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Leopardstown

  • 12:50 paddypowerpoker.com Future Champions Novice Hurdle 2m

  • (Grade 1) €79,999 added 4yo+ 5 ran
  • Winner €52,000 2nd €15,200 3rd €7,200 4th €2,400
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 2.70s
  • Off time: 12:50:40

Full result

12:50 Leopardstown Result 29th December 2010
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st First Lieutenant (IRE) 11-10 D N Russell M F Morris 5 16/1
Tracked leader in 2nd, took closer order approaching 2 out, soon ridden to challenge, led last, kept on well under pressure, all out opened 16/1 touched 16/1
2nd nk Zaidpour (FR) 11-7 P Townend W P Mullins 4 1/4f
Tracked leaders in 3rd, tended to jump slightly right, 3 lengths down and pushed along entering straight, ridden after last, no impression until ran on well last 100 yards opened 3/10 touched 3/10
3rd ½ Hidden Cyclone (IRE) 11-10 Andrew J McNamara J J Hanlon 5 5/1
Attempted to make all, keen early, ridden and strongly pressed from 2 out, headed when slight mistake last, kept on under pressure opened 4/1 touched 5/1
4th Perfect Smile (IRE) 11-10 P Carberry N Meade 5 14/1
Held up in touch, close 4th approaching 2 out, soon ridden and one pace opened 12/1 touched 14/1
5th 7 Hazeymm (IRE) 11-10 B J Geraghty E J O'Grady 7 33/1
Held up in touch, close 5th approaching 2 out, soon no extra opened 33/1 touched 33/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £9.50 Tote Place: £2.70,1.02
Straight Forecast: £22.69 Exacta: £23.30

Placepot: €16.60, Pool: €0.0

Verdict

A race that has been won by such leading lights as Hurricane Fly and Solerina in the last ten yeas but FIRST LIEUTENANT became the third double priced winner to be returned in the last four years when lowering the colours of the red-hot favourite Zaidpour. The immediate bookmaker reaction was to more or less ignore the result with Willie Mullins' hotpot pushed out just a point for the Supreme Novices and the Neptune with the winner introduced to the former at around 20-1. It's hard to argue with that assessment but it's also clear that Zaidpour was a long way below the level of form he had shown when winning the Royal Bond at Punchestown a fortnight earlier. He had jumped adequately in behind the leaders but when Paul Townend pressed the button he failed to pick up in the manner of his last race and was always struggling to reel in the eventual winner despite closing him down all the way to the line. It's possible that his Punchestown win took more out of him than connections had realised whilst this was by far and away the most testing ground that the gelding has encountered and it could be that he needs better ground to enable him to show his best. First Lieutenant had seemingly failed to handle the testing conditions when turned over at odds-on at Fairyhouse at the start of November over two and a half miles and his stamina certainly helped him last home here. That said, he's not short of speed as he travelled well in behind Hidden Cyclone and showed a turn of foot to get to the front and a good attitude to stay there. Hidden Cyclone was unbeaten in three starts but was a little keen out in front; he jumped well in the main and kept on well for pressure in the closing stages but may have been better served by getting a lead at a stronger pace over this trip and it would be no surprise to see him stepped up in trip before the season's out. He finished further in front of Hazeymm than he had when winning a Grade Three on his previous outing suggesting that he's run up to his form. In contrast, Perfect Smile had been beaten over 13 lengths behind Zaidpour in the Royal Bond but was only 5 lengths behind the favourite on this occasion which is a fair guide as to how far below the form of his win at Fairyhouse that Zaidpour ran.