The Dublin Racing Festival concluded on Sunday and we witnessed some awesome racing. There were plenty of shocks across the 15 races, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the sport. Blue Lord, Facile Vega and Lossiemouth all tasted defeat at odds of 1-3, 1-4 and 4-9.
Conversely, there are a number of horses that announced themselves as major candidates for the Cheltenham Festival. We’ve picked out four Leopardstown winners that you should consider backing next month. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.
The Facile Vega bubble was burst on Sunday when red-hot the ante post favourite went out like a light to finish last. Stablemate Il Etait Temps has emerged as a serious contender for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in his wake. Willie Mullins’ five-year-old pulled clear of the rest powerfully to take the Grade 1 novice hurdle by almost 10 lengths. Il Etait Temps simply has to a major contender, a thought echoed by Betfair who shortened him to 4-1 from 33-1 after the race.
Il Etait Temps @ 5-1 with Boylesports (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle)
El Fabiolo has emerged as a serious Arkle contender on the back of his dominant display in the Irish equivalent on Saturday. The depth of that race is astounding as the first five home are all quality animals. Yet another hailing from the Mullins yard, he scored by 10 lengths. Jonbon hasn’t faced opposition of that level over fences thus far and El Fabiolo will be a shock to his system.
El Fabiolo @ 9-4 with bet365 (Arkle Challenge Trophy)
We saw another side to State Man when he won the Irish Champion Hurdle on Sunday at the expense of Honeysuckle and Vauban. Paul Townend made the running on the six-year-old and it was a smart performance which saw him score by almost five lengths. Such a display of adaptability was a positive sign but he’ll appreciate getting a lead off a strong gallop at Cheltenham.
State Man @ 3-1 with Betfair (Champion Hurdle)
Barry Connell’s Good Land was well-backed going into the 2m6f Grade 1 novice hurdle on Saturday. He showed an abundance of class, attitude and stamina when winning by a length-and-a-half. Clearly a progressive horse and it looks like the best is yet to come. Now a Grade 1 winner, it’s hard to see him as anything other than a big player for the Ballymore next month.
Good Land @ 9-2 with Betfair (Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle)
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