Lough in line for another Gold run

Carlingford Lough could bid for a third victory in the Stan James Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Carlingford Lough could go for the hat-trick this weekend

John Kiely's stalwart, who finished a respectable fourth over hurdles behind Jezki recently, was one of 10 to stand their ground in the Grade One highlight.

Owned by JP McManus, his green and gold colours could also be carried by the Jonjo O'Neill-trained duo of Minella Rocco and More Of That.

Gordon Elliott's Don Poli is ante-post favourite at 5/2 with the sponsors after finishing second in the Lexus, while Elliott could also run the improving Empire Of Dirt, who won the Troytown on his debut for the trainer having previously been handled by Colm Murphy.

Zabana, Sizing John, Road To Riches, Arctic Skipper and Fine Rightly make up the field.

On a high-class afternoon, there should be plenty of Cheltenham clues on offer with 12 left in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle, including seven contenders for Willie Mullins.

Bacardys, Bravissimo, Invitation Only, Saturnas, Bunk Off Early, Chateau Conti and Riven Light are the champion trainer's possibles at this stage.

Elliott could take him on with Blood Crazed Tiger, Brelade or the exciting Barra.

The Flogas Novice Chase has been a great pointer to the RSA Chase at Cheltenham down the years and eight remain in the reckoning.

However, one of the likely favourites, Jessica Harrington's Our Duke, will not be going to Cheltenham as he has not even been entered.

Bellshill, unbeaten over fences to date, looks Mullins' chief hope ahead of Bleu Et Rouge, who was an early faller in the Irish Arkle.

Disko, Ball D'Arc, A Toi Phil, Balko Des Flos and Nambour make up the eight left in.

The fourth Grade One is the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, which saw Mullins supply the first three 12 months ago.

He holds several strong chances again with Bapaume and Meri Devie prominent in the Triumph Hurdle betting.

Joseph O'Brien has left in Bhutan, who is yet to run over timber, St Leger third Housesofparliament, Landofhopeandglory and Royal Ascot winner Sword Fighter.

Impressive debut winner Ex Patriot is in there for Ellmarie Holden while Elliott's French import Duca De Thaix is an unknown quantity among 14 contenders, with stablemates Mega Fortune and Dinaria Des Obeaux also catching the eye.

Read More at Sporting Life

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