Irish Gold Cup Betting Tips – 4th February 2018
This time of the year has always been important for Irish National Hunt racing with several big Grade 1 races in the calendar. However, it’s being taken up a notch in 2018 with the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival.
Held this weekend at Leopardstown, the much anticipated meeting includes several standout races including the Irish Gold Cup on Sunday.
This three mile steeplechase has long been seen as the leading trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. That reputation was only strengthened last year when Sizing John won both races for Jessica Harrington.
The 2017 champion is not returning to Leopardstown which opens the door up for the likes of Our Duke (11/1 with William Hill for the Cheltenham Gold Cup) and Anibale Fly (25/1 with Coral for the Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting) to stake their claim for Cheltenham success in front of the huge Leopardstown crowd.
David Mullins on this weekend's Dublin Racing Festival - "Leopardstown is known for the craic, which will be added to by the music and comedy they’ve got lined-up. It’s one of the meets that everybody looks forward to" - @davym15 #DublinRacingFestival pic.twitter.com/mnBmNKRSvL— Leopardstown RC (@LeopardstownRC) January 31, 2018
Past Five Winners
2017 – Sizing John, aged 7, ridden by Robbie Power, trained by Jessica Harrington
2016 – Carlingford Lough, aged 10, ridden by Mark Walsh, trained by John Kiely
2015 – Carlingford Lough, aged 9, ridden by Tony McCoy, trained by John Kiely
2014 – Last Instalment, aged 9, ridden by Brian O’Connell, trained by Philip Fenton
2013 – Sir Des Champs, aged 7, ridden by Davy Russell, trained by Willie Mullins
Three Way Battle for Favouritism
The early betting for the Irish Gold Cup has Our Duke (3/1 with Coral), Anibale Fly (9/2 with William Hill) and Killultagh Vic (5/1 with Betfair) each vying for favouritism.
Our Duke, a winner over course and distance, has been built up as a potential Gold Cup winner for a while now. While he has the raw ability to kick on and win the Irish Gold Cup, he may have to wait a year to do so.
Jessica Harrington’s eight-year-old has only made one appearance this season – a very disappointing performance at Down Royal – and should find at least one or two better than him on Sunday.
Anibale Fly is another with previous winning form at Leopardstown but the step up to a Grade 1 from handicaps is a big one and the eight-year-old is yet to really show he’s up to winning a race of this calibre.
Of the favourites, that leaves us with Killultagh Vic who is much more appealing at 5/1.
Who knows what this nine-year-old would have achieved by now were it not for a lengthy absence through injury. Willie Mullins certainly thinks very highly of him and even though his reappearance on New Year’s Eve was over hurdles, connections are convinced there’s a top class chaser in there.
A Killultagh Vic victory would be a very big story indeed but we think he’s up to the task at 5/1 with Betfair.
Even if he doesn’t win, a strong performance from Killultagh Vic could see his price for the Cheltenham Gold Cup come in considerably from the 33/1 that Ladbrokes are currently quoting.
Two Potential Cheltenham Winners Set to Impress
Those with ante post positions on the Cheltenham Gold Cup will watch the action from Leopardstown very keenly this weekend.
Some of them will be hoping for big performances from Minella Rocco (20/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup) and Djakadam (33/1 with William Hill for the Cheltenham Gold Cup) to strengthen their positions.
Minella Rocco finished second in the big one at Cheltenham in 2017 and has been working his way up to something approach his best so far this season so back him each-way at Leopardstown at 12/1 with BetVictor.
Djakadam was second in the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup and fourth last year. He’s displayed his ability to compete in Grade 1s over three miles time and time again and warrants each-way support in the Irish Gold Cup at 8/1 with 888Sport.