Day Two Dublin Racing Festival Preview 2022

Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 12:45
11
Davy Russell

Party Central

J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
OR: 121
Days: 63

A few of the runners in this contest arrive in good form however preference is for Party Central who comes into this fresh off a head win at Punchestown last December in Listed Mares company.

She was very keen early on, which sometimes can take the zest out of a horse, but she showed her class and got home in front, albeit whilst looking to win the race with ease before finding herself hard pressed as they went over the last.

She held on gamely that day and shown that the early keenness didn’t take anything out of her, landing some black type in the process.

She is one of the lower weighted horses in the race and is already a Listed winner, this affair will play to her strengths as she looks to continue her progression this season, with trip and conditions once more looking to suit.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y11-71
17/03/22CHL17Sft11-77
06/02/22LEO17.5Y10-121
05/12/21PUN19.5Y10-131
29/10/21DRO17Sft10-124
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 12:45
8
Mark Walsh

Glan

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 7
Weight: 11-0
OR: 123
Days: 70

Another horse that takes our fancy in this is another horse trained by Gordon Elliot, who has a very good record in these sorts of races over in Ireland.

Glan has only had the 8 runs under rules, four of which have been this season already, one of which she has crossed the line in front by a head.

This was a 9-runner field at Fairyhouse last October where, like Party Central, she took a very keen hold early on, but that didn’t faze her at all as she kept on superbly down the line, always holding on from a fast-finishing Paul Nolan horse, who has since won a Maiden Hurdle at Cork by 5 lengths.

The form in behind Glan’s win in October last year has been franked, and she is fresh off a very good second place finish in an 18-runner field at Fairyhouse last November which was arguably her best career performance to date.

She is weighted to go quite well in this decent handicap affair.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/07/22GAL16Gd10-124
15/05/22KLN17Gd11-615
26/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y10-10PU
16/04/22FAI16Gd/Y10-31
06/02/22LEO17.5Y11-05
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 13:20
7
Paul Townend

Galopin Des Champs

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 40

Galopin Des Champs built up a feisty reputation last season, winning the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival before winning a Grade 1 Hurdle at Punchestown in April.

His reputation was certainly advanced with one of the performances of the season so far for a Novice Chaser, being sent out a 4/7 favourite on his first start over fences, he confirmed the hype by winning with ease by 22 lengths, jumping like a seasoned professional and not touching a twig all the way around.

He was electric that day and really turned a few heads for the Novice Chasers this season, making it look like he had been running over the bigger obstacles all his life.

There is an element of taking a chance with a horse having only his second run over fences being an odds-on favourite in a Grade 1 race, but the way he won on his first start suggests he is all class and will take all the beating in this and will only get better with each run over fences.

Although there are a few nice horses in behind, who have Graded wins to their names already this season, Galopin Des Champs looks like he will have too much class and is a very exciting horse going forward this season for the formidable Willie Mullins outfit.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/23LEO24Y11-101
19/12/22PUN20Sft11-101
17/04/22FAI20Y11-101
17/03/22CHL20Sft11-4F
06/02/22LEO21.5Y11-101
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 13:50
3
Paul Townend

Chacun Pour Soi

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 11-12
OR: 176
Days: 64

One of the highest rated horses in training, Chacun Pour Soi looks to be on a recovery mission after a disappointing run in the Tingle Creek where finished last in a 5-runner field despite being a short priced favourite to win.

Sandown probably didn’t suit that day, and Willie Mullins’s horses weren’t firing at all around that time; the yard looked to have turned a corner since then and he should bounce back to form in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Dublin Chase.

He won this race last season and put in one of his career best performances, beating Fakir D’oudairies by 8 lengths.

He seems to save his best form for when he runs in his home country, with form figures of 11211111 in Ireland, five of them being Grade 1 contests.

Back on his home soil in a race that he has won previously, he will be hard to beat in this contest and should get back to winning ways.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/01/23THU20.5Y11-123
27/12/22LEO17Y11-123
26/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-122
16/03/22CHL16Sft11-10UR
06/02/22LEO17Y11-121
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 14:25
17
Mark McDonagh

Birchdale

J: Mark McDonagh
T: E Bolger
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 10-0
OR: 129
Days: 41

A wide-open affair in the Leopardstown Handicap Chase over 2m5f, a vote of confidence goes to Birchdale who comes into the race with four runs to his name already this season, running in some very competitive races since changing hands from Nicky Henderson to E Bolger in Ireland.

He was last seen winning a Grade 2 at Cheltenham back in January 2019 with some decent horses in behind, disappointing slightly ever since, but has now joined a yard who knows how to get these horses back winning.

He has had a few runs already this season so will be fit and raring to go, running a decent race to finish 6th last time out at Leopardstown in a 28-runner field, only beaten due to his early keeness.

If learning to settle better, he should bounce back to some sort of form in this with conditions being in his favour.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/08/22KLN20Gd/Y11-37
29/07/22GAL22.5Gd/Y11-10PU
08/07/22KLB25Gd10-66
13/06/22KLB20Gd11-02
29/04/22PUN21Gd/Y10-107
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 14:25
3
Brian Hayes

The Shunter

J:
 
Brian Hayes
T:
 
Emmet Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-6
OR: 153
Days: 193

The Shunter is another horse to have changed hands over the summer, changing owners to now sport the ever-famous JP McManus colours, staying with long time trainer Emmet Mullins who had this horse in flying form last season.

He won two big races last season, including the Paddy Power Plate at the festival last March, winning easily by a 3 length margin.

He hasn’t had a run this season but is known to run well when fresh.

With conditions and trip in his favour, he could run a big race in this at a very decent price.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/09/22PUN9Gd/Y9-127
05/09/22GAL21.5Gd11-36
18/08/22KLN17Y11-113
27/07/22GAL22.5Gd11-48
17/05/22SLI13Gd/Y10-41
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 15:00
5
Rachael Blackmore

Honeysuckle

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-5
OR: 165
Days: 70

National Hunts leading mare, with one of the most formidable unbeaten records in racing, looks set to take this race for the third consecutive year.

Last year’s Champion Hurdle heroine comes into this race with her unbeaten record at stake once more and holds leading claims given she faces off against horses she has beaten with ease in the past.

She was electric on her seasonal debut in November, winning by 8 lengths with some top-quality horses in behind, she still looks to be continuously improving with each passing season.

She didn’t exactly jump with her usual zest last time out, however with a few of her rivals lacking the same fluency, her engine still allowed her to prove the best in the field.

Henry De Bromhead's mare is a two-time winner of this race previously and this year looks to be a slightly easier renewal than previous ones.

The 2021 Champion Hurdle winner looks like she will be very hard to beat in this contest again and a hat-trick is looking a strong possibility.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/02/23LEO16Y11-52
04/12/22FAI19.5Sft11-33
29/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-51
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-31
06/02/22LEO16Y11-51
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 15:35
6
Paul Townend

Sir Gerhard

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 42

Sir Gerhard was one of the leading bumper horses last season’s coming into this new season with a huge reputation before he even jumped a hurdle.

He was an impressive half a length winner in the Champion Bumper at the festival last season, beating Kilcruit in a thrilling race.

He couldn’t have been more impressive however when making his debut over hurdles, sent off the usual odds-on favourite, much like all of Willie Mullins’s top novices do, he made all and jumped like a professional, not touching a single part of the hurdle all the way around, powering away up the Leopardstown straight to win by 8 lengths eased down.

He did well to win at that time as the Willie Mullins horses weren’t exactly going well, but he went against that and his class came through.

He will improve wonders for that run and with usual progressions he will be very hard to beat in this affair.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/01/23GOW16Sft/Hy11-121
26/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y11-123
16/03/22CHL21Sft11-71
06/02/22LEO16Y/Sft11-121
26/12/21LEO16Sft12-01
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 16:10
6
Sean Flanagan

Cask Mate

J: Sean Flanagan
T: Noel Meade
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-5
OR: 139
Days: 100

Another typically wide-open handicap affair over 2 miles, Cask Mate really stands out in this as a horse who will go well in this with his current mark of 139.

He has four wins under rules, two of them being over hurdles, including a nice performance in a 16-runner field at Limerick in October 2020, beating some classy horses by just over 4 lengths.

His seasonal reappearance run was a very good one, brushing off any cobwebs from the summer (where he had a winning flat run at Bellewtown) as he finished second behind Zanahiyr in the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle in October last year.

He was clearly beat by a good horse that day and was well beaten, but considering it was his first run in a while he ran a cracking race, finishing 12 lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

Back in these calmer waters this weekend he will be hard to stop, with everything suiting this horse nicely.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/10/22CUR16.5Y/Sft9-1110
10/09/22LEO13Sft8-1214
29/07/22GAL12Y9-412
25/07/22GAL17Sft10-105
16/07/22CUR12Gd10-97
Leopardstown - February 06 2022
Leopardstown 16:40
14
Mr P W Mullins

Pink In The Park

J: Mr P W Mullins
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-8
OR: N/A
Days: 135

Pink In The Park looks to be another top class Willie Mullins bumper horse that we have become so accustomed to over the years.

She looks to have a great chance of winning a graded race early on in her career.

She was incredibly impressive on debut where she was held up behind the leaders early on; when asked of by Patrick Mullins she responded very nicely, flying into the lead with 2 furlongs to go even after she raced quite wide to get there, before keeping on strongly to win by 14 lengths.

She didn’t show any signs of greenness early on and was a true professional in the race, making her the worthy favourite in this mares Grade 2.

She should rate hard to beat with normal progressions coming into play.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/01/23PUN20.5Sft11-75
01/01/23FAI18.5Sft10-132
26/11/22GOW16Hy11-52
29/05/22PUN16Gd11-111
27/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y11-115

Jake Russell | @JakeRuss1000