Acapella Bourgeois. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post
Owned by the Slaneyville Syndicate, successful in the race a year ago with Total Recall, Acapella Bourgeois heads the weights for the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday, January 28.
The 11-year-old was sixth in the race last year and most recently finished runner-up to Al Boum Photo at Tramore on New Year's Day. He is one of eight Willie Mullins-trained horses among an initial entry of 45 for the historic contest which will be televised live on RTE.
Mullins has also entered the Syndicates.Racing-owned Munster National and Kerry National winner Cabaret Queen, last year’s second, Class Conti, recent hurdles’ winner Koshari and Brahma Bull as he seeks an eighth win in the race.
Monbeg Notorious gave Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy their first win in the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase in 2018 and he’s among an Elliott-entry of 13. Milan Native, Aforementioned, Roaring Bull and Dounikos, all notable handicap chase winners for the Cullentra trainer, are also engaged as are the 2019 Thyestes runner-up Alpha Des Obeaux, recent Leopardstown third Farclas and the novices, Braeside and Coko Beach.
Last year’s third Minella Fair, former Troytown Chase winner Tout Est Permis and Dream Conti make up a strong entry for Noel Meade while also holding a definite chance is the Mags Mullins-trained Agusta Gold, a recent Grade 3 winner at Fairyhouse.
Niall Madden won the Thyestes Chase as an amateur rider on subsequent Aintree Grand National hero Numbersixvalverde in 2005 and the horse that gave him his final career winner, The Long Mile, successful in the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase at Limerick, has been entered by trainer Philip Dempsey.
Other notable entries include Gearoid O’Loughlin’s Ulster National winner Space Cadet, Denis Hogan’s Moyhenna, the Ted Walsh-trained Any Second Now and the Pat Fahy-trained Dunvegan.
Eddie Scally, Manager of Gowran Park, said: “We are delighted to see such competitive entries listed for our Goffs Thyestes Chase and are really looking forward to the meeting now. This will be a Goffs Thyestes Day like no other as it will be behind closed doors, but we really hope people can enjoy the action from home with live coverage on both RTE and Racing TV.”