IT was another fantastic renewal of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown over the weekend of February 6 and 7 and some of the performances from the stars on show can only be described as extraordinary. The Derby Sale graduates enjoyed Grade 1 success across four races, headlined by ‘Honeysuckle’s’ back-to-back Irish Champion Hurdle victory.
‘Honeysuckle’ was all class winning the Grade 1 Irish Champion Hurdle by 10 lengths under Rachael Blackmore, retaining her unbeaten record with a resounding success at Leopardstown on Saturday. She was sold for €9,500 at the Derby Sale by Doug Proctor’s Glanville Stud to Mark O’Hare.
‘Energumene’ put in a foot-perfect performance when winning the Grade 1 Irish Arkle for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. The Tony Bloom-owned seven-year-old extended his unbeaten chase record to three wins with a 10-length triumph on Saturday. He was sold for €50,000 by Moanmore Stables to Tom Lacey at the Derby Sale.
‘Appreciate It’ powered home to win the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle, claiming his second Grade 1 from just three runs over fences. With half a mile to run, the field was still tightly packed, but when Paul Townend wound things up he proved too good for his rivals. He was sold for €60,000 at the Derby Sale by Sladoo Farm to Suirview Stables and also sold as a foal at the November National Hunt Sale for €18,500 from Charel Park Stud.
‘Monkfish’ made all to win the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase in impressive style on Sunday, galloping clear of the field by 11 lengths. The son of ‘Stowaway’ put in a flawless round of jumping under Paul Townend to secure his second Grade 1 victory over fences.
He was sold for €36,000 at the Derby Sale by Busher Bloodstock to Monbeg Stables, he was also sold as a foal by breeder Cyril O’Hara at the November National Hunt Sale for €12,500 to Furziestown Stables. Also sold at the Tattersalls Cheltenham May Sale for £235,000 to Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins.
‘Off You Go’ landed the €125,000 Grade A Leopardstown Handicap Chase for Mark Walsh and Charles Byrnes. Sold for €40,000 as a foal at the November National Hunt Sale by The Premier Consignment to John O’Byrne.
‘Drop The Anchor’ pounced late to land the €125,000 Grade B Ladbrokes Hurdle for trainer Pat Fahy. Sold to the trainer by Burgage Stud at the Derby Sale for €11,000.
‘Quilixios’ coasted home to land the Tattersalls Ireland Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle on Sunday for Cheveley Park, Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy. The son of ‘Maxios’ justified favouritism and found plenty to chase down the pace-setting Saint Sam to lead on the turn for home.