Dublin Racing Festival Sunday Tips: Sam to be Sainted at Leopardstown

Trainer Willie Mullins
Kevin expects Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci to be among the winners at the Dublin Racing Festival on Sunday

The second day of the Dublin Racing Festival is packed full of quality, and ITV Racing pundit Kevin Blake is back with a few tips for you to consider...

"Low Sun bounced back from that poor effort to produce a solid effort in a three-runner conditions hurdle over two miles at Fairyhouse last month and that should put him spot on for this."

Back Low Sun Win @ 23.022/1 and Place in the 14:40 Leopardstown

The Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle (13:40) brings together some of the most promising juvenile hurdlers in Ireland. The absent one is Zanahiyr, but Gordon Elliott has an able deputy in Quilixios.

The son of Maxios is unbeaten in two starts over hurdles, winning by a long way on both occasions. We haven't seen him since October, but those wins are enough to make him a short-priced favourite for this. That said, for all his promise, there could be value in taking him on with one that has been competing in deeper waters while Quilixios has been absent.

Sam can deliver on French promise

The Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting is often a strong pointer to this race and with the winner Zanahiyr not partaking this Sunday, we have the second, third and fourth to represent the form. Individual cases can be made for all three to improve on what they showed on the day in what was a slowly-run and messy race, but the most appealing of them is that for the Willie Mullins-trained Saint Sam.

The son of Saint Des Saints won twice over hurdles in France and arrived to Willie Mullins' yard with a big reputation. He was sent off as the 4/5 favourite for his Irish debut in a Grade 3 contest at Fairyhouse, but he was no match for Zanahiyr on the day, finishing 14 lengths second to him.

He returned for another crack at that rival in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle and was ridden in contrasting style, being buried on the inside under a much more patient ride. Unfortunately for him, there was very little pace in the race and his position ended up being a poor one. Not only that, when he sought to make headway early in the straight he ran up a blind alley, getting shuffled back and having to switch to the wide outside to find daylight.

He finished off quite well from there without being punished from the saddle and might well have finished second on another day.

There promises to be more pace in this race and that will very much suit Saint Sam. It wouldn't be at all surprising if he runs a big race and he warrants support in the win market.

Sun can Low-er colours of his rivals

The William Fry Handicap Hurdle (14:40) is as tough a race to solve as will be run all weekend, but I'm going to take a chance on the Willie Mullins-trained Low Sun to get the job done.

The eight-year-old hasn't stood up to a lot of racing in recent seasons, but his talent isn't in question. A smart stayer on the Flat, he won the Cesarewitch at Newmarket off a mark of 97 in 2018. Considering the stamina required to win such a race, it is notable just how unexposed Low Sun is at staying trips over hurdles.

In his 10-race career over hurdles, he has only raced beyond two-and-a-half miles on two occasions, winning a handicap hurdle at the Galway Festival in 2018 and running too badly to be true on his seasonal reappearance last December.

Low Sun bounced back from that poor effort to produce a solid effort in a three-runner conditions hurdle over two miles at Fairyhouse last month and that should put him spot on for this. The much longer trip is the key and the less testing ground will be a help too. He looks a very big price and can be supported in both the win and place markets.

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