The Gordon Elliott-trained Jessies Dream, who has been absent since finishing second in last season’s RSA Chase at Cheltenham, is on course to make his seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown in next month’s Hennessy Gold Cup.
Elliott reports the eight-year-old to be fresh and well: “We gave him a long break after Cheltenham, as he was a bit sore afterwards, but he seems to be in great shape again and the plan is that he’ll more than likely head to Leopardstown.”
He added: “We’ll take him to Fairyhouse to work next Tuesday and if he comes through that okay, I’d say that he’ll run in the Hennessy.”
Quito De La Roque is also pencilled in to run at Leopardstown and Colm Murphy will be hoping for an improved performance from the son of Saint Des Saints which ran below expectations in the Lexus Chase.
“He has come out that race fine, but we were very disappointed with him the last day,” said Murphy. “Nothing came to light and perhaps he just had a harder race than we thought he had, when he won the Nicholson Chase. He was a bit quiet in himself after the Lexus, but he seems to be back in good form again now and he seems to go on any ground, so we’d be hoping for a much better run from him in the Hennessy.”
Synchronised a runaway winner of the Lexus Chase is on course for a return trip to Leopardstown and Frank Berry, racing manager for JP McManus said: “He has come out of The Lexus in great form. He travelled away lovely that day, he jumped great and he got a great ride, so he’ll definitely go back there for the Hennessy.”
Nick Williams has made a tentative entry for the talented Diamond Harry, but stated: “He is in at Cheltenham next weekend and the plan is that he’ll go there. But if that was called off or if he didn’t make it to Cheltenham, he could go for the Hennessy.”
The Minack, a much improved performer this season, will tackle Grade 1 company for the first time over fences at Leopardstown, when he represents Paul Nicholls and owner Graham Roach.
Willie Mullins successful in the corresponding event 12 months ago with Kempes, is responsible for four of the 17 entries, including Quel Esprit and recent Thurles winner Apt Approach.
Pat Keogh, CEO, Leopardstown Racecourse said: “We are delighted with the quality of entries for the Hennessy Gold Cup, for this the 22nd running of the event. This is always a wonderful race and this year promises to be no exception. It is great to see the number of English entries, this is no surprise given the prestige of the race and the excellent prize money on offer. The Hennessy Gold Cup will be the highlight of a great day’s racing at Leopardstown which features four Grade 1 races. The Hennessy Enclosure Marquee will host the Hennessy Gold Cup Best Dressed Lady, pre-registrations are available on http://www.hennessybestdressed.ie.”
Caroline Sleiman, Market Development Manager for Hennessy comments: “Hennessy has always been a major supporter of racing in Ireland. This year’s race marks the 22nd running of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown and each year, we are delighted with the calibre of horses it attracts and grateful to the owners, trainers and jockeys who provide such excitement each year. I’m sure 2012’s race will be no different and look forward to an exhilarating race.”