With the Dublin Racing Festival out of the way, all attention will swiftly change towards the Cheltenham Festival in March.
We may have learned a lot about some of the biggest names that will be heading to the Cotswolds in March over the past weekend, but which Irish-trained horses have the best chance of claiming success on English soil next month?
Willie Mullins cleared up during the Dublin Racing Festival, and his stable look in incredible form as we head towards the Cheltenham Festival.
One of his many winners from the Irish festival was Appreciate It, who won by three and a quarter length from Ballyadam in the Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle.
After 256 days away from the track, his form has been excellent, as he has won on all three starts this season.
There is every indication that the seven-year-old will be heading towards the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, but he still does hold an entry for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. The Supreme looks the most realistic chance for Appreciate It, and a win over Metier would certainly be the best possible start for Mullins.
Envoi Allen has already reached heights that many expected, and will be looking to become a three-time Festival winner at this year’s National Hunt showpiece event. Very few would be willing to bet against the seven-year-old achieving that target, as the Gordon Elliott-trained horse has been exceptional not just this season, but throughout his career.
However, it has been this term where his dominance on the track has been more evident than ever before, as no horse has been able to get near him over two miles and four furlongs.
He started the season with comprehensive wins at Down Royal and Fairyhouse, before winning by three and a half lengths from Fils D’oudairies at Punchestown in the middle of January.
Envoi Allen holds entries for the Arkle, Novices’ Chase and Marsh Novices’ Chase, but whichever one of the connections decides to enter, they will win.
Chacun Pour Soi
Chacun Pour Soi’s victory at the Dublin Racing Festival was largely overshadowed by the Honeysuckle and Native River on Saturday, but make no mistake, it was still one of the best that we have seen all season.
His dominance in that race has seen Altior’s price for the Champion Chase skyrocket, while his has plummeted.
Mullins has a number of horses that many will consider to be bankers for the Festival this year, but Chacun Pour Soi is more than deserving of his place on that list. The only question that hangs over the nine-year-old is how he will fare with the course at Cheltenham, as he hasn’t raced there in the past.
Nonetheless, if his runs at Leopardstown are anything to go by this season, then he will settle like a duck to water.
Al Boum Photo
It seems bizarre to put a horse running in the Gold Cup on a list of bankers for the festival, but Al Boum Photo certainly seems like a good thing in this year’s race.
We have only seen the two-time winner on one occasion this season, as he won by 19 lengths at Tranmere, but it is more so what is going on with his rivals that has increased the confidence in a third consecutive win.
Santini looks nothing like the horse that he was 12 months ago, Kemboy still has questions to answer, while there are still doubts as to whether Frodon is talented enough to emulate his rule in the King George in the Gold Cup.
Champ’s reappearance could be important, while Royale Pagaille, should he declare for the Gold Cup, may be the only one to stop history being made at Cheltenham.
There you have it, four Irish horses to back during the Cheltenham Festival. And if you like horse racing go to TwinSpires and click here for Kentucky Derby Odds 2021.