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Saturday is Day 1 of the 2021 Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown. The day’s card features a total of 4 Grade 1 race.
Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle
Henry de Bromhead’s Honeysuckle faces five rivals in the feature race, the Grade 1 Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle.
The Rachael Blackmore-ridden unbeaten superstar will face three from the Willie Mullins stable. Triple Matheson Hurdle winner Sharjah heads Mullins’ team. The champion handler is also represented by Saint Roi and Saldier. Gordon Elliott saddles both Abacadabras and Petit Mouchoir. The latter horse won the 2017 Irish Champion Hurdle when trained by Henry de Bromhead.
Ladbroke’s Dublin Chase
Six horses line up in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Dublin Chase. Mullins will again have three in this race. Last year’s first and second, Chacun Pour Soi and Min, and Tornado Flyer will represent the Closutton handler.
The 2020 Arkle Novice Chase victor, Notebook, represents Henry de Bromhead in this contest. Jessica Harrington runs Sizing Pottsie and Joseph O’Brien saddles Fakir D’oudairies.
Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ‘€50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle
The first of Saturday’s Grade 1 races is the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ‘€50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle. Course winners Gaillard Du Mesnil and Stattler head Mullins’ strong team. Emmet Mullins runs another leading fancy in Cape Gentleman. Gavin Cromwell has Vanillier in the field. Mouse Morris will be represented by Gentlemansgame. Jessica Harrington’s Ashdale Bob and the Gordon Elliott-trained Fakiera are other notable runners in a field of 13.
Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase
Willie Mullins launches a strong challenge for the Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase. The champion trainer runs Energumene, Franco De Port, Unexcepted and Blackbow. Gavin Cromwell saddles Darver Star, while Henry de Bromhead runs Captain Guinness. Gordon Elliott’s Felix Desjy is another strong entry in the race.
The Matheson Handicap Chase
The Matheson Handicap Chase has a full field of 20. Epson Du Houx will be seeking a hat-trick. Emmet Mullins’ The Shunter, Aramax, trained by Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins’ pair, Pont Aven and Andalusa are likely to be some of the main players in the race.
Twenty two runners will line up for the Ladbrokes Hurdle. The Eddie Cawley-trained Golden Jewel was runner-up in the contest a year ago. Topping the weights is the Willie Mullins-trained Buildmeupbuttercup. Paul O’Flynn saddles West Cork Wildway. Eclair De Beaufeu is a likely strong challenger for the race, having won the Matheson Handicap Chase in 2020. Noel Meade’s Hes A Hardy Bloke, the Gavin Cromwell-trained Gabynako, and the Charles Byrnes-trained Advanced Virgo could also be in the reckoning.
Goffs Future Stars INH Flat Race
The Goffs Future Stars INH Flat Race, won by Envoi Allen in 2019 and Appreciate It last year, will have ten runners. Gordon Elliott relies on Chemical Energy, Willie Mullins runs three. The Closutton team is Kilcruit, Whatdeawant and Ramillies. Gavin Cromwell’s Letsbeclearaboutit and the Emmet Mullins-trained Noble Yeats are also included.
The first of a seven-race card is underway at 1.05pm. There will be TV coverage on RTÉ, ITV and Racing TV.
A free racecard for Saturday can be accessed here.