The Dublin Racing Festival Day 1 and Sandown

It is the opening day of our home show and it looks to be a belter! It has been quietly raining during the night here in Meath so hopefully the same rains have graced Dublin as well.

To kick the party off we have three runners in the Grade 1 Nathanial Lacy Solicitors Novice Hurdle over 2m6f. ABSOLUTE NOTIONS has begun to establish himself as a Graded horse and loves the big days. He is still relatively inexperienced compared to some of the others but can pull it out of the bag when needed. Denis O’Regan has been booked to ride. AMERICAN MIKE takes center stage as our main runner in this. He had his excuses the last day and it’s great to see him over them now and hopefully it’s full steam ahead with Davy Russell in the saddle. Finally rounding off the trio is COOL SURVIVOR who has great form but might find himself in the deep end here and Bryan Cooper has been booked to ride.

For the Arkle Novices chase we have FIL DOR who has first time cheekpieces on to help him with the strong gallop they are going to go. He would prefer a bit more juice in the ground but Davy Russell is on his back and can hopefully guide him to glory.

We defend the Irish Gold Cup with the tough and hardy FURY ROAD. He loves it at Leopardstown and will have no issues with the ground and can hopefully deliver a late charge with Davy Russell in the saddle.

We send a strong team for the Grade B handicap hurdle. MAXXUM was stunning on his last run here stretching 16 lengths clear. He gets claimer of the moment Cian Quirke to take 7lbs off his 11st11lbs which should prove vital. JUNGLE PROSE’s unbeaten run came to an end but she lost nothing in defeat. She is another on the hunt for a big prize with Corey McGivern taking 7lbs off her back. AU FLEURON looks well suited in this and has another crack claimer in the saddle in the shape of Kieren Buckley who takes off 3lbs. Finally we have SAMS CHOICE who always runs his race and was great to see him score the last day. He has a low weight so will get Denis O’Regan in the saddle.

Another Grade B follows in the shape of a handicap chase where we have FILS D’OUDAIRIES who ran a cracker the last day in a similar event. This may prove a bit harder but there is no reason why he shouldn’t run well again here with Davy Russell in the saddle.

Rounding off the day in the Grade 2 bumper we have BETTER DAYS AHEAD looks to build on his last win and looks to have had some decent races to make him more hardy. He is a nice horse who won’t have it his own way and Jamie Codd has been booked to ride.

Over in Sandown, our sole runner will be GERRI COLOMBE in the Scilly Isles Chase. The ground will be a slight issue as it’s not perfect for us but we cant change it. It looks like it will ride quite dead so there probably won’t be a blistering pace up front. Gerri is in great form and looks to maintain his unbeaten record with Jordan Gainford in the saddle.