Angus McNae: my top tips for Leopardstown and Musselburgh

By Angus McNae
Sat 4 Feb 2023

Having tipped four horses who were all first past the post last Sunday, plus three winners at Meydan on Friday, I am looking to maintain the momentum at Musselburgh and Leopardstown on Sunday.

I’m relying on Paul Nichols and Willie Mullins for winners. You can watch how all my fancies fare live on Racing TV.

1.10 Leopardstown: Historique Reconce

This is a fiercely competitive handicap with many horses holding strong claims. Historique Reconce will be a decent price and should give us a decent run for our money.

On a day likely to be dominated by Willie Mullins, this horse can get his day off to a good start. She bolted up at Tramore on her first start for the yard last year and now starts off life in a handicap off a mark of 116.

I never worry about any horse that returns off a lay-off from this yard. In fact, it can be a distinct positive at times. She is Paul Townend’s chosen mount from three from the yard and he has a 32% strike rate at this track.

1.22 Musselburgh: Afadil

This useful Flat horse was a hugely impressive winner at Taunton on his hurdling debut. He won hard held by two lengths despite making a real mess of the first hurdle. This is a tougher task than the one he faced there, but he looked so good that day it is hard to ignore his claims. He looks to be all speed and this sharp track should prove to be ideal as he attempts to cement his place in the JCB Triumph Hurdle. He is a strong selection.

2.25 Musselburgh: Toothless

Toothless can provide Paul Nichols with another winner on the Musselburgh card. If you thought Afadil was impressive when he won at Taunton, then if you watch this horse’s latest win at Fakenham you will be even more impressed.

He looked to be a graded performer there in what was just a maiden hurdle. He tanked along and sprinted away from his rivals to win by 35 lengths despite never coming off the bridle. That was his first run for Nicholls , who sensibly keeps him to a sharp track here because he has abundant speed. He holds an entry in the Sky Bet Supreme and should win this.


4.10 Leopardstown: Gaelic Warrior

I have to admit that I had a very small play on this horse for the Unibet Champion Hurdle at a three-figure price and while I have clearly done my money I still maintain that he is a smart prospect with untapped potential. Following a narrow defeat in the Boodles at the Cheltenham Festival, he has won two races by an aggregate of 91 lengths. Those two races were just a stroll in the park and he will find this a lot tougher, but off a mark of 143 he looks pretty well treated.

He is surely a Graded performer and his trainer is looking to exploit what he must see as being a lenient mark. He will be favourite here, but a worthy one for sure.


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