Whether it be Supreme Novices’ Hurdle victor Appreciate It, Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen or Grade 1 regular Kilcruit, the Grade 2 Future Stars at Leopardstown oftentimes acts as a springboard for the some of the brightest up-and-coming prospects on the UK and Ireland’s horse racing scene.
This year isn’t any different, with a strong field of talented thoroughbreds expected to line up in the two-mile affair worth just shy of £60,000 to the winner. With that in mind, read on as we dissect the six horses favoured to reign supreme on February 4th in Ireland.
In his one and only appearance, Thomas Mullins-trained horse Fascile Mode was extremely impressive, winning by just shy of three lengths from Lecky Watson. After the five-year-old and his jockey Charlie Mullins found themselves towards the rear in midfield, the pair made smooth headway and challenged two furlongs from the finish.
Fascile Mode then took the lead a furlong out and finished strongly over the final 100 yards to secure his maiden victory on debut. As a result of his performance, he has opened as the favourite with those who bet on horse racing for the Future Stars renewal, garnering odds of 5/2.
Better Days Ahead
Entering as the second favourite, Irish horse Better Days Ahead has shown plenty of promise since debuting in February of last year. After a victory at Lisronagh in his maiden outing, the five-year-old was beaten narrowly in his next race at Down Royal, before returning to the winner’s column with a three and a quarter length victory at Fairyhouse most recently.
For those interested in the Gordon Elliott-trained thoroughbred, he currently sits as the second favourite at 3/1.
The joint second favourite at 3/1 alongside Better Days Ahead is Willie Mullins’ Chosen Witness, who’s a perfect two from two in his career to date. After a gritty run on debut in which he won by dead heat together with Captain Checkdown, there were no doubts about his following outing at Limerick. Reigning supreme by ten lengths, the six-year-old displayed his potential and promising finishing speed to establish himself as one to watch over the coming seasons.
With just one race to his name, Westport Cove is still somewhat of an unproven commodity thus far. His one and only run was mightily impressive however, winning by three lengths as part of a ten-strong field as Fairyhouse in January. If he can show similar maneuverability and turn of foot than he did in his debut, Westport Cove could prove to be a value bet at 4/1.
Special Cadeau & Pour Les Filles
Joint fifth favourites Special Cadeau and Pour Les Filles are taking in different form into the Future Stars, with the former putting forth a disappointing display at Leopardstown last month, while the latter impressed at the same meet en route to his second consecutive victory in as many appearances. While it may be a tough ask for either gelding to overcome the strong three favourites, however, they could be tempting value at 7/1.
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