Day One Dublin Racing Festival Preview

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
9
Paul Townend

Gaillard Du Mesnil

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 40

Gaillard Du Mesnil is our selection in the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle with the Grade One event kicking off the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown

The five year old son of Saints Des Saints was highlighted at the start of the season to be a horse with bundles of ability, being bought by the Donnelly's and given to Willie Mullins to race this term having been a smart horse on the flat in France.

The gelding started his career over hurdles in November when finishing second to Holymacapony in what looked to be a hot maiden hurdle.

He improved massively for that run at Leopardstown over Christmas when getting off the mark for the first time in emphatic fashion, beating the field by close to 10 lengths.

Since that race the second and third have since gone on to bolt up in maidens giving that form line a massive boost.

Stepping up over 2m6f on Saturday will see what his stamina is like and entering his first Grade One event will challenge how good he actually is and we believe he can prove to be very special.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/04/21PUN20Y11-121
17/03/21CHL21GS11-72
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-101
28/12/20LEO20Sft11-91
14/11/20PUN20.5Sft/Hy11-92
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:35
1
Paul Townend

Chacun Pour Soi

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 174
Days: 41

We can't look past the favourite Chacun Pour Soi in the Grade One Dublin Chase event over 2m1f, with the gelding looking to land back to back renewals of the race.

The eight year old has only had four starts for the handler since joining from France back in December 2016 but has shown plenty of ability on all of his runs just losing his unbeaten record last season.

Having not raced since March 2016 he went to Naas for his first run in nearly exactly three years in a Beginners Chase and showed a perfect temperament to take the spoils by 31 lengths.

He was then sent to the Punchestown festival with many punters still unaware of the ability of this horse and he gave one of the stand out performances of the meeting, beating the Arkle Novices Chase winner Duc Des Genievres and JLT Novices Chase victor Defi Du Seuil to land the Grade One Ryanair Novices Chase.

He made his seasonal debut last season over Christmas at Leopardstown in this Grade One Chase against some superb horses and although looking like he had the race wrapped up he found nothing when coming off the bridle and was pipped close home.

He came on a huge amount for that run and got back to winning ways in the Grade One Dublin Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival, beating stablemate Min.

The gelding made his seasonal return at Cork at the start of December and although not impressive he still landed the Grade Two Hilly Way Chase in workman like fashion.

He then backed that up at Leopardstown Christmas meeting by landing the Grade One Paddy's Club Chase, that he was beat by A Plus Tard in last year.

He seems to be a horse full of confidence and he is the odds on favourite to land this event again for a second time in as many years.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/21PUN16Y12-01
17/03/21CHL16GS11-103
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-121
27/12/20LEO17Y12-01
06/12/20COR16.5Sft/Hy12-01
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
5
Paul Townend

Energumene

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 159
Days: 24

It is wall to wall Grade One action on day one of the Dublin Racing Festival and next up is the Irish Arkle Novice Chase where our selection Energumene will take some beating.

The seven year old gelding has been very lightly raced for his age, being seen twice in bumpers when looking like a nice prospect and only one over hurdles, when again looking like a very likeable type after bolting up by 19 lengths at Gowran.

Mullins decided to send him chasing this season again at Gowran Park and he went on to hose up in a Beginners Chase over 2m4f by 18 lengths.

When analysing the sectional time of that race the numbers look really smart and now it is interesting to see him drop down to, two miles.

Last time out he headed to Naas in a tough Novice Chase against Captain Guinness and stablemate Blackbow and went on to jump the field into submission.

He is a bright talent in this division and looks to the best of the Irish at the moment and it would be a shock to see him beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-121
13/01/21NAA16Hy11-101
20/11/20GOW20Hy12-01
07/03/20GOW16Sft/Hy11-121
10/01/20THU16Y12-01
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:45
9
Robbie Power

Port Stanley

J:
 
Robbie Power
T:
 
Mrs John Harrington
Age: 7
Weight: 10-10
OR: 135
Days: 21

The first handicap event of the afternoon in Ireland is the Matheson Handicap Chase over 2m1f and in this big fielded event we think the value stands with Port Stanley.

The Jessica Harrington trained seven year old was a very smart horse over hurdles last season and since being sent chasing this term has adapted really well.

Port Stanley made his seasonal chase debut at Navan in November in a Beginners Chase behind Easywork and Embittered which is strong form.

He then went to Gowran Park, stepped up in trip and again managed to land a place behind the superstar Energumene, who has since also franked the form.

Back down in trip at Fairyhouse two starts ago he was a close second behind Front View and he backed that up over a furlong further at the same track when chasing home Aramax in a Beginners Chase.

Although yet to get off the mark over fences, he has ran credibly behind some nice types and now having his first try in handicap company off what looks a workable mark, he makes the shortlist.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/04/21COR20Gd/Y12-02
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft10-100
16/01/21FAI17Hy12-02
12/12/20FAI16Sft/Hy12-02
20/11/20GOW20Hy12-03
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 15:15
4
Paul Townend

Saldier

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 159
Days: 39

In what looks a superb renewal of the Irish Champion Hurdle on Saturday we believe we have plucked out some big each way value.

Saldier for Willie Mullins is the outsider in the market of his three runners in the event, but we believe he looks to be the most progressive in field and will certainly come on for his seasonal debut

Somewhat of a forgotten horse for the yard he stole the show in the Grade One Morgiana Hurdle at a nice price in 2019, with the gelding having his first run in that race for over a year having been off the track with injury.

The Rich Ricci owned hurdler breezed to the front before the last hurdle and ran out a game winner of the event that day, beating some of these rivals in the race.

He was off the track again after that superb performance with another injury problem, but made his return at Christmas in the Matheson Hurdle over course and distance.

The gelding travelled lovely throughout, but when it came to push the button did not have much left in the tank and that can be put down to it being his first run for some time and needing to gain his fitness.

Saldier is a highly intelligent horse, that if not for his injury problems and fragile state, could have gone on to win more races throughout his career, and we believe his seasonal debut run will have put him spot on for this event.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/07/21GAL16Gd11-101
15/06/21ASC14GF9-95
06/06/21LIS13Gd/Y10-91
29/04/21PUN24Y11-128
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-107
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 15:50
22
Mark Walsh

The Moyglass Flyer

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 10-8
OR: 129
Days: 41

Another exciting event on Saturday is the Ladbrokes Extended Handicap Hurdle over two miles and it sees a huge field of runners go to post.

With the ground set to be soft, we are siding with one of the bottom weights on the day with The Moyglass Flyer for Joseph O'Brien.

The seven year old look to have the better of the handicapper having ran over hurdles four times, winning twice and placing in the other two occasions.

Having won over course and distance at the 2019 Christmas meeting, he has only been seen once more in his career and it came on his seasonal debut.

The seven year old finished a bold third over course and distance at the Christmas meeting, finishing in behind the smart Master McShee that holds some solid form behind a Grade One winner.

His mark looks extremely workable on his second start in a handicap and that could be the difference on the day.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/12/20LEO16Sft11-43
27/12/19LEO16Sft10-91
10/11/19NAV16Sft/Hy11-53
29/11/18THU16Gd11-21
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 16:25
4
Mr P W Mullins

Kilcruit

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-13
OR: N/A
Days: 63

The final event of the day is the Goffs Future Stars Grade Two INH Flat Race and we can't look past the Willie Mullins trained Kilcruit.

The six year old is a very talented gelding who bounced on to the racing scene in the last race before the first lockdown in Ireland, finishing second to stablemate Captain Kangaroo.

He was originally trained by Tony Mullins and this season he has now been given to his brother Willie and on debut in December he got him off to a winning start.

The gelding went on to land a decent bumper by close to 10 lengths and having not been seen since the event, he should be fresh for a big challenge in the Grade Two event on Saturday.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/21PUN16.5Y12-21
17/03/21CHL16.5GS11-52
06/02/21LEO16Sft/Hy11-131
05/12/20NAV16Sft12-21
24/03/20CLO18.5Sft12-22

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