Robbie Power DRF Preview

Dublin Racing Festival Day 1 Tips & Preview From Robbie Power

BoyleSports Horse Racing Ambassador Robbie Power previews the action at Leopardstown on Day 1 of the highly anticipated 2024 Dublin Racing Festival.

You can find Robbie Power’s preview of Day 2 at the Dublin Racing Festival here.

1.20 pm Race – Novices’ Hurdle Preview

I think Jessica Harrington has got a good chance with Jetara. She’s a mare that’s improved a hell of a lot this season, she’s got bundles of experience. She had a good performance at Christmas when she beat Pink In The Park, but this is a step up in class, it’s another step up the ladder for her. She does get the 7lb off the geldings and she’ll need to improve.

Predators Gold is stepping back up in trip again after dropping back down to the minimum two miles when he was second to Caldwell Potter at Christmas time. He’s obviously the choice of Paul Townend and would look the obvious one.

But Loughglynn as well, who was very impressive when he won in Limerick at Christmas. He beat Stellar Story who he re-opposes. I have a slight sneaking feeling for Loughglynn over Predators Gold and Jetara. He’s open to more improvement. He seemed to win that day with plenty up his sleeve as well. Sean O’Keeffe rode him on that occasion. And he got to the front and sort of just did what he had to do. So he’s the choice of Patrick Mullins.

I’m going to go against Predators Gold with Loughglynn.

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2024 Dublin Racing Festival Odds - 1.20 pm Race

1.50 pm Race – Juvenile Hurdle Preview

Willie’s going to be very, very hard to beat in all the Grade 1s this week. He’s got huge numbers running. He’s running all his star juveniles in this race, for instance. So Bunting was very, very impressive when he won under Sean O’Keeffe in Limerick at Christmas.

Storm Heart is the choice of Paul Townend and he was very good. He won in Punchestown. His jumping left a bit to be desired for me. This is a step up in class. And Storm Heart is going to have to jump a lot better than he did in Punchestown.

Kala Conti is obviously the form angle in the race. She beat Kargese who re-opposes here, another mare of Willie’s in the race. And I actually think Kargese can reverse that form with Kala Conti because she was very, very free in Leopardstown. If she settles better, she could take the beating. Of the ones of Willie’ – Bunting, Storm Heart and Highwind, who are all maiden hurdle winners stepping into a grade one – I think Bunting could be the pick of these.

I was very impressed with his performance in Limerick at Christmas. Paul Townend has obviously gone for Storm Heart, but I think Bunting looked very, very good to me in Leopardstown and he could beat all of these.

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2024 Dublin Racing Festival Odds - 1.50 pm Race

2.25 pm – Irish Arkle Novice Chase Preview

I think you’re going to see a challenge. I think this is a big step up in class for Marine Nationale and what he’s done so far over fences.

Let’s be realistic about it. He beat Firm Footings in the beginner’s chase in Leopardstown at Christmas and he beat him very impressively. But Firm Footings has since been beaten in another beginner’s chase in Fairyhouse. So you could question the form in that.

Yes, Marine Nationale jumped very well on that occasion. He got everything his own way out in front. But with Willie Mullins strongly represented with Facile Vega and Il Etait Temps, is he going to get things his own way and be allowed to dictate?

Facile Vega was very disappointing the last day at Christmas when he was beaten by Found A Fifty. He’s got to bounce back. Paul Townend has stuck with him. Maybe there were excuses for that performance at Christmas.

Marine Nationale was an exceptional horse over hurdles last season. He’s very good. He won the Supreme Novices. He is the class act in the race with a clear round he has to jump. But at very, very short odds about a novice chaser on his second start over fences in a grade 1, would I be lumping in? I think I might look elsewhere.

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2024 Dublin Racing Festival Odds - 2.25 pm Race

3.35 pm – Irish Gold Cup Preview

I think it’s going to be a straight shootout between Galopin Des Champs and Fastorslow, there’s no doubt about that.

I’d be very surprised if Conflated has any say in this. He was well held at Christmas time. And there were question marks over Galopin Des Champs going into Christmas. He was beaten by Fastorslow in Punchestown last year. He was beaten by him in the John Durkan in November.

So there were question marks and he answered them emphatically at Christmas. That was as good a performance as I’ve seen from a 3-mile chaser in my life basically. I wasn’t around for the times of Arkle, but this was just an unbelievable performance.

I think Paul Townend will let him go and jump out like at Christmas and make the running and dictate things his way. JJ Slevin is going to have to decide whether he wants to pounce on Fastorslow if he’s good enough. I don’t think Fastorslow has been given the credit he deserves for beating Galopin Des Champs twice.

It might be a case that Fastorslow just is a better horse than Galopin Des Champs but that performance that Galopin Des Champs put up at Christmas, I know Fastorslow wasn’t in the race, I just thought that was breathtaking. As I said, I think that was the best performance I’ve seen from a 3-mile chaser and if he reproduces that on Saturday, I think he wins.

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2024 Dublin Racing Festival - Irish Gold Cup Odds

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