Gold Cup Champions Go Head to Head at Punchestown This Sunday

Lord Windermere Versus Boston Bob

Nine Remain Following Forfeit Stage

 

Punchestown will play host to an exciting head to head as Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere takes on Punchestown Gold Cup winner Boston Bob in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase next Sunday. A total of nine contenders remain following this morning’s forfeit stage for the €80,000 feature.

Speaking this morning from his Churchtown stables Jim Culloty looked ahead to Sunday’s race and beyond “The horse is fit and well and while two and a half miles is a slightly inadequate trip we are hoping for a good run to kick off his campaign this season”.

The dual Cheltenham festival winner’s main opposition comes in the form of 2014 Bibby Financial Services Punchestown Gold Cup champion Boston Bob trained by Willie Mullins.

Once again the Gigginstown operation holds a strong hand with Don Cossack, winner at Punchestown over a marginally further distance in the Star Best for Racing Chase in October, and Mouse Morris’ First Lieutenant, runner up to Boston Bob in the Bibby Financial Services Gold Cup last April.

Alderwood, Baily Green, Rathlin, Rubi Light and Texas Jack make up what is a high quality renewal of the second grade one at the home of Irish jump racing this season. Always considered an excellent indicator for the major titles during the spring festivals ‘the Durkan’ has an all-star list of previous winners including Kicking King, Beef Or Salmon, Carvills Hill, Florida Pearl and 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup victor Imperial call who passed away earlier this week at the age of twenty five.

Punchestown are currently offering a €5 discount on Durkan Day tickets if booked in advance on www.punchestown.com or by phone to +353 (0)45 897704. Admission on the day will be €15 or €10 for seniors and students. Children under 14 years of age race for free.  There will be seven races on offer at Punchestown on Sunday 7th December and action gets underway at 12.30. The going at Punchestown is currently yielding with a mainly dry forecast for the coming days.

The 2015 Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 28th April to Saturday 2nd May. The current ticket offer for the event is buy 2 get 1 Free. Please visit www.punchestown.com for further information.

2014 Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase €80,000 (Forfeit Stage)

1.      Alderwood

2.      Baily Green

3.      Boston Bob

4.      Don Cossack

5.      First Lieutenant

6.      Lord Windermere

7.      Rathlin

8.      Rubi Light

9.      Texas Jack