By Andrew Atkinson

Gaillard Du Mesnil (13-8f) tipped by won the opening race at the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown on Saturday, when landing the Grade 1 Cheltenham Novice Hurdle (C1) over 2m 6f.

Willie Mullins’ trained five-year-old Gaillard Du Mesnil gained a 5 length victory ahead of Gentleman’s Game (12-1), with Stattler (7-1) third, under jockey Paul Townend.

Wetherby’s meeting on Saturday was abandoned after an inspection that revealed unsafe ground: “Following the 5mm rain on Friday night, the course has been left with areas of false and unstable ground.

“We have therefore had to take the decision to abandon today’s @WillHillRacing Cleeve Hurdle fixture. Apologies to everyone, but that sums up this winter!,” said a spokesperson.

The meeting at Huntingdon on February 11 is in doubt with the course under water.

Sedgefield’s meeting on February 10 has been abandoned, due to a waterlogged course.