Unioniste Steps Up in December Gold Cup
1 Unioniste 15/2
Unioniste created history by becoming the first four-year-old to win the Paul Stewart Ironspine Charity Challenge Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday December 15.
Owned by John Hales, the grey only got into the race as the first reserve, but the 15-2 chance took full advantage to give the owner and trainer Paul Nicholls a famous double after winning the Paddy Power with Al Ferof.
Young jockey Harry Derham bided his time and a big leap at the last sealed the deal as he won by 11 lengths, chased home by Alan King's Walkon, who once again had to settle for second after being beaten by Al Ferof.
Coming down the hill a fairytale result looked likely when Andy Stewart's Tatenen slipped the field, but a jolting mistake put paid to his chances.
Nicholls said: "It was a good little plan. I was pleased with his handicap mark and he knows how to jump. I thought he might not get a chance in a race like this again. Harry gave him a peach of a ride and it's great for him to win a race like this."
Referencing the much-publicised departure of Kauto Star from his yard, Nicholls went on: "After the week we've had, I can assure you I've never had a more embarrassing or unenjoyable week like that in my life.
"I apologise for everything that has gone on and I've never been more embarrassed, so to end it with a win like this is great. Onwards and upwards. I backed him last week at 12s, but I had to sweat a bit over whether he'd get in.
"He'll have a month off now. I've got novice chasing to go back to if I want and he'll have an entry for the RSA, but the big plan was today."
Derham, 18, added: "You've got Ruby (Walsh), Daryl (Jacob) and Ryan Mahon in the stable, so there's a pecking order and I was absolutely delighted to get the chance. The horse made my life very easy, he's very strong for a four-year-old and I always knew I had a bit left. It's a great honour to ride a big-race winner here for Mr Hales."
Unfortunately for Nicholls, his other runner Cristal Bonus broke down and it was later confirmed that he had suffered a fatal injury.
December Gold Cup (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3)
If you are thinking of making a bet on an upcoming horse race then look no further than the Betfair Horse Racing odds they have. Give yourself the chance to win big at Betfair today!
|home | associations | bloodstock agents | bookmakers | information | horses | jockeys | links | overseas | portals | racecourses | race horse trainers | sales | studs | syndicates | submit site|
|© racingbetter.co.uk • 91 Tribune Drive • Carlisle • CA3 0LE|