Who To Follow On The First Day Of The Dublin Racing Festival

Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 15:15
B J Cooper

Asterion Forlonge

J: B J Cooper
T: W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 164
Days: 41

The feature race of the first day is the Grade One Irish Gold Cup and we are taking a punt on the quirky Asterion Forlonge who is due to go close in a race like this.

The eight year old holds all the ability in the world but has failed to complete many races due to jumping errors when going well.Being a smart hurdler, winning the Grade One Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle at this meeting in 2020 and then finishing fourth in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, he looks a better chaser even though he has his problems.

Last season he was very frustrating when winning on debut at Punchestown but then found his jumping to not be up to scratch and it cost him in tough events.

Towards the back end of last term he got back on track, finishing third in the Marsh Novices' Chase at Cheltenham, before again placing in a Grade One at Fairyhouse.

He rounded off the season winning a valuable handicap by 14 lengths, jumping lovely and showing just how classy he can be.

This term he has been his frustrating self, unseating his rider when going well in the Grade One John Durkan at Punchestown and then last time out when looking to have a big chance in the Grade One King George at Kempton, he fell at the last.

Showing he stays this trip very well, he is worth another go at the prices if being well since the fall.


Trainer To Follow - Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins looks to be the man to follow on the first day of the Leopardstown meeting with good chances in most of the events across the afternoon.

In the first event of the day he fields Whatdeawant, Minella Cocooner and Bronn who hold each way shouts at nice prices.

Next is the Spring Juvenile Hurdle and the exciting Vauban is looking to get off the mark for the yard having ran exceptionally well to finish second on hurdles/stable debut.

Having a three pronged attack in the Irish Arkle, Blue Lord, Haut En Couleurs and Saint Sam all hold leading claims in the event for the Closutton maestro.

Mullins is mob handed in the Irish Gold Cup aswell having four of the eight runners, with last year's winner Kemboy leading the betting.

He is looking to pick up the 2m1f Handicap Chase with Mt Leinster but in the finale he holds his best chance of the day for a winner with Facile Vega looking to make it 2/2 in the bumper.

Jockey To Follow - Davy Russell

Davy Russell is one of the most experienced riders in the game and on the first day of the Dublin Racing Festival has three rides to get himself in the winners enclosure.

In the first event of the day he sits on the favourite Hollow Games in the 2m6f Grade One and the six year old has a huge chance if bouncing back to form.

He sits on another favourite in the next with Fil Dor looking to make it 4/4 and take his first Grade One event of his career.

Russell gets the mount of Conflated in the Irish Gold Cup but being the outsider of the field it looks a tough task for him to win, but he will be trying for place money.

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing