Timeformโ€™s three best bets at Leopardstown on Saturday 26 December

Timeform pick out the three best bets at Leopardstown on Boxing Day…

“…very much catches the eye off a lowly hurdles mark of just 102…”

Timeform on One Cool Poet

El Barra – 12:30 Leopardstown

The Willie Mullins-trained El Barra looked something out of the ordinary when landing a Thurles bumper last month and can strike at the first attempt over hurdles. An expensive recruit from the pointing ranks having finished runner-up to Fury Road in 2018, El Barra was heavily backed on his belated debut under Rules and justified that confidence in style, not needing to come off the bridle to register a five-and-a-half-length success. He is an exciting prospect.

One Cool Poet – 13:40 Leopardstown

One Cool Poet hasn’t run over hurdles for more than two years but he could be very well treated on his return to jumping having progressed rapidly on the Flat last year. One Cool Poet memorably won three times on the Flat during the 2019 Galway Festival, while he also bagged a valuable prize on Irish Champions Weekend. He looked as good as ever when not beaten far in a Dundalk handicap last week and very much catches the eye off a lowly hurdles mark of just 102.

Popong – 14:50 Leopardstown

Popong looked a shade lucky to win a mares’ novice chase at Listowel in September as the leader had yet to be asked for maximum effort when falling at the last, but she has shown better form in defeat at Punchestown on her two most recent outings. Popong wasn’t beaten far in a Grade 3 novice chase and then ran as well as ever to finish runner-up behind Colreevy last time. She looks fairly treated on her handicap debut and could yet have a bit more to offer over fences.