Edwulf delivers Irish win for O’Brien

Edwulf ridden by Derek O'Connor passes the fallen Killultagh Vic and Paul Townend to win The Unibet Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown.
Edwulf ridden by Derek O'Connor passes the fallen Killultagh Vic and Paul Townend to win The Unibet Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown.
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FORMER Flat jockey Joseph O’Brien continues to prove his versatility as a trainer after Edwulf’s shock win in the Irish Gold Cup under Derek O’Connor.

It was another landmark success for O’Brien whose Rekindling won last November’s Melbourne Cup in Australia.

Top novice hurdler sacro and jockey Jack Kennedy clear the last to win at Leopardstown.

Top novice hurdler sacro and jockey Jack Kennedy clear the last to win at Leopardstown.

Son of legendary trainer Aidan, this latest win at Leopardstown was all the more remarkable because Edwulf had to be nursed back to health after collapsing on the run-in at last year’s Cheltenham Festival.

O’Brien said: “He’s always been a great horse. It’s a credit to everyone involved – the staff at home, the vets at Cheltenham last year and JP (McManus, owner) and Frank Berry (racing manager) who gave him all the time in the world.

“Derek is an unbelievable horseman. Horses just jump unbelievably well for him and he gets on great with this fella. We’re over the moon. It’s not too often you get a horse good enough to run in the Gold Cup so if he’s well, I’d imagine he might go there.”

Earlier Lady Buttons, trained at Catterick by Phil Kirby and ridden by Adam Nicol, finished fourth in the Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle. Meanwhile Samcro reaffirmed his status as the leading novice hurdler on both sides of the Irish Sea with a classy win for trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Jack Kennedy.