Once again, Willie Mullins dominated the second day of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown with five more winners, including the four Grade 1 prizes on offer on Sunday. Ireland's champion trainer was responsible for 9 winners from 46 runners over the two days, including all 8 Grade 1 races. While there were a few reversals along the way, El Fabiolo and State Man read the script on the second day with authoritative displays in the Dublin Chase and Irish Champion Hurdle respectively. The former warmed to his task in the jumping department and powered away in the homestraight to register and an eight and a half lengths win. Unbeaten in six runs over fences, the seven year old will take some stopping in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham next month.
Ballyburn provided the Top 40 with another Grade 1 win with a bloodless success in the two mile novice hurdle. Unbeaten in bumpers last season, the Ronnie Bartlett owned gelding had won easily over two and a half miles at the same track over Christmas and I must confess to having a few reservations about him dropping in trip here. However, it wasn't an issue racing close to the pace and pulling away in the homestraight. His options at Cheltenham include the Supreme and Baring Bingham NH and, while he evidently possesses the speed for the former event, I don't think it is a done deal - the latter looks the 'easier' contest at this stage and Mullins is inclined to go for the races his charges are most likely to win. Either way, he is a young horse with a huge future.
Fleur Au Fusil (10/1) is featured in the Unraced Bumper Horses section in OJA and she made it two out of two in the concluding Grade 2 mares' bumper. A daughter of Kapgarde who had won decisively at Naas in November, the six year old returned from a break of 84 days and produced a strong staying performance under Jody Townend. The half-sister to Grade 2 winner Grand Sancy, she races enthusiastically and having taken over with more than half a mile to run, she kept to strongly in the closing stages to record a two and a half lengths win. It was Mullins' fourth win in the race which began in 2018.
I am working at Carlisle on Monday and will therefore update the Diary later in the week.
“Thank you for a very successful and profitable email service. My personal highlight was the win of Aloomomo whose romp round Uttoxeter was a joy. Keep up the good work with all your services, the books and updates, they are simply the best by a very long way.”
“Just want to say thanks for running the service again this year, I have ended up with a nice £756 profit from it so I'm obviously very happy with that so thanks a lot!”
“Thanks for your email Mark would just like to say your selections and insight has been awesome. Keep up the good work sir your service is the best.”
“Thank you for an excellent tipping service throughout the three months. It has been a pleasure and profitable to be a member of your service. Your indepth knowledge and analysis of the race has been excellent. I honestly rate your service as one of the best and most profitable.”
“Thanks very much for the fantastic service you have supplied, I have been involved with racing tipsters for over 30 years and never had as good a strike rate as yourself, out of this world.”
“The email service as usual has been brilliant and this season's OJA seems to continue to unearth amazing insight if you have the time to trust and follow it in detail over a period. Thanks as always for your outstanding value for money publications.”
“Superb information again Mark, I managed to get some 11/4, will certainly pay for Xmas. Different class.”
“Awesome result the magicman strikes again. Won with plenty in hand and not a moments worry great write up spot on again and results speak for themselves best service I've tried, keep up the fantastic work sir. Very happy customer!”
Mark Howard Publications Ltd.
69 Fairgarth Drive