It’s going to be a great weekend of racing at Leopardstown at the Dublin racing festival with stars like Kemboy, Delta Work, Honeysuckle, Min, A Plus Tard and Notebook running.
Kemboy & Delta Work, trained by Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott respectively head the 10 acceptors for Sunday’s Irish Gold Cup, the richest prize of the two-days.
Also remaining on the Mullins will also be looking to register a win in the race with Bellshill, last year’s winner, and Cadmuim. La Bague Au Roi, trained by Warren Greatrex, stands her ground as do Sizing John, the winner in 2017, and Jett, both trained by Jessica Harrington.
The Pat Kelly-trained Presenting Percy, Henry De Bromhead’s Chris’s Dream and Anibale Fly, trained by Tony Martin, are also likely to take their chance.
Eleven horses have stood their ground for the Grade 1 PCI Irish Champion Hurdle on Saturday, with De Bromhead’s Honeysuckle the banker of the meeting according to this website, she is putting her unbeaten record on the line in a cracking renewal of the race that is likely to see her face the Mullins-trained Sharjah and Klassical Dream.
Previous winners Supasundae and Petit Mouchoir are still in the mix for Jessica Harrington and Henry De Bromhead as are Gavin Cromwell’s Darver Star and the British raider Monsieur Lecoq, trained by Jane Williams.
The first of the eight Grade 1s over the two days is the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ‘€50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle. Taken out of the PCI Irish Champion Hurdle, Gordon Elliott’s Envoi Allen has been entered for both novice hurdles. Paul Nolan’s Grade 2 winner Latest Exhibition is among the 18 remaining here and his opposition could well include Gordon Elliott’s Fury Road, the Martin Brassil-trained Longhouse Poet and Joseph O’Brien’s Anything Will Do. A strong entry from the Willie Mullins yard includes Elixir D’ainay, Asterion Forlonge and Janidil.
Eight horses go forward for the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Dublin Chase including Min which is bidding to win the race for the third successive year. He figures in a super strong Willie Mullins quartet that is made up of Chacun Pour Soi, Duc Des Genievres and Cilaos Emery. A Plus Tard, which added his Cheltenham Festival success with a thrilling win at the top level at Leopardstown at Christmas and last year’s runner-up Ordinary World and Ornua could yet represent Henry De Bromhead while Castlegrace Paddy, trained by Pat Fahy, also stands his ground.
The Henry De Bromhead-trained Notebook heads the nine horses remaining in the Grade 1 ERSG Arkle Novice Chase. Unbeaten in three starts over fences, he could again clash with the Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D’oudairies in the race where Willie Mullins could be represented by the impressive Naas winners Cash Back and Bapaume. Melon could also play a part for the champion trainer.
The first of the Grade 1 races on Sunday is the Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle and the 10 horses are headed by Henry De Bromhead’s exciting dual winner Aspire Tower which is likely to bid for a second Leopardstown success after his runaway victory in the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Christmas. Joseph O’Brien has in left both Cerberus and A Wave Of The Sea with Gavin Cromwell’s Wolf Prince another likely fancy.
Grade 1 winners Abacadabras and Envoi Allen stand out among the 15 entries for the Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle. Their trainer Gordon Elliott could also be represented by Easywork and Conflated while Willie Mullins has left five in the race including Asterion Forlonge and Saint Roi.
Battleoverdoyen and the veteran Faugheen lead the way for Elliott and Mullins respectively in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase in which 12 horses remain. Melon and Laurina are also among those going forward for this as is their Closutton stable companion Easy Game. Joseph O’Brien also has the race as a weekend option here for Fakir D’oudairies.
Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse, said, “The latest entries have really got us excited for the weekend for the undeniable quality that we’re going to see over the two days. All the preparations have been made and now we just cant wait until the off on Saturday!”