A record 24 Irish-trained entries announced for 2019 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup

Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Sizing John

Sizing John and Robbie Power clear of the field racing to the line in the Timico Gold Cup 2017. Cheltenham Festival.

Irish trainers have made a record 24 entries for the 2019 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. In all 43 horses have been put in the race with champion trainer Willie Mullins responsible for nine and Gordon Elliott entering a team of seven for the GBP£625,000 event on the final day of the Festival on Friday, March 15.  


Three of the last four winners of the race feature among the entries with last year's victor Native River, trained by Colin Tizzard, Jessica Harrington’s 2017 hero Sizing John and the Mark Bradstock-trained Coneygree all engaged.


Currently heading the ante-post market is the Pat Kelly-trained Presenting Percy which is seeking a three-timer at Cheltenham having taken the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle in 2017 and the Grade 1 RSA Novices' Chase last year. Presenting Percy is set to make his seasonal reappearance later this month in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.


The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the few the races to have eluded Willie Mullins - he has saddled six seconds - but he has the most entries of any handler in 2019 with nine engaged. Among the Mullins-trained entries is Grade 1 Savills Chase winner Kemboy, lightly-raced recent Listed scorer Al Boum Photo, 2018 Grade 1 Punchestown Gold Cup winner Bellshill, last season’s Grade 2 National Hunt Chase scorer Rathvinden and Total Recall, which took the valuable Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in 2017.


Gordon Elliott won the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2016 with Don Cossack and his seven entries this year include last season's Grade 1 JLT Novices' Chase winner Shattered Love. Other Irish-trained contenders include last year's third and fourth, Anibale Fly (Tony Martin) and Road To Respect (Noel Meade).


Champion British National Hunt trainer Nicky Henderson is responsible for three entries. In addition to Might Bite, Henderson has also put in Valtor, an impressive winner on his British debut in a Listed handicap chase at Ascot in December, and Terrefort, runner-up in the 2018 JLT Novices' Chase before winning an Aintree Grade 1. No current trainer has a better record in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup than Paul Nicholls, who has taken chasing's championship four times, thanks to See More Business (1999), Kauto Star (2007 & 2009) and Denman (2008). His four 2019 entries are headed by King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux.


The full list of entries is as follows:


Horse                   Age        Owner                  Trainer


ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS   9             Slaneyville Syndicate        Willie Mullins


AL BOUM PHOTO             7             Mrs J Donnelly    Willie Mullins


AMERICAN                         9             The Jago Family Partnership         Harry Fry 


ANIBALE FLY                      9             J P McManus      Tony Martin


BALKO DES FLOS               8             Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead


BELLSHILL                          9             Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins


BLACK CORTON                8             The Brooks, Stewart Families & J Kyle       Paul Nicholls 


BLAKLION                           10           S Such & CG Paletta         Nigel Twiston-Davies 


BRISTOL DE MAI               8             Simon Munir & Isaac Souede        Nigel Twiston-Davies 


CLAN DES OBEAUX           7             Mr & Mrs P Barber, G Mason, Sir A Ferguson          Paul Nicholls 


CONEYGREE                      12           The Max Partnership        Mark Bradstock 


DEFINITLY RED                  10           Phil & Julie Martin            Brian Ellison 


DON POLI                           10           Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott


DOUBLE SHUFFLE             9             Crossed Fingers Partnership          Tom George 


ELEGANT ESCAPE             7             J P Romans          Colin Tizzard 


FRODON                             7             P J Vogt                Paul Nicholls 


GIVE ME A COPPER          9             Done, Ferguson, Kyle, Mason & Wood      Paul Nicholls 


INVITATION ONLY            8             Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins


KEMBOY                             7             Supreme Racing/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp               Willie Mullins


KILLULTAGH VIC               10           Rose Boyd/B Anderson/Mrs M Armstrong               Willie Mullins


MALA BEACH                     11           Chris Jones          Gordon Elliott


MIGHT BITE                       10           The Knot Again Partnership           Nicky Henderson 


MINELLA ROCCO              9             J P McManus      Jonjo O'Neill 


MISTER WHITAKER          7             Tim Radford        Mick Channon 


MONALEE                          8             Barry Maloney   Henry de Bromhead


MONBEG NOTORIOUS    8             Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott


NATIVE RIVER                   9             Brocade Racing  Colin Tizzard 


NOBLE ENDEAVOR           10           Chris Jones          Gordon Elliott


OUTLANDER                      11           Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott


PRESENTING PERCY         8             Philip Reynolds   Patrick Kelly


RATHVINDEN                    11           Ronnie Bartlett  Willie Mullins


ROAD TO RESPECT           8             Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade


SHATTERED LOVE             8             Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott


SIZING JOHN                      9             Ann & Alan Potts Limited               Jessica Harrington


SNOW FALCON                9             Patricia Hunt       Noel Meade


TERREFORT                        6             Simon Munir & Isaac Souede        Nicky Henderson 


THE STORYTELLER            8             Mrs Pat Sloan     Gordon Elliott


THISTLECRACK                  11           John and Heather Snook Colin Tizzard 


TOTAL RECALL                  10           Slaneyville Syndicate        Willie Mullins


TOUT EST PERMIS            6             Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade


VALTOR                              10           Simon Munir & Isaac Souede        Nicky Henderson 


YALA ENKI                          9             Hills of Ledbury (Aga)       Venetia Williams 


YORKHILL                           9             Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins




Breakdown of Entries by Trainer


9 entries


Willie Mullins  - Acapella Bourgeois, Al Boum Photo, Bellshill, Invitation Only, Kemboy, Killultagh Vic, Rathvinden, Total Recall, Yorkhill


7 entries


Gordon Elliott  - Don Poli, Mala Beach, Monbeg Notorious, Noble Endeavor, Outlander, Shattered Love, The Storyteller


4 entries


Paul Nicholls - Black Corton, Clan Des Obeaux, Frodon, Give Me A Copper


3 entries


Nicky Henderson - Might Bite, Terrefort, Valtor


Noel Meade  - Road To Respect, Snow Falcon, Tout Est Permis


Colin Tizzard - Elegant Escape, Native River, Thistlecrack


2 entries


Henry de Bromhead  - Balko Des Flos, Monalee


Nigel Twiston-Davies - Blaklion, Bristol De Mai


1 entry


Mark Bradstock - Coneygree


Mick Channon - Mister Whitaker


Brian Ellison - Definitly Red


Harry Fry - American


Tom George - Double Shuffle


Jessica Harrington  - Sizing John


Patrick Kelly  - Presenting Percy


Tony Martin  - Anibale Fly


Jonjo O'Neill - Minella Rocco


Venetia Williams - Yala Enki  


The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the few the races to have eluded Willie Mullins - he has saddled six seconds - but he has the most entries of any handler in 2019 with nine engaged.

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