Who To Follow On Day One Of The Dublin Racing Festival 2023

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Leopardstown - February 04 2023
Leopardstown 13:20
Michael O'Sullivan

Good Land

J: Michael O'Sullivan
T: Barry Connell
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
Days: 37

The first race of the afternoon at Leopardstown on Saturday is the Grade One Nathaniel Lacy Novice Hurdle over 2m6f and we are siding with the Barry Connell trained Good Land.

Although he unseating on hurdles debut this season at Fairyhouse when just pecking on landing at the first that can be put behind him because what he did at Leopardstown over Christmas was special and the form has worked out accordingly.

Winning over 2m4f at Leopardstown over Christmas he went on to beat a good field by eight lengths, with the big form boost coming from Embassy Gardens who he beat by close to 10 lengths.

Embassy Gardens has since gone on to score over 2m7f at Thurles beating a field by 35 lengths and he is now the second favourite for the Albert Bartlett.

Good Land beat that horse doing handstands and the extra two furlongs on Saturday looks no problem from the way he went away from the field last time out.

Any of the horses in this race have a chance, but we are hoping there is much more progression to come from this gelding.

Trainer To Follow - Willie Mullins

There is only one man to follow on the first day of the Dublin Racing Festival With Willie Mullins sending arguably his strongest ever team to the meeting.

In the opener he fields two smart runners with Quais De Paris stepping up in trip and Grangeclare West on a recovery mission off the back of his poor run in the Lawlor's Of Naas.

Mullins then sees himself have six of the eight runners in the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle with Lossiemouth the strong favourite to keep up her unbeaten record.

The Closutton trainer has done a similar thing in the Grade One Irish Arkle with him fielding five of the eight, with Appreciate It, Dysart Dynamo and El Fabiolo all taking on each other.

In the final Grade One of the afternoon Galopin Des Champs is looking to secure himself at the top of the Gold Cup market by landing the Irish Gold Cup, he also fields Stattler, Kemboy and Franco De Port.

Other runners for Mullins across the afternoon are Blue Sari and Belle Metal in the three mile handicap hurdle and Fact To File, Chosen Witness and Special Cadeau in the Grade Two bumper.

Mullins heads into the Dublin Racing Festival sporting a strike rate of 41% for the last two weeks, managing to land 18 winners from 44 runners.

Jockey To Follow - Mark Walsh

Mark Walsh has a decent book of rides across Saturday afternoon at Leopardstown that should at least see him the winners enclosure on one occasion.

His first ride of the afternoon comes in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle with Tekao looking to show just how good he is and then in the Irish Arkle he teams up with Mullins again on Saint Roi, who is the only Grade One winner over fences in the field.

Any Second Now although a big price will be looking to pick up some place money behind Galopin Des Champs in the Irish Gold Cup and then in the three mile handicap hurdle, Perceval Legallois could be well in off a mark of 125.

Walsh finishes the afternoon on the joint favourite Get My Drift who has ran well in defeat this year over fences and now sent handicapping can go close.