In an emotional win, the 19-time British Champion National Hunt Jockey, AP McCoy claimed the 25th running of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown today on Carlingford Lough. This is McCoy’s first ever success in the Grade 1 contest. The 4-1 shot, owned by JP McManus and trained by John Kiely, stayed on strongly under a power-packed McCoy to beat Foxrock by three-quarters-of-a-length, with last year’s Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere, eight lengths behind in third place.
McCoy had also won the Paddy Power Live Streaming Handicap Hurdle aboard Sort it Out, giving him a double on the day.
Champion Trainer Willie Mullins’ Petite Parisienne took the opening race, the Grade 1 Gala Retail Spring Juvenile Hurdle upsetting his stable companion and favourite Kalkir in a length and three parts win. Willie Mullins made it a double with Nichols Canyon’s surprise victory in the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle as Ruby Walsh left main contenders Windsor Park and Alviso Ville behind on the run-in with an impressive three and a half lengths win. Paul Carberry was at his brilliant best on 9-2 shot Apache Stronghold who landed the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown today, swooping last minute to deny the hot favourite Valseur Lido the top prize.
The day also featured the Hennessy Best Dressed Lady 2015 and Ashling Kilduff from The Design Centre and Caroline Sleiman from Moet Hennessy were on hand to judge the competition which was won by Helen Murphy from Douglas, Co.Cork. Helen won an exclusive Philip Treacy hat from his autumn / winter 2014 collection, the only one of its kind available in Ireland, a €3,000 Design Centre voucher, along with a bottle of Hennessy Fine de Cognac.
A host of celebrities enjoyed the Hennessy Gold Cup Day including model Roz Purcell, Stylist/TV presenter Cathy O’Connor and journalist Avila Lipsett. Attendees from the sporting world included Ian Renton, CEO of Cheltenham, Ivan Yates and Ken Doherty.
Pat Keogh CEO of Leopardstown said: “What a renewal of the Hennessy Gold Cup today – it was truly fitting that A P McCoy wins it here for the first time. With attendances up on last year, we’re delighted to host such a great sporting occasion. We have one more date left in our national hunt calendar and it has been a truly remarkable season, one we’ll never forget.”