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Star horses stand their ground...
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Star horses stand their ground for Dublin Racing Festival

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

01:06 30 Jan 2020

The third album is regularly the trickiest but the third iteration of the Dublin Racing Festival on Saturday has the potential to be the best yet.

Willie Mullins has previously been criticised for keeping his stars apart, not at the Dublin Racing Festival this weekend.

Min, last year's winner, Chacun Pour Soi - the heir apparent to Douvan, the unbeaten Cilaos Emery and last year's Arkle winner Duc Des Genievres all line up in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase.

The Mullins battalion will be opposed by Christmas winner A Plus Tard in the field of eight for the two-mile, one-furlong contest.

Big Names

The big names all stood their ground for the Grade One PCI Irish Champion Hurdle where star mare Honeysuckle puts her unbeaten record on the line at the Dublin Racing Festival. The Henry De Bromhead trained mare has a choice of races at the Cheltenham Festival. Her run at the weekend will guide whether the unbeaten mare runs in the Champion Hurdle or the Mares' Hurdle next.

Rachael Blackmore's mount will have stiff opposition at Leopardstown on Saturday, Willie Mullins sends four horses including last year's Supreme winner Klassical Dream and three-time Grade One winner Sharjah.

There is an all too rare British runner in the Champion Hurdle, Monsieur Lecoq represents the Jane Williams yard and will be ridden by Lizzy Kelly.

The ERSG Arkle Chase sees all of the major Irish challengers for Cheltenham turn up. Course and distance Christmas winner Notebook will again be opposed by Fakir D'Oudairies who finished second in their festive renewal.

Again Willie Mullins fully loads the magazine for this race. Bapaume, tipped up by Pricewise for Cheltenham, Cash Back, an impressive Naas winner, Royal Rendevous and Grade One hurdle winner Melon will all represent team Mullins.

Elsewhere on the card, the Cheltenham bumper favourite Eric Bloodaxe puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Goffs bumper. While Elixir D'Ainay will look to boost the form of Cheltenham banker Envoi Allen in the first race of the Dublin Racing Festival, the Novice hurdle.

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