Leopardstown No Walk In The Park For Dortmund
Leopardstown will stage one of the most exciting weekends ever to be held in Irish racing with the inaugural running of the €1.5m Dublin Racing Festival. Of course finding a few winners throughout the card would obviously make it even more interesting.
Elliott v Mullins.
This could be a common theme for the weekend and it will start in the opener, even with Samcro not there.
Dortmund Park (2/1) won impressively at Thurles a couple of weeks ago when splashing through the ground for a good win but the wonder would be if the drop back in trip will really suit him and just how much that Thurles race would have taken out of him and therefore Fabulous Sage is preferred.
The Willie Mullins-trained runner is two from two now on his last two starts and seems to have turned the corner again.
In bumpers, he won just one of four but won a couple of early season hurdles by 20 lengths under Ruby Walsh and then suffered a couple of defeats. There’s no doubt that the six-year-old showed a real liking for heavy ground at Cork and Limerick recently and he may just be good enough to fend off Dortmund Park on this occasion.
JP to have a decent day.
Buveur D’air should ease his way to victory at Sandown so the big question is will a Champion Hurdle emerge again in the shape of Faugheen?
But, outside of that Grade 1 action, the Gordon Elliott-trained Squouateur (12/1) could be worth siding with again.
A beaten favourite of the PP Chase at Christmas, he suffered a bit in running that day. Although still well beaten at the finish, he was doing his best work at the finish that day and if Anibale Fly is going to turn into the Gold Cup contender that some people think he might, that form wouldn’t have a bad look to it.
Fry to bag more big money.
Barry Geraghty goes to Sandown on Saturday for a decent card and Buveuir D’air is the obvious pick of his rides. Gordon Elliott has booked him for Folsom Blue who would have a solid each-way chance but it’s hard to get away from Harry Fry’s Melrose Boy.
He won as a 1/10 favourite on his last time out at Fontwell and that was nothing more than an encouraging prep run for this much tougher assignment. But, I think a line can be put through his Newbury effort in December when Fry’s horses were clearly under a bit of a cloud.
At Cheltenham in November Melrose Boy won like a decent horse and although he has 12lbs more to contend with now, this sort of race should suit him more than the likes of a Folsom Blue who probably wants that bit further.
Fabulous Sage (11/2) – 1:10 Leopardstown
Squouateur (12/1) each-way – 2:55 Leopardstown
Melrose Boy (7/1) – 3:00 Sandown
*Prices correct at time of publication