Rachael has five runners on second day of Dublin Racing Festival
She says, "Honeysuckle goes there in really good form"
Read her exclusive views here on Betting.Betfair
I am happy to be riding Rioga Choice
13:10 Leopardstown - Rioga Choice
Rioga Choice was impressive in winning her maiden hurdle at Roscommon during the summer, and she ran well in the Grade 3 Feathard Lady Novice Hurdle at Down Royal in November.
She finished fourth, but she was hampered at the second last flight, but for which she could have finished third. She had Liberty Dance three and a half lengths behind her there. Liberty Dance has obviously improved since then, Rioga Choice is 8lb better off with her now.
It is a really competitive race, there are lots of mares in there with chances, including Henry's other two mares, but I am happy to be riding Rioga Choice.
I hope that she can go well
14:40 Leopardstown - Maskada
Maskada was good last time in winning the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase at Limerick over Christmas. That was just her second run this season, she had fallen at the second last fence when travelling well in a mares' handicap chase at Fairyhouse on her seasonal debut, but she did it well at Limerick.
The handicapper raised her by 9lb for that win, but she won well, and the race is working out well. The runner-up, Rebel Gold, has since won the Dan & Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse off a 3lb higher mark. Maskada is a hardy type, she came out of the Limerick race well, and I hope that she can go well.
She goes there in really good form
15:10 Leopardstown - Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle seems to be as good as ever. Henry is very happy with her, and Colman Comerford says that she is in great form.
I'll never forget last year, the applause for her on the way down to the start and the reception that she got when she came back to the winner's enclosure. It seemed like everyone was on her side. I just feel privileged to be associated with her.
Of course it was disappointing that she was beaten in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle on her return this season, but she still ran a very good race.
It's not going to be easy for her on Sunday, but Irish Champion Hurdles shouldn't be easy. State Man is a high-class horse, the County Hurdle winner from last season, and winner of the Morgiana Hurdle and the Matheson Hurdle this season. And Vauban ran a big race for a four-year-old in the Matheson Hurdle on his seasonal debut.
But Honeysuckle goes there in really good form. It should be a great race.
I'm looking forward to riding him again
15:40 Leopardstown - Inthepocket
Inthepocket will be stepping up in grade, into a Grade 1 after winner a Grade 2 race. It wasn't my best day in the saddle the last time on him, in the Navan Novice Hurdle at Naas, but thankfully he held on. He got home by a neck from Three Card Brag, who won at Fairyhouse last week.
All eyes will obviously on Facile Vega, he is unbeaten in six runs and he sets a high standard, but Inthepocket is a lovely horse, and I'm looking forward to riding him again.
He is in great order at home
16:10 Leopardstown - Ballyadam
We were really looking forward to seeing how Ballyadam would get on in the Galway Hurdle in July, but nothing went right for him from start to finish. You can ignore that run.
We know that he is a classy horse, he won the Grade 1 Royal Bond Hurdle as a novice and he finished second to Appreciate It in the Grade 1 novice hurdle at this meeting in 2021. He is in great order at home and, down to a mark of 142, hopefully he can go well in what is a very competitive race.