2021 Irish Gold Cup Guide

Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 15:40
4
Rachael Blackmore

Minella Indo

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: 165
Days: 41

The eight year old has raced 11 times during his short career and has only finished outside the top three in his point to point and last start when falling.

Two seasons ago on his final two starts over hurdles he really came to life landing the Grade One Albert Bartlett at the festival at a huge price of 50/1 and then backed that up at the Punchestown festival when landing another classy Grade One.

He went novice chasing last season and after running well on debut behind star mare Laurina, he landed a Beginners Chase at Navan before narrowly being beaten in the RSA Novices' Chase at the festival, With Champ pipping him on the line.

Coming out of novice company this term he started his season off at Wexford at the back end of October in the Grade Three Memorial Chase where he jumped the field into submission, going on to win the event by 25 lengths.

Having again put up another superb performance at Navan when beating Brahma Bull by close to eight lengths his handler sent him to Leopardstown at Christmas in the Grade One Savills Chase.

Going off as favourite, many were looking for the gelding to put up a big run, but were left wanting more after falling for the first time in his career with a circuit to go.

The horse was none the worse for the tumble and connections are looking for a big performance from the stable star.

Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 15:40
2
Danny Mullins

Kemboy

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 168
Days: 41

The first of Willie Mullins assault on the race is Kemboy who does not have to improve much on his second in the Savills Chase over course and distance in Christmas to get involved again.

The nine year old has been a fine chaser for the yard over the years, landing the Savills Chase in 2018 and then in 2019 going on to frank that form by taking out the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree and the Punchestown Gold Cup.

Unfortunately last season, the star sort of lost his way when putting in lesser performances in the Savills Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Mullins looking for the star to bounce back to form this year.

He made his seasonal return at Thurles which saw him blow the cobwebs away nicely, to finish second behind Presenting Percy in a Listed event.

That put him spot on for the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and if the race was 20 yards shorter he would have won, with A Plus Tard getting up on the line.

That was a superb effort that he can build on for this event and looks to be the value in the race if not going for home as early as last time out.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/21PUN24.5Y11-124
19/03/21CHL26.5GS11-109
07/02/21LEO24.5Sft11-121
28/12/20LEO24Y11-122
19/11/20THU22Sft11-22
Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 15:40
3
Paul Townend

Melon

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 166
Days: 41

Melon is the second runner for Willie Mullins and a bit of a surprise entry having been looking to not stay over the same course and distance in the Savills Chase over Christmas, when just fading into third.

That run was still a extremely special effort, having taken on stablemate Kemboy from a long way out and just not having enough in the tank in the final stages.

Mullins has said he will be ran differently for this event and it may play to his strengths leaving more for the finish with his jumping being second to none.

He was a very smart horse over hurdles finishing second three times in a row at the Cheltenham festival in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Champion Hurdle Twice.

Having been finding his feet as a novice, it all came together at the Cheltenham festival when finishing a narrow second in a photo-finish to Samcro in the Marsh Novices' Chase.

Having finished a good third behind stablemate Min on debut in the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown, his run in the Savills was another superb effort and now under different tactics could be a big player again.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/21PUN24.5Y11-12P
18/03/21CHL20.5GS11-10P
07/02/21LEO24.5Sft11-125
28/12/20LEO24Y11-123
06/12/20PUN20.5Hy11-123
Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 15:40
1
Jack Kennedy

Delta Work

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: 170
Days: 41

Last season Delta Work finished fourth on seasonal debut in the Grade One Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal, but form that the Gordon Elliott trained seven year old went on to land back to back Grade One races at Leopardstown over three miles.

He managed to land the superb Savills Chase and then backed that up at Christmas when taking the Irish Gold Cup under a stellar ride by Jack Kennedy.

Having franked the form of the RSA two seasons before, he tried his hand at the Gold Cup and although running a fair race never troubled the leaders.

This season the gelding started off again at Down Royal and although finishing a worser fifth, was closer to the winner in distance, which was pleasing for the yard.

He used that run to head to the Savills Chase where he took on the three in the market ahead of him, but unfortunately with a long way to go in the race unshipped rider Sean Flanagan.

We don't know what would have been for the horse who landed this race last year, and it is said the key to the gelding is jockey Jack Kennedy who is on board for the race on Sunday.

Leopardstown - February 07 2021
Leopardstown 15:40
5
Keith Donoghue

The Storyteller

J:
 
Keith Donoghue
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 10
Weight: 11-12
OR: 162
Days: 41

The Storyteller is a highly consistent yardstick for Gordon Elliott having won Graded races over both hurdles and fences and this term looks to be staying over the bigger obstacles.

A Cheltenham festival winner, the nine year old has been in fine form of late racing five times since July, winning three of them and placing in another.

Having been an extremely lucky Grade One winner in 2018, he gave one of his best performances last time out when landing a Grade Three at Punchestown.

He has won 11 races during his career including on his seasonal debut when he went on to shock a superb field at Down Royal to take the Grade One Ladbrokes Champion Chase.

He was sent back over hurdles last time in the Christmas Hurdle over three miles at Leopardstown and was a staying on second behind Flooring Porter.

He is a proven stayer that gets the trip and is not without a chance at his big odds, not being outside the top two on his last six races.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/21PUN24Y11-127
18/03/21CHL24GS11-105
07/02/21LEO24.5Sft11-122
28/12/20LEO24Sft11-122
31/10/20DRO24Y11-121

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