Irish Gold Cup Betting Tips and Offers, 4.00 Leopardstown, 12 Feb 2017

Irish Gold Cup Tips and Betting Offers, 4.00 at Leopardstown, 12th February 2017

The Irish Gold Cup is the highlight event in what is a fantastic day of racing at Leopardstown which includes three other Grade 1 races. The three mile contest is one of the leading trial races for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham next month although it’s a couple of furlongs shorter in distance. Only two horses have managed to do the double in the same season though, Jodami (1993) and Imperial Call (1996).

Irish Gold Cup Betting Tips and Offers

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Two time champion Carlingford Lough is expected to defend his crown this Sunday as he competes against some very familiar faces. The 11-year-old has raced just three times since triumphing at Leopardstown last year and his only outing this season was a poor one. The run over hurdles at Navan in January proved to be too short and competing the extra mile, over fences, will do his chances the world of good here. With three course and distance wins already under his belt, you wouldn’t want to write off the veteran horse but he’s likely to need fairly muddy conditions to stand a strong chance here. The current forecast is soft and if that doesn’t change he’s a very tempting bet.

Empire Of Dirt (9/2, Betfair) made it an unbeaten 2016, winning all three of his handicap starts. He’s set to make his first appearance of the calendar year this weekend in what will be his first non-handicap race since 2014. It’ll be interesting see how he fares against horses on level terms but the feeling is that he may well find Grade 1 going tough. Given his excellent form last year you wouldn’t want to write him off too quickly but there are appealing names on the racecard.

It’s Don Poli, who narrowly heads the market for this race at odds of 11/4 with Totesport. Gordon Elliot’s horse enjoyed a course and distance win during 2015’s Lexus Chase and was only two lengths from winning it again last December. Some respectable but not impressive efforts came in-between and it seems that the eight year old has developed a habit of placing in races rather than winning them. The Don Poli we saw in 2015 would stand a fantastic chance here but the 2016 Don Poli is likely to find himself a few lengths behind once again. He’s certainly capable of turning things around but at his short price he’s not worth the risk.

If Andy Lynch believes the ground is right for Zabana then it’s very likely the eight-year-old will make the trip to Leopardstown this Sunday. If he does then he makes for a solid each way option at 10/1 with BetVictor. He disappointed during the Lexus Chase, finishing seventh, but he is known for being an inconsistent perform. On his day however, he can be a very tough horse to beat as he showed when beating some good names in April’s Growise Champion Novice Chase. Three miles is about his distance and with conditions underfoot set to suit, he’ll be a real force if he feels up for it.