It's a big weekend ahead at the Dublin Racing Festival and the declarations certainly did not let us down. I'm naturally a bit disappointed with the way it fell as I don't have a ride on the Saturday. Unfortunately when you can only ride at the weights I do it just means your handicap chances are limited and Gordon only has one in most of the Grade One's.
That's life though and I really hope the yard has a great two days - hopefully The Storyteller and myself take our place in the Irish Gold Cup as well!
I've covered a few of the big races with my fancies below, but of the other big races I think Appreciate It will be very hard to stop in the Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle. As much as Ballyadam has his excuses for the poor run at Christmas, Appreciate It just looks a step ahead of everything in the division.
Don't get me wrong, Ballyadam is a very good horse, but I think we'll see even more improvement from him on better ground.
⭐️ Appreciate It - what a monster— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 27, 2020
🏆 Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle
✅ Unbeaten over timber
Some performance from Appreciate It who powers clear to plunder Grade One honours for @WillieMullinsNH & @PTownend at @LeopardstownRC #LRCChristmas pic.twitter.com/8L3JAdzAaA
It's hard to see Monkfish and Chacun Pour Soi beaten in their respective races and Willie looks very strong in the Irish Arkle as well with Energumene. Felix Desjy should run a lot better than he did at Christmas when Gordon's horses weren't right, but the favourite again looks very good.
I'm expecting a much better showing from Abacadabras in the Irish Champion Hurdle, but at the moment I'd share the same ground concerns for him as I would for Ballyadam. He handles soft ground as he showed at Cheltenham, but he's a better horse when he can really use his speed. I rode him for work for the first time for a long while last week and he felt very well in himself.
He has to improve past the Morgiana form and he could, but he meets a properly brilliant mare in Honeysuckle. Very good horses like her always win by a comfortable amount, as she did in this race last year and Abacadabras has to improve to get level anyway in my opinion.
Abacadabras is a very good horse himself and I hope he can put himself back into a Cheltenham Champion Hurdle picture at the weekend.
A break in the 🐴NH calendar ☂️ is always a good time to check how the @the_racehour team are getting on...— Bookmakers.co.uk (@bookmakers) February 2, 2021
January 78 tips 📝
Profit +71.25pts ✔️
ROI 91% 🔥
Don't miss out in the run up to @CheltenhamRaces Festival bookmark this page!👇 https://t.co/tqghcXcWOb
The Irish Gold Cup only has 5 runners, but it's full of class and I think Delta Work is a big price at 5/1 currently. Minella Indo could be top class, but he has to actually go and do it now. We know Delta Work loves it here and he was just unlucky at Christmas when unseating. I'm surprised by Delta Work's price to be honest.
The Storyteller hopefully runs here and I think we could go well. He will want better ground, but he does handle soft and we could run better than his price suggests!
If The Storyteller is my only ride of the weekend and we win the Irish Gold, I'd take it!
What a horse this is!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) October 31, 2020
The Storyteller and @donoghue_keith are a cracking team and both combine in a cracking finish to land the @Ladbrokes Champion Chase, the opening Grade 1 of the season for @gelliott_racing 👏 @Downroyal pic.twitter.com/foRyTyg33n
This is a really good Grade One and we will learn a lot for Cheltenham from this. Fakiera runs here and he's a very good horse who I think will run very well, but I thought Cape Gentleman was excellent last time for Emmet Mullins and it wouldn't surprise if he was to improve again.
It's obviously hard to know what he beat last time in a race I rode in, but he was very classy on the flat as a stayer and won that day effortlessly. He's very unexposed and should really enjoy going up in trip. Brian Hayes is a very good jockey who is having a great season and I'd be delighted for him if he could take a Grade One.
😎 Talk about cool!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 8, 2020
Cape Gentleman is 20/1 best-price for The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces
Will you be adding the Irish Cesarewitch winner to your ante-post Festival bets? 💰 pic.twitter.com/FD8KaNCyZW
This is a really competitive handicap, but I thought Gabynako was a big price as he carries in some very good form here.
He has plenty of experience now as he has run five times this season, but he has produced some excellent efforts such as when finishing close seconds to Eskylane and Fakeira, as well not disgracing himself by any means behind Bob Olinger. Dropping back in trip is a slight worry, but in these handicaps you need to stay well and the ground will make this into a bit more a staying test. 16/1 looks a big price really.