1st (5) L'Antartique 13-2
The Ferdy Murphy-trained L’Antartique showed all his stamina to win the highlight of The Open, the £120,000 Paddy Power Gold Cup by a neck from Il Duce.
This was a second Cheltenham victory for L’Antartique, following
his win the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival in March,
Ferdy Murphy said: “The plan has worked out and it was a great
run with a great man on top (Graham Lee). Everything has gone really
“He was a bit more forward than we thought when he won his on his prep run at Carlisle, but we were pleasantly surprised.
“He got a 3lb penalty for that win, and I thought if we just got
beat today than it may be because of that.
“At the top of the hill, I thought he had just got trapped but
Graham kept his cool and the gaps appeared for him. He rode a very cool
“I think we will now step him up in class and go for the Lexus
Chase at Leopardstown.
“He wants three miles now - his pedigree is screaming out for
a trip. Cheltenham really suits him well. I’m not sure Leopardstown
will suit him as well as here, but we need to see how he copes with a
step up in class.
“He was a good horse before I got him. He won his first two bumpers when he was with Tony Mullins but he didn’t really take to hurdles and his jumping was not great. It took a long time to get him jumping well.”
Murphy was keen to pay tribute to L’Antartique’s lad Takashi
Iiyama, who hails from Japan.
The North Yorkshire-based handler continued: “I would like to pay tribute to his lad Takashi Iiyama, who has done so much with this horse and helped to get him jumping.
“He found out about the yard through our internet site and got
in contact with us.
“It took a hell of a long time to get his work permit sorted out
with all the red tape but he has done so much with L’Antartique.”
Graham Lee, the winning jockey on L’Antartique in today’s
feature, the £120,000 Paddy Power Gold Cup, said: “ He’s
a proper horse. They went very quick and he jumped superb - the best
he has ever jumped.
“Like the boss said to me before the Jewson last season “just tough it out”. At the top of the hill, I was a long way back but I wasn’t really concerned because he started to free wheel.
“I switched him out to give him a bit of light and I switched him in again two out. When he changed leads, he just took off and I got there too soon again!
“He gave me a good ride. I got stuck once or twice but when you are going that pace it probably does you a favour because you get to fill up.
“He is a good horse - he has natural ability - a lot of it.
“I just want to say that I have had a great day but my thoughts are with Ruby (Walsh) who has had an absolute mother and father of a fall - I hope he is OK.”
Lee, who won at The Festival on L’Antartique in the Jewson Novices’ Handicap
Chase, was celebrating his second winner at The Open 2007, having partnered
Glasker Mill to score in Friday’s paddypower.com Graduation Chase.
IL DUCE SO GAME IN DEFEAT
Trainer Alan King was thrilled with seven-year-old Il Duce after the
33-1 outsider ran a fine race to finish the neck second to L’Antartique
in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Il Duce led in the straight, but was passed by the winner approaching
the last. Despite rallying to hold off third-placed Knowhere, King’s
horse could not quite find enough to land the main prize.
The second and third will now head for different targets - Il Duce will
be aimed for the boylesports.com Handicap Chase at Cheltenham’s
Boylesports International meeting in mid December, while Knowhere will
head for Newbury’s Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup.
King said of Il Duce: “He hasn’t run like a 33-1 shot. I
couldn’t be more pleased with the horse. He jumped well, travelled
well and did everything right bar beat Ferdy’s horse. He’ll
come back here in December all being well.
“I’ve trained various members of his family, including The Big Canadian who was a half-brother, and I’ve got Il Duce’s unraced three-year-old full brother at home. He won’t be out until the spring, but he is very nice.”
Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of Knowhere, said: “I’m very
pleased considering he was giving weight to the first and second. It
looks like the Hennessy next if he comes out of this all right. It may
come too soon, so we’ll have to wait and see.
“He couldn’t quite get to them, but he was flying at the
end. That seems to be the proof that he needs further.”
WILLYANWOODY & GRANIT JACK
Willyanwoody in the Club 16-24 Novices’ Chase and Granit Jack in the Paddy Power Gold Cup had fatal falls. They both died instantly.
Trainer Paul Nicholls, who saw Paddy Power Gold Cup favourite Granit
Jack take a fatal fall in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, reflected on his
The champion trainer said: “What can you say?
“It just shows that the line between success and failure is so small.
“I think we were just damned unlucky. The horse was travelling
so well and took a very similar fall to that of Twist Magic in the Arkle
“We couldn’t have done things any differently. Liam (Heard)
couldn’t have done anything differently. Obviously, he came in
late for the ride but did everything right.
“We put our head on the block today by saying Granit Jack was
well-handicapped - which he was - and no stone was left unturned.
“He schooled last weekend and was fit and well. Horses like him don’t come along very often.
“You can’t blame anybody.”
PADDY POWER GOLD CUP CHASE (GRADE THREE)
1 L'ANTARTIQUE (FR) (Mrs A Durkan) Ferdy Murphy 7-10-13 Graham Lee 13/2
Winning Trainer: FERDY MURPHY Trains at West Witton, Leyburn, North Yorkshire Riding career: Professional 1966-82; rode about 100 winners Date of first licence: 1990 Cheltenham Festival Wins (7): Walwyn Muir (1996 Stop The Waller, 2006 You’re Special), Elite Triumph Hurdle (1996 Paddy’s Return), Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle (1998 French Holly), National Hunt Chase (2006 Hot Weld), William Hill Trophy (2007 Joe’s Edge), Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2007 L’Antartique) Aintree Festival Wins include: John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (2001 Ballinclay King), John Smith’s Novices’ Handicap Chase (2005 Joes Edge), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2007 Aces Four) Other major wins: Paddy Power Gold Cup (2007 L’Antartique), Betfred Gold Cup (2007 Hot Weld), Scottish National (2007 Hot Weld) Ballymore Properties Champion Stayers Hurdle (2005 Carlys Quest), Christmas Hurdle (1998 French Holly), Hennessy Gold Cup (1992 Sibton Abbey), Long Walk Hurdle (1997 Paddy’s Return), Prix La Barka (1999 French Holly), Rowland Meyrick Chase (2004 Truckers Tavern, 2006 Leading Man), Sporting Index Chase (2001 Paddy’s Return), Scottish Grand National (2000 Paris Pike, 2005 Joes Edge), Tolworth Hurdle (1998 French Holly), Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase (2007 Another Promise) Number of Winners (1997/98-2005/06): 27; 40; 34; 41; 68; 43; 31; 55; 45; 61 Wins this Season: 9
Winning Jockey: Graham Lee Born: December 16, 1975 Background: Irish pony-racing circuit, left school at 15 to join handler Noel Meade. Five rides for Meade then joined Dessie McDonogh in County Meath. Ger Lyons then obtained Lee a position with Mary Reveley when he was 17. Began riding out for Bill Haigh, before joining Malcolm Jefferson. He was stable jockey for Howard Johnson between 2003-2006, and now rides predominately for trainer Ferdy Murphy. Trains with Middlesbrough football club to keep fit. First Winner: Navan, November 7, 1992, Blushing Pearl Cheltenham Festival Wins (4): Letheby & Christopher Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Arcalis), Royal & Sunalliance Novices’ Hurdle (2005 No Refuge), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever), Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2007 L’Antartique) Leading Rider at The Festival: 2005 (3). Big Race Wins: Paddy Power Gold Cup (2007 L’Antartique), Betfred Gold Cup (2007 Hot Weld) Ascot Hurdle (2005 No Refuge); Ballymore Properties Long Distance Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever), Charlie Hall Chase (2003 Ballybough Rasher; 2004 Grey Abbey); Elite Hurdle (2005 Royal Shakespeare); Finesse Juvenile Hurdle (2005 Akilak); John Smith’s West Yorkshire Hurdle (2003 Gralmano, 2005 Inglis Drever) Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Inglis Drever, 2005 No Refuge); Peterborough Chase (2006 Racing Demon), Peter Marsh Chase (2005 Lord Transcend); Pillar Propery Chase (2005 Grey Abbey); Prestige Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Royal Rosa); Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (2006 LeadingMan); Scottish Grand National (2004 Grey Abbey); Stanleybet Handicap Hurdle (2005 Coat Of Honour); Tote Exacta Premier Kelso Hurdle (2003 Covent Garden), totesport Classic Chase (2004 Southern Star); Towton Novices’ Chase (2007 Heltornic); Winter Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Inglis Drever); Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase (2007 Another Promise) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Beefeater Restaurants Handicap Hurdle (2004 Zibeline), John Smith’s Grand National (2004 Amberleigh House), Betfair Bowl (2005 Grey Abbey), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2007 Aces Four) Number of Wins (1993/94-2006/07): 6; 20; 11; 16; 21; 24; 28; 25; 58; 66; 94; 100; 108; 89; Wins This Season: 45
PADDY POWER GOLD CUP HISTORY
The Paddy Power Gold Cup is a great race with an illustrious history. The 2m 4.5f contest was first run in 1960 and the race has seen many well-known chasers in action.
Our Vic provided Martin Pipe with his eighth Paddy Power Gold Cup success
in 2006 when the seven-year-old, partnered by Timmy Murphy, came home
two and a half lengths clear of Monkerhostin.
Martin Pipe’s superb record had previously seen him win the Paddy
Power Gold Cup with Beau Ranger (1987),
Pipe handed over the reins to his son David at the end of the 2005/2006 season and the rookie trainer almost continued the winning tradition in 2006 when Vodka Bleu finished three lengths second to the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Exotic Dancer, who came from last to first under Tony McCoy.
In 2002 the Pipe-trained Cyfor Malta, a horse whose racing career had been dogged by injury problems, stormed back to the form he had shown in his younger days with a second win in the Paddy Power Gold Cup - four years after his initial success in the first big handicap chase of the season.
This made him the fifth horse to win the race twice, following Fortria
(1960 and 1962), Gay Trip (1969 and 1971), Half Free (1984 and 1985)
and Bradbury Star (1993 and 1994).
Shooting Light was brilliantly ridden by champion jockey Tony McCoy to defeat 13 talented chasers in 2001.
Lady Cricket was impressive when scoring by 10 lengths from stable companion
Exit Swinger in 2000, with another five lengths back to the third in
a 15-strong field. The enigmatic Challenger Du Luc scored a cheeky head
success over Strong Promise in 1996 while in 1987 Beau Ranger came home
15 lengths in front under Mark Perrett.
One of the best performances since the inaugural running came in 1965 from Dunkirk, who carried a massive 12st 7lb to victory and there have been plenty of other memorable renewals.
The Paddy Power Gold Cup has been won by Irish-trained horses on four occasions. Fortria took the initial running and was successful for a second time two years later in 1962.
The Irish had to wait for more than a decade for a further winner, which came in the shape of Skymas in 1973, and Bright Highway was the last successful horse from the Emerald Isle in 1980, when winning by seven lengths.
Gay Trip's two victories formed part of Fred Rimell's extraordinary training feat when he sent out the winner four years in a row. Jupiter Boy in 1968 and Chatham in 1970 completed Rimell's quartet. Gay Trip won the Grand National in 1970, in between his Cheltenham successes
Celestial Gold proved his stamina with a subsequent one and a half length
victory over Ollie Magern in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, which saw
him become the fourth horse, along with Red Candle (1972), Bachelor's
Hall (1977) and Bright Highway (1980), to add the Newbury prize to his
Two and a half mile specialists like the dual-winner Half Free, handled
by Fred Winter who trained three winners of the race, and Dublin Flyer
(1995) have triumphed, while Skymas (1973) won the Queen Mother Champion
Tony McCoy is the most successful jockey in the history of the Paddy
Power Gold Cup with four victories. The record-breaking rider triumphed
on Cyfor Malta in 1998 and followed up two years later aboard Lady Cricket.
He went on to secure a third success in 2001 on Shooting Light and added
a fourth aboard Exotic Dancer last year.
Richard Linley and Richard Dunwoody who both achieved three victories
in the race during their riding careers, are the next most successful
jockeys in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Linley was victorious on Fifty Dollars More in 1982 and Half Free in
1984 and 1985, while Dunwoody gained his wins on Very Promising in 1986,
Another Coral in 1991 and Challenger Du Luc in 1996.
The popularity of Cheltenham's Open Meeting increases each year with the Irish. One of the great strengths of the three days is the relationship which draws Irish-trained horses and racegoers. Last year there were 38 Irish runners over the three days, including five winners.
But an Irish winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup has not come along for some time. The most recent one was Bright Highway back in 1980. In the 1990s Toranfield (1991) and Second Schedual (1994) came second, and Anabatic was fourth in 1996, while Feathered Leader finished third in 2000.
THE PADDY POWER GOLD CUP CHASE
(Grade 3 Handicap) (2m 4f 110yds), £120,000 total prize fund, Saturday, November 17, 2007
Year Name Age/Wgt Jockey Trainer Owner Ran SP
FACTS ABOUT PADDY POWER GOLD CUP AND THE OPEN
This year sees the 48th renewal of the first major contest of the National
Hunt season, the Paddy Power Gold Cup. The race, run under its present
title for the first time in 2003, was known as the Thomas Pink Gold Cup
from 2000-2002 while Whitbread, under their Mackeson brand and then subsequently
Murphys, backed the first 40 runnings.
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