City slicker than Irish rivals
Heartbreak City can justify favouritism at Leopardstown on Sunday, says Ashley Iveson. He has a tip for every UK and Irish race.
FONTWELL: 1.00 Tearsofclewbay, 1.30 Johns Luck, 2.00 Theatrebar, 2.30 Shanann Star, 3.00 Finula, 3.30 Brise Coeur, 4.00 Tikkanbar.
HEREFORD: 1.20 Diamond Fort, 1.50 Wazowski, 2.20 Trehan Cross, 2.50 Max Do Brazil, 3.20 MINELLA GATHERING (NAP), 3.50 Winged Crusader, 4.20 Oh Michelle.
LEOPARDSTOWN: 1.10 Toe The Line, 1.40 The Comediologist, 2.10 Yorkhill, 2.40 Kylecrue, 3.10 Heartbreak City, 3.40 Sutton Manor, 4.10 Imperial Way.
With Sunday's British action low-key, plenty will be focusing their attention on the quality fare at Leopardstown.
The big betting race of the afternoon is the Coral.ie Hurdle, in which Heartbreak City is likely to be extremely popular with punters.
Since last winning over obstacles at the Galway Festival, Tony Martin's charge readily claimed the Ebor at York and finished a fantastic second in the Melbourne Cup.
Those efforts make him look ridiculously well treated over jumps off a mark of 125 and while this is fiercely competitive, Heartbreak City looks a blot on the handicap.
Yorkhill makes his second start over fences in the Coral.ie-sponsored novice chase.
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old looked a potential superstar when winning the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival.
He was more workmanlike when following up at Aintree and a run at Punchestown proved one too many, but he won as he liked on his seasonal reappearance and chasing bow at Fairyhouse last month.
Knockers will say he jumped to his left, but that should not be an issue going this way round and he is expected to record another victory to confirm his place as ante-post favourite for the JLT Novices' Chase at Prestbury Park in March.
Kylecrue should give us a good run for our money in the Coral.ie Leopardstown Handicap Chase.
John Ryan's charge won twice at the Listowel Festival in the autumn and was third in the Munster National when last seen.
Three miles probably stretched him on that occasion and coming back to two-mile-five on his return from a break, he ticks plenty of boxes in what is another wide-open affair.
In the UK, Minella Gathering gets the nod in the Verzon House Hotel Novices' Handicap Hurdle at Hereford.
The Old Vic gelding spent over two and a half years on the sidelines before making a comeback this season.
Trainer Paul Henderson must have been thrilled with his reappearance run at Wincanton last month, where he filled the runner-up spot behind Amantius, and he backed that up with another placed effort at Warwick on New Year's Eve.
Henderson has sensibly given his charge a few weeks to recover and he should be cherry-ripe for his latest assignment.
Tearsofclewbay should make the most of having her sights lowered in the EBF Mares' "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle at Fontwell.
The Philip Hobbs-trained mare won her first two starts in bumpers last season before coming up short in Listed company in the spring.
She made a winning start to her career over jumps at Worcester in October, but again had her limitations exposed in a hot race at Haydock last month.
This event is nowhere near as competitive and Tearsofclewbay should get back on the winning trail.
Posted at 1315 GMT on 20/01/17.