The Dublin racing festival takes centre stage on this biggest of big sporting weekends. There is so much to savour over the course of the two days, and there will be as many dreams furthered as there are scuppered.
Speaking of dreams – Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore will feel like they are living one out currently, such is the level of success they are having this season. Of course, this is no fluke, and testament to their relative abilities as trainer and jockey.
A Plus Tard gave them an outstanding start to last season’s Cheltenham Festival, by romping home in the Novices’ Handicap Chase on day one, and despite beating likely Champion Chase protagonist Chacun Pour Soi over 2m 1f at Leopardstown over Christmas, I feel (and connections more importantly feel,) that the Ryanair Chase is his race at this year’s festival.
A Plus Tard can currently be backed at 5/1 Non-Runner No Bet for the Ryanair Chase with Bet365 or Skybet. I believe this is a no-brainer kind of bet before he re-opposes Chacun Pour Soi et al later today.
Many people feel the Champion Chase should be his festival target, but when you consider he only got the better of a short of peak fitness Chacun Pour Soi over 2m1f on softish ground at Christmas, then the trip just shy of the bare 2m potentially on better ground in the Champion Chase might just see something do him for pace.
I feel Chacun Pour Soi could well turn the tables today, and if so, and as long as A Plus Tard runs with credit, then he could well be shorter than 5/1 for the Ryanair Chase. Barring Frodon and maybe Riders On the Storm, I can’t see too many worthy rivals in the market for that race who will actually run there.