Dublin Racing Festival Sunday – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

As the jockeys are preparing for day two of the Dublin Racing Festival, I will literally be sitting in hair and make-up – imagine if you’d told me that 12 months ago writes DAVY RUSSELL.

It will be an early start for this week’s Dancing With The Stars with plenty of rehearsals all day. I’ll be sneaking away to watch what is going on in Leopardstown. The live show doesn’t start till 6.30pm-ish so I doubt I’ll even miss a race. The dancing itself is getting tougher as every week goes by – more to learn and more movement for my feet. I’m hanging on in there and the quality racing will be a good distraction..

SUNDAY

LEOPARDSTOWN

12.40pm Irish Stallion Farms EBF Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) 2m 2f
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Decent field of 20 for this and I was interested that Henry De Bromhead decided to run the mare Magical Zoe in the competitive two mile handicap later on the card. That may be a tip in itself as he relies on Foxy Girl here with Rachael (Blackmore) in the saddle. She has some decent form in the book including in Cheltenham last year and is fairly treated on her run in the North last November. She is the one to beat with her biggest danger likely to be Risk Belle who comes here in grand form. I actually bred Media Naranja who actually may surprise a few at a massive price.

1.10pm Ladbrokes Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m 5 1/2f
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A hell of a renewal with all the big guns standing their ground. Obviously, all eyes will be on Gaelic Warrior who has a tendency to jump to his left when given an uncontested lead. I’d say that the presence of Grangeclare West should ensure he gets a lead and he may jump a tad straighter like he did in Cheltenham. He meets a proper one here in Fact To File though who may just be the value call to turn the favourite over. He’s had the two good runs over fences already and looked so good the last day.

1.40pm Tattersalls Ireland 50th Derby Sale Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m
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More Grade One action and another Willie Mullins battalion – they saddle five of the ten runners. Ballyburn is a pretty short-priced favourite considering he was beaten over this trip in December and looked to relish the step up the last day. Gordon saddles Farren Glory who took a nasty fall in Aintree the last day. He’d previously won well in Fairyhouse and can go well. That said, the value could be Henry De Bromhead’s Slade Steel who may have slipped in here under the radar. He’s done nothing wrong over hurdles having won in both Naas and Navan.

2.10pm Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (Grade 1) 2m 1f
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If Captain Guinness hadn’t been declared this would have just been the four Willie Mullins runners. El Fabiolo will be a warm favourite for this on just his second start outside of novice company. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a smart horse. I just feel there is a chance the mare Dinoblue could shake him up a little getting the 7lbs. She’s been in great form and may just surprise a few.

2.45pm Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m
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I’m finding it hard to oppose the Willie Mullins hotpot in this one – I just cannot see beyond State Man. He’s been really good this season and he’s just a bit unlucky to be around at the same time as Constitution Hill. Impaire Et Passe was well beaten behind him here the last day and its hard to envisage him reversing that form. I’m a huge fan of Bob Olinger who looked back to somewhere near his best the last day in Cheltenham. The drop in trip isn’t ideal though as he can hit flat spots early.

3.20pm O’Driscolls Irish Whiskey Leopardstown Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 5 1/2f
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A fiercely competitive handicap chase where James Du Berlais catches the eye a bit. He shaped as if worth a try back at this trip when running well here over further at Christmas. He’s got a fair bit of back class and looks the one. His stablemate Meetingofthewaters might be his biggest danger.

3.50pm Timeless Sash Windows Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) 2m
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If you thought the handicap chase was tough, then the handicap hurdle looks even tougher! I mentioned Magical Zoe earlier on in the blog and have a bit of a soft spot for her from this mark. In fact, the De Bromheads have some hand as they also saddle the novice An Tobar who is another interesting one. He’s been mixing it at the top level in novice company and may be leniently treated.

4.25pm Coolmore N.H. Sires “Hurricane Lane” Irish EBF Mares I.N.H. Flat Race (Grade 2) 2m
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The final race of the DRF where all eyes will once again be on Willie Mullins. Aurora Vega is a beautifully bred daughter of Walk In The Park out of Quevega and she’s got a three from three record. She’ll be hard to beat but I love her stablemate Baby Kate at a much bigger price. She’s only a tiny thing, but she showed in Cheltenham the last day, she’s some engine.

Good Luck
Davy

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Author: Eugene Morris