Drama In Dublin As Festival Makes Its Debut
Min Magnificent and Footpad Fabulous but Faugheen Flounders
Day one of the new Dublin Racing Festival was lit up by two excellent performances in the days big chase contests. First up came Min in the Coral Dublin Chase. This Willie Mullins runner has been touted as potentially the next big thing over fences for a while now, without ever really delivering on the hype. Until Saturday that is.
With main market rival Yorkhill looking clueless from the off, Min took the race by the scruff of the neck two from home to storm home by twelve lengths. This was impressive and resulted in the Rich Ricci runner’s odds for the Champion Chase at Cheltenham being cut to 5/2 with Ladbrokes.
Elsewhere on the card Footpad continued his ascent through the chasing ranks with yet another majestic round of jumping in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novices Chase. He remains a rock solid Even money favourite with Ladbrokes for the Cheltenham equivalent.
Faugheen meanwhile at least completed the course this time, but looked a far cry from “the machine” of old in finding Supasundae too good in the Irish Champion Hurdle. This was nevertheless a step back in the right direction, and if anyone can get him right for Cheltenham, Willie Mullins can. He’s out to 7/1 with Betfair for the day one highlight. Speaking of which , check out the latest Cheltenham Festival betting offers, it’s not far off now!
Fairytale Ending To Irish Gold Cup
There are times when even a Hollywood scriptwriter would struggle to match the dramatic tales thrown up by the sport of horseracing. We had one such tale on Sunday at Leopardstown in a remarkable Irish Gold Cup.
Well fancied in the National Hunt Chase at last years Cheltenham Festival, all was going well for Edwulf as he loomed up to challenge on the run in that day. And then it all went horribly, horribly wrong. It soon became clear that something was seriously amiss as the son of Kayf Tara first bucked and then collapsed to the Cheltenham turf.
Thankfully after a prolonged wait, Edwulf eventually rose to his feet to the relief of connections. Slowly nursed back to health, he was nevertheless pulled up on his comeback in December and thus headed into this Grade 1 affair as something of a forgotten horse.
This contest certainly wasn’t short in the drama stakes, as front runner Djakadam gave way to Outlander and Killultagh Vic, with the last named travelling much the best and looking to have the race at his mercy approaching the final flight, only to get it all wrong and come crashing down, seemingly handing the race to Outlander. There was one horse with other ideas though, and his name was Edwulf.
Completing his comeback from near death to Grade 1 glory in the space of a year, the Joseph O’Brien runner stormedup the run in to get up close home for a stunning win. For those who believe the fairy tale may not be over quite yet, Edwulf can be backed at 25/1 with Coral for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Samcro Sensational In Deloitte
Edwulf may have been the most dramatic winner on the second day of the Dublin Racing Festival, but there is no doubting which horse was the most impressive performer. Even those who didn’t believe the hype surrounding Gordon Elliott’s Samcro before the Deloitte Novice Hurdle, must now be seriously starting to wonder if this may well be the best horse we have seen in quite some time.
To win a Grade 1 by 5½l is an impressive display by anyone’s reckoning, to do it in a hack canter, suggests that Samcro may well be all he has been built up to be, and more. He’s now into 4/6 with Betfair for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle.
Saturday Looks A Betfair Belter
Looking ahead to next weekend we have an exceptional card to look forward to at Newbury as the Berkshire venue plays to its Betfair Super Saturday card. The Betfair Denman Chase and Betfair Exchange Chase look set to be cracking contests over the fences, but the pick of the day from a betting point of view is the always competitive Betfair Hurdle.