One Horse, Jockey And Trainer To Follow This Weekend

Horse To Follow - Laurina - Sandown

The feature race on the contest at Sandown on Saturday comes in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase and there is only one winner for us in this Grade one and that is the Irish raider Laurina.

This superstar mare was a fantastic novice hurdler landing the Grade Two Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival two years ago and also a Grade One at Fairyhouse.

She faded as a hurdler last season but now chasing could be a bright star, winning on her chase debut at Gowran Park but last time out burst blood vessels in her nose and ran no kind of race in a Grade One.

Now back fully fit and having course and distance form from last year at Sandown makes her a big challenger.

Trainer To Follow - Willie Mullins - Leopardstown

It is around this time of year that Willie Mullins and his horses start to really get into their best pieces of form and with the exciting Dublin Racing Festival coming at the same time every year it is no coincidence to see Mullins with plenty of chances over both days.

We believe out of the seven races in Ireland Mullins will land three of them starting in the second Grade One of the day the Dublin Chase.

He fields Chacun Pour Soi and this French exploit has been tipped to be one of the yards superstars this season and still could be having only ran three times for the trainer in three years with a career littered with injuries.

In his three runs the seven year old has been superb winning at Naas in March of last year in a beginners chase and then he rounded off the season by winning the Grade One Ryanair Novice Chase seeing off the Arkle and JLT winners at the Cheltenham festival.

He made his seasonal reappearance over the Christmas period at Leopardstown when looking to be dominating the race late only to run out of steam towards the line and be beaten by A Plus Tard.

The run was definitely what he needed and he can reverse the form in this contest if improving from his last run.

In the third contest of the afternoon he fields four runners in this contest and we believe that Bapaume is his stand out runner with his is debut over fences at Fairyhouse can be excused as it was his first run of the season and like many of Mullins' animals they always need the first run.

However, he came on for that massively when landing a 17 runner Beginners Chase at Naas that has since seen the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh that day go on to win.

Another bonus to the form line is that second behind Bapaume that day Spyglass Hill looked sure to take Carefully Selected very close to the line on Sunday before falling at the last.

Mullins rounds the day off with a really smart horse in the bumper with Appreciate It and this is one of his best is national hunt flat horses who scored nicely over Christmas at Leopardstown in a tough contest.

That was over two and a half miles and on Saturday he drops back to two miles which should show off his pace with his sectional times on his last run being very impressive.

Jockey To Follow - Rachael Blackmore - Leopardstown

Jockey Rachael Blackmore has become one of the best riders in Ireland over the last few years and not just out of female's really holding her own and being better than most the male riders.

She has some superb rides on the first day of the festival with A Plus Tard in the Dublin Chase a stand out mention but her biggest race of arguably the year is when she sits on the super mare Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Honeysuckle has a been a star for the yard over the last two years and on both her starts this season being faultless by winning twice at Fairyhouse with her latest win coming in the Grade One Hatton's Grace Hurdle.

She takes on her biggest challenge at the weekend when put on a left handed track for the first time in two years having last raced that way round in her point to point days and also dropping slightly in trip she will have to be at her best to see of the star studded field in this Irish Champion Hurdle.

Her trainer has put her into this contest to see if she has the pace to match it with some of the best around in the two mile hurdling division and it will be sure to locate what race she heads to at the Cheltenham festival and we believe her class and seven pound weight allowance will be to much for the rest of the field.

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