Richards bullish on Money Trix
Nicky Richards believes his galloping grey Money Trix should be favourite for Sunday's Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Leopardstown.
The 10-year-old has always been held in high regard by his Greystoke handler and justified his trainer's faith with a fantastic second-place finish in the Lexus Chase. Cooldine and Joncol were both behind Money Trix that day but are shorter in the betting. "He's not favourite. I suppose they just think I'm a small-time trainer," said Richards.
"If he was trained by Paul Nicholls he'd certainly be favourite, but I'm not worried what price he is, we know what we're doing."
Money Trix will once again be ridden by Davy Russell. The Willie Mullins-trained Cooldine is the current favourite, despite being pulled up in the Lexus on his first start of the season. Mullins has also left in Lexus seventh J'y Vole, while Joncol (third), Notre Pere (fourth), Schindlers Hunt (fifth) and In Compliance (pulled up) all featured that day. The Tom Mullins-trained Made In Taipan is only entry which didn't run in the Lexus.
Dunguib could face up to eight rivals as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle on the same card.
Some Present, runner-up to Dunguib in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse, could reoppose, while Willie Mullins has left in both Fionnegas and Morning Supreme. Alice Bradys Call, Aon Sceal, Mr Cracker, Saludos and Whodoyouthink complete the field.
Mullins could let Cousin Vinny bid to break his duck over fences in the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase. The seven-year-old was a fine second to Roberto Goldback on his chasing debut and then finished third behind subsequent Irish Arkle winner An Cathaoir Mor.
The former Cheltenham bumper winner is also engaged at Naas on Saturday but the trainer has made no decision on his likely target. Mullins has also left Citizen Vic in Sunday's Grade One contest, while Noel Meade is double handed too with Nicanor and Oscar Looby engaged.
Aranleigh could line up for Tony Mullins, Zaarito could bid to bounce back from a fall in the Irish Arkle and Weapon's Amnesty has been entered by Charles Byrnes. Dancing Tornado, Lenabane and Roberto Goldback complete the 10 entries.
At Taunton yesterday, Ruby Walsh and Paul Nicholls endured a frustrating afternoon that included several beaten favourites, but the Kildare rider then won the concluding bumper on Rock On Ruby, named in his honour.
"He also schooled Denman this morning and was delighted with him," Nicholls said afterwards. "It might give him a decision to make."
Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, William Hill bet: 7/4 Cooldine, 5/2 Joncol, 3/1 Money Trix, 6/1 Notre Pere, 16/1 bar.