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Racing Tips: 2021 Savills Chase Tips – Galvin Value for Leopardstown Christmas Cracker – originally posted on Sportslens.com

The 3m Grade 1 Savills Chase is the centrepiece of the four-day Leopardstown Christmas Festival on Tuesday, 28 December (2:20). Better known as the Lexus Chase, the sponsors changed a few years back. This contest looks sure to shape the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting, so see 2021 Savills Chase tips from SportsLens experts on this very page.

Six-year-olds have a fabulous recent record in this race but none with any real chance feature among the penultimate declarations. In the last 10 years, only two horses with an official rating of below 160 have landed the spoils, so punters need one of the top staying chasers in training. Four of the last six Savills Chase winners, meanwhile, came to Leopardstown off just one run.

Favourites have a poor recent record with just two market leaders after 2010 obliging. Should punters take on the ante post fancy on horse racing betting sites, then? In this case, the Savills Chase favourite is very short and value could lie elsewhere. There hasn’t been really been a major shock in this race for some time. Only three horses bigger than 15/2 have pulled off victories over the last dozen years.

Stats and trends can all go out of the window, yet it is always good to know what they suggest. It helps punters build up a profile of potential winners of big races, so should lead to better-informed decisions if nothing else. Let’s take a look at our experts’ 2021 Savills Chase betting tips from Leopardstown…

Why A Plus Tard has short Savills Chase odds

At the head of the ante post market is last year’s winner A Plus Tard. Trained by Henry De Bromhead for Cheveley Park Stud, this seven-year-old Kapgarde gelding went on to chase home stable companion Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Since then, we have also seen A Plus Tard dismantle the Betfair Chase field at Haydock on reappearance.

The jury is very much out on whether he beat anything much on Merseyside, however. A Plus Tard could do no more than defeat the opposition in front of him, though, as he cruised to victory under Rachael Blackmore. De Bromhead is intent on keeping his two top staying chasers apart again until Cheltenham. That is why Minella Indo runs in the King George VI Chase at Kempton rather than this.

A Plus Tard remains unexposed as a stayer after just four starts over the 3m trip of the Savills Chase and further. This demands more than Haydock but he top official ratings among the intended runners on a mark of 174. A Plus Tard has 9lb and upwards in hand on his rivals here, so it’s no wonder that that he is BoyleSports’ 8/11 favourite. On that basis, the only reason to oppose him is the price.

Back A Plus Tard with BoyleSports

Galvin a value alternative

Next best on official figures is Galvin. Trained by Gordon Elliott, this Ronnie Bartlett owned seven-year-old Gold Well gelding stays further and appreciates better going. Galvin may be handicapped out of the Grand National, however, so again runs in Grade 1 company to see if he can hang with the best.

A first crack at elite level showed plenty of promise with only the game and gutsy Frodon too good for him in the Down Royal Champion Chase. Prior to that, Galvin won the Irish Daily Mirror Chase and National Hunt Chase either side of a summer break. He will not be found wanting for stamina, then.

Galvin was home in front of Minella Indo the last day, so a repeat of that effort on a form line through that one makes him look overpriced in relation to the favourite here. Compared to A Plus Tard at odds-on, there is plenty of juice in odds of 11/2 with William Hill about Galvin going one better on just his second try in the highest grade.

Bet on Galvin with William Hill

Delta Work and Kemboy must roll back the years

Elliott’s other runner, Delta Work, is three from five over fences at Leopardstown, so that course and distance record gives him claims on the pick of his form. Owned by Gigginstown House Stud, who won this five between 2014 and 2019, last struck with this eight-year-old Network gelding a couple of years ago.

Delta Work needed every yard of the trip to get up and beat Monalee by a head. He then followed-up in the Irish Gold Cup back here during the Dublin Racing Festival, holding Kemboy by 1 1/2 lengths. That was the last time Delta Work got his head in front. He always needs his first run, so he should come on for his fourth at Down Royal behind stable companion Galvin. Delta Work is a 7/1 shot with Betfred to win the Savills Chase again.

Old rival Kemboy has Leopardstown chase form figures of 14221 and needs the trip after finding things happening too quickly for him in the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown on reappearance. One of four potential runners for Willie Mullins in the contest, this horse turns 10 in the New Year. Any animal with wins in this race and the Irish Gold Cup commands respect.

Kemboy has only won one of his last nine starts coming into a potential fourth appearance in the Savills Chase. At this stage of his chasing career, he looks vulnerable to younger, improving types yet his fine course and distance record means he could go well. Kemboy, who should come on for his spin in the John Durkan, is a 9/1 chance with the same firm for the spoils here.

Back Delta Work and/or Kemboy with Betfred

Janidil may still be improving and each way value

Mullins could also run JP McManus horse Janidil in this. The seven-year-old remains unexposed as a stayer but has been strong at the finish in recent 2m 4f assignments. Janidil, a son of Indian Daffodil, progressed last season to land the Grade 1 Fairyhouse Gold Cup on Easter Sunday. His prior third to the now retired Colreevy at Limerick last Christmas also reads well.

The winner went on to beat her fellow mares at the Cheltenham Festival and then burst some bubbles at the Punchestown Festival when stepped up to 3m. Janidil chased home Energumene, an effortless winner of the Hilly Way at Cork since, over an inadequate trip at that meeting but shaped nicely on his return in the John Durkan when filling the same spot behind Ryanair Chase hero Allaho.

This is a step into the unknown but the way he sees out his races suggests Janidil may get the trip. He was far from disgraced when fifth in the 2020 Albert Bartlett over hurdles at Cheltenham. That is his only previous try at 3m in a red-hot festival novice contest. Janidil has clearly improved since then; so, off a revised official rating of 164, looks worth an each way play at 10/1 with online bookies including BoyleSports to hit the frame.

Bet on Janidil each way with BoyleSports

2021 Savills Chase Tips & Shortlist

  1. A Plus Tard *****
  2. Galvin ****
  3. Janidil ****

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

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By: Jamie Clark
Title: Racing Tips: 2021 Savills Chase Tips – Galvin Value for Leopardstown Christmas Cracker
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/2021-savills-chase-tips-leopardstown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2021-savills-chase-tips-leopardstown
Published Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 09:30:49 +0000

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Atlanta Hawks No. 1 pick Zaccharie Risacher has always had basketball in his life

GettyImages 1237268969

LAS VEGAS – Atlanta Hawks rookie forward Zaccharie Risacher has taken a lot of inspiration from French basketball players. Tony Parker was a four-time NBA champion and NBA Finals MVP in 2007. Rudy Gobert is a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Victor Wembanyama preceded Risacher as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft in 2023.

For Risacher, the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA draft, however, his top basketball role model has always been Olympic silver medalist Stéphane Risacher, who is also his proud father.

“That was the first player I ever watched,” Risacher said. “When I started to grow and I got my first iPad and iPhone, I would go to watch my father’s highlights on YouTube.”

“Those words means a lot. Basketball has been so present in our lives since the very beginning,” Stéphane Risacher told Andscape.

Risacher, 19, was selected as the 2023-24 French League Best Young Player after averaging 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds last season for JL Bourg of France’s LNB Élite league. Risacher is one of four international players in NBA draft history selected No. 1 overall.

With his parents Stéphane and Sandrine in attendance, Risacher debuted in the NBA summer league Friday night against the Washington Wizards, scoring a team-high 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in 29 minutes. On Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs, Risacher had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in 30 minutes. The Hawks play next against rookie Bronny James, the son of Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, and the Lakers on Wednesday (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.).

“I try to play the way we want me to play,” Risacher said after Friday’s game. “So, like I said before during the draft process, I’m ready to do whatever the coaches want me to do. So, if the coach wants me to take 3s, I’m going to take 3s. And if he wants to be aggressive, I’m gonna be aggressive and that’s just a part of a player that I am.”

Risacher talked about his father’s influence July 25, a day before the NBA draft in Brooklyn, New York. And while his father never played in the NBA, he certainly made a name for himself as a pro basketball player in Europe.

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Pau-Orthez forward Stéphane Risacher (right) drives to the basket against Le Mans during the France ProA basketball championship on Dec. 11, 1999.

PASCAL BATS/AFP via Getty Images

Stéphane Risacher began his pro career in 1987 at 17, playing with his older brother, Marc, with the French Stade Clermontois BA in France. Stéphane Risacher had a very successful 23-year pro basketball career, playing primarily in France and in Greece and Spain. The six-time French League All-Star also won a Spanish National Cup and Greek National Cup and played in EuroLeague action during eight seasons.

“My first year I was able to play with my brother and the second year I switched teams and we were in the same division,” Stéphane Risacher, 51, said. “So, I played against my brother and then I was very fortunate to move up from one team to a bigger team every contract until I went to play for a bigger [opportunity]. I was able to leave France and play for Olympiacos and then in Spain for Malaga. So, I do not have any kind of regret.”

Stéphane Risacher played for France on various levels 10 times. The global highlight of his basketball career took place during the 2000 Sydney Games. He also was on the floor for perhaps the greatest dunk of all time.

Stéphane Risacher played for France when they won a 2000 Olympic silver medal after losing to a USA team that included Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett and other NBA stars in the gold medal game. Risacher also played against USA when Carter stunningly jumped over 7-foot-2 Frenchman Frederic Weis for a remarkable storybook jam. That often replayed dunk came after a wild behind-the-back pass from French forward Yann Bonato to Risacher was stolen.

“I had a chance to have a dunk on the other end, but the pass was stolen,” Risacher said with a smile.

Stéphane Risacher said he never had dreams of playing in the NBA, although there was one opportunity with the Toronto Raptors. In 2001, he said, he participated in Toronto Raptors veterans camp. He said Carter, then a Raptors star forward, remembered him and approached him warmly after one of the workouts. However, he wasn’t signed by the Raptors or any other NBA team.

“What I remember is that I felt very good about it. Everything went very well, I thought,” Stéphane Risacher said. “But it’s not that I have any regrets because at the very beginning as a kid, the NBA was not even in my mind. I didn’t think this possibility could exist for me.”

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Atlanta Hawks rookie forward Zaccharie Risacher (right) with his father Stéphane Risacher (left) in Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks

Zaccharie Risacher was born on April 8, 2005, in Malaga, Spain. His father was playing for Baloncesto Málaga in Spain at the time. His parents recall their son being intrigued by basketball at just 5 months old as he watched his father from warmups to the final buzzer of his games.

“I was able to take Zaccharie to the matinee games on Sunday and he would sit on my lap. He would sit there quietly watching the game, moving his head back and forth just like he was watching a tennis match,” Sandrine Risacher said.

Stéphane Risacher said his son “grew up in the gym from the very beginning.” He placed his son in a baby carriage in the gym during his basketball workouts late in his career, and he loved to dunk a small basketball on a children’s indoor hoop as an infant.

“We used to have an apartment in Paris when I played before I left France, right behind the gym where my team used to play,” Stéphane Risacher said. “So, I got the keys and I was going to practice by myself in the small gym. And once Zacc was 1½, 2 years old, when we were coming back this summer, he was coming in the gym with me every day. So, from as far as we remember, there been a basketball in his life. There was a very, very small one before he was even able to walk. We have pictures showing him grabbing the wall to make a dunk with a small goal.”

Risacher was 5 years old when his father’s pro basketball career ended in 2010, when Stéphane Risacher was playing for Élan Chalon in Chalon-sur-Saône, France.

“I was young when he was playing for Malaga [Spain] and Chalon-sur-Saône,” Risacher said. “I wanted to be in the gym to remember him on the court.”

The Risachers’ offseason home in Lyon, France, had a basketball goal in the backyard, where the kids loved to play. Stéphane Risacher said that he played basketball-themed games with his son and daughter, Ainhoa, when they were infants. Ainhoa, 17, is a member of France’s 2023 FIBA Under-16 Women’s European Championship team and also plays for Lyon ASVEL Feminin.

“I remember I used to roll a pair of socks, maybe Zacc was 5 or 6 months. And we used to play ‘Prepare your hands,’ ” Stéphane Risacher said. “You throw the pair of socks and you see your baby grab the socks. The name of the game was prepare you [to catch and pass]. So, you’re teaching them how to catch a basketball. That’s the first lesson, man. They thought it was just a game. I was able to trick them.

“Everything has to be a game. But you need to translate very serious things into a game and find a way to make it feels like we are playing. But, yeah, behind this you can hide some very serious concepts into a game and kids can learn everything very easily.”

Risacher also tried soccer, volleyball and track and field. Even with his father’s basketball influence, he said, basketball naturally was always foremost in his heart. And when he was 9, his father came to believe that his son was truly in love with the game.

“He’s coming back from practice at 9 years old and he said he’s pissed off because he missed a left-hand layup,” Stéphane Risacher said. “And two hours before next practice he is going directly to the back of the yard and making jab steps and left-hand layups for an hour and a half before practice. And it’s not because we said anything. It’s just because he was pissed off the day before because he missed the layup.”

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Atlanta Hawks forward Zaccharie Risacher dunks the ball during the game against the Washington Wizards on July 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Hawks and NBA will learn a lot about Risacher’s talent during summer league and his rookie season. And in his play, he believes you will also see a lot of his father’s game.

“I was looking [at his highlights] and that was basically everything he taught me,” Risacher said. “That’s the perfect way to do it. I remember telling myself that is the way I want to play to be great.”

Stéphane Risacher did say he had one regret during his French Basketball Hall of Fame career. He didn’t enjoy his success as it was taking place. And his main advice to the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA draft is to take the time to savor his accolades.

“I remember as a player always trying to analyze things,” Stéphane Risacher said. “And in my basketball life, if I achieved this, I want to be prepared for what was next. And finally, at the end, I feel there are things that I could have enjoyed more in the moment. You got to be able to have the right to tell you to be happy at the right moment when you achieve something, because it’s good for your brain and your health. And you cannot pass to other things without sitting down and enjoying the moment.

“When things comes about Zaccharie, I try also to teach him you have right to be happy and to be proud of yourself and then you go back to work, and think about the daily work and have a what’s next strategy about objectives and about how you’re going to handle things. But enjoy the moment.”

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By: Marc J. Spears
Title: Atlanta Hawks No. 1 pick Zaccharie Risacher has always had basketball in his life
Sourced From: andscape.com/features/atlanta-hawks-no-1-pick-zaccharie-risacher-has-always-had-basketball-in-his-life/
Published Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2024 15:04:10 +0000

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