridden Turcagua at Punchestown. A very useful performer on the level, who notched her first big win at today's venue in that discipline at the 2014 Irish Champions weekend, she should appreciate the return to the Dublin track, along with today's much better ground.
WOODFORD ISLAND ran a good race when switched back to the smaller obstacles on his last visit here over Christmas and is another who should appreciate the improved underfoot conditions in the 3m handicap hurdle at 3.40. A good ground beginners chase winner earlier in the season, the six year-old was forced very wide around the home turn in that recent Pertemps Qualfier yet was beaten just seven lengths into fourth behind Electric Concorde. With a better trip today he should go close from the same mark.
Advised on Saturday
All the talk in the build-up to Sunday's Coral.ie Hurdle at Leopardstown has understandably concerned Melbourne Cup runner-up Heartbreak City but trainer Tony Martin has a couple of other good strings to his bow in the €100,000 contest including GOLDEN SPEAR , who looks the value bet to topple his stable-mate at 9/1. A very useful performer on the level himself, winning premier handicaps at Galway and Leopardstown in 2016, the six year-old ran a perfectly satisfactory race when fourth to Brain Power in last month's Wessex Youth Trust Hurdle at Ascot considering it was his first outing over flights since landing Listowel's Lartigue hurdle some fifteen months previously. That should have left him spot-on for this big-race assignment, and despite being raised 3lb he actually runs off a slightly lower Irish mark so all things considered it will be disappointing if he fails to go close.
Gary's Best Bets (scale 1-5 points):
1pt each way TOE THE LINE ( 5-1 general - use *BOG firms)
1pt each way WOODFORD ISLAND ( 9-2 general - use *BOG firms)
*BOG = Best Odds Guaranteed
3.10 Leopardstown (Sunday)
1pt win GOLDEN SPEAR (9-1 bet365, 8-1 general - use *BOG firms)
1pt each way GOLDEN SPEAR (8-1 Paddy Power (first 6 places 1/5 odds))