Sunday’s Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh was promoted to Group 1 level in 1999 but the extended mile and a quarter contest could be in danger of losing that status following a poor turnout for the race in recent years, and while the 2015 renewal has attracted an entry of ten at the latest forfeit stage the course must be disappointed to hear the news that the 6-4 ante-post favourite Free Eagle will not be lining up at the weekend due to a head cold.
Dermot Weld, trainer of the lightly-raced son of High Chaparral, broke the news on Wednesday morning, saying: “Free Eagle has picked up a head cold and we’ve decided to be cautious. The weather has been very changeable and apart from the head cold he is fine. But we won’t be running on Sunday and we will train him for Royal Ascot where he will have a choice of engagements.”
After being available at a general 5-2 this morning the Kevin Ryan-trained The Grey Gatsby has been promoted to favouritism with all bookmakers, Betfair Sportsbook quoting the best price of 6-4 about last year’s French Derby winner who will have the services of the in-form Ryan Moore. 2013 winner Al Kazeem is 11-4 with most firms to become just the third dual scorer of the race following Yankee Gold in 1976/77 and So You Think in 2011/2012.
Trainer Luca Cumani is hoping the present yielding conditions at the Curragh improve ahead of Sunday’s race for his progressive Dubawi colt Postponed who looked so impressive when storming home in last season’s Great Voltigeur Stakes at York as the four-year-old appears to need decent ground to produce his best form. Available at 4-1 with bet365, Betvictor and Paddy Power Postponed made a promising start to the season when just touched off in Sandown’s Gordon Richards Stakes last month.
The original Dermot Weld-trained ‘second-string’ Fascinating Rock now carries the main hopes of the stable at the standout 10-1 offered by Coral, although Weld could also be represented by the 33-1 chance Good Tradition. The remaining possible contenders are – Answered, Highly Toxic, Parish Hall and Euphrasia.