The Dublin Racing Festival has been a success. Not only for the profile of Irish racing, but especially for the lovely and loyal subscribers to my VG Tips selections service.
The festival is only in its second year and yet it has been a winner for my members in 2018 and 2019. This year I analysed 10 races over the two days and delivered 7 winners.
It’s good to have a meeting that offers us clues for the Cheltenham Festival that is but five weeks away. I’m already writing my first ante-post preview for members. Join here to receive my ante-post fancies for Cheltenham.
It comes as no surprise to me, the son of a Dubliner who was raised around horses, that the Dublin Racing Festival attracted large and appreciative crowds last weekend. The Irish know their racing. The Irish love their racing. Another bonus is that, unlike too many meetings in the UK these days, Irish races attract plenty of runners.
We had winners and profitable punts at various prices at Leopardstown. It’s worth remembering that all winners are good, regardless of price, when it comes to calculating your end of year profit.
On day one, Saturday, it was four winners from six races selected by me for my deep and detailed analysis.
Apple’s Jade was arguably the most impressive winner of the weekend. Tipped up by me to members when available at 11/10 (NAP), the Michael O’Leary owned Apple’s Jade won at an odds on SP price. Having maintained for a long time that Apple’s Jade would only race in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – for which she is odds on favourite – O’Leary may now have been persuaded by trainer Gordon Elliott that she should have a crack at the Champion Hurdle. She would get a 7 pound mares allowance if taking on the mighty Buveur Dair, which is the current ante-post 2/1 favourite. Apple’s Jade is best price 9/4 for the Champion Hurdle.
Envoi Allen, a 8/11 tip the day before racing, also won impressively for the same trainer, while 4/6 shot Min won for trainer Willie Mullins. Two more winners for those members who don’t mind backing odds on winners.
Le Richebourg was a 2/1 tip to members and he won well. He’s now the 4/1 favourite for the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham. My concern for him there would be that there might be too much cut in the ground for him, this being only the second race of the festival. They are sure to have watered the track prior to racing. The only reason they will not water is if there has already been plenty of rain. Le Richebourg prefers good ground and flat tracks. He may well not have the first and he certainly has not got the second at Cheltenham. I do have fancies for the Arkle Chase. Join VG Tips to learn more.
On day two of the Dublin Racing Festival, Sunday, there were several non runners declared on the day, which was disappointing. But VG Tips members still enjoyed 3 winners from 4 races selected by me and we got off to a great start.
Sassy Diva was an 8/1 NAP selection from me. Here’s an example of what I write to members are members of VG Tips:-
“Sassy Diva won well for us at Ayr and the one she beat that day, Peter’s Cousin, has won since, beating Off The Hook, which has also won a race subsequently. Sassy Diva is not always the most battling of mares when it comes to fighting out a tight finish. That led to her narrow defeat, by a head, at the hands of Tintangle at Thurles in November. But her runner up finish next time out behind the highly rated Honeysuckle is a good piece of form. After all, Honeysuckle has gone on to win a Class 1, Grade race by six lengths and has entry in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham.
“Sassy Diva is well handicapped from a mark of 116 and is an each way bet for me at odds of 8/1 or 7/1 depending on which bookie you use.”
I also offered members a double figure priced each way selection. In a race for which bookies paid out each way bets about the first five home, the Jessica Harrington trained Alletrix, tipped by me when available at 16/1, finished fourth. So further profit for those who backed her in the manner I advised.
Sir Erec was my winning 2/1 tip of the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown. He impressed all onlookers and Tom Segal (Pricewise in the Racing Post) now makes Sir Erec his ‘banker’ bet for Cheltenham. The colt won by six lengths last Sunday and is now the 9/4 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, March 15th.
The 2/1 tip I particularly enjoyed watching win was La Bague Au Roi. Now a four time race winner for members of VG Tips.
It was a depleted field for the Flogas Novice Chase. Delta Work was pulled out of the race as the ground was not soft enough. I would like to have seen La Bague Au Roi take on Delta Work.
I was disappointed to read Warren Greatrex, trainer of La Bague Au Roi, say that his mare is unlikely to be going to Cheltenham. He plans to send her to the Aintree meeting in April instead. I had been looking forward to seeing La Bague Au Roi in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham next month and the bookies still have her priced at 12/1 in the ante-post market. But it sounds as though she will not be there. That leaves the RSA Chase open to the 3/1 favourite Santini or the aforementioned Delta Work, which is 9/2 in the betting market.