Strong Field Declared for the Connolly’s RED MILLS Conyngham Cup

January 13, 2017

After Friday morning’s declarations, Elliott’s Captain Von Trappe has been handed top-weight for Punchestown’s historic chase, while stablemate Riverside City will carry just 11st 3lb under Codd in the 13 runner handicap.

JP McManus' Riverside City will be competing at the Connolly’s RED MILLS Conyngham Cup Amateur Grand National

Elliott’s assistant trainer Olly Murphy said: “Riverside City won the Troytown last season, but has been a little bit disappointing this term. He just hasn’t been the same horse.

“He jumped and travelled at Fairyhouse last time out, then never picked up so we’ve put blinkers on him for the first time today, and have got a good jockey in Jamie Codd onboard. Hopefully that will be enough to bring him back.

Of Captain Von Trappe, he added: “He’s very much in the same boat, but has the benefit of Luke McGuinness’s 7lb claim, and is dropping in class here. He’s a solid each-way chance.
The pair will be racing for the 163 year old Conyngham Cup, once the pinnacle of an amateur riders’ season, and now a firm feature on the National Hunt calendar.

Last year’s winning jockey Derek O’Connor, booked this year for the Sandra Hughes trained Canaly, and is looking forward to the contest.

He said: “The amateur rider doesn’t get too many opportunities to ride in prestigious races, so it’s very nice to see a cup of this prestige being restored to its former glory.

“There is no point-to-point racing on Saturday so all of the best riders are available, and that’s how it should be.”

Rebranded as the Amateur National in 2013,  the race for the Conyngham Cup has grown into a nursery for national contenders; it was won last year by the Welsh National fifth, Baie Des Iles, and in 2015 attracted the subsequent Irish Grand National winner Rogue Angel.

JP McManus, owner of Riverside City, also fields the Enda Bolger trained Hometown, one of two declared seven year olds, while this season’s leading point-to-point rider Barry O’Neill rides He’s Rock.

On the same card, six of Ireland’s best young 2m hurdlers clash in the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle.

Leading Supreme Novices’ Hurdle fancy Crack Mome tops the bill as he makes this much anticipated step up to Graded company.

Gigginstown House Stud’s Christmas winners Calino D’Airy and Coquine D’Anou lead the charge against Willie Mullins’s unbeaten star, with dark horse Runfordave representing Elliott.