Dublin Racing Festival racecard, runners & tips for Saturday’s renewals at Leopardstown

All you need to know about day one of the Dublin Racing Festival.

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It’s Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup day at the Dublin Racing Festival 2022 as the brightest and best National Hunt horses take to the track at Leopardstown.

WELCOME TO PADDY POWER NEWS!

If you visit our snazzy Racecards page you’ll find everything you could possibly need to know about today’s action. All you have to do to find details of the runners and riders, Paddy Power’s latest odds and more is click on the Racecards tab at the top of the page. You can thank us later.

Jump over there now to start your research, if you fancy, otherwise here’s a guide to the contests on the first day of the Dublin Racing Festival.

The Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup is the feature on Saturday, February 5 and we’re offering a whopping €150,000 bonus if the winner can also land the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2022. Just three horses have ever managed to do the double – Jodami (1993), Imperial Call (1996) and Sizing John (2017) – however. Kemboy is out to defend his crown but Cheltenham hero Minella Indo and British challenger Frodon are sure to put up a fight after disappointing in December’s King George at Kempton.

We’ve got our name on two more contests sandwiching the big one – the Grade B Paddy Power “I’d Love A Can But Pints Are Cheaper” Handicap Hurdle at 2.45pm and the Grade B Paddy Power “I’m Never Going Back To The Office” Handicap Chase at 3.50pm.

A fascinating battle between the likes of Hollow Games, Whatdeawant and Eric Bloodaxe is expected in the first race of the day, the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle. Fil Dor faces Vauban in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, which should provide some clues for the Triumph Hurdle after Willie Mullins’ charge went down by ½l to antepost favourite Pied Piper on New Year’s Eve. Ferny Hollow’s injury has blown the Irish Arkle Novice Chase wide open leaving the likes of Blue Lord, Saint Sam, Haut En Couleurs and Riviere D’etel to scrap it out.

The card is rounded off by the Future Stars (C & G) I.N.H. Flat Race as Champion Bumper prospect Facile Vega attempts to make it two from two under rules.

Leopardstown Races Today

13.05: Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ‘€50,000 Cheltenham Bonus for Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle
13.35: Spring Juvenile Hurdle
14.10: Irish Arkle Novice Steeplechase
14.45: Paddy Power ‘I’d Love A Can But Pints Are Cheaper’ Handicap Hurdle
15.15: Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup
15.50: Paddy Power ‘I’m Never Going Back To The Office’ Handicap Chase
16.25: Goffs Future Stars (C & G) I.N.H. Flat Race

Leopardstown Tips Today

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

13.05: HOLLOW GAMES emerged with plenty of credit despite losing his unbeaten record in the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle last time and remains capable of better, especially now stepping back up in trip, so he’s an appealing candidate. Whatdeawant shaped better than the bare result in the same race and is worth another chance, with Grand Jury and Eric Bloodaxe also respected.

13.35: FIL DOR was impressive when maintaining his 100% record over hurdles in a C&D Grade 2 on his latest start over Christmas and he gets the nod to come out on top again with further progress in the offing. Vauban, who produced a highly promising effort behind the selection’s stablemate Pied Piper in December, is a major threat though, ahead of Ben Siegel and Icare Allen.

14.10: This race has eluded Gordon Elliott so far but RIVIERE D’ETEL gets the vote to put that stat right and give his mare a first success at the highest level having bumped into the top-notch Ferny Hollow on St. Stephen’s Day. She receives weight all round and looks the way to go. Willie Mullins’ trio are all unbeaten over fences and his Blue Lord is preferred to Saint Sam for the forecast spot.

14.45: DUNBOYNE really caught the eye when fifth over C&D just after Christmas and Gordon Elliott’s low-mileage 7-y-o is fancied to take a big step forward here. Hat-trick seeking Priory Park rates the obvious threat despite having a career-high mark to overcome. Several others can have a say, with The Jam Man and Panda Boy both high on the shortlist.

15.15: KEMBOY gets the nod to build on his good run in the Savills here over Christmas and land this for the second year running. The vote for the forecast spot goes to Minello Indo, who can’t have been right in the King George at Kempton (cheekpieces and going right-handed both possible excuses) and is worth one more chance to show he’s still capable of form approaching last season’s Gold Cup win.

15.50: EXIT POLL has a bit of class about him so is taken to defy top weight after his decent second back in handicap company here on Boxing Day. Mt Leinster remains open to improvement as a chaser now handicapping so is bound to be popular for Willie Mullins, while Batcio wasn’t disgraced in a better race than this at Fairyhouse last month.

16.25: FACILE VEGA is already vying for favouritism in the Champion Bumper after his emphatic winning debut over C&D and, while this is clearly tougher, he gets the marginal vote over The Big Doyen, who has also displayed a big engine so far. Gordon Elliott’s representative, Itswhatunitesus, can’t be ruled out.

SATURDAY’S SELECTIONS

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