Palm Could Improve On Handicap Bow At Leopardstown

Unfortunately, neither of my selections managed to reach the frame on Tuesday and the less said about Dromnea’s effort the better. He ran and jumped well for a long way but he emptied as they turned for home and finished well down the field. He is a frustrating horse, and perhaps he needs slightly better ground to be seen at his very best.

Lagostovegas ran a cracker on Tuesday.

Lagostovegas, on the other hand, ran an absolute screamer and it is hard to believe she didn’t place given her position when they jumped the last. Perhaps the wide route she took cost her, as she had no more to give in the final 50 yards and she faded into 6th. I still believe she is a well treated filly, and with that run behind her she should go close next time.

I was at the track on Tuesday, and the undoubted highlight was the scintillating performance by Douvan. To be honest, he didn’t stand out like I thought he would in the parade ring, but he certainly didn’t disappoint on the track. He jumped brilliantly and travelled powerfully, and he had the rest in big trouble a long way out. He won as he liked, hard on the steel, and he will be one of the Mullins ‘bankers’ at the festival in March.

Tomorrow there is another quality card of action at Leopardstown, with the likes of Battleford and Nichols Canyon short priced favourites to cap off a brilliant week for Willie Mullins. However, the one I like goes in the 20f handicap hurdle at 15.05, and I think Palmabad could improve for the switch to handicap company for John Queally and David Mullins. Queally has another interesting contender in Long Way Back for JP McManus and market support should be noted, but I prefer the chances of Palmabad.

This 5yo gelded son of Kapgarde has a lovely pedigree, and he is closely related to French 20f G3 winner Royale Francois and G1 winner Milord Thomas. He showed plenty of promise on his debut in a decent Naas maien hurdle(16f hvy) last February, finishing 4th, 15L behind the winner Vigil and 12L behind the 2nd, Coeur Joyeux.

He again ran a nice race when reappearing at Galway (16f yld) in a bumper in October, finishing 4th behind Joey Sasa, a horse that won here during the week. The 2nd and 5th from that race have both won by wide margins since, and it is form that has worked out well.

Palmabad was sent hurdling after that excellent effort at Galway, and he finished 9th of 22 at Naas (16f yld/sft) back in November in a race won by Saturnas, who was victorious here on Tuesday. Palmabad actually jumped and travelled pretty nicely, but his jockey repeatedly encountered traffic problems as the pace lifted and the horse wasn’t given a hard time. He fell next time out at Navan, and he finished well beaten at Punchestown on his first crack at 20f (yld sft) last time out.

The handicapper has handed the son of Kapgarde a mark of just 108 for his handicap debut, and on the form of his first two bumper runs, and his hurdling debut, I think that could underestimate his true ability. He is bred for tomorrow’s trip of 20f, and the ground should not be an issue given that it is the same as it was for his best run at Galway.

David Mullins is a top class pilot so he won’t lack for assistance from the saddle, and his cousins Paddy and Danny have had plenty of success when riding for owner Mrs Mee. Palmabad races off a nice low weight of 10st 9lbs and at odds of 33/1 he is worth backing each way for small stakes.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: 3.05 LEOPARDSTOWN-PALMABAD E/W 33/1

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