The Cheltenham Festival is on the horizon, and as the countdown to the four-day meeting continues, many punters will be lost amongst the form guides in hope of finding a hidden gem, whilst scouring the internet for the best Cheltenham Festival betting offers to back them with. If you’re struggling to finalise your selections ahead of the meeting, then the results from last month’s Dublin Racing Festival could be the deciding factor.
The cream of the crop of Irish horses competed across the two-day meeting at Leopardstown in February, and it was Willie Mullins who came away from the suburban Dublin track grinning from ear-to-ear having won nine of the 15 races, including four of the six Grade 1s. It was the best indication yet that the Irish trainer is once again going to rock up to Prestbury Park later this month and sweep his opposition to the wayside en route to being awarded the Leading Trainer accolade for the third year in a row.
Anyway, we are here to talk about horses and not trainers. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at four horses who are gaining traction in the betting market after landing victories at the Dublin Racing Festival.
Kilcruit – Champion Bumper
Kilcruit set off as the market leader in the Grade 2 Future Stars Flat Race and his emphatic 12-length victory has seen him branded as a superstar in the making. Patrick Mullins barely needed to do anything as the six-year-old raced to glory, and as a result he has leapfrogged Gordon Elliott’s Sir Gerhard into favourite at 13/8 in the betting.
Energumene – Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase
Energumene was another of Mullins’ winners at the Dublin Racing Festival. The seven-year-old was the odds-on favourite to win the Irish Arkle Novice Chase, and he duly delivered with Paul Townend guiding him to a 10-length victory in the Grade 1 race. Nicky Henderson will now be feeling the heat as Energumene’s odds have been slashed in half and he is hot on the heels of Shishkin, who won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last year.
Honeysuckle – Champion Hurdle
Despite not having a single blemish on her record, it took an incredible victory at the Dublin Racing Festival for Honeysuckle to steal the favourite status for the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle. It was like Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead had a point to prove at Leopardstown and they did just that, winning the Irish Champion Hurdle by a massive 10 lengths over Abacadabras. The seven-year-old is now the market leader at 9/4 with defending champion Epatante just behind at 11/4.
Gaillard Du Mesnil – Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle
Gaillard Du Mesnil’s victory in the “50k Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff” Novice Hurdle has resulted in his stock rising for the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle. Again, from Mullins’ yard and ridden by Townend, the five-year-old sprinted clear on the home straight, leaving Gentlemansgame in his wake to win by five lengths. It has been quite the drop in odds for Gaillard Du Mesnil, who was once as far out as 10/1 to win the Novices’ Hurdle but he is now as short as 5/2.
Chacun Pour Soi also reaffirmed why he is the favourite to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase with a huge victory in the Dublin Chase, whilst Kemboy has piled the pressure on his stablemate Al Boum Photo with an impressive victory in the Irish Gold Cup. That win also resulted in Kemboy’s odds being slashed to 10/1 in the Stayers’ Hurdle – Non Runner Money Back betting.