Road To Riches To Defend Champion Chase Crown At Down Royal

Road to Riches is likely to begin his journey back to the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at Down Royal on October 31, when he will defend his JNWine.com Champion Chase crown. Trainer Noel Meade has pencilled in that Grade 1 as the ideal early-season target for this year’s Gold Cup third, although he has not entirely ruled out a crack at the Star Best For Racing Coverage Chase at Punchestown on October 15 beforehand. Meade spoke to Eddie O’Leary, brother of Michael, on Monday and the pair agreed that Down Royal would be the very much on their agenda in the early part of the season. Meade is without a stable jockey due to the nasty leg break suffered by Paul Carberry at Listowel and Ger Fox, who won the Kerry National on Rogue Angel, is set to receive more opportunities. Two horses trained in Britain feature among the 25 entries for the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes on a high-class card at Tipperary next Sunday, October 4th. Trainer Brendan Powell has entered his eight-time winner Dark Emerald while David Nicholls could be represented by Sovereign Debt, a six-time scorer whose most recent success came in the Listed Celebration Stakes at the Curragh on Dubai Duty Free Derby weekend in June. The €67,500 event could also be a target for the Tommy Stack-trained Onenightidreamed and other notable entries include Tom Hogan’s star Gordon Lord Byron, the Charles O’Brien-trained Iveagh Gardens, Dermot Weld’s Tested and Hint Of A Tint, trained by David Wachman. Aidan O’Brien has entered both Sir Isaac Newton and The Happy Prince. Regarding Onenightidreamed, Fozzy Stack, assistant to his father Tommy, said, “We have been waiting for soft ground for him and he is in great form and he’ll head to Tipperary next weekend for the Concorde Stakes. Hopefully he’ll enjoy a good end to the season and the softer the ground the better so I wouldn’t mind a drop of rain for him.” James Kelly, Racing Manager for owner Lady O’Reilly, said of Sovereign Debt, “He is an intended runner. He ran a very good race at Haydock and he is a very solid horse at this level. He handled slow ground well at Haydock and I’d imagine it will be on the soft side next weekend. He has been in terrific form since Haydock and I’d be optimistic that he’ll be a contender at Tipperary as he may have needed the run the last day.” The Grade 2 Istabraq Hurdle has attracted an entry of 10 which includes the Willie Mullins-trained Diakali who beat Thousand Stars to win the Grade 3 Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary in July. Tony Martin has entered both Ted Veale and Thomas Edison while Gordon Elliott has put Chatham House Rule in the €55,000 event. Twelve horses have been entered for the €30,000 Grade 3 Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle headed by the Willie Mullins-trained Bachasson. The impressive Listowel winner Tully East could represent in-form Alan Fleming while Tony Martin has three to choose from, including new recruit Moonmeister. Rule The World, runner-up to Thunder And Roses in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April, is one of 12 entries for the €30,000 Grade 3 Like A Butterfly Novice Chase. Monday’s Roscommon winner The Game Changer is also engaged while Henry de Bromhead’s Viconte Du Noyer, twice a winner over fences at Killarney, and Gordon Elliott’s Miss Dinamic are other leading contenders. Andrew Hogan, Manager at Tipperary Racecourse, said, “Super Sunday always attracts a strong entry and we are delighted how our four feature races are shaping up. The Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes looks particularly strong and our big jumping races will be a massive draw. We will be keeping an eye on what’s going on at Longchamp too and all the racing from Paris will be on the big screen.”

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