Dublin Racing Festival 2020
Author: Jordan Yates
The second day of the Dublin Racing Festival gets underway at 12:55 on Sunday with a Grade B Handicap Hurdle that’s contested over two miles and two furlongs. As expected it’s a fiercely competitive field and I’ve taken a chance on JEREMYS FLAME for Gavin Cromwell. He was last seen when finishing second behind Fiddlerontheroof in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle which is probably the strongest form on offer here, on the back of that effort it would be no surprise should he feature in this.
JEREMYS FLAME (8/1) (E/W)
It’s the Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle at 1:25 over two miles and this race looks to revolve solely around one horse. That’s, of course, Triumph Hurdle favourite ASPIRE TOWER for the all-conquering duo of Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. He’s looked very impressive in his first two starts over hurdles since transferring from the flat and he claimed a Grade 2 comfortably when last seen. He should enhance his Cheltenham claims further here and put on another dominant display with the main danger looking to come from Joseph O’Brien’s Cerberus.
ASPIRE TOWER (8/15)
It’s more Grade 1 action next at 1:55 in the form of Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle over two miles. This is another fascinating race and I think it can go to EASYWORK for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy. He’s won all three of his starts this season with one coming in a bumper, his latest outing came in a 22 length success over Unexpected at Limerick which has propelled him in the Cheltenham markets and it’s likely there’s a lot more to come from him here. The Mullins duo of Mt Leinster and Asterion Forlonge present a huge threat and should be bang on the premises.
The 2:30 is another fiercely-competitive handicap, over hurdles and is contested over three miles. I’ve taken a chance on one at a sizeable price here and that comes in the form of SNUGSBOROUGH BENNY who’s to be ridden by Adam Short. He’s running off a 26 pound lower mark than his chase rating here, and whilst he’s still found it difficult to get his head in front of this hurdle mark he should have no issue with the trip and I believe he’s still got a big run in him in one of these types of contests.
SNUGSBOROUGH BENNY (12/1) (E/W)
The Flogas Novice Chase is up next at 3:00 and is one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the weekend. I think the decibels will be lifted significantly at the track as I’m siding with The Machine FAUGHEEN to do the business once more and claim yet another Grade 1 success, he dismantled Samcro the last day at Limerick in a Grade 1 and if turning up in the same form should be bang there once more. The Machine will need to be in full working order if he is to get the better of Battleoverdoyen though here, Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old is three from three over fences and looks a top prospect.
It’s the highlight of the meeting at 3:30 which is, of course, the Irish Gold Cup a Grade 1 race over three miles. We’re treated to a fantastic renewal of the race once more and I think it can once more go to Willie Mullins and KEMBOY who’s the mount of Paul Townend. He was slightly underwhelming on reappearance the last day but it’s likely he’ll come on for his first run as many of the yards have this season. If returning to the form of his Aintree win he’ll be very tough to beat. Delta Work looks the main threat and Presenting Percy will be thereabouts if he returns to the form of his RSA success.
The penultimate race of the meeting takes place at 4:00 and it’s another big competitive handicap of which I think can go to DALLAS DES PICTONS for Gordon Elliott. He went close at Cheltenham in the Martin Pipe last season before trying his hand over fences, where he got off the mark in a novice event before finding graded events a bit too hot. He may well prove a different proposition now within handicap company and could be well treated here.
DALLAS DES PICTONS (7/1) (E/W)
Concluding the festival is a Grade 2 bumper at 4:35 of which I think can be another one for Gordon Elliott, this time with the six-year-old BIGBADANDBEAUTIFUL who’s set to be ridden by Jamie Codd. Winner of his last three races in bumpers including a Listed event at Gowran Park, he sets a very solid standard here and he’ll be tough to beat if turning up in the same form we’ve seen him in as of late.