The Dublin Racing Festival was created in 2018 when it amalgamated the Irish Champion Hurdle, previously run in late January, with the Irish Gold Cup run in mid-February. There are now 8 Grade One contests over 2 days with a not too shabby 2 million euros up for grabs, this year's Festival runs on the 5th and 6th of February with full coverage shown on Racing TV and highlights on Channel 4 Racing. Racing TV have a free month offer available to January 31st, and we strongly recommend you take it up... but don't forget to cancel it to avoid recurring subscriptions.
In its inaugural year the Festival yielded eight subsequent Cheltenham winners and it became THE meeting that gave us the best pointers to the main Irish hopes for the Cheltenham Festival that takes place 6 weeks later.
Last year's winners included Honeysuckle who won the Champion Hurdle, Quiliixos (Triumph), Appreciate It (Supreme) and Monkfish (Brown's Advisory). The importance of the Dublin Racing Festival's results really do look to have gathered momentum. Paul Nicholls looks likely to send Frodon, Clan des Obeaux and Greaneteen over to this year's renewal and there will undoubtedly be a host of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott Cheltenham Festival hopes with a good few from Henry Bromhead's stable for good measure.
The key races to watch are...
1.05 Nathaniel Lacey Novice hurdle. Last year's winner Gaillard Du Mesnil was 2nd to Bob Olinger in the Ballymore Hurdle.
1.35 Spring Juvenile Hurdle . Last year's winner Quilixios won the Triumph Hurdle
2.10 Irish Arkle. Last year's winner Enurgumene was a non-runner at the Cheltenham Festival.
3.15 Irish Gold cup. Last year's winner Kemboy flopped in the English version.
1.20 Irish Novice Chase. 2021 Winner Monkfish followed up in the Brown's Advisory at the Cheltenham festival.
1.50 Dublin Chase. Last year's winner Chacun Pour So failed to show his best in the Champion Chase, finishing third.
3.00 Irish Champion Hurdle. Winner Honeysuckle followed up in the Champion Hurdle.
3.35 Ireland Novice Hurdle. 2021 winner Appreciate It followed up in the Supreme at the Cheltenha Festival.
This year will probably be more of the same, and we will be doing another post with a review of what happens which will be vital punting information one way or trhe other... so don't miss it!