Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Henry de Bromhead trained Monalee and Rachael Blackmore jumping the last to win the 2019 Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park. Henry is out to retain the prize on Saturday with Chris’ Dream. Photo: Alain Barr. 

It’s been a quiet week for Irish racing due to the bad weather but fingers are crossed that Saturday’s top class card at Gowran Park can go ahead.

The feature races on the day are the RED MILLS Hurdle and RED MILLS Chase at Gowran Park which are now worth €60,000.

The Grade 2 Connolly’s RED MILLS Chase looks like a very hot race. Willie Mullins has three in the field including the highest rated entry Real Steel, a Grade 2 winner at Thurles last time out, last season’s Irish Gold Cup winner Bellshill, and Voix Du Reve a winner at Grade 1 level at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival last year.

Henry de Bromhead, winner of last year’s renewal with the Rachael Blackmore-ridden Monalee, has entered Chris’s Dream, a Grade 2 winner over fences last season and more recently winner of the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in November. Gordon Elliott’s three entries, Hardline, Shattered Love and Death Duty are all Grade 1 winning chasers. While Emmet Mullins will be represented by Zero Ten, an exciting novice chaser and winner of the RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival last season.

In the Grade 3 RED MILLS Hurdle, Darasso, successful last year for Barry Geraghty and trainer Joseph O’Brien, could bid for a repeat success. From the Gordon Elliott yard, Mengli Khan and Graded winner Surin are entered for owners Gigginstown House Stud.

An interesting entry comes in the form of the highly rated Cilaos Emery, from the local yard of champion trainer Willie Mullins, which has been campaigning over the larger obstacles of late. He was an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase at Cork in December with Goffs Thyestes winning jockey Danny Mullins onboard. Fozzy Stack doesn’t have many runners over hurdles, but his Carlo Biraghi, a winner last time out in Punchestown is a possible runner as is the Gearoid O’Loughlin-trained Cedarwood Road, a winner at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

The first race on the day is off at 1.10pm. Gates will open at 11am and the RED MILLS Style Marquee will be open from 11.30am where there is a pop up store, fashion shows throughout the day with stylist Marietta Doran, and the Best Dressed competition, judged by Emily O’Donnell and Edward Hayden, where the winning lady & gent will each receive a €500 voucher for the RED MILLS Store and a two night stay in a Talbot Collection Hotel.

Complimentary buses depart from close to the gates of Kilkenny Castle at 12 noon. They return at 5pm and 7pm. The later bus is to accommodate After Dark fans who take to the stage in the Heineken Live marquee at 4.45pm and will play for two hours. There is also live music in the Thyestes Bar which is the ground floor bar from just before the last race. The best priced general admission tickets are available for €12 on GowranPark.ie, admission on the gate will be €15. Tickets bought online can be scanned on a phone or printed to ensure prompt access through the express entries. Gold and silver packages can also be purchased on Gowran Park’s website.

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