7 potential Cheltenham Festival winners running at Leopardstown this weekend

Klassical Dream beats Aramon at the Dublin Racing Festival

Eight Grade Ones, €2.1 million in prize-money and two days of incredible action. Yes, it is the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown this weekend. The cream will truly rise to the top at this meeting.

A Plus Tard, Kemboy and Melon were the first three horses home in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at last month’s Leopardstown Christmas Festival. They have been entered for the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup this Sunday.

Honeysuckle and Sharjah look set to lock horns in the Irish Champion Hurdle. Henry de Bromhead’s wonderful mare won this race last year and remains unbeaten in nine starts. They have also entered the classy Aspire Tower.

Winston C could also run in the Irish Champion Hurdle, a dual Grade One winner in America. He looks set to be the first runner at Grade One level in Ireland for newly-licenced trainer Keri Brion. She recently took charge of horses formerly trained by US trainer Jonathan Sheppard.

All in all, we are in for an incredible weekend of action in the emerald isle. ITV Racing will show four races on Sunday for people who have no access to Irish racing in the UK.

Adrian Wall has picked out seven horses running at Leopardstown who could go on to win at the Cheltenham Festival next month.

13.05 Leopardstown (Saturday)

The first Grade One of the weekend will be the Nathaniel Lacy and Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle. Willie Mullins has a strong hand with the favourite Gaillard Du Mesnil and second-favourite in the market Stattler. They might be up against it if Ashdale Bob is at the top of his game. He looked like a monster when beating Fakiera by 6 lengths at Navan and the trip will suit.

13.35 Leopardstown (Saturday)

The Dublin Chase could be a belter but if Chacun Pour Soi is at his very best, he won’t be beat. He was last seen making short work of Notebook and Put The Kettle On at this track over Christmas. A winner of three of his Grade One runs to date, he has really come of age and he could give Mullins his first Queen Mother Champion Chase victory next month.

14.10 Leopardstown (Saturday)

Again, Willie has a very strong hand and odds-on shot Energumene couldn’t have been more impressive when beating Captain Guinness with ease last time. However, Unexcepted, his supposed second string, is the one to side with. JP McManus’ runner was exceptional on chasing bow at Tipperary. Three of the first six went on to win since to boost the form.

15.15 Leopardstown (Saturday)

Honeysuckle won this race last year and she could be a tough nut to crack once more. However, we have yet to see the very best of Saint Roi and I am convinced that he is still in the reckoning for the big race at Cheltenham next month. Things didn’t go to plan for him tactically the last two runs but Honeysuckle will guarantee a strong pace to aim at here which is just what he wants.

13.40 Leopardstown (Sunday)

French Aseel will next be seen running in the famous Al Boum Photo colours for trainer Willie Mullins. The French import was a 22-length winner on stable debut for Ellemarie Holden in a Leopardstown maiden hurdle. Backed from 25-1 into 7-2 favourite that day, he couldn’t have been more impressive. This juvenile could be an absolute monster!

15.10 Leopardstown (Sunday)

There is very little to separate Latest Exhibition and Monkfish but Willie Mullins’ runner always seems to just edge out Paul Nolan’s star. He beat him by a neck when they pair were involved in a thriller in the Albert Bartlett last season, with Fury Road a nose back in third. He saw him off again over Christmas and can do so again.

15.40 Leopardstown (Sunday)

Delta Work never got the opportunity to fight out the finish in the Savills Chase last time, unseating Sean Flanagan. If he is none the worse for that fall, he will have a huge chance in the Irish Gold Cup. He saw off Kemboy and Presenting Percy in this race last year and his rivals, bar Minella Indo who fell, had a tough race last time out.

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