Tag Archive for: Cape Gentleman

Cape Gentleman earns rise in class as Emmet Mullins dominates at Cork

Cape Gentleman is in line for a Grade One tilt after taking his record over fences to a perfect two from two with an authoritative success at Cork – on what was a day to remember for trainer Emmet Mullins.

Sent off at 100-30, with stablemate Noble Yeats heading the market for the Grade Three Paddy Power From The Horses Mouth Podcast EBF Novice Chase, the Brian Hayes-ridden five-year-old led from flag-fall and survived a minor blip two out to come 14 lengths clear of Run Wild Fred.

Mullins said of his charge, who has also won on the Flat and over hurdles: “He jumped great again and handled the ground. It’s loose, but they’re getting through it – and they’re not out on their feet, thankfully.

“It was good to get that second run into him now, for that bit more experience, and he’s probably entitled to go on to Fairyhouse now for the Drinmore (next month).

“It’s a big advantage to have those two runs under his belt, going on, and hopefully if he puts in another performance of jumping like that he’ll take beating wherever he goes.”

He added: “I told Brian he didn’t have to make it, just to keep rolling on him. Brian says he’s like a big cat to jump, he’s so nimble and athletic – and he’s versatile ground-wise. It was proper good ground in Punchestown. There are a lot of strings to his bow. It’s exciting times ahead.”

Cape Gentleman – who earned quotes of 14-1 for the Marsh Novices’ Chase and 16-1 for the Arkle with Paddy Power – was a second winner on the card for Mullins and Hayes, after Crowns Major doubled his career tally under National Hunt rules with a seven-length victory in the opening maiden hurdle.

The Punchestown bumper winner faced a strong challenge from Mosala when that rival came down at the second-last but was in control thereafter and well on top from runner-up Figurehead at the line.

After the 11-10 favourite’s success, Mullins said: “I was a bit worried about the ground, but that is a great start.

“It wasn’t his Derby today, and I told Brian to teach him as much as he could. He jumps well and had schooled well at home and came through nicely.

“He was a bit green in front going to the last, but hopefully there is plenty more in the tank.

“He was rated 96 on the Flat, jumps well and will get an entry for the Royal Bond. Being as slick as he is (over hurdles) is a huge asset to have with that pace, and he is exciting.”

It got even better for Mullins when Agritime gave him a first ever treble in landing the bumper as the 30-100 favourite, ridden by his cousin, Patrick Mullins.

The trainer said: “That’s my first treble, and there weren’t too many times when we had enough runners to have had one.

“She is a nice mare, loves that ground – and she found a nice opportunity.

“All she could do was win, and Patrick was complimentary of her and has advised to take a crack at the Listed mares’ bumper at Navan in November. We’ll see how that goes, before we go hurdling.”

Jack Kennedy with Braeside
Jack Kennedy with Braeside (PA)

Jack Kennedy recorded a notable victory as he landed the Paddy Power-sponsored Cork Grand National for the first time, aboard Braeside for Gordon Elliott.

Kennedy had the 16-1 chance perfectly positioned throughout, travelling and jumping well before taking over two out and safely navigating the last for a three-length triumph from Screaming Colours.

The rider said: “He travelled and jumped great and did it well. He loved that ground, and the further the better for him. He jumps for fun and is a grand staying horse.

“The one worry I had coming here was fitness maybe, but he proved me wrong and did it well.”

Chicago Time got the better of favourite Ballywilliam Boy to win the Listed Paddy’s Rewards Club EBF Novice Hurdle by almost four lengths, at 5-1 under Sean O’Keeffe for Tipperary trainer Matty Tynan.

“That is unbelievable and great for our yard and the Hassetts (owners),” said Tynan.

“Sean gave him a beautiful ride and got him into the race nice and handy. He seemed to be going well all the way, and picked it up and went away with it.

“We’ll give him a break now and we’ll go for the Connollys Red Mills Series Final at Punchestown in April. That will be his aim, and he has earned a well deserved break after this.”

Cape Gentleman makes no mistake as Ballyadam crashes out

Cape Gentleman completed the full set when cruising to victory in the Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes Beginners at Punchestown.

A useful performer on the Flat where he has a rating of 101, he was a Grade Two winner over hurdles in the Dovecote at Kempton last season and added a victory over fences at the first attempt.

He looked to face a stiff task on paper up against Henry de Bromhead’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runner-up Ballyadam, but he took a heavy fall at the very first fence.

That left Brian Hayes with the task of just negotiating the rest of the obstacles and bar a brief scare at the second-last the 7-4 second-favourite cruised home.

“It’s a great start and I couldn’t ask for any more,” said trainer Emmet Mullins.

“He had a good round of jumping, a little novicey mistake at the second-last but hopefully he should learn from that and it’ll stand to him going forward.

“It’s good to see he took to fences and he could be an exciting novice going forward for the rest of the season.

“I haven’t thought of any future plans, but he’s a high-quality horse and we’ll be looking at all the graded options anyway.

“He won his maiden hurdle on proper heavy ground here during the winter, but if we have options we’ll definitely be picking better ground.”

He went on: “It’s probably more of a worry whether we can go back left-handed again after Leopardstown last year. I’d like to forgive him the run, but time will tell.

“He has a high cruising speed so I told Brian to buck out and go as fitness was on our side and he’s a slick jumper in the main.

“Trip-wise I’d say he’ll be very versatile and I’d have no qualms about going up in trip. The Ascot Stakes was two and a half on the Flat and he was still galloping at the line (when fifth to Reshoun), he was actually caught flat-footed that day.

“He’s an exciting horse and we have plenty of options.”

Rachael Blackmore makes Royal Ascot bow on Tuesday

Grand National winner Rachael Blackmore will be in action on day one of Royal Ascot as she teams up with Emmet Mullins’ Cape Gentleman in the Ascot Stakes.

Both horse and rider are more readily associated with the National Hunt code, with Blackmore famously becoming the first female jockey to lift the Aintree showpiece when striking aboard Minella Times in April, while Cape Gentleman is twice a winner over hurdles.

The most recent of the gelding’s triumphs came in the Grade Two Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton in February, but prior to his introduction to jumping, the chestnut was a two-length winner when contesting the Irish Cesarewitch in 2020.

Mullins is now hoping the five-year-old can recreate that Flat form when taking his place amongst a field of 20 for the two-and-a-half-mile contest.

“We’re very excited about him, fingers crossed he’ll run a good race,” he said.

“He’s gone up a fair amount in the weights since he won the Irish Cesarewitch, but he won it well and hopefully there’s a bit more improvement in him.”

Cape Gentleman has form on both good and heavy ground, but Mullins considers the former to be his ideal conditions and is confident his charge will enjoy Ascot turf currently described as good, good to firm in places.

“He won his maiden hurdle on soft or heavy ground at Punchestown, but I think he got away with it through his class,” he explained.

“I think he is a proper good ground horse, I’ve no fears about the conditions at Ascot – he should love it.”

Blackmore will ride alongside the leading Flat jockeys when she takes to the saddle at the Royal Meeting, but she is not a stranger to success on the level and enjoyed a Listed win when teaming up with Mullins’ Oriental Eagle in the Martin Molony Stakes at Limerick last year.

“She’s top class and she’s been lucky enough for me on the Flat,” Mullins said.

“We had a Listed winner last summer, so fingers crossed we can keep it going.”

Cape Gentleman on course for Aintree assignment

Emmet Mullins admits he may be taking a risk going back left-handed should Cape Gentleman run at Aintree in the Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.

The Irish Cesarewitch winner made an impressive hurdling debut at Punchestown before running no sort of a race at left-handed Leopardstown.

When he then bounced back to win impressively at Kempton in Grade Two company – going in the opposite direction – Mullins put his lifeless Leopardstown display down to a dislike of left-handed tracks but he is coming round to the view there may have been other factors at play.

“Cape Gentleman will probably go to Aintree for the two-and-a-half-mile Grade One,” said Mullins.

“Ground is probably key to him – he’s by Champs Elysees, he definitely wants a bit of nice ground.

“We are taking a bit of a risk going back left-handed after Leopardstown went against us. There were a lot of things went wrong on the day at Leopardstown.

“We are probably taking a bit of a chance going back left-handed in Aintree but I think the ground could be most of it and we won’t know until we try.”

Cape Gentleman conquers Dovecote rivals

Emmet Mullins will ponder his Cheltenham Festival options for Cape Gentleman, after he showed plenty of grit in the hands of Jonjo O’Neill Jr to battle back and deny Calico in a thrilling finish to the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.

The five-year-old, who landed the Irish Cesarewitch on his last Flat outing before making a winning hurdling debut at Punchestown, blotted his copybook on his second outing in this sphere when pulled up over two and three-quarter miles at Leopardstown earlier this month.

However, dropping back to two miles suited the Champs Elysees gelding, who injected some speed into a modest early pace and went to the front with over half a mile to run.

Calico loomed large before a tardy leap at the penultimate flight briefly halted his momentum. However, he jumped the last better and headed Cape Gentleman (5-2) on the run to the line, only for O’Neill Jr’s mount to find extra reserves.

His stamina kicked in and the partnership ultimately denied Calico by three-quarters of a length. Lunar Sovereign was a further seven and a half lengths back in third.

The winning jockey said: “I thought Harry (Cobden) might just give me a go at the last as Calico has a lot of Flat form, but I didn’t want to be a sitting duck. He has battled hard. He won a Cheltenham trial today and he’d be entitled to go to Cheltenham.

“It was a very good training performance. He has only had the two runs, but he ran poorly the last day, so that’s why he dropped back in trip, which helped him.

“He loved the (good) ground and was very straightforward today. He battled hard after the last and I’m delighted with his performance.

“Emmet said he was in good form at home. I suppose they can have blips every now and again and the considerable drop back in trip definitely helped.

“As for Cheltenham, I’m not sure he is in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but he is in the Albert Bartlett and the Ballymore, and it looks like the Ballymore would be an obvious one.”

Cape claims clear-cut Irish Cesarewitch verdict

Cape Gentleman ran out an emphatic winner of the Paddy Power Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh.

Formerly trained in France by Nicolas Clement, the four-year-old was snapped up for 80,000 euros by Emmet Mullins last October and made an encouraging start for his new connections when runner-up to Mt Leinster at Listowel last month.

Ronan Whelan’s mount was a 15-2 chance for his handicap debut and after being ridden positively from the off, he took over the lead from his stablemate Sneaky Getaway early in the home straight.

The result was never really in doubt thereafter as Cape Gentleman readily extended clear, passing the post two lengths ahead of 100-1 shot Aircraft Carrier, with De Name Escapes Me making late gains to finish third.

Hot favourite Royal Illusion passed the post in sixth, but was later disqualified after rider Joey Sheridan failed to weigh in.

Mullins said of the winner: “We got this horse a year ago and it’s all worked out well. We had him ready to go during the summer and he just met with a little hiccup and it was great to get the run into him at Listowel before coming here.

“My only worry was that he hadn’t ran for a year and it was just 16 days back from the Listowel run. It was a quick enough turnaround considering that he hadn’t run for a year.

“This is a huge race to win. We’ll see what the handicapper will do now. He was primarily bought to jump hurdles and I’m sure he will do that at some stage.

“We have options now and we are in a good place.”

The stewards inquired into Sheridan’s failure to weigh in and suspended the rider for two days.

John McConnell’s A Case Of You impressed in the Group Three Jebel Ali Racecourse And Stables Anglesey Stakes.

A Case Of You after winning at the Curragh
A Case Of You after winning at the Curragh (Alan Magee/PA)

Third on his Bellewstown debut before opening his account at Down Royal last month, the 6-1 shot successfully graduated to Pattern class with a one-and-a-quarter-length verdict over Lipizzaner under Gary Carroll.

McConnell said: “That’s my first Curragh winner as usually if I have a good horse, I stay away from the Curragh because the competition is so good, but he justified coming here and was impressive.

“It’s my first Group winner on the Flat. I doubt if he will run again this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets faster and faster and the dream could be something like a Commonwealth Cup (at Royal Ascot).”

Helvic Dream (6-1) continued Noel Meade’s excellent run of form with a comprehensive victory in the Novi IT Services International Stakes.

Third behind the reopposing Sonnyboyliston over the course and distance four weeks ago, the three-year-old comprehensively turned that form around to claim Group Three honours under Colin Keane.

“I thought he was good all year, but things just haven’t gone right for him with one thing and another,” said Meade.

“I don’t know where he will go next, and there is the possibility we could travel with him. He’ll stick to Stakes races now. We have schooled him over barrels, but that will probably go out the window.”

Keane had earlier partnered his first winner for Aidan O’Brien aboard 2-1 favourite Khartoum in the Curragh Where Champions Are Made Maiden, before Paddy Twomey and Billy Lee teamed up to land the Listed Staffordstown Stud Stakes with 10-1 shot Fantasy Lady.

Patrick Mullins steered 1-3 favourite Mt Leinster to victory for his father Willie in the Chapmans Kildare Amateur Riders Derby.

“This fellow has schooled over fences and he’s very good, so I’d imagine that is going to be on the cards for him,” said the rider.

“I was able to twist Willie’s arm and get him to run here rather than the Cesarewitch.”