Leopardstown have published the forfeit stage entries for the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle, the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle, the Grade 1 Dr. P.J. Moriarty Novice Chase and the Grade 1 Hennessy Gold Cup which will be run this Sat 9th February (Hennessy Gold Cup Day).
Two of Ireland’s most prominent horses, Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs will come head to head for the third time in the feature race of the day, in what will be a cracking weekend for Irish Sport which features four grade ones on the one card. The Peter Casey-trained Flemenstar is reported to be in terrific form as he bids to get back to winning ways in Saturday’s Grade 1 Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Casey’s son and assistant Francis said “he did a terrific bit of work last week.” Jockey, Andrew Lynch said afterwards “that he has never worked as well. He has been in great form since and we’ll take him over to The Old Vic at The Curragh again tomorrow to do another bit and that should leave him ‘spot on’ for Saturday.”
Regarding tactics for Saturday’s contest Peter Casey added “We’ll leave that until the day and I am sure Stephen (Curran owner) and Andrew will have a plan as to what they’ll do, but his weight is good and he’ll more than likely wear ear-plugs in the parade ring, as he got very buzzed up beforehand in The Lexus. His jumping is so good that you don’t want to disappoint him and everyone has a view as to what we should do, but we are all looking forward to it. “
Sir Des Champ’s trainer, Willie Mullins was optimistic about Sir Des Champ’s chances this Saturday, as he mentioned:- “Sir Des Champs ran a good race the last day in the Lexus and he seems to have come out of that race in good form. We are hoping that he can improve on that” Champion trainer, Willie Mullins is also likely to be represented by last year’s winner Hennessy Gold Cup winner Quel Esprit ”I’ll also run Quel Esprit. He won the race last year and he seems to be in good form and it looks the logical race to start him back in.”
Champagne Fever is one of three possible runners for Mullins in the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle. Un Atout has won three times very impressively and Twigline was very impressive last time out. Dermot Weld’s Waaheb and Dessie Hughes’ Bright New Dawn were second and third behindJezki in the Grade 1 Paddy Power Future Champions at Christmas. Jeremy Scott has enteredMelodic Rendezvous who won the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in January. He said “we’d love to come over, as we love racing in Ireland, but we have to do what is best for the horse, so it will be a few days before we decide” John Ferguson will run Buthelezi who won his only race over hurdles at Aintree in December.
The Dessie Hughes trained Our Conor will try and maintain his unbeaten record over timber in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle, while John Ferguson brings over Ruacana who won a Grade 1 in Chepstow at Christmas. Sabrina Harty has confirmed that Dalasiri is a likely runner and said:- “the ground has dried up somewhat and if we get yielding ground on Saturday, the plan is to run. He has been in super form since he ran at Gowran and he is a horse that stays very well. He has never run on the flat, so if he runs well on Saturday, I’d imagine that he’ll go for the Triumph at Cheltenham, rather than the Fred Winter”. Willie Mullins has a strong entry leaving in both Blood Cotil and Diakali at today’s forfeit stage.
Willie Mullins is treble-handed in the Grade 1 Dr P.J Moriarty Novice Chase, with Back In Focus,Boston Bob and Mikael D’Haguenet and Noel Meade has recent Grade 2 winner Texas Jack in the field.
Pat Keogh, Chief Executive of Leopardstown said that “we are all set for a wonderful Hennessy Gold Cup Day on Saturday. While we will all be looking forward to seeing Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs in the Hennessy Gold Cup, the supporting card including three Grade 1 races will showcase all the very best of national hunt racing. It is fantastic to see English runners coming over for what will be a great weekend of sport in Dublin. The going is currently soft, yielding to soft in places on the hurdle course, while the chase track is soft to heavy, heavy in places”.
|Sir Des Champs||6/4, 5/4||6/5|
|Bog Warrior||10/1, 8/1, 6/1||8/1|
|Quel Esprit||16/1, 14/1||10/1|
|China Rock||25/1, 16/1||12/1|
|Roi Du Mee||20/1||33/1|