Gilgamboa Gunning For Gold At Leopardstown

Irish Gold Cup

Outright Betting

With two of the last three winners of Saturday’s Grade 1 Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown heading back to try and win it once more at the weekend (3.40pm), the 2016 renewal has all the ingredients to be a thriller.

Punters’ Road To Riches?
Indeed, with last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup third, Road To Riches (8/11), also in the field, Saturday’s latest renewal should again provide a solid pointer for Cheltenham next month. But, for punters looking to build-up the betting bank ahead of the festival, then the aptly named, Road To Riches, could provide the perfect starting point.

Noel Meade’s 9yo won a similar race over C&D last season in landing the Lexus Chase (soft/heavy), though he bettered that in defeat when beaten over 3l in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (3m2f, soft). Having just failed to stay that day, Road To Riches has since rediscovered the winning habit by landing a Grade 2 in November (2m4f, soft).

Kept under wraps since, Road To Riches looks the class act in Saturday’s line-up and will take all the beating. That victory last time out is also a good omen based on past trends…

Irish Gold Cup Trends
Of the last 10 winners…

10 won during their last three runs
10 returned 8/1 or shorter
8 ran over 3m last time
8 arrived via Leopardstown
8 ran in a Grade 1 event last time
W Mullins and M Hourigan won twice apiece

Leopardstown Form Reliable
It’s interesting to note that eight of the last 10 Gold Cup winners all ran here at Leopardstown the time before, boding well for Foxrock (7/1), who was narrowly beaten in this race 12 months ago, prior to being beaten only 1l in the Lexus Chase over Christmas (3m, heavy). First-time blinkers seemed to wake him up on that occasion, and he would hold a good chance of being involved if the headgear works again.

First Lieutenant (8/1) finished strongly to grab second ahead of Foxrock in the Lexus, having finished third in Newbury’s Hennessy beforehand, but his losing run stretches back to Spring 2013.

Gilgamboa To Go All The Way?
The ability to stay the distance on Saturday will prove vital, which may concern followers of Gilgamboa (8/1), a Grade 1 novice winner over 2m4f last term, who was bang there in the Paddy Power Chase before weakening (3m, heavy). It’s possible shorter would suit, but he still could make the frame at each-way odds.

Also at attractive each-way odds is Carlingford Lough (14/1), who held on by 3/4l to beat Foxrock in this race last year, but doesn’t seem to be in any kind of form this time around, while the 2013 winner, Sir Des Champs (16/1), also has a bit to prove having been beaten 21l in the Lexus last time.

Recommended Bets
Road To Riches deserves to be favourite, but there is plenty of each-way value around, with Gilgamboa on offer at 8/1. Although he failed to stay an extended 3m here last time, he possibly hit the front too soon, and a more patient approach on Saturday could see him in the frame.

*Prices correct at time of publication