The Irish horse racing scene celebrates one of its newest members in the form of the Dublin Racing Festival. Whilst it’s only been around since 2018, the event now attracts tens of thousands or race goers from around Europe in what’s a mightily impressive display of racing.
The fact that the festival is held within the party city of Dublin has likely paid dividends in the popularity of the event. Even though it’s only been running for a short period of time, it includes 8 Grade 1 races over the two-day festival and with almost £2 million in prize money.
Whilst the festival in its current form is new, its actually an amalgamation of several meetings that were held throughout the months of January and February at the Leopardstown racetrack. The major races from these meetings have been merged into one to create a single “super meeting” instead.
The calibre of racing is second to none and would stand brilliantly on its own as one of the best weekends of racing in the calendar. But the Dublin Racing Festival is actually a very important part of the jumps season as it works as a vital pre-Cheltenham meeting. This allows trainers, jockeys and punters a first look at a host of horses that may run well at the Cheltenham Festival itself. Here are my Dublin Racing Festival 2023 tips.
13:20 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) – 2 M 6 F
It was hard not to be impressed with GOOD LAND last time out and he really does look a potential stayer in the making. Sandor Clegane has always been held in high regard and looks the main threat with Grangeclare West having to atone for a particularly poor run last time. Weveallbeencaught needs to improve again, but you couldn’t rule out a big run from Deep Cave who could well be anything for Henry De Bromhead.
13:55 Donohue Marquees Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) – 2 M
LOSSIEMOUTH should have things all her own way in this two-mile hurdle. The grey filly has been very impressive on both her starts for the Champion trainer this season and a win here would tee her up nicely for a crack at Cheltenham next month. There is very little in the way of opposition here and even at a shade of odds on, the daughter of The Great Pretender looks value for her likely price. Mullins has an incredibly strong hand here and trains six of the eight confirmed runners. Gala Marceau followed Lossiemouth home last time at this track and needs to find something extra to reverse a seven-and-a-half length defeat. She is owned by the connections of the wonder mare Honeysuckle and can follow her stablemate home.
Lossiemouth @ 1/3 with Betfred
14:30 Goffs Irish Arkle Novice Steeplechase (Grade 1) – 2 M 1 F
APPRECIATE IT looks to be the most trustworthy of these novice chasers. A class act in his own right, he has only met with defeat on two of his last 8 starts and both of those came at Cheltenham. He knows every blade of grass around this track having won here 4 times in the past. He has the potential to be a Gold Cup horse next season although perhaps the Punchestown version would suit him better. Dysart Dynamo failed to give his running in two Championship races last year whilst Banbridge and El Fabiolo are open to further improvement. Willie Mullins knows the type of horse it takes to win this and with Paul Townend having his pick, Appreciate It is taken to extend his unbeaten run over fences.
Appreciate It @ 11/8 with Betfred
15:05 Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup – 3 M
GALOPIN DES CHAMPS should have this field well and truly at his mercy. He jumps for fun and the multiple Grade One winning chaser can extend that sequence here. He had the stamina and speed to win over this trip as a hurdler and no surprise to see him do just the same as a chaser. Kemboy has finished as a bridesmaid in his last four outings and can follow his stablemate home here once again. The jury is out on Stattler for now.
Galopin Des Champs @ 30/100 with Betfred
All odds were correct at the time of writing.