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Samcro The Sunday Star

After an eventful opening day at the Dublin Racing Festival we’ll return for more of the same on Sunday in which Samcro is sure to be the star attraction but probably too short in the betting for most average punters, although there’s no shortage of opportunities for people wanting to have a bet.

Keep the faith with Monalee

The Grade 1 novice chase is a belter of a race. Snow Falcon and Rathvinden are two outsiders but both have always been held in very high regard so it just shows how hot a race this will be.

Invitation Only was the choice of Paul Townend and he looked good when winning last time out..

..but it’s a race that could end up being between Monalee and Sutton Place and the faith is kept with Monalee to return to winning ways.

Monalee took a horrible fall here at Christmas after jumping well up until that and it’s rare to see Henry de Bromhead’s fall because they are usually so foot perfect over their fences. Henry wouldn’t be the sort of trainer for making rash decisions and there’s no way Monalee would be here if Henry hadn’t been happy with his wellbeing or his jumping since and I’d expect the seven-year-old to just get the better of Sutton Place who will undoubtedly be a Grade 1 performer over fences in time, and maybe even next month at Cheltenham.

Elliott to Land another big prize

Jessica Harrington has snared one big prize this weekend and will be hoping that Our Duke can follow Supasundae this afternoon but as mad as it may be, Outlander is my pick in the Irish Gold Cup.

Already a Lexus winner last season over the course and distance, Outlander was pretty unheralded coming here for the same race in December but ran a cracker under Rachael Blackmore.

The 10-year-old isn’t getting any younger and could be vulnerable to the BoyleSports Irish Grand National winner Our Duke..

..or the less exposed Killultagh Vic, but Outlander seems to love Leopardstown and if he had never went to Haydock for the Betfair Chase he’d probably be only half the price he is today.

Likewise, if Road To Respect was in the field he’d undoubtedly be favourite and Outlander’s form ties in well with Noel Meade’s charge.

Willie Mullins took a large bite into Gordon Elliott’s championship lead yesterday but this could be the day when the leader bites back.