Sunday 17 December 2017

Cheltenham 2015: Don Poli looks good as Gold for Mullins

Horses from Willie Mullins stable make their way back from the Gallops
Horses from Willie Mullins stable make their way back from the Gallops

Willie Mullins enjoyed a fifth winner at the one Cheltenham Festival for the first time yesterday when Don Poli did what was expected of him in the RSA Chase.

As was predicted about the Gigginstown owned six-year-old, Don Poli raced behind the bridle and at times sent out distress signals but continued to find whenever Cooper asked for a response and at the death he ran out a very impressive winner of the race.

“The only road he can go is the Gold Cup. I’d imagine he’ll go to Punchestown next but he looks a Gold Cup horse in the making,” Mullins stated afterwards.

“He has all the ability in the world but long distance runners have to keep a bit back for themselves. It’s harder on the jockeys, but that’s their problem.”

Dermot Weld began the afternoon with an Irish winner as Windsor Park won the Neptune Investments Novices’ Hurdle instigating a brace for jockey Davy Russell.

A plan hatched a year ago came to fruition for Weld who see’s the horse as a high class dual-purpose type.

“He’s a very versatile horse. He raced five times last year and won five times. He has done everything right and he’s a joy to train. He could be entered for a Gold Cup (at Ascot) and we will review it - today was the day though,” Weld said.

Rivage D’Or claimed the Cross Country race for Tony Martin, Russell and Gigginstown and he may well attempt to go for some of the other races in the Crystal Cup series.

Martin said: “We had a horse called Wonderkid who never won anywhere but he won well round here so it takes a certain type of horse. I always thought he was the best I had for this sort of race since him.

 “You need a horse who is agile and has a bit of heart. They need to attack the fences and have a bit of a go.”

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