Notnowcato Strikes Gold at the Curragh

Notnowcato got the better of Dylan Thomas for a second time when he held on for a determined head victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) at the Curragh on Sunday.

The pair had previously met last August, in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) at York.  Dylan Thomas finished fourth that day, 3 ¾-lengths behind Notnowcato.  The 4-year-old son of Danehill had won both of his previous starts this year, most recently an easy two length victory in the Prix Ganay (Fr-I) at Longchamp.

Notnowcato was making his second start of the season.  He finished fourth last month to Red Rocks in the Betfred Gordon Richards Stakes (Eng-III), a race he clearly needed.

Longshot Fracas took the lead at the break, and led the field for the first mile of the ten furlong contest.  Johnny Murtagh was content to sit just off the pace in second with Notnowcato, with Dylan Thomas and Seamus Heffernan galloping along in third.  Notnowcato took command with two furlongs left, preparing for the impending challenge from Dylan Thomas.

He didn’t have long to wait, as Dylan Thomas rushed up to his outside and the duo slugged it out for the remaining two furlongs.  Dylan Thomas appeared to have every chance to pass the Michael Stoute-trained Notnowcato, but just could not get by his tenacious rival.

Youmzain was another four lengths back in third.

The winning trainer was absent, but Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who bred the son of Inchinor in the name of his Southcourt Stud, was on hand to witness the 5-year-old’s second group 1 success.  The horse races in the name of de Rothschild’s two sons, Anthony and David.

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Dylan Thomas, was gracious in defeat, saying afterwards, “He (Dylan Thomas) ran a great race-I’m not going to make any excuses.  We’ll take him home and see how he is, but all the big races are open to him.”

Notnowcato is a 5-year-old son of Inchinor out of Rambling Rose, by Cadeaux Genereux.  His winning time for the Gold Cup was 2:16.2 over a course labeled good.

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