The Dublin Racing Festival hosted at Leopardstown was a massive success last year with two days of brilliant racing packed together. Day one’s feature is the Irish Champion Hurdle, which is set up to be an absolute cracker.
But we fancy a couple in the Grade B Ladbrokes Hurdle over the same minimum hurdling distance with one in the shape of URADEL, who could be thrown in at the bottom-of-the-handicap off a mark of 132.
He has been well supported in the last 24 hours and probably for good reason with Ruby Walsh in the saddle as he switches codes from flat to hurdles.
Uradel has put in some excellent performances on the flat including a close second in the Cesarewitch to Low Sun over 2m 2f.
This Willie Mullins runner won impressively in a 2m 1f flat race at the Galway Festival last summer on fast ground beating the likes of Limini on that occasion. And Uradel was travelling and certainly going to make a valiant attempt to do a Galway Festival double when he was brought down in a handicap hurdle race five days later.
He might be better racing over slightly further distances, but he did show enough pace to win over two miles during his novice hurdling career and a fastly run race around this galloping track will certainly suit.
Uradel’s last run was a little disappointing on the flat, where he finished 12 lengths behind the current favourite Wonder Laish. But they meet over timber now, and it could be very different with Uradel in receipt of 19lbs of weight, and that could be significant.
It’s a decent size-field and there are good each-way terms on offer with William Hill, offering no less than seven places, so I also want to stay on the right side of ECLAIR DE BEAUFEU for Gordon Elliot.
This novice hurdler looks on the upgrade, despite it having taken him five attempts to get off the mark in his career. Though he really stamped his authority on his last start in what seemed to be a competitive handicap on good ground over 2m at Fairyhouse, smashing another improver in the reopposing Try Again by five lengths.
Eclair De Beaufeu displayed a devastating turn-of-foot two hurdles out and nothing could lay a glove on him after that.
He’s up 9lbs in a better race, but he’s entitled to improve further and if he can show that sort of explosiveness in this affair then the 12/1 about him looks a nice each-way price, particularly as the selection has not finished out of the places in any of his six starts.
1pt each-way Uradel @5/1, 14:00 Leopardstown, Saturday (five places, 1/5 odds with Betfair)
1pt each-way Eclair De Beaufeu @12/1, 14:00 Leopardstown, Saturday (seven places, 1/5 odds with William Hill)