Friday 23 February 2018

Comeback king Edwulf romps to glory one year after Cheltenham collapse

Jockey Derek O’Connor with trainer Joseph O’Brien after winning the Irish Gold Cup. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Jockey Derek O’Connor with trainer Joseph O’Brien after winning the Irish Gold Cup. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Sean O'Grady

It was an exhilarating end to the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown as outsider Edwulf soared to victory in the Unibest Irish Gold Cup worth €200,000.

The nine-year-old was sent home from Cheltenham last year after collapsing at the end of the National Hunt Chase, but came back fighting on the South Dublin race course.

"It was an unbelievable race. All the people who did the work with him since Cheltenham last year, I can't thank them enough," said trainer Joseph O'Brien.

"I had thought he was gone. The vets on the course in Cheltenham did such an unbelievable job with him and they said he was going to come back and he did. It's been a long road.

"Everyone has been delighted all along. I had thought he was even better than he was last year."

Grey skies and rain showers did not put a dampener on spirits at Leopardstown, with throngs of punters flooding into the race course to soak up the new festival.

Niamh Flynn from Dungarvan, Co Waterford, at the Leopardstown Races. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Niamh Flynn from Dungarvan, Co Waterford, at the Leopardstown Races. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Among those enjoying the day was Chanelle McCoy, who confirmed she will be back in business on the new series of 'Dragons' Den' in the coming months after joining the panel of investors last year.

The Galway woman (41) breathed new life into the series in 2017 and producers quickly asked her back for another run.

"They very kindly asked me to go back to be a judge. I really enjoyed doing it; it was a really interesting experience. It's great to give people a leg up," she told the Irish Independent.

"I made a rule that I wasn't going to invest in anything that I didn't know anything about because you can't add value to it. I think we're going to record in a few weeks."

Chanelle McCoy. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Chanelle McCoy. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Chef Adrian Martin, known for starring on TV3's 'The Six O'Clock Show', gave punters a cooking demo and teased a secret project with RTÉ coming up later this year.

"I have a few contacts out in America. [TV personality] Adam Richman has invited me over to New York a couple of times and has tried to push me into live TV work in the states, so it's something I might take him up on," he said.

A total of 26,136 people attended the two-day festival.

Anne Marie McManus from Ballsbridge, Co Dublin. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Anne Marie McManus from Ballsbridge, Co Dublin. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Irish Independent

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