Horse Racing tips: Our pundits’ Saturday Cheat Sheet for the Dublin Racing Festival

Five pundits. 35 picks. One superb Cheat Sheet. Sure what more could you ask for?

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* 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.

It’s a very special weekend for Paddy this weekend as the glam, glitz and razzmatazz of the Dublin Racing Festival grabs our attention and that of our top pundits for a double whammy of picks-packed cheat sheets – especially with yours truly sponsoring three races on Saturday’s card.

We’ve rounded up motormouth Matt Chapman,  the magnificent Mick Fitzgerald, top trader Frank Hickey, the one and only Ruby Walsh and those sharp sorts from Timeform for a cheat sheet that covers all seven of Saturday’s races!

And we’ll run it all back again on Sunday too – hot dang!

WELCOME TO PADDY POWER NEWS!

That means you can call on the collective knowledge, nous, and maybe a bit of nonsense for one of the highlights of the Irish racing calendar.

And, even better, Paddy’s giving you a free £/€5 bet on the Cheltenham Gold Cup if you place a £/€5 bet on the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Saturday if you opt in over at PaddyPower.com. Back of the net!

So, whether the Paddy Power “I’d Love A Can But Pints Are Cheaper” Handicap Hurdle at 13:45 tickles your fancy or you’re more about the glittering glory of the Grade 1 Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at 15:15, our top tipsters are on your side this Saturday.

Let’s get stuck in…

Ruby Walsh

Matt Chapman

Mick Fitzgerald

Frank Hickey

Timeform

Ruby Walsh

I’ll side with Gordon Elliott’s HOLLOW GAMES but it’s a bit of a tentative pick.

Matt Chapman

HOLLOW GAMES has a high rating and should get back to winning ways.

Mick Fitzgerald

GRAND JURY beat Minella Cocooner comfortably in a point-to-point and  finished just in front of  Hollow Games at Naas. He could be a value play. 

Frank Hickey

ERIC BLOODAXE looks the play given his back form. He will need to improve on his Limerick win but stays well and wears a first-time tongue tie.

Timeform

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.

Ruby Walsh

I’m a massive fan of FIL DOR. He sets the standard and he’s the most likely winner. Icare Allen is the value to take advantage if the big guns don’t fire.

Matt Chapman

I’ll take VAUBAN to turn Fil Dor over. He was narrowly beaten by Pied Piper on Irish debut and that form looks strong after the latter’s romp at Cheltenham last Saturday.

Mick Fitzgerald

I favour VAUBAN to get his head in front on what we saw of him when runner up at Punchestown to Pied Piper and what he did subsequently at Cheltenham.

Frank Hickey

He mightn’t win but BEN SIEGEL is worth an each-way play or a look at in the ‘without Fil Dor & Vauban’ market.

Timeform

FIL DOR was impressive when he kept his 100% record over hurdles in a C&D Grade 2 win over Christmas. He gets the nod to come out on top again. 

Ruby Walsh

You could ask four people and get four different picks in a very open race. SAINT SAM looks to be the forgotten one in this but could yet prove the strongest stayer.

Matt Chapman

BLUE LORD will be a short price here for Willie Mullins. Hard to stop.

Mick Fitzgerald

I loved the way RIVIERE d’ETEL went through the race when runner-up to Ferny Hollow last time. That combined with the weight allowance makes her the selection.

Frank Hickey

HAUT EN COULEURS was third in the Triumph Hurdle last season and can lay down a marker now for the Arkle Chase after his Beginners Chase win here at Christmas.

Timeform

RIVIERE D’ETEL gets the vote to give Gordon Elliott his first win in this contest. She receives weight all round and can claim her first Grade One race. 

Ruby Walsh

I fancied ENJOY DALLEN for the Paddy Power Chase at Christmas and he ran a cracking race despite not winning. He has some strong chase form, has improved and can take advantage of a lower hurdles rating.

Matt Chapman

A GREAT VIEW is very well handicapped. Each-way claims.

Mick Fitzgerald

I have a real soft spot for DALLAS DES PICTONS and it’s hard to believe he has only won twice over hurdles. He’s an each-way play. The obvious dangers are Panda Bay and Dunboyne. 

Frank Hickey

I’ll put two against the field here in Unexpected Depth and ENJOY DALLEN. The latter is rated 32lbs lower over hurdles than his chase mark.

Timeform

DUNBOYNE really caught the eye when fifth over course and distance last time and can take a big step forward. Hat-trick seeking Priory Park is a threat despite a career-high mark. 

Ruby Walsh

Kemboy will always have a place in my heart but FRODON is a better jumper and that could be the difference.

Matt Chapman

FRODON has every chance of getting an easy lead for Paul Nicholls and Bryony Frost. While he wasn’t at his best in the King George,  he could well be good enough. This is winnable with last year’s Gold Cup hero Minella Indo hopeless so far this term.

Mick Fitzgerald

Willie Mullins’ KEMBOY is a real course specialist and has won and been second in this contest for the past two years. 

Frank Hickey

I’ll give JANIDIL another chance to prove he stays the trip as his price compensates for that doubt against this field.

Timeform

KEMBOY gets the nod to build on his good run in the Savills here over Christmas and land this for the second year running.  

Ruby Walsh

Is there something really unexposed in this contest? It  doesn’t look that way to me and MT LEINSTER  can win it if he’s improved.

Matt Chapman

MT LEINSTER had a higher rating over hurdles so might take advantage over fences.

Mick Fitzgerald

BATCIO is definitely of interest in a wide- open 2m 1f Chase contest with Shane Fitzgerald taking 7lbs off his back.

Frank Hickey

STANSFIELD looks worth an each-way play at a nice price.  Timeform say there’s only 6lb on ratings between the field so that gives a lot of them a chance.

Timeform

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 over Christmas. 

Ruby Walsh

This is a decent bumper and  FACILE VEGA has improved a lot since his win here on St Stephen’s Day. That should be good enough.

Matt Chapman

FACILE VEGA looked good at this track last time and can boost that impression with another victory now.

Mick Fitzgerald

FACILE VEGA was a very good winner at this track over Christmas. Victory here would surely cement his position as the stable’s main hope for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

Frank Hickey

SANDOR CLEGANE won by 15 lengths on debut and is worth a small win bet against the hot-pot Facile Vega in the finale.

Timeform

FACILE VEGA is already vying for favouritism in the Champion Bumper after his emphatic winning debut over C&D and gets the marginal vote over The Big Doyen. 

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