There are strong entries for all eight Grade 1 races at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown on February 6 and 7.
The first three horses home in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at last month’s Leopardstown Christmas Festival are entered for the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup. Honeysuckle and Sharjah head the way in the Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle.
Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup
There are 12 horses in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup on the second day of the festival. Savills Chase winner A Plus Tard and Minella Indo are both entered by Henry de Bromhead. Kemboy and Melon were second and third in the Savills Chase and Castlebawn West have been entered by champion trainer Willie Mullins.
Last year’s winner Delta Work is entered by Gordon Elliott. The Cullentra trainer could also be represented by Battleoverdoyen, Presenting Percy, Samcro and The Storyteller. Ted Walsh has entered Any Second Now while Joseph O’Brien has Fakir D’oudairies.
Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle
The Henry de Bromhead-trained Honeysuckle heads the nine entries for the Saturday highlight, the Grade 1 Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle. She won this race last year and remains unbeaten in nine starts. Her trainer has also entered Aspire Tower.
Willie Mullins’ team of three is headed by Sharjah which could be joined by Saint Roi and Saldier. Abacadabras and Petit Mouchoir have been entered by Gordon Elliott. Noel Meade has Beacon Edge in the race. Winston C, a dual Grade 1 winner in America, could be a first runner at that level in Ireland for Keri Brion. The Pennsylvania native took charge of a number of horses formerly in the care of US trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
The first of the weekend’s Grade 1 races is the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ‘€50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle. The Willie Mullins-trained Gaillard Du Mesnil and Stattler are among the 35 race entries. Mullins has ten in the race while Farouk D’alene and Fakiera feature among Gordon Elliott’s entry of eight. The Emmet Mullins-trained Cape Gentleman, Gavin Cromwell’s Vanillier and the Mouse Morris-trained Gentlemansgame are other notable entries.
Ladbrokes Dublin Chase
A Grade 1 for the third-time, the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase has attracted an entry of 11. Last year’s winner Chacun Pour Soi is among them. He could clash with his stable companion Min, who chased him home in 2020. Mullins has also entered Tornado Flyer, second to Min in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase in December.
Arkle Novice Chase
Henry de Bromhead’s Notebook, successful in the Arkle Novice Chase at last year’s Dublin Racing Festival, is another that could be meeting Chacun Pour Soi for a second time. De Bromhead has also entered Ordinary World, runner-up to Min in 2019, while Gordon Elliott has Battleoverdoyen and Samcro in the race. Jessica Harrington has Impact Factor and Sizing Pottsie, while Castlegrace Paddy and Fakir D’oudairies have been entered by Pat Fahy and Joseph O’Brien respectively.
Willie Mullins is responsible for six of the 15 entries for the Grade 1 Arkle Novice Chase. The champion trainer has his top-flight Christmas winner Franco De Port, Naas scorer Energumene and Asterion Forlonge on his early team. Envoi Allen, Andy Dufresne and Felix Desjy make up Gordon Elliott’s entry. Darver Star is there for Gavin Cromwell while Paul Nolan has Latest Exhibition. Henry de Bromhead has Epson Du Houx and the Naas runner-up Captain Guinness in the race.
Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle
The Grade 1 action on the second day of the Dublin Racing Festival on Sunday, February 7 begins with the Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Gordon Elliott looks to boast a strong hand with leading four-year-old hurdlers Zanahiyr, Quilixios and Duffle Coat among his team of five. Riviere D’etel made a winning debut for the stable at Punchestown and Teahupoo has recently joined Elliott on the back of a debut success at Auteuil in October.
French Aseel s one of four entries for Willie Mullins who also has Gowran Park winner Youmdor. Josh D’id is another French import and he could represent Gavin Cromwell. Sam Curling has entered his Limerick winner Awkwafina, while the Killarney winner Varna Gold is there for Paul Gilligan. Busselton, runner-up to Zanahiyr in the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown at Christmas has been entered by Joseph O’Brien.
The Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle
The Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle has attracted 25 entries. Among them are Appreciate It, Bob Olinger and Ballyadam for trainers Mullins, Bromhead and Elliott respectively. Mullins also has the mare Gauloise among his team of 10. Elliott has the Navan winner Magic Tricks in his quartet. Paddy Corkery’s Master McShee is entered. Noel Meade has both Cask Mate and Hes A Hardy Bloke among the entries.
Flogas Novice Chase
Monkfish is one of six entries from Closutton in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase. Fellow Grade 1 winners Colreevy and Franco De Port are also entered by Mullins. Envoi Allen is one of five entered by Gordon Elliott as are Pencilfulloflead and Andy Dufresne. The Navan winner Fils D’oudairies and Drinmore Chase runner-up Assemble could yet represent Joseph O’Brien.