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The Mandarin’s Dublin Racing Festival Racecard for Saturday 3rd February 2024

The Mandarin’s Dublin Racing Festival Racecard for Saturday 3rd February 2024

Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 1.20
The opener can go to Jessica Harrington with Jetara, when she makes the most of her 7lb allowance as the sole mare lining up. Her hat-trick came up here five weeks ago, where she pulled 7 lengths clear of a decent field in a Grade 3 contest, giving the impression there’s plenty more to come. Predators Gold looks the pick of the Willie Mullins quartet, but this is a new trip which Jetara already has within her range. Jetara is much improved this term, and has every chance of causing the upset

McCann Fitzgerald Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) 1.50
Kala Conti
A terrific renewal of this Spring Juvenile Hurdle, where a case can be made for a few of these. Willie Mullins’s Storm Heart has only been seen once, but created quite an impression at Punchestown, leaving the field trailing by a distance behind, while Marlborough and Kargese also hail from the same in-form stable. However, the vote goes to Gordon Elliott’s Kala Conti, who was ahead of Kargese here over course and distance on St Stephen’s Day, making it three wins from four starts over hurdles. That racing experience could pay off, so Kala Conti gets the tick

Goffs Irish Arkle Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2.25
Marine Nationale (nap)
Barry Connell’s hugely exciting and unbeaten stable star is taken to land the Irish Arkle. Two wins in Bumpers in 2022, never headed in three starts over timber last season, and a perfect start to his novice chasing career here over course and distance at the Christmas Festival make Marine Nationale a banker for many this weekend. Facile Vega needs to find a bit more than when fourth to Found A Fifty in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase here last time out, while Found A Fifty needs to improve again to beat the jolly. Not much bang for your buck, but Marine Nationale is hard to oppose

Race And Stay At Leopardstown Handicap Hurdle (Listed) 3.00
Music Of Tara
A hot handicap to break up the Grade One’s on Saturday’s card, and plenty with chances. We’ll chance our arm with Henry de Bromhead’s Music Of Tara, whose course win here last time out gave notice that she can take on this stayers’ trip. This Kayf Tara mare gets to line up on a reasonable mark, and is one going the right way for her excellent trainer, with Rachael Blackmore on the reins adding to the appeal. Solid each-way claims at the least in a competitive race

Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 3.35
Galopin Des Champs
Willie Mullins sent his Gold Cup winning stable star out to take this race race last year, before going on to land the Blue Riband at Cheltenham’s showpiece in March. This season, he blew out the cobwebs in the John Durkan as usual, before a stunning win over Gerri Colombe in the Savills Chase here, looking better than ever. Of course, Galopin Des Champs’ fly in the ointment, Fastorslow, lines up against him once more, but the tables should be turned in Willie Mullins favour this time. Conflated won this race and the Savills Chase in 2022, so can chase this pair home, but Galopin Des Champs is the one to follow

Ryanair Handicap Chase (Listed) 4.10
Final Orders
Another competitive handicap on Leopardstown’s card, where the chance is taken that Gavin Cromwell’s Final Orders finds a return to form. He won this contest last year and although he seemed a bit out of sorts when down the field at Cheltenham’s Autumn meeting, he’s had a break since then and returns to a course he runs well on. Still on a workable mark, and place claims at the least

Donohue Marquees Future Stars (C & G) I.N.H. Flat Race (Grade 2) 4.40
A Dream To Share (nb)
Last season’s outstanding Bumper winner, A Dream To Share, returns to the track after a lengthy absence. A novice hurdling campaign had to be put on hold after a setback, so the JP McManus owned gelding remains in this sphere for now. Willie Mullins usually has plenty ready to go in these contests, so Redemption Day and You Oughta Know head the list of dangers, but A Dream To Share is the one to beat

The Mandarin

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