Bibby Financial Services Punchestown Gold Cup
Grade 1, Punchestown
€200,000 added,
5yo plus, 3m 1f, Class 1
Wednesday 30th April 2014


1 Boston Bob 5/2F
2 First Lieutenant 5/1
3 Long Run 6/1
NR: Morning Assembly (IRE)
9 ran Distances: 3¼l, 3½l, ¾l
TIME 6m 22.40s (slow by 7.40s)

The Willie Mullins-trained Boston Bob was the comfortable winner from First Lieutenant of the feature €200,000 Grade 1 Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup under Ruby Walsh.

Boston Bob
© Caroline Norris
Boston Bob

An impressive winner of the Melling Chase at Aintree three and a half weeks ago, the Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old claimed another Grade One prize as he stepped back up in trip.

"Ruby came in recently to sit on the other fellow (On His Own, who finished eighth) and I said he should ride Boston Bob," said Mullins. "I thought he would be suited by the shorter trip here and the better ground would bring the horse's class into play.

"We had mentioned him being a Grand National horse but I think we'll go down the Gold Cup route now. I suppose we'll enter him for the James Nicholson at Down Royal in November and he could start there next season or in the John Durkan. Any day you can win the Gold Cup here is magic."

Ruby Walsh added: "I have probably redeemed myself a little bit from the ride I gave Boston Bob in the Albert Bartlett (at the Cheltenham Festival) a couple of years ago.

"I have to thank Willie because, although I thought I would never plump for On His Own over Boston Bob, when I rode them in work the other morning I was definitely leaning towards On His Own. I was talking to Willie on Monday morning and he fairly convinced me to ride this lad.

"He has a good turn of foot, but ducked and I nearly fell off him. He has done it in the past, though Dad had the family when I was young and they all had a tendency to be a bit wayward, so I should have been expecting it."

First Lieutenant
© Caroline Norris
First Lieutenant

First Lieutenant travelled powerfully in the first-time blinkers and was the first of the main protagonists to commit for home, but Boston Bob reeled him in after the final fence to take top honours under a jubilant Walsh. Long Run finished third.

Paul Townend partnered the Mullins-trained On His Own, whom Walsh snubbed in favour of Boston Bob, but the Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up faded tamely out of contention after taking the field along for much of the three-mile-one-furlong journey.

Boston Bob travelled notably well throughout, with Walsh seemingly keen to play his cards as late as possible. He was slightly awkward on landing at the final fence, but soon regained his momentum and was well on top at the line, scoring by three and a quarter lengths.

First Lieutenant ran a superb race in second, with the application of headgear clearly having the desired effect. Last year's runner-up Long Run bounced back from his fall in the Grand National at Aintree with a decent effort in third, finishing just ahead of fellow British raider Medermit.

Former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run's trainer, Nicky Henderson, said: "I think that's the best round of jumping I've seen from him - he was foot perfect. These horses have all met each other a few times and they'll have to keep meeting.

"I wouldn't say no to another try at the Grand National, especially after watching him jump round here today. Maybe he learned from Aintree."

Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup
(Grade 1)
€200,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 1f, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good to Yielding

Place Horse / Trainer Jockey Owner Odds
2. Boston Bob
W.P. Mullins
R. Walsh
Andrea Wylie/Graham Wylie 5/2 F
3 1/4 L
3. First Lieutenant
B.J. Geraghty
Gigginstown House Stud 5/1
3 1/2 L
5. Long Run (FR)
Nicky Henderson
S. Waley-Cohen
Robert Waley-Cohen 6/1
3/4 L
7. Medermit (FR)
Alan King
Wayne Hutchinson
The Dunkley & Reilly Partnership 25/1
3 1/4 L
4. Foildubh
John Patrick Ryan
A.E. Lynch
John Patrick Ryan 66/1
6 L
6. Lyreen Legend
D. T. Hughes
P. Carberry
Lyreen Syndicate 11/2
1/2 L
1. Argocat
T.J. Taaffe
A.P. McCoy
Mrs. Fitri Hay 9/1
75 L
10. On His Own
W.P. Mullins
P. Townend
Andrea Wylie/Graham Wylie 4/1
9. Noble Prince (GER)
Paul Nolan
D.N. Russell
D.P. Sharkey 33/1
8. Morning Assembly
D.J. Casey
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