What they say: Irish Gold Cup connections

Don Poli (Bryan Cooper)

Gordon Elliott believes Don Poli is the one to beat

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)  

At Leopardstown on Sunday John Kiely’s Carlingford Lough faces seven rivals as he attempts to join Florida Pearl and Jodami by winning the Stan James-sponsored Grade 1 Chase for the third successive year.

What they say

Frank Berry, racing manager to JP McManus, owner of Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough is in good order.  John Kiely is very happy with him. He’s won the race twice, he likes Leopardstown and he’s the highest-rated horse in the race, so he ticks a lot of boxes.

Gordon Elliott, trainer of Don Poli
I thought David Mullins got a great tune out of Don Poli in the Lexus Chase and would he need to improve much from that to be the one they all have to beat in this? I don’t think he would. If David can get another good tune out of him I think he’s the one they have to beat.

Gordon Elliott, trainer of Don Poli and Empire Of Dirt
Empire Of Dirt is obviously taking a big step out of handicap company but he’s been very impressive in his last three wins and I couldn’t have been happier with how he won the Troytown. He’s not ground dependent and will handle the going if it’s that bit better.

Frank Berry, racing manager to JP McManus, owner of Minella Rocco
I was a little bit surprised that Barry went for Carlingford Lough as I thought he might go for the young pretender [Minella Rocco], but I suppose the older horse is tried and tested.

Frank Berry, racing manager to JP McManus, owner of More Of That
More Of That didn’t run too badly last time in the Lexus and has been in good form since. He seems to be coming back to himself.

Jessica Harrington, trainer of Sizing John
We’re stepping into the unknown a little bit as it’s his first time over three miles and it’s going to be a difficult ask for him tackling this trip in such a hot race. However, he relaxes very well during his races and one would have to be pleased with how he finished off the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles last time. Here’s hoping he can deliver our first Irish Gold Cup – it would be lovely.


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