Leading lights to shine at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival


Thursday, January 12, 2023
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The exciting Galopin Des Champs is set to return to Leopardstown Racecourse for the Grade 1 Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup on the opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival early next month. Photo: Caroline Norris/Racing Post


Top chasers Galopin Des Champs, Conflated, Energumene and leading hurdlers State Man, Honeysuckle and Facile Vega feature among the entries for the eight Grade 1 races at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown on Saturday, February 4 and Sunday, February 5. 

Already Grade 1 winners this season, the Willie Mullins-trained Galopin Des Champs and Gordon Elliott’s Conflated top the 11 horses entered in the Paddy Power Gold Cup which again features on the opening afternoon of the two-day spectacle. 

Conflated, successful in the race a year ago and more recently the winner of the Savills Chase at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, and Fury Road are Elliott’s entries. In addition to Galopin Des Champs, Mullins could run Chacun Pour Soi which would be trying the race’s three-mile distance for the first time, 2021 winner Kemboy along with Statler, Royal Rendezvous and Franco De Port.
 
Envoi Allen could yet bid to give Henry de Bromhead his first win in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup while Ted Walsh has Any Second Now with The Big Dog a possible runner for Peter Fahey. 

Sunday’s action revolves around the Grade 1 Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle with Honeysuckle seeking a fourth straight win in the race, a feat only achieved by Istabraq and Hurricane Fly in the past. 

In all, there are nine entries for the race with Willie Mullins dominating with five horses, among them State Man, Vauban and Sharjah, first, second and third home in the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle last month. Sir Gerhard and Echoes In Rain complete the champion trainer’s team. Gordon Elliott has entered both Zanahiyr and Pied Piper with the Tom Mullins-trained Takarengo completing the initial line up. 

The first of the weekend’s Grade 1 races, the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ‘€50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle has attracted an entry of 18 horses headed by Hiddenvalley Lake, unbeaten in two starts for Henry de Bromhead, and the Gordon Elliott-trained Favori De Champdou, the winner of his last three starts. Elliott’s Irish Point and American Mike also feature along with the Mullins-trained Grangeclare West and Quais De Paris and the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Weveallbeencaught. 

The 15 entries for the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle include the unbeaten Lossiemouth and Gala Marceau from the Willie Mullins stable and Joseph O'Brien’s Comfort Zone while among the 12 horses in the Grade 1 Goffs Irish Arkle Novice Chase are the Mullins-trained Appreciate It, El Fabiolo, Saint Roi and Dysart Dynamo, the O'Brien-trained Banbridge and Gordon Elliott’s Fil Dor. 

The Grade 1 Ladbrokes Novice Chase has attracted a bumper entry of 27 horses with Gaillard Du Mesnil, trained by Willie Mullins, Mighty Potter and Gerri Colombe from the Gordon Elliott stable, Mouse Morris’ Gentlemansgame and Henry de Bromhead’s Journey With Me chief among them. 

Willie Mullins will be long odds-on to continue his domination of the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase as his four entries in the latest renewal include the brilliant Energumene, Blue Lord and Chacun Pour Soi, which would be bidding for a fourth-straight win in the race. Sceau Royal has been entered by Alan King while the Pat Fahy-trained Dunvegan could well take his chance. 

There are 17 entries for the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle with Facile Vega and his stable companions Gaelic Warrior and Hunters Yarn leading the way for Willie Mullins. A winner at the first time of asking over hurdles at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, High Definition has been entered by Joseph O'Brien while American Mike, Amir Kabir and Imagine are there for Gordon Elliott. 

Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse, said, “We are delighted with the quality of the entries for the eight Grade 1 races at the Dublin Racing Festival. It promises to be a great weekend where racegoers can enjoy the very best of National Hunt racing, watching the Six Nations rugby, live music and great food. Once again, we are so grateful to have the support of so many sponsors, owners and trainers and thanks to them, we are set for two days of top-class racing across the February Bank Holiday weekend.”

Click here for entries for Day 1 of the Dublin Racing Festival 

Click here for entries for Day 2 of the Dublin Racing Festival 

We are delighted with the quality of the entries for the eight Grade 1 races at the Dublin Racing Festival. It promises to be a great weekend where racegoers can enjoy the very best of National Hunt racing, watching the Six Nations rugby, live music and great food. Once again, we are so grateful to have the support of so many sponsors, owners and trainers and thanks to them, we are set for two days of top-class racing across the February Bank Holiday weekend.

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