Thrilling finish to Unibet Irish Gold Cup on day two of Dublin Racing Festival


Monday, February 04, 2019
Bellshill Unibet Irish Gold Cup

Bellshill and Ruby Walsh battles Road To Respect to win the Unibet Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) Leopardstown 03.02.2019. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post


The Unibet Irish Gold Cup was a select but stunning spectacle as Bellshill battled back bravely to deny Road To Respect in what was one of the most thrilling finishes ever witnessed at Leopardstown. Road To Respect, so unlucky in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas festival, was sent off the 5-6 favourite to make up for that misfortune and he jumped the last a length in front under Sean Flanagan. Ruby Walsh, who struck earlier on in the day with Klassical Dream in the Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle, was once again on the right side of a photo-finish as Bellshill stuck his neck out and was not to be denied. A short-head was the official winning margin. 

Le Bague Au Roi did the business for the visiting English connections in the Flogas Novice Chase as she made every yard of the running under Richard Johnson to justify Warren Greatrex's shrewd shout to pay a visit to Leopardstown with his stable star who has now won 14 of her 19 starts.
 
Klassical Dream won the Grade 1 Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle under a hard-working ride from Ruby Walsh to deny stable-companion Aramon in a thrilling finish. 

The first Grade 1 of the day, the Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle, was won in emphatic fashion by the Joseph O'Brien-trained Sir Erec who won at Leopardstown over Christmas.  

Ed Nicholson of Irish Gold Cup sponsors Unibet, said: Unibet are delighted to celebrate our third year of sponsorship at Leopardstown and to be involved in Dublin Racing Festival - this year has been the best we’ve seen so far. The festival is attracting the very best of runners across the two days and it is gaining prominence on both sides of the Irish Sea, which is important to us. Congratulations to Willie, Ruby & The Wylie’s on today’s victory in the Unibet Irish Gold Cup and we look forward to our continued association with Dublin Racing Festival.

Speaking after the final race of the weekend, Leopardstown CEO Pat Keogh, said: "For an event only in it's second year we are absolutely delighted with how Dublin Racing Festival has established itself. A big thank you must go to all the owners and trainers for providing blockbuster entertainment on track and to our wonderful sponsors from both days without whom, a day like this wouldn't be possible. Finally a big thanks to all our supporters and those who attended, we're delighted to see it has made it's mark with racing fans across the pond."

For an event only in it's second year we are absolutely delighted with how Dublin Racing Festival has established itself. A big thank you must go to all the owners and trainers for providing blockbuster entertainment on track and to our wonderful sponsors from both days without whom, a day like this wouldn't be possible. 

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