Festival Focus With Tom Lee & David Mullins

By Dean Ryan
 |  3 mins
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Festival Focus With Tom Lee & David Mullins

The National Hunt season for UK and Irish Racing is just getting going for the big jumps stables. Some stellar December racing fixtures often provide the perfect opportunity to run the better winter horses ahead of huge festival targets this coming Spring. 

Carefully planned paths to the Cheltenham, Aintree, Punchestown Festivals and all that are in between are becoming clear and all hopes and dreams are alive for the beloved jumps season!

Festival Focus is a brand-new weekly show hosted by Tom Lee on Bookmakers.com TV, known by all racing passionate from Channel 4 Racing, RTE Racing and beyond. The show will focus on the key results of the previous seven days in Racing and discuss market movements for festival targets and whether performances on the track merited the reaction they got. Or did the horse racing bookmakers perhaps overestimate or underestimate the form of those runs with their revised odds for Festival targets?

Tom is joined each week on Festival Focus by David Mullins, a Grand National winning jockey and multiple Grade 1 winner in the saddle who is still heavily involved with the sport. Together they will discuss the horses that most caught the eye over the past week in horse racing and evaluate their potential to figure at the spring festivals this season, or not, depending on the what is still the greatest thing about racing; an opinion!

Of course Cheltenham in March will be a prime focus for all, but some horses aren’t suited to the pressures and nature of those four days at Prestbury Park and with the likes of the Winter Festival and Easter Festivals at Fairyhouse, the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown, the Aintree Festival and of course the curtain fall of Punchestown all to look forward to among other big dates in the calendar, expect Tom and David to have some views that don’t always fit the normal Cheltenham Festival narrative.

Festival Focus Episode 24 – 25th April 2023

The Punchestown Festival is the last big meeting of the national hunt season. Five days of action will see its fair share of Cheltenham Festival winners and plenty of Grade 1 races.

Facile Vega comes into the Champion Novices' Hurdle on Tuesday with question marks over him. David Mullins fancies Diverge to continue to progress and put it up to the favourite. Later on Tuesday, Energumene will take on a host of Willie Mullins stablemates and look to add to his Champion Chase success in March. 

The Irish Mirror Novices' Hurdle is one of the highlights on Wednesday. Gaelic Warrior is a short-priced favourite, taking a major step towards next year's Champion Hurdle. The Punchestown Gold Cup will see Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs look to pick up another major prize. We should be in for more of the same, as it's hard to see him beaten, according to David Mullins. 

Thursday sees the Champion Stayers' Hurdle which is a fascinating race. Monkfish, Klassical Dream and Teahupoo are just some of the contenders in a race that has more questions than answers available at this point. There's not much to discuss in the Barberstown Castle Novices' Chase on Thursday. El Fabiolo looks to be streets ahead of the opposition and should be able to add to his Arkle victory. 

Last, but not least, the Champion Hurdle on Friday will look to create another great Punchestown moment. State Man couldn't handle Constitution Hill in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle, but he should get compensation at Punchestown. 

Check out this week's Festival Focus below:

Festival Focus Episode 24

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Dean is respected tipster, journalist and broadcaster on sports - mainly horse racing. Having featured across radio, TV and podcasts, his betting knowledge is developed over decades in the gambling industry across a number of different publications and platforms. You will usually find him on social media discussing Tottenham Hotspur or the Cheltenham Festival.

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