50-1 for the Gold Cup won’t last: Are yard plotting same route as Minella Indo?

Wexford Racecourse

It has been fascinating the last few years to track Cheltenham Gold Cup winners from their opening start of the season. Al Boum Photo twice started out at Tramore on the 1st of January while 2021 winner Minella Indo kicked off his campaign at Wexford.

The race that he returned in last season is on Monday afternoon and the Henry de Bromhead yard once more look set to win the contest. Their 2021 hope is a best priced 50/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup are present but a win at Wexford will see that price shorten. The route that was taken with Minella Indo to Cheltenham glory, started here. Can it happen again?

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3.30 Wexford – BetVictor M.W Hickey Memorial Chase

Eklat De Rire absolutely took off over fences last year on his first two starts. It was unfortunate that he unseated down the back in the Brown Advisory at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Monkfish won the race but didn’t look at his best so who knows what may have happened if this gelding hadn’t made a mistake.

He was certainly travelling well at the time, tanking along before losing his jockey. A perfect 2/2 over fences heading into that, he had seen off the Escaria Ten the time before. That rival did the form no harm when a close up third to Galvin in the National Hunt Chase earlier that same week.

Ladalko, winner of the 2007 Classic Chase was a half-brother to this gelding’s dam. There is clearly plenty of stamina in the pedigree then. Minella Indo was turned over in the RSA the year before winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so that is no stopper to success. It will be fascinating to see just how far Eklat De Rire can go this season, perhaps to the very top.

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