The Dublin Racing Festival 2023 will be grabbing all the horse racing headlines this weekend as a star-studded cast head to Leopardstown for two days of high class jumping. We’ll also see plenty more 2023 Cheltenham Festival clues as a result, so let’s take a look at the big names that will be on show.
You can also see the best 2023 Dublin Racing Festival betting offers for new and existing customers here – so, why not snap-up a new betting account and some free bets along the way too.
- Big names on show at Dublin Racing Festival this weekend
- Lossiemouth, Dysart Dynamo, Galopin Des Champs and Fascile Mode star names on day one
- Honeysuckle, Blue Lord and Facile Vega the big attractions on the second day
- Full Dublin Racing Festival schedule and race times
Dublin Racing Festival 2023: The Big Names Heading To Leopardstown
Two days of some of the best National Hunt horse racing that we’ll see all season, as the ever-popular Dublin Racing at Leopardstown will entertain racing fans. Over Saturday and Sunday there will be 15 races (7 on Saturday & 8 on Sunday) to look forward to and no fewer than 8 (yes 8!) Grade One contests that will provide us with a stack of Cheltenham Festival clues.
Saturday 4th February: Dublin Racing Festival
The action at Leopardstown racecourse kicks off with a bang as there’s four Grade 1 races in a row, that are spearheaded by the Irish Gold Cup (3:05).
Lossiemouth Will Be All The Rage In The Spring Juvenile Hurdle
The current Triumph Hurdle favourite at the Cheltenham Festival, Lossiemouth, will be looking to get Dublin Racing Festival favourite backers off to a flyer in the second Saturday race – the Donohue Marquees Spring Juvenile Hurdle (1:55).
This Willie Mullins-trained 4 year-old is @ 11/8 with bet365 for the Triumph Hurdle on Friday 17th March, but to maintain that price she’ll need to win Saturday’s Spring Juvenile Hurdle. A race that 7 of the last 11 Triumph winners have contested – including last year’s winner Vauban, who won both Leopardstown and Cheltenham races.
Lossiemouth has impressed in winning all three career starts to date, while the form of her Fairyhouse success on Dec 4th was given a big boost with the third Comfort Zone winning on Cheltenham Trials Day last weekend.
Mullins, who has won 4 of the last 8 runnings of the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, could have fair chance in Gala Marceau, but Lossiemouth looks another very exciting prospect for the Ricci/Mullins combination and being a mare will get a handy 7lbs from the boys too.
Dysart Dynamo and Appreciate It Set To Clash In Irish Arkle
The Irish Arkle Novice Chase (2:30) is another race the Willie Mullins yard has dominated in recent times – winning 5 times in the last 8 runnings – and he’s at it again with big fancies Dysart Dynamo and Appreciate It expected to lock horns.
Mullins has won this prize with some big names over the years – Douvan, Un De Sceaux, Energumene and last year Blue Lord.
There isn’t expected to be a lot between Dysart and Appreciate It in the betting for Saturday’s race, with the former possible just edging it after a lovely course win at the end of December on chasing debut – jumping well.
With two runs over fences, then the 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Appreciate It has a tad more experience over the bigger obstacles, which makes it all nicely set-up for a ‘must-see’ head-to-head.
Galopin Des Champs a Banker In The Irish Gold Cup?
Galopin Des Champs is the current 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite @5/4 with bet365 and is the next big Willie Mullins name to strut his stuff at the 2023 Dublin Racing Festival as he bids to win his fifth chase in the Irish Gold Cup (3:05).
His only blot came when falling at the last in the Turners Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season, but has quickly put that behind him with wins at Fairyhouse last April and this term at Punchestown in the John Durkan Chase – beating the useful Fakir D’oudairies by 13 lengths.
Stattler and last year’s winner of this race – Conflated, will provide a decent test for Galopin Des Champs, but he’s expected to go off heavy odds-on for this contest and that tells you all you need to know. Another nice success here and he’s likely to go odds-on for the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup on 17th March.
Fascile Mode Out The Enhance Reputation In Future Stars Bumper
Fascile Mode is @9/1 with bet365 for the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival so you feel that he’ll need to win Saturday’s final race – the Future Stars I.N.H Flat Race (4:40).
This Thomas Mullins runner caught the eye of many when winning his debut at Leopardstown at the end of December and the vibes since coming out of the Mullins yard is they feel they’ve got a useful one on their hands and is a strong Cheltenham Festival betting tip – we’ll find out more on Saturday!
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Dublin Racing Festival: Sunday 5th February
Onto Sunday and we’ve another four Grade One races to take in at Leopardstown that include the Irish Champion Hurdle (3:10) and Dublin Chase (2:10).
Blue Lord Continues Cheltenham Prep In Dublin Chase
The Queen Mother Champion Chase market was shaken up at the weekend with the shock Clarence House win by Editeur Du Gite and last year’s winner Energumene running below par – and it could be in for a bit more activity this Sunday with Blue Lord in action.
Blue Lord is on offer with Cheltenham odds @10/3 with bet365 for the Champion Chase, but a good win in the Dublin Chase (2:10) on Sunday will see those odds shorten. Last year’s Irish Arkle winner has now won 6 of his 7 runs over fences and has returned this season with two more lovely wins that included beating the 2022 King George VI winner Tornado Flyer at Clonmel over 2m4 1/2f.
He then won the Paddy’s Reward Club Chase here at Leopardstown over Christmas by 11 lengths and being another of the ‘so-called’ Dublin Festival bankers will be all the rage to continue his charge to the Cheltenham Festival with another win.
Can Honeysuckle Defend Her Irish Champion Hurdle Crown For a Third Time?
The bubble burst with Honeysuckle last time out after she lost her unbeaten record in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse at the start of December.
That was her 17th career win and having won her previous 16 outings has already cemented herself in the racing hall-of-fame, especially after winning this race for the last three seasons, but that last race showed she’s not bulletproof.
Due to that defeat she’s actually expected to NOT go off favourite for Sunday’s Irish Champion Hurdle (3:10), with the Willie Mullins-trained State Man, who was an impressive winner of the Matheson Hurdle here at the end of December, likely to get that tag.
State Man had last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner Vauban 4 1/4 lengths back in second that last day too and has now won his five starts – one of which was the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March. State Man will, however, still have to give 7lbs away to the mare Honeysuckle and if you can forgive that last race, then is it too soon to write off the current Champion Hurdler?
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Favourite Facile Vega On Show
One of the last ‘big gun’ names to run this weekend at Leopardstown is the current Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite – Facile Vega @5/6 with bet365. He’s entered to run in Sunday’s Tattersalls Ireland Novices Hurdle (3:40), where he’s another that’s anticipated to be long odds-on to win again and make it 7-from-7.
He landed both the big bumper races at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals last season and has made the transition to hurdling a smooth won with two nice wins at Fairyhouse and here at Leopardstown in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle last time over Christmas. It will be a huge shock if he’s not going in again.
Note: Odds are subject to change
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Dublin Racing Festival: Saturday 4th February 2023
- 1:20 – Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors “50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff” Nov Hurdle (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m6f RTV
- 1:55 – Donohue Marquees Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo) 2m RTV
- 2:30 – Goffs Irish Arkle Novice Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m1f RTV
- 3:05 – Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup (Grade 1) (5yo+) 3m RTV
- 3:40 – Race And Stay At Leopardstown Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) (4yo+ 0-150) 3m RTV
- 4:10 – Sandyford Handicap Chase (Grade B) (5yo+ 0-150) 2m1f RTV
- 4:40 – Future Stars (C & G) I.N.H. Flat Race (Grade 2) (4-7yo) 2m RTV
Dublin Racing Festival: Sunday 5th February 2023
- 1:10 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) (4yo+) 2m1½f RTV
- 1:40 – Ladbrokes Novice Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m5f RTV
- 2:10 – Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m1f RTV
- 2:40 – Bulmers Handicap Chase (Grade A) (5yo+) 2m5f RTV
- 3:10 – Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) 2m RTV
- 3:40 – Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m RTV
- 4:10 – Liffey Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) (4yo+ 0-150) 2m RTV
- 4:40 – Coolmore N.H. Sires “Santiago” Irish EBF Mares I.N.H. Flat Race (Grade 2) (4-7yo) 2m RTV
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