Delta Work and Kemboy head 15 contenders in mix for Irish Gold Cup glory

Mon 13 Jan 2020

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Delta Work and Kemboy are two of 15 entries for the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup on February 2.

The 250,000 euro contest is the most valuable event of the two-day Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown – and a fascinating contest looks in store.

Gordon Elliott’s Delta Work bounced back from a disappointing seasonal reappearance at Down Royal when lunging late to land the Savills Chase over the Irish Gold Cup course and distance during the festive period.

Watch what our experts made of the Savills Chase

The Willie Mullins-trained Kemboy could finish only fourth when defending his Savills Chase crown, but will be expected to improve for what his first start since winning the Punchestown Gold Cup in May – a race that will forever be remembered as Ruby Walsh’s swansong.

The race sponsors make Delta Work and Kemboy joint-favourites at 7-4.

Mullins could also call upon last year’s winner Bellshill and Cadmium as he bids to add to his record haul of 10 wins in the race.

Elliott also has Shattered Love, Death Duty and Alpha Des Obeaux in the mix, while other hopefuls include Noel Meade’s Road To Respect, Jessica Harrington’s 2017 winner Sizing John and Warren Greatrex’s mare La Bague Au Roi.

The highlight on February 1 is the PCI Irish Champion Hurdle, which has attracted 14 hopefuls.

Dave Yates and Tom Stanley study the Matheson Hurdle

A four-strong Mullins team is led by Sharjah and Klassical Dream, who won and disappointed respectively in last month’s Matheson Hurdle at the Dublin circuit.

The potential opposition includes Henry de Bromhead’s unbeaten mare Honeysuckle, Harrington’s 2018 Irish Champion Hurdle hero Supasundae and the resurgent Apple’s Jade from Elliott’s yard.

Interesting, Elliott has also entered star novice hurdlers Envoi Allen and Abacadabras.

The first of eight Grade Ones over the two days is the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ‘€50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle.

Envoi Allen tops an Elliott entry of 10, while a 12-strong Mullins team includes Asterion Forlonge and Blue Sari.

Paul Nolan’s Latest Exhibition is another major player.

Envoi Allen has plenty of options at the two-day meeting

The Mullins-trained Min could bid for a third successive win in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase, although the Closutton maestro possesses a formidable squad, with Un De Sceaux, Cilaos Emery and Chacun Pour Soi also engaged.

De Bromhead’s A Plus Tard inflicted a shock defeat on Chacun Pour Soi last month and the pair could renew rivalry.

Nicky Richards’ course regular Simply Ned also holds an entry.

Eight different trainers have entered 16 horses for the Grade One ERSG Arkle Novice Chase, with Henry De Bromhead responsible for leading fancy Notebook, who made it three wins over fences at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

He beat the Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D’Oudairies to land the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase and the pair could clash again in a race where the impressive Naas winners Cash Back and Bapaume, as well as Leopardstown winner Melon could also play a part for Mullins.

The action on the following afternoon begins with the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle, which is set to feature De Bromhead’s hugely-exciting course scorer Aspire Tower.

 Faugheen holds an entry in the Flogas Novice Chase
Faugheen holds an entry in the Flogas Novice Chase

The aforementioned pair of Abacadabras and Envoi Allen are in the Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle, which also features Peter Fahey’s Limerick scorer Soviet Pimpernel.

Battleoverdoyen and Faugheen lead the way for Elliott and Mullins respectively in the Flogas Novice Chase. Minella Indo is a notable entry for De Bromhead.

Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown, said: “The quality of the entries is superb, and we are grateful to the owners and trainers who continue to support Dublin Racing Festival.

“Once again, the prize money has increased for 2020 to over two million euro, which will add to the excitement of this major sporting event.”

Paddy Power ante-post betting below:

Irish Gold Cup: 7-4 Delta Work, Kemboy, 4-1 Road To Respect, 10-1 Presenting Percy, Sizing John, 12-1 Chris’s Dream, 14-1 Bellshill, 25-1 others.

Irish Champion Hurdle: 7-4 Honeysuckle, 9-4 Sharjah, 5-2 Apple’s Jade, 4-1 Klassical Dream, 16-1 Envoi Allen, Petit Mouchoir, 20-1 others.

Dublin Chase: 11-10 Chacun Pour Soi, 5-2 A Plus Tard, Cilaos Emery, 6-1 Min, 12-1 Footpad, 14-1 Duc Des Genievres, Un De Sceaux, 25-1 others.

Arkle Novice Chase: 7-4 Notebook, 15-8 Fakir D’Oudairies, 4-1 Cash Back, 8-1 Bapaume, Melon, 14-1 Put The Kettle On, 20-1 Easy Game, 25-1 others.

Spring Juvenile Hurdle: 8-11 Aspire Tower, 4-1 Cerberus, Rayapour, 8-1 Wolf Prince, 12-1 A Wave Of The Sea, 14-1 Leagan Gaeilge, Never Do Nothing, Tronador, 16-1 others.

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