The major prizes just keep falling to young trainer Joseph O’Brien. Twenty-four hours after landing his first Grade 1 winner over jumps on Day 1 of the Dublin Racing Festival on Saturday, the 2017 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer saddled Edwulf to a shock 33-1 success in a dramatic Unibet Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown.
Edwulf, a horse who was so badly injured at Cheltenham last year it was believed he would not survive, worked his way quietly into the race and came wide of the Irish Gold Cup runners, arriving on the scene when it mattered, at the last fence.
Willie Mullins’ Killultagh Vic looked to be coming with a winning challenge when leading at the last only to take a heavy fall leaving Edwulf and Gigginstown House Stud’s Outlander to battle it out. Top amateur jockey Derek O’Connor and young rider Jack Kennedy on Outlander produced a race to remember with Edwulf having just a neck to spare at the winning line.
Winning trainer O’Brien paid tribute to the vets who nursed the horse back from an injury sustained at Cheltenham last March, stating:
“All the vets and everyone at home did a fantastic job on him. And it was long road to get him back, so I can’t believe he’s after winning. Derek (O’Connor) is an unbelievable horseman, horses jump so well for him and he gets on great with Edwulf.”