The Hennessy Gold Cup, which now has the official title of the Irish Gold Cup, takes place in February of every year at the Leopardstown racecourse. It’s held over a distance of 3 miles and is an Irish Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase event. The race is often seen as good preparation for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and rightfully so, since three horses have won both events: Jodami (1993), Imperial Call (1996) and Sizing John (2017).
Although the race name will ring bells with many, the race itself is actually quite new, with the event first run in 1987 where it was called the Vincent O’Brien Irish Gold Cup after the successful trainer. As with many races, sponsorship shifts over time can result in changes to a race name, and in 2018 the race is currently named the Unibet Irish Gold Cup.
Florida Pearl with four wins from 1999 to 2004 is the most successful horse in the Irish Gold Cup, jockey Mark Dwyer matches this tally, and Willie Mullins is clearly fond of the course on account that he’s had a massive 9 winners over the years.
The 2018 winner was Edwulf, trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by Derek O’Connor. He was a very attractive 33-1, no doubt resulting in a profitable day for his backers.