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There is a plethora of top-class racing action this weekend
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Weekend Racing Preview: All guns blazing for Dublin Racing Festival

The Dublin Racing Festival has rapidly placed itself as the key early-spring National Hunt meeting where the stars come out to play and it will dominate over the coming 48 hours.

The two-day Leopardstown meeting boasts a stunning eight Grade 1 races across Saturday and Sunday and is laden with quality, while it boasts an excellent pedigree in terms of producing subsequent Cheltenham Festival winners.

Alongside the action from Ireland, Musselburgh hosts their two-day bet365 Scottish Cheltenham Trials meeting, while there's Grade 1 action via the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown on Saturday.

Follow all the UK and Irish action on this bumper weekend via the bet365 Sports Live Streaming platform as we look ahead to some quality jumps fare.

All-star cast at Leopardstown

The Dublin Racing Festival bursts into action with four straight Grade 1 races on Saturday, emphasising the quality that now exists at this short but high-class meeting.

The race of the day looks to be the Goffs Irish Arkle Novice Chase (2.30) as Willie Mullins flexes his muscles with five of the eight-runner field, headed by 6/4 Appreciate It, the choice of Paul Townend.

The noises are positive in regards to him, though stablemates Dysart Dynamo, El Fabiolo, Flame Bearer and Saint Roi are no pushovers, while 6/1 Banbridge for Joseph O'Brien and 14/1 Fil Dor for Gordon Elliott will be eager to thwart the Closutton posse. 

Whatever happens, it promises to be a barnstormer and connections of 6/5 Cheltenham Arkle favourite Jonbon will be eagerly looking on as his clearest threat should emerge from this race. 

Later, the Irish Gold Cup (3.05) should see 1/3 Galopin Des Champs rubberstamping his passport to the Cheltenham version next month, with the Mullins inmate expected to prove too good for six rivals. Stablemate Stattler at 4/1 is the mount of Patrick Mullins and could be the principle threat.

Edinburgh National on day one at Musselburgh

Amongst the key races on Saturday at Musselburgh is the bet365 Edinburgh National (2.03) where a field of 13 runners includes Slipway at 9/2 for Ben Pauling, as they attempt to follow-up November's Southern National success at Fontwell from a 7lb higher mark.

Sandy Thomson would love to land this contest for the home team and has aptly-named Kelso winner Flower Of Scotland in the mix at 7/1, while Paddy Brennan is an eye-catching booking on 10/1 The Wolf for Olly Murphy, second last year from 2lb higher and now set to sport first-time blinkers. 

Following that it the bet365 Scottish Stayers' Novices' Hurdle (2.35) as the Paul Nicholls-trained Outlaw Peter bids to put last month's Lanzarote Hurdle disappointment behind him, now upped in distance by the champion trainer. 

The Ditcheat maestro will also harbour leading claims with 11/4 Grivetana in the bet365 Scottish County Handicap Hurdle (3.16).

The mare disappointed at Newbury on New Year's Eve having shaped with promise there in her two previous starts this season and the prospect of better ground now should suit, though 9/2 Nayati was a winner over this C&D 24 hours after that run and could be a big danger for Brian Hughes and Donald McCain.

Elliott looks to plunder Scilly Isles prize

As if eight Grade 1s at Leopardstown weren't enough to be aiming at, Gordon Elliott is also vying for Britain's sole top-level prize on Saturday, the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase (2.05) at Sandown, where his Gerri Colombe is the 6/5 market leader.

He's unbeaten to this point and won the Grade 1 Faugheen Novices' Chase at Limerick over Christmas in convincing fashion on a testing surface. His stamina could be telling here.

In opposition are Balco Coastal at 3/1 for Nicky Henderson, impressive himself in a Boxing Day handicap at Kempton while Gerri Colombe was doing his thing in Ireland, as well 9/2 Monmiral for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden as they look to continue their recent excellence in Grade 1 races.

Monmiral has shaped well though is yet to win over fences and the home team have a challenge on their hands to deal with this talented Irish raider, seemingly, in a race won last spring by subsequent Cheltenham Festival scorer L'homme Presse.

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Honeysuckle set to answer the doubters

The Irish Champion Hurdle (3.10) is the standout contest on Sunday afternoon at Leopardstown as 2/1 Honeysuckle bids to win the race for a fourth time.

The mare scored at 1/5 last year en route to a second win in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham but, following the first defeat of her career in the Hatton's Grace in December's comeback, Henry De Bromhead's nine-year-old now has her doubters.

Young pretenders State Man at 10/11 and Vauban at 7/2 represent Team Mullins, with the former having bagged two Grade 1s this season via the Morgiana and Matheson Hurdles, seeing off Vauban last time.

Connections of Honeysuckle have intimated that a defeat here could be the end of the road in her career, but a resurgent success would raise the roof in Leopardstown if Rachael Blackmore can pull it off. 

Earlier, the Grade 1 Dublin Chase offers 2/7 Blue Lord a chance to strengthen his Queen Mother Champion Chase claims, especially after last weekend's shock defeat for Energumene in the Clarence House Chase.

Following those two contests will be the Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle (3.40), where Facile Vega is 4/9 to continue his unbeaten record for Mullins and Townend and stamp his passport for next month's Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Trials aplenty in Scotland

There is no shortage of quality fare at Musselburgh on Sunday either. Harry Derham's fledgling training career is going well and he'll be hoping for a statement winner via Shared in the bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle (1.22) that opens proceedings.

The son of Authorized won at Wetherby recently and takes a quick rise in class now.

Return Ticket (Rebecca Menzies), Pay The Piper (Ann Hamilton), Dreams Of Home (Donald McCain) and Gold Des Bois (Iain Jardine) are amongst the contenders for honours in the bet365 Scottish Champion Handicap Chase (1.55).

The Scottish Supreme Novices' Hurdle (2.25) is the target for Paul Nicholls' Toothless, impressive at Fakenham on New Year's Day on his British racecourse bow for the champion trainer and very much the one to beat on figures in this five-runner bet365-sponsored contest.

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