Ireland Gold Cup tips, predictions and preview from Leopardstown
The star race at Leopardstown on a star chart for Saturday February 5 is the Irish Gold Cup over 3m (3:15). As the last of four Grade 1s on the card, this should prove instructive for Cheltenham. Giving their advice for this year’s Irish Gold Cup, the experts at SportsLens have three popular hurdle chasers to consider in the market.
It’s been a decade since a horse racing favorite won this race. Will this trend stop this time around? Recent statistics indicate that five of the last eight Irish Gold Cup winners have been nine-year-olds and/or previous course and distance winners. The form of Leopardstown is essential, and it was also the case before the creation of the Dublin Racing Festival.
Light racehorses without a busy campaign find success here. The eight most recent winners have come to the race after one or two races. Six of them competed at Christmas in the Savills Chase. This key Emerald Isle try is also set to further shape Cheltenham Gold Cup betting. Five of the last six Irish Gold Cup winners meanwhile had an official rating of 160+.
In a field of this year’s caliber, only one of the top steeplechasers remaining in practice should be good enough to win it. Now that we know what the trends and statistics are saying, what about the horse racing betting sites market and advice from our Irish Gold Cup experts? Get Leopardstown details here…
Irish Gold Cup preview – Why Kemboy is a fantasy
The obvious starting point is last year’s winner Kemboy. One of four entered for manager Willie Mullins, who has a record 11 wins in this race, the 10-year-old likely has the Irish Gold Cup as his main target. Traders at top betting sites know this all too well. A gelding by Voix Du Nord, Kemboy has track numbers of 2142213. In other words, here is always there or thereabouts at Leopardstown.
As one of only two course and distance winners in the lineup, Kemboy is obviously of interest to bettors here. After chasing A Later Tard at home in Savills Chase last season, he did better 12 months ago. Kemboy just isn’t acting at Cheltenham so cut back on his runs there.
Either John Durkan’s trip was too fast for him or he really needed the race at Punchestown when he respawned. Kemboy shaped much better here last time. He was a close third behind leading betting contenders Cheltenham Galvin and A Plus Late, and beaten by less than a length.
The top three got rid of the rest, including opposing duo Janidil and Delta Work. Although he is officially only the third best horse in the race, this is Kemboy’s Gold Cup – pun intended. On his excellent course record he looks great value and among the Irish Gold Cup odds again at 5/2 with LiveScore Bet to retain his crown.
Bet on Kemboy in the Irish Gold Cup at LiveScore Bet
Irish Gold Cup Tips – Popular Frodo also as part
British champion trainer Paul Nicholls landed that run with Neptune Collonges in 2009 and beloved Ditcheat inmate Frodo won on his last trip to the Emerald Isle. Also now 10, this Nickname gelding beat next Savills Chase scorer Galvin in the Down Royal Champion Chase on his return to action in October.
Frodo reversed form in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with opposite rival Minella Indo on this occasion. Unlike last season, however, he was unable to win the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day. Frodo and Minella Indo battled for the lead, leading to the less-than-flattering racing cliche of cutting their throats.
When allowed to force his way in front, however, Frodo can be a difficult horse to tie up. The presence of four Mullins mounts in the Irish Gold Cup field is however a potential problem. There may be tactics involved with half of the riders coming from the same stable. Rank underdog Cilaos Emery could go on and act as a spoiler.
However, anything Nicholls sends across the Irish Sea commands respect. Frodo will have a lot of supporters here, especially as he is not in Cheltenham’s odds this year with other races in mind for connections. This is why he is also prominent in Irish Gold Cup betting at 5/2 with Bet365.
Bet on Frodo for the Irish Gold Cup with Bet365
Minella Indo has a point to prove
Although Cheltenham’s results show they won the jackpot last season, Minelle Indo ran well below that on either side of his blue ribbon hit. Trained by Henry of Bromhead, this nine-year-old Beat Hollow gelding didn’t have much luck at Leopardstown. Minella Indo fell to closing eighth in Savills Chase last season, then was only fourth 12 months ago.
He was a beaten favorite at Down Royal when he reappeared, then stopped in the King George last time out. Minella Indo clearly has talent but hasn’t put together a winning competitive racing streak since 2019 now. Rachael Blackmore is also not on board him in the Irish Gold Cup, with Robbie Power taking over instead. He is yet to have a winner since returning to the saddle at the time of writing.
Minella Indo is well off the official rankings, but that doesn’t say it all. He needs to prove he can act in Leopardstown as well as he does around the ripples of Cheltenham. While a better performance isn’t a surprise, it explains why William Hill stands out here 7/2 about Minella Indo.
Return Minella Indo in the Irish Gold Cup with William Hill
Questions for the rest of the runners
A left-handed track like this is not suitable for Mullins’ supposed second string Asterion Forlonge. Owned by Joe and Marie Donnelly, this eight-year-old son of Coastal Path has a bad habit of jumping to his right and two recent falls on his CV. Asterion Forlonge is not a mount for timid jockeys and took a heavy fall in the King George last time out. He is not part of the Irish Gold Cup predictions at a fairly short 5/1.
It’s 14/1 bar these four, suggesting that a major upset seems unlikely. aforementioned pair Janidil and Delta Work were in the field in the Savills Chase last time out. The first, yet another trained by Mullins, didn’t seem to make the trip and seems better suited by two and a half miles.
delta work clinched the Irish Gold Cup two years ago but has not resumed since. He is also not part of Cheltenham’s advice for the Festival this year with manager Gordon Elliott on the return track with him. First-time cheeks go on Delta Work, but Gigginstown House Stud’s lead runner may need more than that to sharpen him up.
The same owners and trainer have also Confused submerged in fairly deep water. He won a graded handicap at Navan last time out and has a weight increase for it. Conflated appears to be racing in the Irish Gold Cup to prove to the assessor there has been an overreaction to his breakthrough success at Foxrock.
Irish Gold Cup 2022 tips and shortlist
- Kemboy *****
- Frodo ****
- Minella Indo****