Hayley O’Connor: It’s all systems go for Djakadam

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I’m in a decisive mood today and fairly happy after some successful wagers at the International meeting at Cheltenham. 

I’m hoping my festive fortune continues to pile up today, and while I was tempted to take the longer journey to Cork to see Douvan, who runs in the Hilly Way at 2.15, the Punchestown card proved more tempting.

I love the John Durkan, always a belter of a race over 2 1/2 miles, which goes to post at 2.00.

Reading the much respected Tom Segal’s Pricewise piece in the Post today, you’d be tempted to swerve backing last year’s winner Djakadam after he gives a number of examples of Mullins runners that have needed the run.

However, I think the fact that Ruby has opted to go here rather than travel south for Douvan suggests it’s all systems go for the favourite.

Djakadam won only one once last season, but that was in this race and his subsequent defeats left his quality in tact, runner-up in both the Gold Cup and in his parting grade one of the season at this track.

Black Hercules won the JLT novices chase when last seen and has proven last season that he can win on his first run.

Sub Lieutenant is the only one of the 5 without a victory at the course on in his résumé, but looked the business representing Henry De Bromhead in a Grade 2 in Down Royal, showing a delight for jumping fences that his current trainer seems to have enhanced.

He is the only danger I see to the favourite, and if looking to oppose the market leader, Sub’s your man.

Later, in the bumper, I think Burren Life is the pick. Gigginstown were happy to dish out close to €150,000 for this boy after he fell in front of an open goal pointing.

I believe Eddie O’Leary must be the best purchaser of national hunt bloodstock in Europe and obviously must have seen some raw talent in this four year old.

Speaking of well picked stock, Supreme Racing Syndicate seem to have one great mate after the next, the most recent being Airlie Beach landing the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse last Sunday.

Today they’re represented by Listen Dear should justify her market lead in the 2.45 at Cork.

That’s it folks. Enjoy the racing and hopefully we’ll be flushed by the day’s end!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.