Strong entries have been received for the Grade 2 RED MILLS Chase and the Grade 3 RED MILLS Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park on Saturday, with both feature races now worth €60,000.
The Grade 2 RED MILLS Chase looks a very hot race. Willie Mullins has three in the field including the highest rated entry Real Steel, a Grade 2 winner at Thurles last time out, last season’s Irish Gold Cup winner Bellshill, and Voix Du Reve, a winner at Grade 1 level at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival last year.
Henry de Bromhead, winner of the 2019 renewal with the Rachael Blackmore-ridden Monalee, has entered Chris’s Dream, a Grade 2 winner over fences last season and more recently successful in the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan. Gordon Elliott’s three entries, Hardline, Shattered Love and Death Duty are all Grade 1 winning chasers. Emmet Mullins could be represented by Zero Ten, an exciting novice chaser and winner of the RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival last season.
In the Grade 3 RED MILLS Trial Hurdle, Darasso, successful last year for Barry Geraghty and trainer Joseph O’Brien, could bid for a repeat success. The seven-year-old also holds an entry in the RED MILLS Chase. From the Gordon Elliott yard, Mengli Khan and Graded winner Surin are entered for owners Gigginstown House Stud.
An interesting entry comes in the form of the highly rated Cilaos Emery, from the local yard of champion trainer Willie Mullins, which has been campaigning over the larger obstacles of late. He was an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase at Cork in December with Goffs Thyestes winning jockey Danny Mullins onboard. Fozzy Stack doesn’t have many runners over hurdles, but his Carlo Biraghi, a winner on his jumping debut at Punchestown early last year is a possible as is the Gearoid O’Loughlin-trained Cedarwood Road, a winner at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
The first race on the day is off at 1.10pm. Gates will open at 11am and the RED MILLS Style Marquee will be open from 11.30am where there is a pop-up store, fashion shows throughout the day with stylist Marietta Doran, and the Best Dressed competition, judged by Emily O’Donnell and Edward Hayden, where the winning lady and gent will each receive a €500 voucher for the RED MILLS Store and a two night stay in a Talbot Collection Hotel.
Complimentary buses depart from close to the gates of Kilkenny Castle at 12 noon. They return at 5pm and 7pm. The later bus is to accommodate After Dark fans who take to the stage in the Heineken Live marquee at 4.45pm and will play for two hours. There is also live music in the Thyestes Bar which is the ground floor bar from just before the last race. The best priced general admission tickets are available for €12 on GowranPark.ie, admission on the gate will be €15. Tickets bought online can be scanned on a phone or printed to ensure prompt access through the express entries. Gold and silver packages can also be purchased on Gowran Park’s website.