Irish Gold Cup Meeting
Two posts in one weekend, its all going off isn’t it. I couldn’t not do one on this absolute behemoth of a card at Leopardstown could I really, it would of been farcical not too on my part. Ill kick this Irish mammoth off with the first Grade 1 of the afternoon the Spring Juvenile headed by Willie Mullins Bapaume. I’ve actually got Bapaume down as one of my Triumph selections for the Cheltenham Festival (thats if he makes it there) so he will be my selection to take this as he has looked very impressive when beating Landofhopeandglory over Christmas. It won’t be straight forward at all though as Gigginstown’s Dinaria Des Obeaux looked hugeley impressive when winning comfortably last time out as did Bapaume’s stablemate Merie Devie. Very decent flat performer Housesofparliament might want a bit better ground but he still can’t be ruled out neither can Mega Fortune. A very tough race but my selection is Bapaume. The next Grade 1 the 3.00 Deloitte Novice Hurdle and is basically Mullins Vs Elliot, six runners from Willie and four from Gord which is absolutely bonkers and again very tough to call. Ruby has chosen Saturnas who heads the market at around 9/4, he was impressive when winning last time out and on that probably justifies favourtism and Walsh’s selection however i’m going to take a chance on 14/1 outside chance Bacardys. He was one of the best bumper horses last year and has made a decent start over hurdles and looks a huge price to me at 14/1 as I think he’s a great chance to at least get into the frame. Another Mullins runner in this is interesting too in Chateau Conti trading at around 7/1, won his last three and could have more to come. 3.30 next and is another Grade 1 in the Flogas Novice Chase headed by Willie Mullins Bellshill trading at around 5/4. Favourite for the RSA at Cheltenham I think Bellshill is expected to put in a big run in here on his way to the festival and I think he’ll do exactly that and take this. I dont think it will be a stroll in the park though as there is some very decent opposition which you could probably make a case for the majority of. Jessica Harringtons Our Duke has won its last two and is an obvious threat on that form, i’m also a fan of the other Mullins runner Bleu Et Rouge however his jumping is a concern. A Toi Phil won a decent handicap last month for Gordon Elliot but this looks a bit of a stiff test. Disko can’t be ruled out as he’s put in some decent performances throughout this season but my preference is for the favourite Bellshill to take this with Walsh on board. The feature is next in the Irish Gold Cup and is headed by Gordon Elliots’ Don Poli trading at around 7/2. He’s favourite for this after a very strong and impressive performance in the Lexus when behind stablemate Outlander and a repeat of that would see him go close again here. Stablemate Empire of Dirt is joint favourite with some firms and justifiably so as he’s in great form winning his last three and doing so impressively in his one start this campaign. However i’ll be going for a slightly bigger priced chance in Minella Rocco. He fell on his last start back in December and hasn’t been seen since however he is still very lightly raced and acts on soft ground, I think he could be a great price to take this at around 11/2. He won the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last year beating Native River in the process and the form speaks for itself. You obviously can’t rule out Carlingford Lough taking this for a third time as he loves it round here and is a cracking horse in his own right but selection for me in this is the Jonjo O’Neil shot Minello Rocco.