The five most exciting clashes at a talent-packed Dublin Racing Festival
Chacun Pour Soi v A Plus Tard
Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (Grade 1) | 2m1f | RTE2/RTV
Watch out Altior and Defi Du Seuil – this clash of Ireland's top 2m chasers should throw up a serious challenger for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The hugely promising but lightly raced Chacun Pour Soi, who beat Defi Du Seuil at Punchestown last spring, bids to avenge his Leopardstown Christmas defeat by A Plus Tard, who took the novice handicap chase at last year's Cheltenham Festival.
His trainer Willie Mullins could also run Cilaos Emery, a Grade 3 and Grade 2 winner this autumn, and Min, who has won both previous runnings of this race.
Fakir D'Oudairies v Notebook
ERSG Arkle Novice Chase (Grade 1) | 2m1f | RTE2/RTV
Irish horses dominate the market for the Racing Post Arkle and the two leading Cheltenham hopes clash in a race that has gone to the winner of that race three times in the last five years.
Gigginstown's Notebook is the current favourite, having completed a hat-trick over fences when landing the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown for Henry de Bromhead over Christmas.
But the Leopardstown runner-up Fakir D'Oudairies receives the five-year-old's allowance and has only a length and a half to make up on the winner, who was a much less accomplished hurdler than he was.
Honeysuckle v Sharjah and Klassical Dream
PCI Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) | 2m | RTE2/RTV
Honeysuckle is unbeaten in a point-to-point and six hurdle races and could earn a crack at the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham if she can beat the boys here.
Her trainer Henry de Bromhead could also run 2017 winner Petit Mouchoir but Willie Mullins makes a strong bid for a race he has won a record six times.
Sharjah beat Petit Mouchoir comfortably when quickening smartly to land the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle over this course and distance in December.
And although stablemate Klassical Dream has been beaten at odds-on in both outings since last season's highly successful novice campaign, he spoilt his chance with a bad mistake at the fourth flight last time and is still rated "very high class" by the Mullins team.
Faugheen v Battleoverdoyen
Flogas Novice Chase (Grade 1) | 2m5f | RTV
Popular former Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen would bring the house down were he to land the 11th Grade 1 victory of his career.
The 12-year-old showed he had taken to fences at his late stage of life with a ten-length defeat of Gigginstown's Samcro at Limerick over Christmas.
But that rival's stablemate Battleoverdoyen has long been seen as a serious RSA candidate by trainer Gordon Elliott and has won all his three races over fences.
Kemboy v Delta Work v Presenting Percy
Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup | 3m | RTV
Kemboy, who beat Gold Cup-winning stablemate Al Boum Photo when they clashed at Punchestown last May, warms up for Cheltenham in Ireland's own version of the race.
The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old, who also took the Grade 1 Betway Bowl at Aintree last spring, will be all the better for his comeback fourth in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December.
But he will need to be as progressive Savills winner Delta Work takes him on again as he seeks a fifth top-level victory in his last seven races.
Dual Cheltenham Festival winner Presenting Percy will also be staking his claim for the Gold Cup, for which he started favourite last year.
Dublin Racing Festival in numbers
15 races, including 8 at Grade 1
€2.1 million in prize-money
2 runners at the meeting won at the following month's Cheltenham Festival in 2019 (Klassical Dream & Envoi Allen)
7 runners at the meeting won at the following month's Cheltenham Festival in 2018 (Footpad, Rathvinden, Samcro, Bleu Berry, Relegate, The Storyteller and Farclas)
Winners trained at Dublin Racing Festival in 2019
Gordon Elliott 4, Willie Mullins 3, Joseph O'Brien 2
Winners trained at Dublin Racing Festival in 2018
Willie Mullins 7, Joseph O'Brien 2, Jessica Harrington 2
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