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Katie Walsh Betway blog: Leopardstown, Sandown 05 02 22

The Betway ambassador takes us through her fancies on a busy day of racing at Leopardstown and Sandown.

04 Feb | BY Katie Walsh | MIN READ TIME |
Katie Walsh Betway blog: Leopardstown, Sandown 05 02 22

You have to say that the Dublin Racing Festival is a real success. Fair play to the minds that thought it of and made it happen. Yet again, its’s good race after good race, there’s great prize money on offer and you’ll see some of the best jumpers in training running over the next two days.


Hollow Games  (13:05) was beaten by his stablemate Ginto last time, but I thought he’d ran really well and has always been the chosen mount of Davy Russell. He’s only been beaten once in his career and it’s hard to argue his form. He’s going to be a stayer when he goes over fences next season, so I have no doubt he’ll be fine with this trip.

Vauban  (13:35) travelled well on his debut for Willie Mullins but was beaten by a very good horse called Pied Piper, who sluiced up at Cheltenham last weekend. I think they’re both above average juveniles and although he lacks the experience that Fil D’Or has, he’s got more than enough natural ability.

Riviere D’etel  (14:10) has been savage over fences this season. She got beaten by a proper horse the last day in Ferny Hollow, who has sadly been ruled out for a while, but I loved the way she went through the line last time, despite the fact she was beaten. She get’s the mares allowance here and that could be telling.

Dunboyne  (14:45) was unlucky in a similar type of race last time. Going up in trip to 3m has brought out some improvement in him and he’ll improve for the experience of running in big fields as he has this season. Gordon knows how to win on the big days, so I expect he’ll be primed for today.

Kemboy  (15:15) has a good record in the Irish Gold Cup, winning it last year and finishing second in it the year before. He’s got a proper chance to add another trophy to his name this year.

He ran really well at Leopardstown at Christmas and as we’ve seen before, he just comes alive here. This would have been his seasonal target, so you know Willie would have left nothing to work on.

I do think Frodon  will serve it up to him. He was very good when he was at Down Royal at the start of the season. Him and Bryony have a great relationship; they put everything on the line and you need to do that in these top races.

A Wave Of The Sea  (15:50) won this race last year and looks the one to beat again. He’s up plenty in the weights from last year but this is a much weaker race than it was 12 months ago.

I do think Dad’s horse Batcio  will go well too. He has a bit to find on official ratings, but he’s gone well here in the past.

I can’t wait for the bumper. I think it’s the best race of the day and certainly the race I’m looking forward to most.

This crop of horses will be a serious bunch. Facile Vega  (16:25) has a huge reputation, but the way he did it on his debut suggests he’s much better than average.

He’ll have to be on top of his game to beat this field. Whatever happens, you’ll be seeing some of the top horses of the future in this race.


Away from the action in Ireland, there is some top class racing in England too. L’Homme Presse  runs in the Grade 1 Novices’ Chase (14:20) at Sandown. He was majestic at Cheltenham last time beating a very good mare of Alan King’s and he should be up to winning this. Venetia still has her horses in grand form.

Ree Okka  (14:55) was very good at Kempton last time and although this is a big step up in grade, he looked like a graded horses last time. He sneaks in at the bottom of the weights and Harry Fry is having a good year of it, so I do think he’ll run a big race.

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Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh

Successful former jump jockey who, until 2021, boasted the best ever Grand National finishing position by a female jockey.

Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh

Successful former jump jockey who, until 2021, boasted the best ever Grand National finishing position by a female jockey.