Inaugural Dublin Racing Festival proves a major hit

The inaugural Dublin Racing Festival took place at Leopardstown on the 3rd and 4th of February this year and was a major hit with industry professionals and punters alike.

The highlight of the weekend on the racing front was Edwulf winning the feature race of the two days: the Irish Gold Cup, for trainer Joseph O’Brien and champion amateur jockey, Derek O’Connor.

It was a remarkable success for a horse that stared death in the face at the Cheltenham Festival in March 2017. He ran over four miles that day in the National Hunt Chase and was pulled up after jumping the last. He collapsed and lay on the ground for over 30 minutes with a severe lack of oxygen in his lungs. The on-course vets did an unbelievable job of getting him back on his feet. He has since made a remarkable recovery and went on to win at the highest level at Leopardstown with odds of 33/1.


The stands at Leopardstown Racecourse in South County Dublin. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In the other feature race: the Irish Champion Hurdle, Faugheen ‘the machine’ could only finish second to the Jessica Harrington trained Supasundae, who is now on course for the Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Willie Mullins told the press after the race that the machine, “didn’t show any of his old spark.” However, he is still on course for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March according to his owner, Rich Ricci.

There was entertainment after racing on both days with Dubliner Damien Dempsey playing on Saturday and Irish group Stockton’s Wings playing on Sunday. There were also comedy acts from the likes of Fred Cooke, Eric Lalor and cooking demonstrations on both days from young Cavan man, Chef Adrian. Journalist and star of the final furlong podcast, Kevin Blake, described the Festival as a “roaring success’.

I would recommend to everyone in Dublin that they head down to Leopardstown next February as ‘The Festival’ is sure to be even bigger and better than this year.

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