Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday and pick out their 1-2-3…
“…he’s well worth another chance on balance…”
Timeform on Minella Indo
Irish Gold Cup
15:40 Leopardstown, Sunday
Live on ITV4
1. Delta Work (Gordon Elliott/ Jack Kennedy)
Top-class chaser who won his fifth Grade 1 over fences when beating Kemboy by a length and a half in this race last year. Shaped as if in need of the run when fifth in the Champion Chase at Down Royal on his reappearance but didn’t get the chance to show what he could do in the Savills Chase last time, stumbling and unseating after the ninth fence. Respected.
2. Kemboy (Willie Mullins/ Danny Mullins)
Wasn’t at his very best last season, though he still ran creditably when runner-up to Delta Work in this event. Has shaped well in second on both starts this season, collared only late on by A Plus Tard in the Savills Chase last time, and should launch another bold bid. His defeat of Al Boum Photo at the 2019 Punchestown Festival is the best form on offer.
3. Melon (Willie Mullins/ Paul Townend)
Dual Champion Hurdle runner-up who has developed into a top-class chaser. Finished runner-up in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham last year – the fourth year in a row he has finished second at the Festival – and has raised his game this season, running better than ever when third in the Savills Chase last time. Should give another good account.
4. Minella Indo (Henry de Bromhead/ Rachael Blackmore)
Won two Grade 1 novice hurdles in the 2018/19 season, including the Albert Bartlett, and took well to chasing last season, proving himself one of the best in the division with his second to Champ in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Registered two effortless wins on his first couple of outings this term and it’s best to forgive a fall in the Savills Chase last time when he suffered a rare jumping blip. Top-notch talent who is well worth another chance.
5. The Storyteller (Gordon Elliott/ Keith Donoghue)
Made the most of a fitness edge to land the Grade 1 Champion Chase at Down Royal in October, showing he is still capable of top-class form. Finished a good second in the Christmas Hurdle last time but the suspicion is that he will find at least a couple of these too good.
Timeform’s analyst verdict:
Minella Indo was one of last season’s best staying novice chasers (runner-up to Champ in RSA) and, having landed a pair of small field contests upon returning, was undone by a rare jumping error when falling in the Savills Chase last time. He’s well worth another chance on balance and gets the nod to get back on track. Delta Work and Kemboy, one-two in this last year, can also play their part.
1. Minella Indo
2. Delta Work