Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

From a Djak to a King; Mullins Star's Gold Cup Ruler in Waiting; Thistle Do for World Title Tilt

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

From a Djak to a King; Mullins Star's Gold Cup Ruler in Waiting; Thistle Do for World Title Tilt

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Owen i.taylor@trinitymirror.com

really living up to its name today so prepare to salute DjAkADAM (1.50), the next king of the Cotswolds.

Poor Coneygree has not quite abdicated, but the Bradstocks can put the TURN TO PAGE TWO FROM PAGE ONE Gold Cup in a box and post it c/o Mullins, County Carlow, anytime soon.

On his first trip to Cheltenham for the JLT in 2014, he crashed out at the fourth last when going OK in second. Still only five, and with only three races over fences to his name, he was sent off 5-1 fav for the Hennessy but it proved a big ask and he weakened into mid-div behind Many Clouds.

A confidence boosting romp in the Thyestes saw him going for Gold not unfancied at 10-1 and he ran a cracker. Djakadam must have been short odds in running three out, but the attritional pace set by Coneygree took its toll and he had to settle for silver.

Made fav for the Punchestown Gold Cup the following month, he was certainly feeling the effects of the Festival war when second to Don Cossack -no disgrace.

On his seasonal bow in the John Durkan, Ruby sent him on early over this shorter trip and jumping superbly, he had too much class for his rivals. Mullins admitted Djakadam would come on for the run and was delighted with the performance. Still only seven, with just eight chases on his clock, there could be lots more to come from Rich Ricci's pretender who can go on to lift gold and wear the crown this year.

LE MERCUREY (3.15) can rise to the occasion at Doncaster. Rated 149 over hurdles, he's on 142 today, the Paul Nichollstrained six-year-old opened his account over fences at Plumpton in November before looking a tad fortunate scoring at Ascot. He may have had his limitations exposed at Cheltenham when third to Seeyouatmidnight and Blaklion and makes the switch to handicap company today. Crying out for this trip, jockey Nick Scholfield is looking forward to riding the French import.

"He's done well in his novice races and is on a nice racing weight with 10st 9lb. …

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