Gold Cup victory crowns historic day for Irish at Cheltenham

Jack Kennedy was the winning jockey in the first race yesterday- can you name the horse

So often in the shadow of the mighty Douvan over two miles, the seven-year-old completed the English-Irish Gold Cup double in style to dispel any stamina doubts.

But when Alan Potts, one cog in the merry-go-round of big owners on the move last autumn, took away a dozen horses from Henry de Bromhead, Harrington was, along with Tizzard, one of the main beneficiaries. Djakadam started a 3-1 favourite to finally provide Willie Mullins with a Gold Cup victory but could manage only fourth.

He stayed on well to win the Kinloch Brae Chase over two and a half miles at Thurles on his penultimate run.

"I always said when this horse stepped up in trip he'd win".

As many as nine horses were in with a winning chance on the home turn, out of the field of 13, but Sizing John (7/1) was able to use his two mile pace to quicken ahead at the last. Their departures ensured there was to be no fairytale victor, but there was a very worthy one whose career has many chapters to come.

"When I won the National I was 25 and thought I was going to win everything".

"This is the jewel in the crown, absolutely fantastic", said Harrington who joins two-time victor Jenny Pitman and triple winning trainer Henrietta Knight in the Gold Cup hall of fame. "It's our first runner in the race, the jockey's first ride and Jessie's first runner".

After two days without a victor, Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins returned with a supersonic bang on the third day of the Festival, teaming up to score a 179-1 four-timer that included the day's two feature races.

The 70-year-old has also won a Champion Hurdle (with Jezki) and two editions of the Champion Chase (with Moscow Flyer) but the Grand National does not seem at the top of her priorities. Won Festival race - Ryanair and come second in the Arkle. "I can't believe it, I've got to get a Classic now [on the Flat]!" "It is a celebration of, and an opportunity for us to showcase, all that is good about the industry", he said.

Boudot added, "We sold Defi to the Papot family just after he was weaned and they raced him before he was exported to Britain".

Related:

Comments


Other news