Lord Windermere poised to end a long wait for Ireland in Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury

Trainer Jim Culloty also hoping for a success with Vaxalco at Fairyhouse


Jim Culloty

and owner Dr

Ronan Lambe


face a hectic ten minutes come 3.00 today with

Lord Windermere

a major fancy to give Ireland a first Hennessy

Gold Cup

victory in 33

years at Newbury while five minutes after the Hennessy start, Vaxalco goes in a handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse.

It's hardly been a sedate build-up for the team either as Lord Windermere's intended rider Robbie McNamara broke a collarbone yesterday morning resulting in Galway -born jockey Dougie Costello taking over on last season's RSA winner.

Good rider
Lord Windermere is joined by the Willie Mullins pair Prince de Beauchene and Terminal while Oliver McKiernan sends Whodoyouthink. However it is Culloty's hope that is attracting most pre-race attention.

“Dougie’s a good rider. It’s not ideal having to change at the last minute but these things happen,” Culloty said d yesterday. “He’s done plenty and is as fit as I can get him. He did a blinding piece of work last week at the Curragh.

“I think we are going there with a very good chance. I’d be more confident had we a run under our belt but that’s how it is.”

In comparison, Vaxalco is small beer stuff but he was running on well on his last start at Navan and has a shout in an ultra-competitive 25-runner race.

The best bet on Day One of Fairyhouse's Premier Jumps Weekend could come in the concluding bumper where Shaneshill can build on his all-the-way Naas victory earlier this month.

Operating has less than three lengths to make up on Foxrock on Naas form behind Road To Riches but this ground could help the Harrington runner prove successful.

King William can have a happier experience in the other handicap hurdle compared to his last Fairyhouse visit when falling at the last.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column