The 2022 Dublin Racing Festival kicks off at Leopardstown in Ireland on Saturday, 5 February. This is the last major meeting across multiple days before the Cheltenham equivalent in March. See the horses SportsLens experts like with Dublin Racing Festival tips for Saturday.
Headlining this card is the Irish Gold Cup, which our tipsters have already looked at separately. There are three other Grade 1 races on the day including the Spring Juvenile Hurdle and Irish Arkle Novice Chase. The Dublin Racing Festival has wider implications even though these are valuable races in their own right.
Results of these Leopardstown contests shape how Cheltenham betting sites regard DRB winners for the Festival following month. Punters must pay close attention to what happens in the Emerald Isle here, then. The impact will certainly be felt on this side of the Irish Sea too. Without further ado, it’s time for our top Dublin Racing Festival tips…
NAP: Fil Dor, Spring Juvenile Hurdle (1:35)
Willie Mullins mount Vauban is a worthy opponent but Fil Dor hasn’t put a foot wrong over hurdles. A progressive grey gelding by Doctor Dino, Gordon Elliott’s charge is three from three in this sphere. Fil Dor has progressed through the horse racing grades after a wide-margin debut victory at Down Royal in the autumn.
He then followed-up with a Grade 3 success at Fairyhouse. As Fil Dor then gave weight and a beating to Lunar Power again at Leopardstown in the Grade 2 Knight Frank over Christmas, he’s clearly one of the top juveniles in Ireland. He is well worth a crack at this level and has never looked in danger. Elliott has the measure of Vauban with owner-stable companion Pied Piper one of our winning Cheltenham tips last weekend.
In Fil Dor, Elliott has a horse already on a rating of 141. He holds entries in the Supreme as well as the Triumph Hurdle. The fact that connections have the option of running him against older horses shows he must be held in high regard. Fil Dor is the NAP among our Dublin Racing Festival tips for Saturday with 888Sport going 6/4 about him landing the four-timer.
NB: Riviere D’Etel, Irish Arkle Novice Chase (2:10)
Next best is the Irish Arkle bottom weight Riviere D’Etel. Trained by Elliott for Bective Stud, this five-year-old daughter of Martaline receives 9lb in age and sex allowances from the favourite Blue Lord. Low sun caused the omission of fences when Riviere D’Etel chased home the now injured Ferny Hollow over course and distance during the Christmas period.
The front two pulled 14 lengths and upwards clear of the remainder in the Racing Post Novice Chase. Riviere D’Etel ran a mighty race in defeat and only went down fighting by just over a length. Getting weight all-round is a huge plus and that’s not lost on horse racing betting sites when pricing this one up.
Her back form also reads well. An 11-length defeat of Jeremys Flame, twice placed in Grade 2 company since, on her bow over fences marked Riviere D’Etel as a mare to follow in this sphere. She also ran out a wide-margin winner of the Craddockstown at Punchestown and Klairon Davis under a penalty at Navan. The 11/4 with Betfred looks worth a wager with Riviere D’Etel deserving another crack at the highest level.
Dublin Racing Festival Tips EW: Sandor Clegane, Bumper (4:25)
In the concluding Grade 2 bumper, Facile Vega is odds-on favourite with the best betting sites for Mullins. The each way value may lie with Paul Nolan’s prospect Sandor Clegane. Named after The Hound in Game of Thrones, this five-year-old Fame And Glory gelding was an impressive debut winner at Punchestown.
Sandor Clegane bolted up by 15 lengths in very easy fashion. The beaten favourite, Glengouly, back in fourth that day has since come out and won over hurdles at Gowran Park. That adds some substance to the form. Sandor Clegane is a standout 8/1 with Bet365 and could well give the jolly plenty to think about.
Dublin Racing Festival Tips for Saturday, 5 February
- 1:35 – Fil Dor (NAP)
- 2:10 – Riviere D’Etel (NB)
- 3:15 – Kemboy
- 4:25 – Sandor Clegane (EW)