United House Gold Cup

Grade 3, Ascot 15:35
£100,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m, Class 1
Saturday 1st November 2014

entries1 What A Warrior 7/1
2 Black Thunder 8/1
3 Merry King 9/1
15 ran Distances: ½l, 6l, 1l
TIME 5m 51.25s (slow by 8.25s)

What A Warrior gamely holds off the Nicholls horse Black Thunder for a memorable win for the Skeltons

What A Warrior
© Racehorse Photos

What A Warrior

What A Warrior lived up to his name when seeing off the opposition with a tremendous all-the-way win.

The seven-year-old, trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by his brother Harry, had Vino Griego for company for most of the race and kept something in reserve for the business end.

Black Thunder came out of the pack from two out, but a spring-heeled leap at the final fence kept What A Warrior in front and he battled on to clinch the verdict by half a length. Merry King was six lengths back in third.

The winning rider said: "I was very confident the whole way. He lugged out to his left most of the way, but he jumped like a buck and he's learned. Since he won at Ludlow, the trainer had a plan and he's pulled it off.

"It's massive. This is what it's all about, these big Saturdays, big races, big winners. You have to be patient and this horse came to us (from Nigel Twiston-Davies). He'd fallen down the weights a bit. After I rode him at Ludlow we knew this was the race to go for."

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Trainer Skelton said: "I learned from the master (Paul Nicholls), you've got to have a plan and after Ludlow that's what we tried to pull off.

"I'm obviously delighted to win for our connections, but sorry to beat Paul (trainer of Black Thunder) and the owners of the second, who are close to me as well. That's racing and it was a great race.

"We're going to go to the Hennessy (at Newbury on November 29) next. There will be a turnaround in weights and the ground is going to suit Black Thunder better than it will us next time, but that's racing as well.

"He's a very tough horse who loves to jump. All his life he has gone left-handed but for some reason he always wins right-handed.

"It (the Hennessy) is a step up in grade and he has to get over a hard race, but he has got to probably go. He isn't a Grade One horse and we have to stick to handicaps. We took our chance today and it's paid off."

United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
15 ran
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st What A Warrior (IRE) 7/1
Harry Skelton
10-6 D Skelton 7
2nd ½ Black Thunder (FR) 8/1
Nick Scholfield
11-6 P F Nicholls 7
3rd 6 Merry King (IRE) 9/1
R P Mclernon
10-9 Jonjo O'Neill 7
4th 1 Pass The Hat 14/1
D J Casey
11-0 A L T Moore 7
5th Midnight Appeal 16/1
Tom Bellamy (5)
10-8 A King 9
6th Grandads Horse 16/1
Charlie Deutsch (7)
10-8 C E Longsdon 8
7th 1 Vino Griego (FR) 33/1
J E Moore
11-10 G L Moore 9
8th Ardkilly Witness (IRE) 6/1
W Kennedy
10-6 Dr R D P Newland 8
9th 12 Le Bec (FR) 9/2f
L P Aspell
11-6 Miss E C Lavelle 6
10th Cantlow (IRE) 16/1
B J Geraghty
11-7 P R Webber 9
11th Gevrey Chambertin (FR) 12/1
T Scudamore
10-10 D Pipe 6
12th nk Roalco De Farges (FR) 15/2
T J O'Brien
10-13 P J Hobbs 9
13th 1 Restless Harry 22/1
C Poste
11-5 R Dickin 10
14th ½ Lamboro Lad (IRE) 66/1
Donal Devereux
10-0 P Bowen 9
PU   Katenko (FR) 25/1
Aidan Coleman
11-12 Miss V Williams 8

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