Weekend Watch: All Eyes On Dublin Racing Festival

The Dublin Racing Festival Gets Underway

Two days of scintillating action at Leopardstown get underway on Saturday, and we have top class affairs to get excited about right, left, and centre.

The Irish Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle will naturally hog the limelight but the supporting card provides us with not only great races in their own right, but naturally there will be a lot of fat to chew in the aftermath moving forwards to the Cheltenham Festival which is just over five weeks away now.

Generally speaking it will be a watching brief for me, although I think RIVIERE D’ETEL is the one to beat in the Irish Arkle on Saturday (2.10). She has won three of her four starts over fences, and her only defeat came in Grade 1 company at this venue last time out when runner up to Ferny Hollow. That form is top class, and in my view better than what Blue Lord has achieved so far over fences. I think she could be a tough nut to crack.

Sunny Sandown Provides Quality Action

There is lots to get stuck into at the Esher venue on Saturday, and I like the claims of DOLOS in the Handicap Chase at 1.15.

This horse has an outstanding record over C&D, registering two wins and 3 placed efforts from seven starts. The nine-year-old was second off 144 in 2018, won this three years ago off 149, two years ago he won off a mark of 157, and was runner-up 12 months ago off 158. Lining up here off 143 he has every chance of bouncing back to winning ways despite being in the doldrums.

Drying ground won’t be a concern as he has won on a sound surface before and he should go well with Harry Cobden in the saddle.

I think GUARD YOUR DREAMS is the one to be on in the following assignment on the card, the Contenders Hurdle (1.50). He has shown some smart form this season, and I think underfoot conditions could be far too quick for the others. The Nigel Twiston-Davies team are starting to find a bit of form again, and this course and distance scorer has to be taken seriously.

Up to Scotland for Sunday

Musselburgh have an exciting card on Sunday, and in the Pertemps Qualifier, I think SEDDON represents value for the in-form Harry Whittington stable. It would be fair to say that he hasn’t always been the easiest to catch right, but a combination of 3m, decent ground and hurdles look to be ticking all the right boxes, and from a mark of 129, he is only 1lb higher than when last successful. He looks a solid each-way play with Adrian Heskin in the saddle.

Good luck!



Leopardstown 2.10, Riviere D’Etel 11/4 (Betway)
Sandown 1.15, Dolos 7/1 (Ladbrokes)
Sandown 1.50 Guard Your Dreams 5/2 (Generally)


Musselburgh 2.40 Seddon e/w 16/1 (generally)