Hereford, Leopardstown, and Musselburgh are the locations where racing takes place on Sunday. It is day two of the Dublin Racing Festival in Ireland, and today there are four Grade One races scheduled to take place on the card.
Our fancies this afternoon include a Willie Mullins runner who can end Honeysuckle’s domination in the Irish Champion Hurdle.
- Hereford 14:03 – Bretney @ 2/1
- Leopardstown 15:10 – State Man @ 5/6
- Leopardstown 16:10 – Gaelic Warrior @ 6/4
BRETNEY (2/1) enjoyed himself around this C&D earlier in the campaign where he made virtually all of the running in the contest. He was also second at this course last season, so he clearly produces his best at this racecourse.
Henry Daly’s chaser is very consistent over fences. He ran eight times last season and only once finished outside the frame. Unfortunately for his connections, he was not at his best on his latest appearance at Catterick, as he had to settle for fourth place of 12 runners. He has had a few weeks off since that outing, which might help him freshen up a little.
The son of Milan features on the Betfred Betfinder as one of the most Napped selections on the card at Hereford. He has been eased slightly by the handicapper and it looks like a good opportunity for him to get back to winning ways.
Since winning a maiden at Limerick 12 months ago, STATE MAN (5/6) has been unstoppable. He recorded his fifth straight victory over this C&D in the Grade One Matheson Hurdle last time, defeating Vauban by just over four lengths.
Mullins’ runner is set to come across Honeysuckle for the first time in the Irish Champion Hurdle. On the evidence of the defending champion’s performance in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle on her latest appearance, her best days may be behind her.
State Man has established himself as a genuine Champion Hurdle next month at the Festival. He will be the strongest challenger to Constitution Hill. Before then, expect to see him extend his winning run and add another Grade One victory to his name in the feature race on day two of the Dublin Racing Festival.
GAELIC WARRIOR (6/4) was denied success on his opening appearance for Mullins in the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival. He finished second in that race, going down by just a short head.
Mullins’ hurdler has bounced back from that defeat with two large-margin victories. He blew the field away by 86 lengths on his seasonal reappearance at Tramore (2m). Just a month later, he landed the Munster Hurdle at Clonmel (2m½f) on heavy ground.
The five-year-old needs to concede weight to the rest of the field in this handicap hurdle over 2m. However, he may be much better than his current mark of 143. The lightly raced horse has entries in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and, if he is to be a big player in those races, he should be beating this field, even with the weight disadvantage.
*odds correct at time of writing
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