O’Leary relishing Gold Cup showdown for Cossack

Don Cossack (Brian Cooper) wins the Gold Cup

Don Cossack: Gold Cup winner is set to run at Punchestown

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

MICHAEL O’LEARY cannot wait for Gold Cup winner Don Cossack to tackle Cue Card and Vautour at Punchestown, and wants good ground so that all three superstars can be seen to best effect.

The Grade 1 Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup is set to be an absolute cracker, with the trio all displaying their qualities in recent weeks.

While Vautour was switched to the Ryanair as he was not deemed to be at his peak for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, he still oozed quality to win at the festival. However he could not follow up at Aintree when falling in the Melling Chase.

By contrast Cue Card was a faller behind Don Cossack when holding every chance at Cheltenham, but set the record straight emphatically at Aintree in the Betfred Bowl.

‘The big decider’

Discussing what would be a monumental race, O’Leary said: “We don’t hide away and this is the big decider. It will be a hell of a race. All three are probably best on good ground so I hope the going is perfect for them so that they can all shine.

“You had to be impressed with Cue Card at Aintree, he’s a fantastic horse. Perhaps a flat track and three miles is his cup of tea whereas this race is over three miles and a furlong.

“We wouldn’t swap our fellow and they wouldn’t swap theirs. With Vautour in there as well it’s just a fabulous race. It’s great for racing and it’s great for Punchestown.”

Ryanair runner-up Road To Riches strengthens O’Leary’s hand in the race and he added: “That’s more his trip and it’s all about the ground with him. I don’t know with Don Poli. There’s nowhere else for him to go and he could run.”

 

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