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Leopardstown

  • 15:45 Hennessy Gold Cup 3m

  • (Grade 1) €160,000 added 5yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner €92,000 2nd €30,400 3rd €14,400 4th €4,800
  • Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 24.80s
  • Off time: 15:45:05

Full result

15:45 Leopardstown Result 12th February 2012
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Quel Esprit (FR) 11-10 R Walsh W P Mullins 8 5/4f
Prominent, led from 4th, travelling best early straight and asserted before last, kept on under pressure run-in and reduced advantage final 100 yards opened 7/4 touched 7/4
2nd 2 Roberto Goldback (IRE) 11-10 B J Geraghty D T Hughes 10 14/1
Chased leaders on outer, 5th halfway, 3rd 2 out, 2nd and driven along approaching last, kept on under pressure run-in without reaching winner opened 14/1 touched 14/1
3rd Treacle (IRE) 11-10 P Townend T J Taaffe 11 33/1
In rear, never a factor, ridden into 5th approaching last, kept on under pressure to go 3rd closing stages opened 33/1 touched 33/1
4th ½ Follow The Plan (IRE) 11-10 T J Doyle O McKiernan 9 12/1
Chased leaders, 6th halfway, 5th 2 out, ridden to go 3rd before last, no extra under pressure run-in opened 10/1 touched 12/1
5th 2 China Rock (IRE) 11-10 A E Lynch M F Morris 9 5/1
Prominent and disputed until headed 4th, took keen hold, 3rd halfway, close 2nd approaching 2 out, ridden entering straight and dropped to 4th at last, no extra run-in opened 9/2 touched 5/1
6th Bostons Angel (IRE) 11-10 R M Power Mrs J Harrington 8 3/1
Led early, remained prominent and 2nd halfway, 4th before 2 out, ridden in 5th entering straight, no extra from before last opened 3/1 touched 3/1
7th 51 Magnanimity (IRE) 11-10 D N Russell D T Hughes 8 13/2
Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, slight mistake 5 out, mistake next and sprawled badly on landing, dropped to rear, eased when beaten in straight, tailed off opened 7/1 touched 7/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.90 Tote Place: £1.40,3.50
Straight Forecast: £19.60 Exacta: £16.60

Placepot: €607.60, Pool: €0.0

Verdict

Some of the depth from this event was taken away with the likes of Synchronised and Quito De La Roque missing out so it was left to QUEL ESPRIT to justfy a pretty short price as favourite. His confidence has gradually been restored with victories in a lesser grade and he went about things in a pleasing manner. He raced prominently under Ruby Walsh and was not headed once he went to the front with little over a circuit of the race remaining. He jumped very neatly and had his rivals on the stretch from the second last when closest pursuer China Rock got too close to that obstacle. Roberto Gold back then emerged to challenge at the last but the winner was nimble once again and stayed on for three cracks from Walsh to the line. He has now earned a shot at the Cheltenham Gold Cup but still probably comes up around a stone shy of the best in the race. He is only eight though and clearly progressing but the extra distance at the Festival will be unchartered waters. Roberto Goldback was making some inroads as the line approached and a stiffer test will suit him. He just didn't have that injection of pace in the home straight and it is hard to say how much improvement, if any, the first-time blinkers brought about. Treacle was in rear for much of the trip and basically picked up the pieces in third after the others had all had a crack at getting past Quel Esprit and began to backtrack. He looked to get the maximum return from the race considering the way he was ridden. China Rock took a decent grip early on and still looked a threat on the run down to two out. He was not particularly fluent and that seemed to take the wind out of his sails. This was his second run of the season and he perhaps was still on the fresh side so there may well be better to come in the spring. Follow The Plan had third nicked from him close home but never really threatened the front rank while Bostons Angel was disappointing. Sent off second favourite, Robbie Power was furiously shovelling on the coal from before two out and there was little in the way of a response in the home straight. He has not shown much zest this season although there is still time to bounce back. Magnanimity was on the premises in the back straight but hit the fourth last and slithered badly on landing. His chance was gone from that point and blunders do seem to be hindering his progress.