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Carlingford Lough defends Gold Cup crown in Leopardstown thriller

Willie Mullins’ Valseur Lido fell at the last but the Co Carlow handler still managed to claim a Grade One hat-trick at the venue today.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated at 17.00

CARLINGFORD LOUGH DEFIED the odds to complete a remarkable Irish Gold Cup double in a thrilling race at Leopardstown today.

John Kiely’s 20-1 shot was steered home by Mark Walsh this afternoon in the showpiece event 12 months after the now-retired AP McCoy did the same.

Willie Mullins’ Valseur Lido was looking strong but fell at the last under Ruby Walsh.

And Carlingford Lough took advantage to claim a 12-length victory ahead of Road to Riches (5/4F), with Fine Rightly (33-1) back in third.

Mullins still had an excellent day in south Dublin, despite Valseur Lido’s fall. The County Carlow handler bagged a grade one hat-trick today with Outlander, Bleu Et Rouge and Footpad all claiming victories.

There was a big shock in the opening race as the heavily-fancied favourite Ivanovich Gorbatov (8/13) finished fourth and Footpad (14/1) claimed victory in the Gain Spring Juvenile Hurdle.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Ivanovich Gorbatov had been the favourite for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham next month before today’s disappointing performance.

Instead Footpad, with Danny Mullins on board, finished in first place and it was a 1-2-3 for trainer Mullins with Allblak Des Places in second and Lets Dance finishing third.

Bleu Et Rouge also prevailed in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle for Mullins, seeing off the challenge of Tombstone with a powerful finish.

In the hands of Barry Geraghty, Blue Et Rouge claimed a three-length win with 4/6 favourite Bellshill making up the minor placings.

Outlander, a 13/8 favourite, made it three wins from three over fences with an impressive victory in the Flogas Novice Chase.

Bryan Cooper’s mount pulled away late on to score by two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Monksland and Pont Alexandre.

In Sandown, there was a first Grade One success for Nigel Twiston-Davies’ grey Bristol De Mai.

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Daryl Jacob’s mount (10/11F) claimed a six-length victory in a competitive Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase, seeing off the challenge of De Mee and Tea For Two.

Phillips Hobbs’ Saddlers Encore also boosted his reputation by claiming glory in the Grade Three Betfred Mobile Heroes Handicap Hurdle.

The eight-year-old, with Richard Johnson on board, had three-quarters of length to spare over Join The Clan.

Leopardstown – Saturday results

12.55 – 1. Footpad (14/1), 2. Allblak Des Places (10/1), 3. Lets Dance (5/1)

1.25 – 1. Who’s That (12/1), 2. Leaders Questions (20/1), 3. Barnahash Rose (7/1)

1.55 – 1. Bleu Et Rouge (11/1), 2. Tombstone (3/1), 3. Bellshill (4/6F)

2.30 – 1. Outlander (13/8F) 2. Monksland (6/1) 3. Pont Alexandre (9/4)

3.05 – 1. Blazer (9/2F), 2. Mighty Concorde (6/1), 3. Joshua Lane (7/1)

3.40 – 1. Carlingford Lough (20/1), 2. Road To Riches (5/4F) 3. Fine Rightly (33/1)

4.15 – 1. You Must Know Me (9/1), 2. It Came to Pass (8/1), 3. Salsify (16/1)

4.45 – 1. Sunni May (10/3), 2. Some Neck (4/5F), Smooth River (33/1)

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Fintan O'Toole

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