DID we see a future Cheltenham Gold Cup winner this week at Punchestown? Willie Mullins does not say things lightly, so when he suggested Capodanno could be one, it is worth taking note.

All credit to the JP McManus team and their ability to interpret French form. Less than three weeks after Capodanno made his debut over hurdles at Compiégne for Daniele Mele, finishing runner-up, he was a wild card entry for the 2019 Arqana Autumn Mixed Sale.

This €12,000 yearling buy at Osarus became a €185,000 purchase by Charlie Swan and Horse Racing Advisory’s Hubert Barbe, and after his sale Swan said: “He is a lovely big horse who jumps very well. He is a horse for next year.”

How right the former trainer was, and what a day he and Barbe spent at that sale.

In fact, they made a second purchase, for €280,000, and this was a gelding who was runner-up on both his outings for trainer Guillaume Macaire.

He too was a wild card entry, his name is Gentleman Du Mee, and he won the Grade 1 Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree. Swan’s comment after his purchase? He is a lovely big horse who looks a real chaser in the making.”

Capodanno is a son of Manduro (Monsun) and the first foal of the Muhtathir (Elmaamul) mare Day Gets Up. She was successful four times over jumps, including at Auteuil, Bordeaux and Compiégne. Day Gets Up is a sibling to three winners, one of which is a listed-winning hurdler by Manduro, Fraulein Agatha.

The champion of Europe at five after he won a trio of Group 1 races, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Prix d’Ispahan and Prix Jacques Le Marois, Manduro became a multiple Group 1 sire, his best-known performers being the likes of the Aga Khan’s Vazirabad, leading two-year-old Ultra, and the filly Ribbons. Capodanno is his best winner under National Hunt rules.