Irish Gold Cup: Declan Rix’s revelations about every rider in Saturday’s Dublin Racing Festival feature film | Race News

The Irish Gold Cup is on the program for an exceptional afternoon of racing at the Dublin Racing Festival in Leopardstown, with Minella Indo, Frodo and Asterion Forlonge.

Asterion Forlonge

Trainer: Willie Mullins Jockey: Bryan Cooper

A talented but frustrating guy who is happiest being right-handed. Was set to finish second to King George before dropping to last; his stamina fades after chasing a good pace on soft ground.

Has the ability to win, and mostly jumps well enough oddly, but who knows what he might do at some point?

Asterion Forlonge has failed in either of his two previous starts

Cilaos Emery

T: Willie Mullins J: Sean O’Keeffe

A good performer over hedges and fences when singing, but biting more than he can chew into that company on this trip.

Has stamina to prove and is unlikely to get an easy lead.


T: Gordon Elliott J: Davy Russell

Connections may have no choice but to throw him to the deep end now given his official rating of 157.

He impressed when he picked up a Grade B handicap on his last start on the intermediate trip, but he seems to have been dealt with harshly on this as he takes a huge step forward. He is, at least, in good shape.

Delta Work have not won since winning the Irish Gold Cup in 2020
Delta Work have not won since winning the Irish Gold Cup in 2020

delta work

T: Gordon Elliott J: Jack Kennedy

Can be tricky in his jumps, but Jack Kennedy gets the most out of him in that department, and his best, when in good shape, usually comes on that track.

Started this season uncharacteristically at Down Royal but failed to build on this last time out.

Cheekbones are now applied for the first time and of mutual interest if they have the desired effect.


T: Paul Nicholls J: Bryony Frost

For a fast three-mile guy, the King George had a poor ride, especially considering the soft ground.

Is much more effective in tactical chases, which means the typical Irish running style might suit him.

Frodo battles Galvin at Down Royal
Frodo fights Galvin at Down Royal last year

However, he could potentially face pace pressure, and the watering of the track and the recent rain would be detrimental to his luck.


T: Willie Mullins J: Mark Walsh

Novice Hunter earning Rank 1 last season who has improved further this campaign.

Looked better and sharper for his John Durkan second to Allaho in the Savills Chase at Christmas but despite the tactical nature of the race he was outclassed late or failed to stay.

Recent rain and watering is likely a negative as it adds to the endurance requirements.

Jack Kennedy won the Irish Gold Cup at Punchestown
Jack Kennedy won the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown beating Kemboy


T: Willie Mullins J: Paul Townend

The defending champion who enters the race on the back of a fine third at Christmas in the Savills Chase. However, there has been a total run of the race, and it remains to be seen if he is entitled to that luxury again.

If this turns into a similar contest, he has shown time and time again that he is a dangerous horse in these conditions, especially here in Leopardstown.

Another that could have done with less rain and watering.

Minelle Indo

T: Henry of Bromhead J: Robbie Power

Dominant winner of last season’s Gold Cup at Cheltenham, form which makes him comfortably the best horse in this race.

The problem, however, is that he appears to be keeping his best for Cheltenham in March as Leopardstown, in two legs, has not been a happy hunting ground.

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Robbie Power presents a hot renewal of the Irish Gold Cup, including recent Down Royal Champion Chase and former King George Frodo winner for Paul Nicholls

He also comes here after being pulled up in the King George, but his trainers’ horses were hit and miss at the time and this track wouldn’t have played to his strengths.

Robbie Power rolls for the first time, and it’s interesting to see how he performs for another pair of hands.

Declan’s Verdict

An Irish Gold Cup difficult to master tactically, which makes it difficult to trust a selection. Will Kemboy get another easy lead? Or will Frodo take it?

Will they both be happy waiting in front of each other out of the slow fractions or will Minella Indo push forward and force a harder canter that gives her a chance?

There are a lot of questions regarding who is front and center in the market, which means a tentative game each way will continue. DELTA WORK (10/1). He too has questions to answer on the back of his recent disappointment, but we get a much higher price.

If the first-time cheeks bring him back to his best, in his beloved Leopardstown, he could at least reward support each way, and maybe more in what is a tough race to break.

Sky Sports

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