Gigginstown and Willie Mullins aim for a strong start at the Dublin Racing Festival with Grade 1 ambitions.

Amidst a mix of seasoned veterans and promising newcomers, Gigginstown House Stud eyes a triumphant return to glory, with high hopes pinned on young talents at Leopardstown.

Predator Gold faces tough competition this weekend and may fine or or two just a bit too much.
Predator Gold faces tough competition this weekend and may fine or or two just a bit too much.

Eddie O'Leary gave us a pretty colorful picture of the Gigginstown crew right now, saying it's a mix of "horses with zimmer frames and the rest in prams." He's got his fingers crossed that the new kids on the block, Storm Heart and Predators Gold, are going to light up the Dublin Racing Festival by winning the first two races and show that Gigginstown is bouncing back.

The buzz around the racing scene was about Gaelic Warrior not showing up for the Goffs Irish Arkle, which meant we all missed out on what could have been an epic face-off with Marine Nationale. Instead, Gaelic Warrior is saving his energy for Sunday's Ladbrokes Novice Chase, and now Facile Vega is stepping into the ring against Marine Nationale. Willie Mullins, the trainer behind these beasts, seems to have an even stronger lineup than usual.

It's usually no biggie to see the first couple of festival faves trained by Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend, but spotting them in Gigginstown's maroon and white is kinda news. Remember when Michael O'Leary said Gigginstown was exiting stage left in 2019? Well, a big win in Leopardstown this weekend could be on the cards.

O'Leary reminisced about the good old days with Mullins before their split, hinting that maybe, just maybe, things could patch up down the road.

Storm Heart, after smashing his debut by 22 lengths, has got Eddie hopeful but cautious. He admitted to Racing Post that Storm Heart's debut win was a surprise and now they're all eager to see how he does this Saturday to gauge if he's the real deal for the Triumph Hurdle. Eddie's like, "He looked awesome, but who was he really up against?"

Then there's Predators Gold, who Eddie thinks will thrive on the longer course. Despite a solid run after dropping back to two miles, Eddie believes stretching his legs will show Predators Gold's true colors. They're also sending Stellar Story into the mix, convinced he's a dark horse despite a stumble in Limerick.

With only four horses in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup, Eddie knows Conflated's got a mountain to climb against the likes of Galopin Des Champs. But hey, win or lose, they've got plans for Conflated, and the Gold Cup isn't one of them. He's seen as a speedster over three miles.

Eddie's also hyping up King Of Kingsfield for Sunday, believing he's got something special. But overall, Eddie paints a picture of a team with extremes โ€“ the old guard and the new blood, with not much in between. They're hopeful but realistic about the challenges and opportunities at the festival.