Unibet Irish Gold Cup
|Grade 1, Leopardstown 15:35
3m, Class 1
|Sunday 3rd February 2019|
Day two of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown on Sunday, February 3 features four Grade 1 races and the Unibet Irish Gold Cup has attracted an impressive entry of 24 horses.
Waiting Patiently, trained by Ruth Jefferson, gets an entry here, the Nicky Henderson-trained Top Notch and Jonjo O’Neill’s Minella Rocco make up the challenge from the other side of the Irish Sea with leading Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy Presenting Percy, trained by Pat Kelly, heading a strong Irish contingent.
Last year’s winner Edwulf and the 2017 winner Sizing John have been entered by Joseph O'Brien and Jessica Harrington respectively, while Willie Mullins has made five entries, headed by his impressive Savills Chase winner Kemboy, Al Boum Photo and Bellshill.
Trumping them all with seven entries is Gordon Elliott who has entered the only mare in the field, Shattered Love. Henry De Bromhead’s Monalee and the Tony Martin-trained Anibale Fly are oter notable entries.
Noel Meade is eyeing compensation for Road To Respect following his luckless run at Leopardstown on December 28.
After making a scintillating reappearance in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in November, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned eight-year-old was favourite to successfully defend his crown in the newly-named Savills Chase.
However, he stumbled badly on the run to the second fence from the finish, shuffling him back in the field before he stayed on in the straight to take third behind the impressive Kemboy.
Last season Road To Respect went straight from Christmas to the Cheltenham Gold Cup – in which he finished fourth – but this year he could first return to Leopardstown for the Irish Gold Cup on February 3.
Meade said: “There’s not a bother on him – he came out of the race bouncing.
“It was unfortunate what happened. He actually stumbled twice if you watch it back.
“It was good to see him finish the race well and he’s fine since, which is the main thing.
“I think he’ll go back to Leopardstown for the Irish Gold Cup.”
Unibet Irish Gold Cup (Grade 1)
3m, Race Value: €200,000