- Stumptown could become another Irish-trained winner of the Coral Gold Cup
- It depends on whether the Berkshire track survives its early morning inspection
- Stumptown’s jumping has sometimes hindered him but there is plenty of hope
Stumptown can add his name to the short list of Irish-trained winners of the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury if the Berkshire track survives its early morning inspection.
Irish-trained horses dominate the big races currently, especially at the Cheltenham Festival, but the historic race still known to many at the ‘Hennessy’ has largely proved elusive to the raiders.
The great Arkle won it twice in the 1960s but the 2017 victory of Willie Mullins-trained Total Recall was the first success for an Irish-trained runner since Bright Highway in 1980.
Stumptown’s jumping has sometimes hindered him but there is plenty to suggest that the gelding, who is a 9-1 shot with Betfair, has some improvement in him.
The fact classy Ahoy Senor runs under top weight of 12st holds Stumptown’s weight down with jockey Danny Mullins weighing out at a featherweight of 10st 2lb, a big plus in a race always run at an exacting tempo.
Gavin Cromwell’s Stumptown can add his name to the short list of Irish-trained winners of the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury if the Berkshire track survives its early morning inspection
Stumptown’s stand-out piece of form last season came when he was second in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival in March. After such a huge effort the young horse can be forgiven a below-par effort in the Irish Grand National.
His two runs this season look like they will have made him razor sharp for today’s test.
The final ingredient is the form of his trainer Gavin Cromwell. He’s had eight winners in the last fortnight and his British forays have reaped rewards with five winners from 21 runners.
Cromwell said yesterday: ‘He’s in great nick and has a lovely racing weight, so hopefully he will have a good chance.
‘The last time he ran in the Kerry National he made a mistake four out, and wasn’t beaten far, so it wasn’t that bad a run. When he was pulled up in the Irish Grand National it was quite soon after Cheltenham and it was run on very soft ground, which probably wasn’t ideal.’
The Irish also have strong claims with Mahler Mission, who looked like he could still win the National Hunt Chase at the Festival last season when he fell two out.
His prep-run when second to Thunder Rock at Carlisle was adequate but the worry is the form of his trainer John McConnell, who has gone 51 days and 42 runners since his last jumps winner.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls runs Complete Unknown, runner-up to Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Gerri Colombe at Aintree in April.
He fits the profile of a Coral Gold Cup winner as he’s an improving second-season chaser who also has a handy weight (10st 11lb).
Jonjo O’Neill’s Monbeg Genius also looks like he’s the ideal type for the race.