Katie Walsh: Galopin Des Champs is the Irish Gold Cup standout
The Betway ambassador previews the Saturday action at Leopardstown, including the Irish Gold Cup.
Saturday at Leopardstown
The first race (13:20) is arguably the most open graded race of the weekend. There is no standout and no Willie Mullins good thing, like in lots of the other races. I do think that American Mike is a good each-way price. He was very good up until Navan last time, but he came back sick and, in hindsight, ran well to finish where he did. If he’s back to the form he’s shown before, he could give them all a good run for their money.
Lossiemouth has been very impressive recently and is very difficult to oppose (13:55). She was excellent last time. She settled really well and looks like she’s simply the best in her division. Willie has a big number of entries, but, as I said, it’s hard to oppose Lossiemouth on what she’s done.
The Willie Mullins show could go on again as he’s got another stranglehold in the Irish Arkle (14:30). I’m a big fan of Appreciate It . Even Patrick Mullins has said in the press recently that he’s very, very good and would probably be the one horse he’d ride all weekend if he had the choice.
Dysart Dyanmo is a good horse but is very free and he’ll not get it all his own way in front. Of the other runners, I do like Saint Roi . He settles much better over fences and is a better at racing now. He’ll be ridden cold and could nick a place.
Galopin Des Champs is clearly the standout horse in the Irish Gold Cup (15:05). He’s done little wrong and was very good in the John Durkan. His biggest test will be the extended trip in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he’ll need to get the job done here first.
I have to say, Dad’s horse, Any Second Now , is a massive price. He’s no spring chicken but is lightly raced for an 11-year-old and is in good nick at home. He’s the third-highest rated horse in the race and won’t be far away from the placings if he gets some luck in running.
The Grade B Handicap Hurdle (15:40) is a deep-looking contest on paper. Obviously, the big question is about whether Maxxum can cope with another hike up in the weights. He was very, very good over Christmas but has been penalised for that win. There could still be more in the tank as he won so easily, but we’ll only find out on Saturday.
I think Blue Sari will go well. He has always had a touch of class and will likely enjoy stepping up in trip.
I like Takarengo at a massive price, too. He’s consistent and hasn’t had the best of luck in running of late. He could sneak into a place.
If I could ride one in the Sandyford Chase (16:10), it would be Final Orders . He’s such a good leaper. You won’t see many horses jump better than him, but I’m just not sure how much more improvement he has in him. It’s a good race.
A Wave Of The Sea has won this race for the past two years, so you know he’ll have been trained for this.
I like Get My Drift , who has shown promise on his three starts over fences.
The old boy Battleoverdoyen is a huge price, meanwhile, and could sneak into a place now he’s dropped to a mark in the 130s.
The bumper (16:40) is as competitive as it’s expected to be. Although Patrick Mullins has chosen Fact To File, I thought he needed every yard of the 2m4f trip last time and might need further as opposed to coming back in trip as he’s doing. With that in mind, I’ll side with Fascile Mode , who beat horses with experience on his debut and was very impressive in doing so. He’s had enough time between runs so I hope he can run well again.
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