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The five most exciting clashes at a talent-packed Dublin Racing Festival

Klassical Dream warmed up for Cheltenham victory by winning at the Dublin Racing Festival last year
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Chacun Pour Soi v A Plus Tard

Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (Grade 1) | 2m1f | RTE2/RTV
1.25 Saturday

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.

A Plus Tard (near side) beats Chacun Pour Soi in the Grade 1 Paddy's Rewards Club Chase

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.    

Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase card and betting

Fakir D'Oudairies v Notebook

ERSG Arkle Novice Chase (Grade 1) | 2m1f | RTE2/RTV
2.00 Saturday

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.

Notebook: got the better of Fakir D'Oudairies in the Racing Post Novice Chase

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. 

Racing Post Arkle Chase card and betting

Honeysuckle v Sharjah and Klassical Dream

PCI Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) | 2m | RTE2/RTV
3.10 Saturday

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.

Sharjah: beat Petit Mouchoir in the Matheson Hurdle

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.

Unibet Champion Hurdle card and betting

Faugheen v Battleoverdoyen

Flogas Novice Chase (Grade 1) | 2m5f | RTV
3.00 Sunday

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.

Faugheen: 12-year-old will be bidding for 11th Grade 1 victory

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.

RSA Chase card and betting 

Kemboy v Delta Work v Presenting Percy

Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup | 3m | RTV
3.30 Sunday 

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.

Delta Work: has genuine Gold Cup claims after Savills Chase win

Dual Cheltenham Festival winner Presenting Percy will also be staking his claim for the Gold Cup, for which he started favourite last year.

Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup card and betting

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

More Dublin Racing Festival stories:

Reynolds: Percy outjumped Kemboy last time and can turn form around on Sunday

Read The Lowdown from 8.30am daily on and the Racing Post mobile app with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news


Irish horses dominate the market for the Racing Post Arkle and the two leading Cheltenham hopes clash head on
E.W. Terms