Dublin Racing Festival day one tips – Saturday best bets through the card at Leopardstown
Dublin Racing Festival day one tips through the card
The first of two days’ top class horse racing action gets underway at Leopardstown on Saturday with the Dublin Racing Festival boasting seven fantastic races for punters to get stuck into. We’ve picked out our day one tips through the card.
The Dublin Racing Festival gets underway on Saturday for the first of two days’ top-class horse racing action over the sticks featuring four Grade One races on the opening day spearheaded by the Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle where defending champion Honeysuckle will bid to successfully defend her crown.
There’s sure to be plenty of Cheltenham Festival clues to be had throughout Saturday’s card and punters can take advantage of an excellent free bet through the card offer with Betfair; while we’ve looked through the day’s seven classy races to pick out our Dublin Racing Festival day one tips through the card on an unmissable afternoon.
DUBLIN RACING FESTIVAL DAY ONE TIPS – SATURDAY BEST BETS THROUGH THE CARD
1:05 Leopardstown – Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ’50k Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m6f
GAILLARD DU MESNIL was a smart sort on the flat in France prior to joining Willie Mullins and the Saint Des Saints gelding has wasted little time in suggesting he could be a high-class hurdles prospect.
One of four in the race for the Closutton handler the five-year old is the choice of Paul Townend and having chased home a good sort of Henry de Bromhead’s on his hurdles debut at Punchestown he showed the benefit of that experience to run out a facile winner of his next start at this venue over Christmas where be beat Mr Incredible by almost ten lengths.
That runner-up and the third horse have both scored subsequent wins to give the form a big boost and there’s sure to be further improvement to come so every chance he can progress again to strike here.
1:35 Leopardstown – Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m1½f
CHACUN POUR SOI has only tasted defeat once over fences since joining Willie Mullins and the leading Champion Chase hope can collect this prize for a second year in succession.
The Policy Maker gelding beat the reopposing Min in this race twelve months ago, bouncing back from defeat behind A Plus Tard the time before and he is 2-2 this term with wins at Cork and over course and distance.
A facile winner of the Hilly Way Chase, beating Darasso by almost twenty lengths he latterly had Notebook almost seven lengths behind him when taking the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase here during the Christmas Festival and he’s likely to prove a very tough nut to crack with a clear round of jumping.
2:10 Leopardstown – Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m1½f
ENERGUMENE looks a really exciting chase prospect, stepping up from a hurdles win at Gowran Park last March to run out an easy winner back at that venue on his chase debut in November, beating Fort Worth Texas by the thick end of twenty lengths.
Willie Mullins’ Denham Red gelding improved on that performance to register a second facile success at Naas last month with a bloodless eight lengths’ defeat of Captain Guinness with stablemate Blackbow well beaten in third.
Both those rivals reoppose here but the selection looked something out of the top drawer in registering that latest success and with the potential for better still to come he could take plenty of beating although he’s unlikely to get his own way up front with a few pace-setters in opposition.
Mullins has sent out the likes of Douvan and Un De Sceaux to win this and although one of four in the race from the Closutton yard he very much looks the one to beat with Paul Townend up.
2:45 Leopardstown – Matheson Handicap Chase (Grade B) (5yo+ 0-150) 2m1½f
It might be worth chancing JAN MAAT to bounce back from his latest fall at this course and distance on Boxing Day given the Electric Beat gelding was in the process of running a big race when coming to grief at the last fence.
Henry de Bromhead’s charge won twice during the 2019 season, scoring wins at Tipperary and Punchestown in a Grade Three contest and he’s been relatively lightly-raced since where he’s been running better than his bare form figures might suggest.
Equipped with first-time cheekpieces in his last outing he was challenging over the last although pushed along to do so when falling and he would surely have gone close with a clean jump. He’s only been raised 1lb and Hugh Morgan again takes 5lbs off his back so he ought to remain competitive if none the worse for that fall last time and if the headgear has a positive effect again then he could go close in this competitive contest.
3:15 Leopardstown – Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) 2m
HONEYSUCKLE is a perfect nine from nine over hurdles in her career and the reigning champion can expend her record to ten with another victory here.
Henry de Bromhead’s star has answered every question asked of her, taking this prize twelve months ago before getting the better of Benie Des Dieux at the Cheltenham Festival when taking the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle by a half-length.
The Sulamani mare made a winning reappearance in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in November, battling well to hold off Ronald Pump and she was entitled to have needed that run so better can be expected despite not being seen since.
Despite winning this twelve months ago when beating Darver Star she might ideally want further than two miles to really be at her best and this is arguably a stronger renewal than the one she won last year. Given the likely ground conditions though which can bring her stamina into play she could prove tough to beat here despite the minimum trip and she can win again.
3:50 Leopardstown – Ladbrokes Hurdle (Extended Handicap Hurdle) (Grade B) (4yo+ 0-150) 2m
Progressive HE’S A HARDY BLOKE could be worth chancing to continue his winning run and notch up a hat-trick of successes.
A point-to-point winner for Michael Goff prior to his move to Noel Meade he proved progressive in bumpers with a win at Clonmel; but the Aizavoski gelding has stepped up again since being switched to hurdling where he has won his last two starts at Punchestown and Cork latterly where he ran out a four lengths’ victor over Takarengo.
He travelled well into that contest before readily asserting on the run to the last to score in the manner of a horse that had better to come and a mark of 134 may not overfaze him on his handicap debut where he can continue to improve.
He could prove himself a Graded performer in time and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the unexposed sort step up again to make his presence felt here.
4:25 Leopardstown – Goffs Future Stars (C & G) I.N.H. Flat Race (Grade 2) (4-7yo) 2m
NOBLE YEATS shaped really well on his bumper debut at Limerick in December, finishing third to Blazing Khal but looking as if he’d be better for the run.
Placed in a point-to-point previous to joining Emmet Mullins the Yeats gelding stepped up on that experience to impressively land a Thurles bumper late last month with a near-20 lengths’ demolition of Soldier Of Destiny and he can improve again for that effort.
Tracking the leader he took up the running entering the straight before readily asserting entering the last furlong and he lengthened impressively to score the win. While the form may be questionable he could do no more than win as he did and if the return to the minimum trip doesn’t pose an issue then he ought to make his presence felt again.