12.40 – Sassy Diva 7/1
The second day of the Dublin Racing Festival gets underway with this competitive mares handicap hurdle, and I am hopeful that Sassy Diva can go close for Shane Crawley and Donagh Meyler.
The lightly raced daughter of Kalinisi got off the mark at Ayr in November and has placed second on both of her subsequent starts, latterly getting within three-and-a-quarter-lengths of Henry De Bromhead’s exciting mare Honeysuckle – who was in receipt of 3lbs – in Listed company at Thurles.
The potentially well treated eight-year-old was beaten just a head by Gordon Elliott’s talented mare Tintangle – who received 5lbs – on her penultimate start at Fairyhouse and this race represents a slight drop in class, which renders her very dangerous.
Those rivals are rated 135 and 130 respectively and Sassy Diva will run off a mark of 116 tomorrow. Therefore, she should be up to running a big race with conditions set to suit.
1pt each way at 7/1 (BetVictor – 5 Places)
1.50 – Klassical Dream 3/1
Klassical Dream has been the subject of steady support for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in recent weeks, and Willie Mullins’ French recruit will look to book his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival with victory in this Grade 1 contest.
The form of his successful Irish debut has been well advertised by the re-opposing Vision D’honneur, who ran out an easy winner at Punchestown in January, and he also holds an experience advantage over many of his rivals given that he contested 4 hurdle races in France before joining the roster at Closutton.
The son of Dream Well was visually impressive over this course and distance in December and it is notable that Ruby Walsh has elected to jump off Grade 1 Paddy Power Future Champion Novice Hurdle winner Aramon in favour of a horse who has merely won a maiden.
The two aforementioned opponents and the Joseph O’Brien trained Entoucas, who chased home Klassical Dream over Christmas, are the only contenders at single figure prices. Therefore, Willie Mullins five-year-old looks the one to beat here.
2pt win at 3/1 (William Hill)
2.25 – Dallas Des Pictons 6/1
Dallas Des Pictons has held entries in graded company this season and his commanding 10 lengths victory at Punchestown last month makes him of significant interest here.
The Gigginstown House Stud owned six-year-old landed a brace of AQPS bumpers in France and looks ready to make an impact over hurdles now that the penny has finally dropped.
Gordon Elliott’s charge placed second behind the potentially useful City Island over a trip too sharp on Boxing Day, and the manner of his smart success at Punchestown suggests that this step-up to three miles will be right up his street.
A mark of 130 doesn’t seem overly harsh based on what he has displayed thus far and Jack Kennedy, who has been on board for his last two outings, will maintain the partnership tomorrow.
Ground conditions are also in his favour. Therefore, he rates a solid each way proposition in this competitive Grade B handicap.
1.5pts each way at 6/1 (Boylesports)