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2019 Dublin Racing Festival tips - Five horses who could win at Leopardstown and at the Cheltenham Festival

Jonathan Vine in Tips 30 Jan 2019

We take a look at five horses who can win at the second annual Dublin Racing Festival and again at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The second staging of the Dublin Racing Festival is almost upon us and punters on both sides of the Irish Sea can look forward to two days of scintillating action. A staggering level of prize money has attracted the best of the best to Leopardstown over the weekend and viewers are bound to get several pointers towards Festival season in the spring.

Here are five horses who look good bets to triumph at Leopardstown this weekend and have the potential to follow up their Dublin Racing Festival success with another victory at the Cheltenham Festival.

Battleoverdoyen - Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle

Although there has been much less hype around this novice hurdler, parallels can be drawn between the start Battleoverdoyen has made to life over hurdles and that made by stablemate, Samcro. An impressive point-to-point winner and unbeaten on all three of his starts under rules, Battleoverdoyen proved he could stay two-and-a-half miles when winning the Grade One Lawlor’s Of Naas on his first outing of the New Year.

Like Samcro did at this stage last season, Battleoverdoyen sits prominently in the betting for all three Novice Hurdle races at the Cheltenham Festival. Gordon Elliott has stated his intention to take Battleoverdoyen down the Ballymore route – a race won by Samcro last season – and who’s to say this improving six-year-old can’t upset Champ and follow in his stablemate’s footsteps.

Le Richebourg - Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase

In a year where the Arkle is looking decidedly open, I’m really warming to the idea of Le Richebourg claiming Grade One glory on Champions Day at Cheltenham. Joseph O’Brien’s six-year-old is one of the few novice chasers to really impress on Ireland soil this term, with his only defeat over fences coming in a narrow loss to Delta Work in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse.

Le Richebourg bounced back from that half-length defeat with a taking victory at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, dropping back to 17 furlongs to win the Racing Post Novice Chase. Good ground is essential for O’Brien’s novice, but chances are we’ll get his preferred going this weekend – and at Cheltenham in March – and I fancy Le Richebourg can keep his rich vein of form going throughout the rest of his campaign.

Le Richebourg (left) engages in a furious battle with Delta Work (right) after the last fence in the Drinmore.

Apple’s Jade – Irish Champion Hurdle

An obvious selection to some, but I truly believe Apple’s Jade is overpriced in the betting for both the Irish Champion Hurdle and the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Gordon Elliott’s mare has been imperious so far this term, winning the Hatton’s Grace and the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdles without breaking a sweat. The two-mile hurdling division looks decidedly weak at the moment and there’s no doubting Apple’s Jade has the speed – both on the flat and over her jumps – to triumph over 16 furlongs.

Benie Des Dieux may have had her number last spring, but Apple’s Jade kept coming into season during the first half of 2018 - a problem Elliott is confident he’s fixed. Benie Des Dieux is yet to appear this term and Laurina - her only other viable rival in the betting -  looks destined for the Champion Hurdle, leaving the door wide open for Apple’s Jade at Cheltenham and she could be the banker of the entire meeting.

Sir Erec - Spring Juvenile Hurdle

Joseph O’Brien looks to have a very strong hand to play in this year’s Triumph Hurdle, a race he won with Ivanovic Gorbatov three years ago. Fakir D’Oudairies shot to the head of the betting for Friday’s opener after his impressive victory on Trials Day, but it’s clear O’Brien and JP McManus feel Sir Erec is the best of their crop of juveniles this term.

An impressive performer on the flat for Joseph’s father, Aiden, Sir Erec made a winning start over hurdles here at Leopardstown, narrowly seeing off Tiger Tap Tap in a competitive maiden. Clearly, there’s plenty of room for improvement after winning by just a neck and that course-and-distance victory should stand Sir Erec in excellent stead as he returns to Leopardstown on Sunday.

Aramon - Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle

There are only three Irish horses currently sitting on a price shorter than 20/1 for this year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the trio look set to clash in the Chanelle Pharma. While Vision D’Honneur and Klassical Dream impressed during their victorious runs last time out, ARAMON has gathered much more Graded experience than both his rivals combined and has proven he can cut it at the highest level.

Willie Mullins’ charge has won three of his five starts over hurdles and was hugely impressive on his Grade One debut over Christmas. Ruby Walsh’s mount was an overlooked 6/1 shot in the Top Novices’ Hurdle before going on to destroy a talented field, powering clear of Sancta Simona to triumph by 10 lengths. A recreation of that run will surely be good enough at the weekend and he will then travel to Cheltenham as Ireland’s leading Supreme contender.

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2019 Dublin Racing Festival tips - Five horses who could win at Leopardstown and at the Cheltenham Festival

We take a look at five horses who can win at Leopardstown on either Saturday 2nd February or Sunday 3rd of February and again at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

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