Caolaneoin Could Spring Surprise At Leopardstown

First of all, I would like to wish all my readers a merry Xmas and I hope the winnings from Back Before Dawn (adv 25/1) helped cover some of the festive expenses. He was well backed throughout the day and, to be honest, the result was never really in doubt. He was chucked in, and Brassil rode him with supreme confidence. He travelled sweetly, pinged the last and hosed up by over 7L.

Caolaneoin looks overpriced at odds of 20/1.

There is a veritable feast of action to get stuck into on Stephens’ Day, with top class races scheduled in both Ireland and the UK. The battle between Cue Card and Thistlecrack in the King George should be a joy to behold but, at the likely odds, I will be just watching rather than betting on that race. The one bet I am going to have tomorrow goes at Leopardstown, and I think Caolaneoin could be ready to run a big race in the 2.55, a 17f handicap chase.

This 10yo son of King’s Theatre can be hard to catch right, but if he is on a going day on Monday he is more than capable of running a big race at odds of 20/1. His trainer Shane Nolan does very well with his small string, and he had a good winner with Charlie Stout at Thurles last week. He has booked Robbie Colgan for the ride, and he was on board for his wide margin beginners chase win at Naas last season (16f hvy).

Caolaneoin showed some more than useful form in his younger days, and he won his bumper here on his 2nd start for his then trainer Seamus Fahey. He was mixing it at Grade 2 level after winning his maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse (16f sft) but he never really progressed over timber and he didn’t show much when moving to Colm Murphy’s and going chasing in 2013/14.

However, he started to show some of his old spark after moving to Shane Nolan in January 2015 and he showed that there was life left in him yet with a good 4th in a valuable handicap at Gowran (18f soft) off 115. He went off the boil after that, but he popped up in that beginners chase at Naas at 20/1 back in March of this year. He has improved with each of his three runs so far this season, and his best effort yet came when chasing home the highly touted Peoples Park three weeks ago at Fairyhouse (17f yld).

He jumped and travelled sweetly that day, and between the last two fences he looked like he might win. However, the unexposed winner was too good and Caolaneoin had to settle for 2nd, beaten 6.5L at the finish. He races off 121, just 1lb higher than last time, at Leopardstown tomorrow and, being a previous course winner, we know he will handle the track. The forecast soft ground is perfect, his yard has been amongst the winners and, at odds of 20/1, I think Caolaneoin is well worth a couple of quid each way.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: 2.55 LEOPARDSTOWN: CAOLANEOIN E/W 20/1

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