A real cracker is in store in Ireland this weekend in the Dublin Racing Festival, it’s swamped with Grade 1’s and top handicaps which I can’t wait to get stuck into. I’ve tried to preview as many as the big races as I can here so enjoy.
Saturday 3rd February
1.10: Nataniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (2m 6f)
A Grade 1 kicks things off here in a novice hudle over two miles and six furlongs. Dormund Park heads things for Gordon Elliott who comes here on the back of two nice victories.
The one I’m siding with here though is CARTER MCKAY for Willie Mullins. A smart bumper horse last season before struggling in the spring festivals but has made a good start to life over hurdles. He was third behind Getabird and Mengli Khan the last day and I think he’s a good chance to go well again here.
CARTER MCKAY – 4/1 –
1.45: Dublin Chase (Grade 2) (2m 1f)
One of the most fascinating races of the weekend here in my opinion comes in the form of this Grade 2 contest that is the Dublin Chase over two miles and a furlong. It’s headed by two Willie Mullins big guns in Yorkhill and Min.
I think Min is a lot better than he showed the last day when getting thrown out for interfering with Simply Ned who also lines up here. However it’s the market leader I can’t get away from here in YORKHILL. He’s far from the most straight forward horse and has a lot of questions hanging over his head since going chasing but in my opinion is one of the classiest horses in training. The drop back down in trip should certainly play in his favour here and he should be putting it up to them here.
YORKHILL – 5/6 –
4.05: Coral Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) (2m)
The Coral Hurdle has thrown up another real competitive renewal as can be expected and i’ve managed to narrow it down to the two selections here. Anything could go in here really but the first of the two I like is MIDNIGHT STROLL. He won two on the bounce quite stylishly before never really getting too involved in handicap company the last day. I think the step back down in trip should help though and I can see him going well again here.
The other I like is TUDOR CITY for Tony Martin. He’s a big price here of around 25/1. He’s was second in this last year and I think he’s a chance to go well again. He comes here fresh off the back of a break since Novmeber and is running off a workable mark.
MIDNIGHT STROLL – 14/1 (E/W) –
TUDOR CITY – 25/1 (E/W) –
Sunday 4th February 2018
1.15: Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) (2m)
Onto Sunday’s action and into yet another Grade 1 and it’s the Juvenile Hurdle. Another fascinating contest which will point many clue towards the Cheltenham Festival and more notably the Triumph Hurdle.
I can’t get away from ESPOIR D’ALLEN here. He’s taken all before him this year and he should go very close again here. Mr Adjudicator might be one at a bigger price to note for Willie Mullins.
ESPOIR D’ALLEN – 1/1 –
1.50: Deloitte Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (2m)
One of the clashes of the weekend up next in this year’s renewal of the Deloitte. That’s of course between Samcro and Sharjah for Gordon and Willie. Samcro is clearly the one beat here as he’s looked a potential superstar taking everything before him so far.
I am going to try and take the short priced favourite on here though and firstly i’m going to go with SHARJAH. He looked to be the most likely winner the last day when coming down at the last with Real Steel. He’s been impressive so far this year and I think he’s got another big run in him here and will hopefully serve it up to Samcro.
I have got another one I quite like here at a big price and that’s DUC DES GENIEVRES. He ran really well on his debut for Willie and at a big price he might just progress from that and make another bid for the frame.
SHARJAH – 7/2 –
DUC DES GENIEVRES – 20/1 (E/W) –
2.25: William Fry Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) (3m)
An interesting Grade B Hurdle contest now over three miles and i’ve got possibly one of my strongest fancies of the weekend for this one.
It comes in the form of the Ladbrokes Trophy winner TOTAL RECALL for Willie Mullins. I think he’s absolutely thrown here on his hurdles form and Willie has found a great opportunity for him to take a fairly valuable race without ruining his mark for later conquests such as the Grand National. He currently trades at a best priced of 11/8 and I would be surprised to see him go off much shorter.
TOTAL RECALL – 11/8 –
3.00: Flogas Novice Chase (Grade 1) (2m 5f)
Now this race is quite possibly the race i’m most looking forward too for the whole weekend. An absolutely fascinating contest which features a whole host of top drawer novice chasers.
I could do a blog post on it’s own highlighting the majority of the field here but i’ve finally managed to narrow it down to one selection and that comes in the form of AL BOUM PHOTO for Willie Mullins. He was travelling powerfully the last day before coming down and I think he’s a decent price to go well again here. He’s a bit to find on the market principals but I think he’s still got a lot of progressing yet to do.
AL BOUM PHOTO – 6/1 (E/W) –
3.35: Irish Gold Cup (Chase) (Grade 1) (3m)
The big one now and that’s of course the Irish Gold Cup over three miles. It’s headed by the returning Our Duke for Jessica Harrington on a comeback mission following his return run back in October.
It’s a really competitive field but I am going to be siding with my old friend here in DJAKADAM. Now many will think this is blind loyalty as many know my costly love affair with this horse but I honestly think he’s a good chance here at a decent price. It’s certainly last chance saloon territory for him for me now. He simply has to run a good race here or I really don’t know what the future holds for him. He’s best priced at around 8/1.
DJAKADAM – 8/1 (E/W) –
1.10 – Carter McKay – 4/1
1.45 – Yorkhill – 5/6
4.05 – Midnight Stroll 14/1 E/W
4.05 – Tudor City 25/1 E/W
1.15 – Espoir D’Allen – 10/11
1.50 – Sharjah – 7/2
1.50 – Duc Des Geneivres 20/1 E/W
2.25 – Total Recall 11/8
3.00 – Al Boum Photo – 6/1 E/W
3.35 – Djakadam – 8/1 E/W
12.40 – Countister – 10/11
2.25 – Cyrname – 11/4
3.00 – Dashing Perk – 10/1 (E/W)
3.35 – Ballydine – 13/2 (E/W)
1.30 – Barney Dwan – 7/4
4.20 – Wonderful Charm – 4/5
3.20 – Red Rising – 7/4
NAP: Countister – 12.40 Sandown
NB: Red Rising – 3.20 Wetherby