Preview of Day One of the Dublin Racing Festival

By Luke (@lukekeena1)


Day one of the Dublin Racing Festival gets underway with the Nathaniel Lacy & Ptnrs  Solicitors Novice Hurdle over two miles and six furlongs. Eights runners head to post for this intriguing event. Latest Exhibition is the favourite for trainer Paul Nolan. He won his maiden hurdle at Galway over two miles at Galway back in October. He then finished second behind the talented Abacadabras at Navan in a Grade two at Navan. He then stepped up in trip last time out and bet the highly touted Andy Dufresne at Navan, who has since franked the form. The step up in trip will play to his strengths and I think he is the one to beat.

Longhouse Poet

Longhouse Poet and Elixir D’ainay come into this race after finishing behind Envoi Allen at Naas. Elixir D’ainay finished ahead of Longhouse Poet on that occasion but I think the form will be reversed here. They step up two furlongs which I think will suit Longhouse Poet better. He won his point tot point over three miles in January last year over Boulta. He will relish the step up in trip and I think it could be the opposite for Elixir D’ainay.

Elixir D’ainay

Fury Road puts his unbeaten record over hurdles on the line as he steps into this Grade for the first. He was last seen winning a Grade two at Limerick impressively. The winning margin was only a lenght but he was cruising when making a bad mistake at the last which he was lucky to stay upright.

Selection: I think Latest Exhibition will be hard to beat and Fury Road could be the one to follow him home.

Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (1:25) over two miles and one furlong. 

This race will see the eagerly anticipated rematch between Chacun Pour Soi and A Plus Tard. A Plus Tard got the better of Chacun Pour Soi last time out but I think he will reverse the form this time. This lightly raced eight year old was an impressive winner at Punchestown at the tail end of last season when beating Defi Du Seuil. He seemed to lack fitness last time out when beaten. He will come on plenty for the run and I think he will win with Paul Townend in the saddle.

ERSG Arkle Novice  Chase (2:00) over two miles ans one furlong.

The good races just keep coming on this fantastic weekend of racing and this one is no different. This is another rematch from Christmas as Notebook(main picture) takes on Fakir D’oudairies again. Notebook won on that occasion and I think he will do so again. He was given a positive ride and his jumping was electric. I think he will be hard to beat for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.

Fakir D’oudairies comes into this race after finishing second to Notebook over course and distance at Christmas. He was riden with more restraint which didn’t work last time out. He was receiving seven pounds then but only receives five now. I think he will struggle to reverse the form.

Fakir D'oudairies
Fakir D’oudairies (white cap)

Willie Mullins runs four in the race. The best of those would seem to be former top hurdler Melon. Twice runner up in Champion hurdles at the festival. He won nicely last time out over course and distance at Christmas. He made a mistake at the last but ran on well to win snugly at the line. He could be the one the Chase home Notebook.

Matheson handicap Chase (2:35) over two miles and one furlong. 

Charlie Stout was a winner last time out, winning the Dan & Joan Moore Memorial at Fairyhouse. He won by two lengths and the third was a long way back. He only got a five pound rise which I thought was lenient and I think he will go close for Shane Nolan and Conor McNamara in the saddle.

PCI Irish Champion Hurdle (3:10) over two miles. 

This again is a cracking race with ten runners going to post. Honeysuckle puts her unbeaten record on the line over two miles. She is very versatile when it comes to distance, winning over three miles in her point to point and two miles in a Novice Hurdle at Thurles. She was very impressive last time out when winning the Hattons Grace at Fairyhouse. She won impressively beating Bacardys by nine lengths. I don’t think the step down in trip is a negative and she will be hard to beat.


Ladbrokes Hurdle (3:45) over two miles

Buildmeupbuttercup takes her chance here instead of the opening race on Sunday. She was last seen finishing second to Janidil at Fairyhouse. She is also a good horse on the flat, on her penultimate start she finished second in the November Handicap. If she jumps better, I think she will go very close with Paul Townend in the saddle.


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