The Dublin Racing Festival, home to the Irish Gold Cup, is a prestigious two-day horse racing event held annually at Leopardstown Racecourse in Dublin, Ireland.

Scheduled to be held from Saturday February 3rd – 4th in 2024, it was launched in 2018, so is a relatively new fixture to the Irish racing calendar.

The festival combines high-quality horse racing with a celebration of Dublin’s rich culture and heritage and has quickly become a key fixture in the jumps racing season.

Attracting the top horses, trainers, and jockeys from Ireland and the UK, it is also incredibly popular with punters who like to have a flutter on the big races.

So if you plan on putting a few quid on your favourite runner, then keep reading as we look at each runner in the Irish Gold Cup and determine who we think can win big on the day.

This is also the perfect opportunity to browse the odds and find a good bookmaker.

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports to bet on and the Irish Gold Cup betting market can be found alongside bingo, slots and plenty of other great online games.

All are popular in the UK, and if you’re interested, you can check out this website for reviews of the top-rated bingo sites.

The Irish Gold Cup

Undoubtedly though, the highlight of the Dublin Racing Festival is the Irish Gold Cup, a Grade 1 featuring some of the best Irish chasers.

The race is run over three miles and runners will have to navigate seventeen fences on their way to being crowned champion.

Usually a good trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the 2017 winner Sizing John won this race and then went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He added his name to the list of those who have won both, including Jodami (1993) & Imperial Call (1996).

2024 Irish Gold Cup Contenders

CONFLATED – Gordon Elliott

A regular runner at this track over the last couple of seasons and even won the Savills Chase here over the course and distance in December 2022.

It has been a long time between drinks for Conflated who often is the master of his own downfall with some particularly sloppy jumping at times.

He came here last month in order to try and defend his crown in the Savills Chase, but ultimately unseated his rider when tiring in the closing stages giving jockey Sam Ewing no chance of staying on.

Prior to that run he did hint at a return to form. He was a close up third to Gerri Colombe in the Ladbroke Champion Chase, at Down Royal.

Gordon Elliott will need to have worked a miracle on him in order to reverse form with Galopin Des Champs.

The two times that he has face Galopin Des Champs, he has soundly beaten him on both occasions and he isn’t getting any younger.

At ten years of age, he is the oldest runner in this field and he is expected to fold in the closing stages.

FASTORSLOW – Martin Brassil

An improving character who got the better of Galopin Des Champs at the Punchestown Gold Cup last April.

He of course looks to be the main danger here and having won on his seasonal reappearance, he should now be in peak form.

Gerri Colombe has franked the form of his John Durkhan Memorial Chase win by taking the Ladbrokes Chase at Down Royal and he comes here in decent form.

Fastorslow has been here three times in the past (twice over hurdles) and has fared no better than being beaten nineteen lengths.

He ran in the Dublin Chase over this course and distance at last year’s meeting and he trailed in some twenty-six lengths behind Gentleman De Mee.

There is no doubt that he improved as the year went on and now he has found some confidence, he could well confirm the form with the reigning champion.

GALOPIN DES CHAMPS – Willie Mullins

Showed he was back to his brilliant best with a facile win in the Savills Chase over this course and distance back in December.

He had stablemate I Am Maximus over thirty lengths behind and should quite comfortably confirm that form.

He also beat Gerri Colombe by over twenty lengths in the same race and therefore seems to also have the beating of Fastorslow on that basis.

Galopin Des Champs has won his last four races at Leopardstown and there is no obvious reason as to why that run should not be extended here this afternoon.

He acts on ground with a bit of cut in it and the rain looks set to arrive bang on schedule.

Willie Mullins has won three of the last five renewals of this race and if this lad turns up in the form he has shown previously, there is no doubt he will add to that haul.

I AM MAXIMUS – Willie Mullins

Looks to be the stable second string on paper but what a second string to have.

A winner of the Irish Grand National last season and a winner of the Grade 1 Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse in December.

He is a chaser with immense promise, but just lacks the same amount of experience at this level. He has won over longer than three miles and at shorter, but never at this specific trip.

With over thirty lengths to make up on Galopin Des Champs based on their most recent meeting, he does have some useful form at this track.

Should either of the leading players fail to run to their true form, he could well be there to pick up the pieces.

This could well be a prep run in order for him to retain his Fairyhouse crown in the Irish Grand National in a couple of months’ time.

Irish Gold Cup 2024 Predictions

This looks to be a straightforward battle between GALOPIN DES CHAMPS and Fastorslow.

They have already forged a rivalry that has seen them on level terms at one win apiece.

With a vastly superior record around this track it is the Willie Mullins trained runner who is taken to retain his title.

He looked to be back to his supreme best in the Savills Chase here last time and looks primed to make another bold bid.

Fastorslow doesn’t usually hit his best form until the spring, so the fact that he won first time out indicates that he has improved.

With no previous winning experience of this track on his CV though, it is hard to make a case for him on that basis.

I Am Maximus has never won over this trip and the addition of Conflated makes this a mouth-watering contest.

Both have the class and the ability to win should either of the main protagonists fail to give their true running.

Irish Gold Cup Past Winners

Listed below are the Irish Gold Cup winners from the last 10 renewals.

Each row details the year of the race, the horse that won, along with the age & weight of the horse.

The trainer of the horse at the time of winning the Irish Gold Cup, as well as the jockey, is also displayed along with the starting price the horse was sent off.

Year & Winning Time Winning Horse Winning Jockey and Trainer
2023
6:14.10
Galopin Des Champs (FR)
7yo 11-10 30/100F
Paul Townend
W P Mullins (IRE)
2022
6:20.40
Conflated (IRE)
8yo 11-10 18/1
Davy Russell
Gordon Elliott (IRE)
2021
6:34.90
Kemboy (FR)
9yo 11-12 11/4
Danny Mullins
W P Mullins (IRE)
2020
6:26.60
Delta Work (FR)
7yo 11-10 5/2
Jack Kennedy
Gordon Elliott (IRE)
2019
6:06.70
Bellshill (IRE)
9yo 11-10 2/1
Ruby Walsh
W P Mullins (IRE)
2018
6:24.90
Edwulf (GB)
9yo 11-10 33/1
Mr Derek O’Connor
Joseph Patrick O’Brien (IRE)
2017
6:23.30
Sizing John (GB)
7yo 11-10 100/30
Robbie Power
Mrs John Harrington (IRE)
2016
6:38.00
Carlingford Lough (IRE)
10yo 11-10 20/1
Mark Walsh
John E Kiely (IRE)
2015
6:21.10
Carlingford Lough (IRE)
9yo 11-10 4/1
A P McCoy
John E Kiely (IRE)
2014
6:26.70
Last Instalment (IRE)
9yo 11-10 8/1
Brian O’Connell
Philip Fenton (IRE)

The leading trainer in the Irish Gold Cup over the last 20 renewals is Willie Mullins.

He has won the race eight times with those eight winners coming from Florida Pearl (2004), Rule Supreme (2005), Kempes (2011), Quel Esprit (2012), Sir Des Champs (2013), Bellshill (2019), Kemboy (2021) and Galopin Des Champs (2023).

Other trainers who have recorded multiple wins in the Irish Gold Cup are Gordon Elliott (2 wins), Michael Hourigan (2 wins) and John Kiely (2 wins).