Leopardstown hosts day two of the Dublin Racing Festival which includes a fascinating renewal of the Irish Gold Cup.

13:50 Deloitte Novice Hurdle

With Samcro dominating the betting and a fair degree of dead wood in the contest, this race has a nice shape for each-way betting, and Sharjah will be very hard to kick out of the frame. The Rich Ricci-owned gelding is a strong fancy for the Supreme Novices’ and will need to go close to book his place, while he looks a natural at two miles. Samcro is rightly feared, but will stay a fair bit further and could just be vulnerable to something with a turn of foot. Both he and Real Steel crashed out when disputing the lead here over the holiday period, but pictures suggested the pair were unsighted at that obstacle due to the low sun, and there are no worries about his jumping ability.

14:25 William Fry Handicap Hurdle

A Great View was trying 3m for the first time over C&D in December, and probably would have won if he’d been ridden with more enterprise. Now that he has proven his stamina, he can be expected to sit a little closer, and the way he passed rivals late on here shows that he is well handicapped even off his revised mark. Of the others, topweight Shantou Bob faced an almost impossible task at Chepstow against a big improver and is not handicapped out of things. He’s worth a saver at the expected prices.

15:35 Irish Gold Cup

Our Duke had valid excuses for his disappointing run on his return at Down Royal, and Jessie Harrington’s star looked a Gold Cup horse in the making when an impressive winner of the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. Prior to that he’s finished a fine second to Disko in the Flogas on this corresponding card, and he is reported by connections to be in very good form at home. With questions hanging over many of his rivals, he looks to have outstanding claims, and can lay down a serious marker for Cheltenham next month. Minella Rocco knows how to look after himself in races like this, and while his wins are few and far between, he makes plenty of appeal for those looking to play the forecast.


13:50 – Sharjah e/w 
14:25 – A Great View e/w 
15:35 – Our Duke 

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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