De Name Escapes Me looks to have plenty going for him in the Leinster National at Naas today (4.50) and worth a bet at 5/1 Trained by the in-form Noel Meade, this J P McManus owned gelding was entered for the Close Brothers’ Novices’ Chase, Kim Muir and Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival but was deemed to be harshly treated by connections compared to other Irish-trained entries. He was raised 7lb from his Irish mark to a rating of 150 in Britain over hurdles and 139 over fences. This race look a good alternative for De Name Escapes Me who was very impressive when landing a 17-runner class 1 handicap chase at Navan on his penultimate outing. Although he only beat Solomn Grundy by 1/2 a length that does not tell the whole story as he scored with tons in hand. After being held-up at the rear of mid-division he scythed through the pack to take third travelling strongly approaching two from home. De Name Escapes Me was then pushed along briefly when finding himself short of room hen bypassing the omitted last fence but only had to be nudged out under a hands and heels ride to assert close home and win cheekily. It was a most taking performance and the front two pulled nine lengths clear of the third home, so that gives the form a solid look. De Name Escapes Me made a total mockery of his handicap mark of 119 and not surprisingly got hit with a 14lb rise. He has since run a shocker when we well-beaten 16th of 27 to Auvergnat at Leopardstown, but something was clearly not right that day as he was never travelling at any stage. Meade has since given De Name Escapes Me a break and his is now able to race in this off 132. Given that he ran a cracker off 8lb higher over hurdles at Navan back in November when second of 13 to Walk To Freedom, it suggests that De Name Escapes Me has scope to win races off his current rating. He is also 1-1 at the venue and has proven form on the ground.
Daily Sport recommended bet: 2pts win De Name Escapes Me (5/1 generally available – use BOG firms)