Dublin Racing Festival – Preview

There's just a fortnight to go until Leopardstown hosts the 2023 Dublin Racing Festival, and it once more looks set to provide a slew of Cheltenham clues, with many of the top Irish contenders likely to appear.

Steve, Senior Trader

Steve, Senior Trader

2 years ago

Leading juvenile Lossiemouth will likely further enhance her burgeoning reputation in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, although she is likely to face stiff competition from stablemate Blood Destiny, who is unbeaten since joining the Willie Mullins yard.

The master of Closutton looks to have a stranglehold on that contest, and it somewhat surprising he has nothing towards the head of the market for the preceding 2m 6f Grade 1 hurdle, which is currently headed by Henry De Bromhead’s Hiddenvalley Lake. Nonetheless, Mullins is likely to have plenty of winners over the two days, with Dysart Dynamo, El Fabiolo and Appreciate It dominating the betting for the Irish Arkle, and stable star Galopin De Champ odds-on to further cement his place at the head of the Gold Cup market with a win in the Irish equivalent.

Appreciate It also has an entry in the Grade 1 Novice Chase on day two of the meeting, where he will likely face Gordon Elliot’s progressive and game Mighty Potter. Mullins currently has the front four in the betting for the Dublin Chase, with Blue Lord favourite in the ante-post market over last year’s Champion Chase winner Energumene, who may head for the rescheduled Clarence House Chase instead.

It’s a similar story in the Irish Champion Hurdle, with State Man and Vauban representing the champion trainer. Standing in their way is the mighty Honeysuckle, who experienced defeat for the first time in her career last time out in the Hatton’s Grace, but in reality ran a lot better than the bare result.

Mullins should gain swift compensation if Henry De Bromhead’s legendary mare returns to winning ways, with Facile Vega prohibitively priced for the Ireland Novice Hurdle. Last year’s Champion Bumper winner could face off against classy flat performer High Definition, who made a winning debut over hurdles at this track over Christmas.