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Through Irish Eyes: John is a shrewd pick for Irish Gold Cup glory

| 12.02.2017

The second most remarkable day I’ve ever had at Leopardstown was when A P McCoy rode there for the last time, 24 hours after announcing his retirement in 2015.

Thousands thronged the parade ring and when he spoke in his post race interview, you could have heard a pin drop in the crowd.

The horse responsible for his Irish Gold Cup win that day was Carlingford Lough, a horse probably suited by the former Champion Jockey.  He looked an unlikely winner during the race and a year later went off at 20/1, only to defy his odds, this time under Mark Walsh.

He’ll be aiming for a hat-trick today but I believe the 11-year old has too much to do.

I doubt if I’ll ever back Don Poli again, seeing how huffy he was at Down Royal, despite having run better since.

And although we’ve seen some cash around for Zabana this week, I’m veering more towards Sizing John. He opened his season chasing home Douvan and then had an easier task winning the Kinloch Brae at Thurles last month.

Despite stepping up in trip, I think he’s the wisest selection for today’s Irish Gold Cup.

Kennedy has a smart type for the Spring Juvenile

The Spring Juvenile Hurdle has nine runners and an impressive honour roll.

Ruby Walsh rides Bapaume, aiming to give Willie Mullins a third consecutive win in the race.

Willie also has Meri Devie to back him up. I was more taken with the latter at Christmas time when she was well backed against the original favourite for the race, Houseofparliament, ultimately rewarding her supporters.

Another smart female is Dinaria Des Obeaux, who nearly lapped the competition of her hurdling debut and should step up to this challenge nicely. I think she’s likely to give the young Jack Kennedy another Grade 1 award.

Has Ruby made the wrong choice in the Deloitte?

Willie Mullins has no less than half a dozen runners in the The Deloitte Novice Hurdle at 15:00, with Gordon Elliot having three.

Bunk Off Early was pummelled in the betting at Christmas after an extremely long lay-off, and put in a dazzling performance despite the lengthy absence.

I’m leaning more against him than stablemate Saturnas, who won a Grade 1 at the track at Christmas.

Ruby rode Riven Light that day, who re-opposes, but I’m thinking he may have made the wrong decision again and I’m hoping that Paul Townend reaps the reward.

Enjoy the racing!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Hayley O'Connor

Hayley O'Connor is a proud racehorse owner, breeder, self-proclaimed dreamer and PR manager at Ladbrokes. You may have even spotted her riding in the 2015 Charity Race at Cheltenham. Read her exclusive opinions at Ladbrokes News.