A superb second day of the Dublin Racing Festival is in store, with some fantastic action to look forward to at Leopardstown.

Here are Nick Luck’s thoughts.


MRS MILNER might be the answer to an impossible mares’ handicap that opens up the televised action from Leopardstown on Sunday (1.10pm). The handicapper left her alone for her excellent effort at Cheltenham in the autumn, and she has shaped as though staying trips have just stretched her. A furiously run race in a big field round here at this trip should suit her better, and she is worth a small investment at 9/1 for a respected stable and a rider that knows her well.

BUSSELTON is a little bit of value at 8/1 to frighten Quilixios and co. in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle (1.40pm). I am pretty convinced that Zanahiyr is the best juvenile around (Jack Kennedy also believes he is slightly better than Quilixios), so to finish runner-up to him on just his second hurdling start and stable debut was no mean achievement for the selection, particularly as he had to carve out his own running.

BLUE LORD can put up a bold show at 10/1 against better fancied stable companion Appreciate It in the Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle (2.10pm). Although he was ultimately walloped by potential superhorse Bob Olinger last time, he really impressed with the way he travelled that day, and I like the idea of a galloping two miles, a big field and plenty of cover for this inexperienced gelding. He has a big future either way.

CITY ISLAND isn’t a horse you could bank on nowadays, but it’s not an eternity since he was beating Champ at Grade One level at Cheltenham and he’s starting to look nicely treated in the Grade B handicap hurdle (2.40pm). Certainly there was a good bit more encouragement to be taken from his non-threatening fourth on his comeback (stewards had a look), which also suggested that another go at three miles might be a good idea. He’s priced at 18/1.

LATEST EXHIBITION could have his day over Monkfish at 8/13 in the Flogas (3.10pm). You wouldn’t be confident, but Paul Nolan’s horse is nothing if not a trier, loves this track, and could get a fair bit closer back down to this trip, having looked outstayed behind the favourite the last twice they have met.

DELTA WORK is the selection at 7/2 to win another Irish Gold Cup (3.40pm). He is unbeaten (and has been impressive) in three completed chases at this track, is the highest rated horse in the race, yet is the third favourite at the time of writing. His first run this season was clearly a prep, while he can readily be forgiven an aberration at Christmas. Jack Kennedy gets a wonderful tune out of this horse, and the race could set up nicely for him to stalk Kemboy and Minella Indo.

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