The two-day Dublin Racing Festival takes place at Leopardstown in February, with top-class jumps action across both days.
Just a month before the Cheltenham Festival, the Leopardstown event gives punters a good indication of how runners are looking prior to the Prestbury Park showpiece.
The Irish Gold Cup and the Irish Champion Hurdle are the two standout races, but they are sandwiched in between plenty of other high quality National Hunt action.
The Dublin Racing Festival takes place on the first weekend of February and is scheduled for the 3rd and 4th of the month in 2024.
Over the course of the two days of action, there will be no fewer than eight Grade 1 contests and four Listed races.
Leopardstown racecourse plays host to the Festival, with over 30,000 spectators expected to attend over the two days.
Set in the south of Dublin, the track is used for both flat and jumps racing. It’s a wide, left-handed oval course which is fairly level but for a slight rise on the last bend.
The Dublin Racing Festival will be among those cards appearing on ITV, whilst every race across the two days will be shown on Racing TV.
Day one of the Dublin Racing Festival is scheduled for Saturday, 3rd February, with seven races taking place across the day.
The standout contest is The Irish Gold Cup (3:35), with the Grade 1 race open to horses aged five years or older and is run over almost three miles.
There are three other Grade 1 races on the opening day – The Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle, The Spring Juvenile Hurdle and The Irish Arkle Novice Steeplechase.
Sunday’s feature race is The Irish Champion Hurdle (2:45), with the two-mile contest open to horses aged four years or older, with eight hurdles to be jumped.
Day two’s other Grade 1 races are The Novice Steeplechase, The Ireland 50th Derby Sale Novice Hurdle and The Dublin Steeplechase.
Even though the standout races have been run for decades, the Dublin Racing Festival was established in 2018.
The Irish Champion Hurdle began back in 1950 – with Hatton’s Grace the first ever winner - while the inaugural Irish Derby took place in 1987.
The Joseph O’Brien-trained Edwulf was the Irish Gold Cup winner in the Festival’s first year, while Jessica Harrington’s Supasundae claimed the 2018 Irish Champion Hurdle.
Willie Mullins has been the most successful trainer in Irish Derby history, enjoying 12 victories in the Grade 1 contest.
Four of those victories came courtesy of Florida Pearl, who crossed the line first at Leopardstown in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004.
Mullins has also had seven winners of the Irish Champion Hurdle – also the most achieved in the Day Two showpiece.
The standout runner being Hurricane Fly, who claimed the Grade 1 contest five years in a row, from 2011 to 2015.
Mark Dwyer has enjoyed the most success of any jockey in the Irish Gold Cup, with four victories to his name.
One of those came on Forgive ‘n Forget in the first running of the race in 1987, with his other three wins all coming on Jodami in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
Two jockeys have enjoyed six wins in the Irish Champion Hurdle – Ruby Walsh and Charlie Swan – while Rachael Blackmore has enjoyed success on three occasions.
Four of Swan’s victories came on the legendary Istabraq, while Hurricane Fly provided Walsh with four of his wins in the race.
With five straight victories in the Irish Champion Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival, Hurricane Fly has gone down in history.
10 of his 24 jump victories came at Leopardstown, with the Mullins charge also going on to claim the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2013.
Other consecutive winners include Istabraq (1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001) and Honeysuckle (2020, 2021 and 2022).
Florida Pearl has recorded more Irish Gold Cup victories than any other horse, with four successes in the big race.
Jodami enjoyed three consecutive race wins, while Michael Hourigan’s Beef or Salmon also claimed three race victories – 2003, 2006 and 2007.
Meanwhile, Mullins also has the top two in the betting for the 2024 Irish Champion Hurdle, with State Man 4/11 and Impaire Et Passe .
All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time."