MAJOR Cheltenham protagonists Galopin Des Champs, El Fabiolo and State Man all impressed at last weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival, but there were also bubbles burst with Marine Nationale and Gaelic Warrior notable disappointments.
Two performances in Ireland caught my eye with a view to the Festival, which is now just five weeks away.
CAPTAIN GUINNESS finished a good third behind El Fabiolo in the Dublin Chase, bouncing back from his flop at Leopardstown over Christmas.
That’s an effort that can be marked up as he rarely runs well at the Dublin course and we know he is better at Cheltenham, having finished third in the 2021 Arkle and second, behind Energumene, in last year’s Champion Chase.
Queen Mother Champion Chase*
El Fabiolo 2/5
Captain Guinness 16/1
*Prices from Grosvenor Sport
While El Fabiolo will clearly be tough to beat, there are reasons for lending each-way support to Henry de Bromhead’s runner at his current price of 16/1 non-runner money back with Grosvenor Sport.
His trainer has won this race twice in the past, most recently with Put The Kettle On and before that with Special Tiara, who was also an older horse with good experience of Cheltenham.
I can see the field cutting up too, with few wanting to take on El Fabiolo and Jonbon, so Captain Guinness looks rock-solid for a place and with the big two likely to take each other on, you just never know.
Willie Mullins’ DANCING CITY was sent off the outsider of the stable’s quartet in Saturday’s opening 2m6f Grade One but came home strongest of all and won impressively.
He was suited by the step up in trip there and going further should bring about more improvement, so he looks an ideal candidate for the three miles of the Albert Bartlett.
I expected him to be shorter after that effort, so the 10/1 on offer with Grosvenor Sport is well worth a look.
Captain Guinness e/w Champion Chase
Dancing City e/w Albert Bartlett