Dublin Racing Festival Blog & Tips. (Saturday)

Saturday 4th February 2023

Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)

Welcome aboard to my Dublin Racing Festival 2023 blog, it’s one of my favourite meetings of the year and I’ll be kicking things off at Leopardstown with the opener on Saturday which comes at 1:20 and it’s a Grade 1 Novice Hurdle. The race is contested over two miles and six furlongs and it’s a very competitive renewal, I’ve taken a chance on Quais De Paris though at 11/2 for Willie Mullins. Most notably, this five-year-old who sports the famous Ricci silks is the choice of Paul Townend here, which will probably come as somewhat of a surprise to some. He’s only had one start for Willie, which was a winning one when heavily odds on at Tramore on New Year’s Day. He wasn’t overly impressive on that occasion, despite winning by over three lengths but he gave the impression that there is a lot more to come from him. I think he’s a fascinating runner and could well be another very useful prospect for the yard.

The next race I’ll be looking at is the 2:30 which is the Grade Irish Arkle that’s run over a distance of two miles and a furlong. There’s a whole host of potential stars here that are representing Willie Mullins, and out of the said list I think that the race can go to Appreciate It at 7/4 who’s the mount of Paul Townend. He arrives here having won both of his two outings over fences this term effortlessly and by a combined total of twenty-eight lengths, albeit not having much to beat in opposition. That being said, I do think that he’s the best horse in the race, with the best form, most notably being a Supreme Novices Hurdle winner back in 2020. This will be his biggest test to date, but I think that he’ll be more than up for the chance and then all roads lead to Cheltenham. (NAP)

The 4:10 is where my attention now turns too, and this is the Paddy Power Handicap Chase over two miles and a furlong. This race is an incredibly competitive affair, with twelve runners currently set to go to post. I’m siding with the horse that has won the race for the last two years in a row, and that’s A Wave Of The Sea at 7/1 for Joseph O’Brien. He wasn’t seen to best effect last time out at this track over Christmas, but he posted a couple of decent efforts in competitive handicaps earlier in the season. It’s likely that this race has been his target though, and he’ll contest this year’s renewal of just a two-pound higer mark with his rider taken off seven. If bouncing back to the form of last year, I think he’s got a very solid chance at a decent price.

My fourth and final selection comes in the 4:40 which is the concluding race of the day in the form of a Grade 2 bumper over two miles. This is another race where the maestro from Closutton Willie Mullins has several in the race who hold strong claims, and I’ve sided with Chosen Witness at 5/1 who’s the mount of Jody Townend. He came from the point-to-point sphere and made his rules debut in December when bolting up by the best part of ten lengths. That was a really impressive display and has earned him some serious praise from notable names like Ruby Walsh. He’s not the choice of Patrick Mullins here, but Paddy has been wrong in the past and sometimes at the expense of Jody Townend too. I think that this horse could well be very talented, and if improving on that run last time could well be a big player here.