Robbie Power’s Dublin Racing Festival Betting Preview & Tips
As the big date approaches we caught up with our horse racing ambassador Robbie Power for his Dublin Racing Festival preview and tips.
The countdown to Cheltenham is well and truly underway as we now find ourselves in February, less than six weeks out from racing at Prestbury Park.
In the leadup to the famed Cheltenham Festival, we have the Dublin Racing Festival which is one of the biggest events in the Irish horse racing calendar. It is shaping up to be an unmissable two days of action for true horse racing fans!
Some of the stars on show at Leopardstown this weekend include back-to-back Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle and Galopin Des Champs who will be bidding for Irish Gold Cup glory.
In this Dublin Racing Festival preview, Robbie Power tackles the pressing questions that punters are asking and gives us his tips for the weekend’s big races.
How Important Is The Dublin Racing Festival To Irish Racing?
Dublin Racing Festival has strengthened Irish racing even more since it began
I’m not surprised at all that it’s been such a big success. It started at a time when Irish jumps racing was very strong and it has just grown the popularity of it even more, it is as strong as it has ever been.
Ticket sales for this year’s festival, a lot of people are coming over to see the Irish horses so it is great to have them over.
With the exception of the Punchestown Festival, this is the best weekend for Irish racing all year.
All the stars are on show, with Honeysuckle and Galopin Des Champs spread over the two days. It’s a great weekend away if you’re a racing fan.
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More English Horses Should Come To Leopardstown
I’m baffled why there aren’t more English contenders considering the prize money that’s on offer
I don’t think it is to do with calendar and timing, I think it is to do with the quality of horses in Ireland at the moment.
There are a lot of horses in England where Cheltenham doesn’t suit them, so why they aren’t coming over to Dublin just baffles me.
There are plenty of horses out there, Leopardstown is a very fair track so I don’t understand why they aren’t coming over for a crack at the prize money, even if they finish second or third there is some very good prize money on offer.
Will Honeysuckle Win the Irish Champion Hurdle?
The roof will come off Leopardstown if Honeysuckle roars back to form in the Champion Hurdle
The roof will come off Leopardstown if she wins and I see no reason why she won’t.
Maybe I’m a bit biased but I thought she ran a personal best in the Hatton’s Grace.
She was beaten by two good stayers in Teahupoo and Klassical Dream so I don’t think there was any disgrace in that performance.
We’ll see what sort of challenge State Man and Vauban will be, but if Honeysuckle wins then that big clash will be back on with Constitution Hill.
He looks unbelievable, top-class and he will be hard to beat but on the day, you should never be afraid of one horse and so many have gone to Cheltenham as big favourites and disappointed.
Robbie Power On Willie Mullins
Willie Mullins’ dominance is a concern but he’s not shying away from challenging his own
It is a bit concerning that he is so dominant but the beauty about Willie is that he is not concerned about running two or three of his own in one race.
Conflated is obviously going straight to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup. There are a few Irish stars going straight there as well but Willie’s will take each other on here. He will definitely run two, three or sometimes four in some races.
Will Galopin Des Champs Win The Irish Gold Cup At Leopardstown?
Galopin Des Champs can be beaten – but the competition is coming from his own yard
It’s a horse race so he can always be beaten as anything can happen. He was successful over hurdles at three miles and, if it goes according to plan on the day, he will be hard to beat.
The main competition seems to be within his own yard as well. Kemboy is getting on in years, Fury Road has to find plenty so it looks a very good opportunity for Galopin Des Champs. Barring an accident I’ll be very surprised if he gets beat.
He absolutely has to win to remain in Gold Cup contention at Cheltenham.
Chances For Henry de Bromhead’s Yard At Dublin Racing Festival
Henry de Bromhead’s yard would have liked a few more winners but has some good chances this weekend
I think they are running well, maybe a few less winners than we would have liked but they have been running well.
They are in good heart and we had a nice winner on Monday so I wouldn’t be too worried.
I like Deep Cave as stepping up to two miles and six and into Grade 1 company should suit him.
Maskada in the 2m5f handicap as well was a good winner last time out at Limerick over Christmas and has a good chance. Ascending is another one with a chance. I’m looking forward to a good weekend and bursting a few of Willie’s bubbles.
The Going At Leopardstown For The Dublin Racing Festival
There are no concerns over the ground for the fixture – the sprinklers are on full pelt
I was actually there on Monday doing a course walk and the forecast is very dry for this week, so the sprinklers are on full pelt on the chase track.
There is a big difference in the ground between the chase track and the hurdle track so the watering is all on and hopefully we will have lovely, safe racing ground.
Robbie Power’s Thoughts On The New Whip Rules
I know jockeys in England were not properly informed over the new whip rules
I just could never understand why it was brought up in the middle of the season, it made no sense at all.
It needed to be discussed in the off-season, with a view to the Flat racing season starting, see how it progresses over the summer and then maybe when there is a break, chat to the jump jockeys.
I know the jockeys in England were not properly informed. It is not good at all. If you’re making big changes in sport then it needs to be discussed properly and this wasn’t at all.
At BoyleSports we recently talked to Champion Hurdle jockey Noel Fehily who claims that the new whip rules lack common sense.
Robbie Power’s Dublin Racing Festival Predictions For The Big Races
Irish Gold Cup – has to be Galopin Des Champs.
Champion Hurdle – Honeysuckle. I know her unbeaten run came to an end in the Hatton’s Grace but she ran well, the only thing that was a negative was that she was beaten.
Irish Arkle – it’s a tough race. If Willie runs them all, and if I was Paul Townend, I’d ride Dysart Dynamo.
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