Argento Chase 2013 

2012 result

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Cape Tribulation Steps Up in Argento

1 Cape Tribulation 7/1
2 Imperial Commander 7/2
3 Hunt Ball 11/1
NR: Calgary Bay (IRE), Tidal Bay (IRE)
10 ran Distances: ½l, 36l, 93l
TIME 7m 16.50s (slow by 57.50s)

The Malcolm Jefferson-trained Cape Tribulation got up on the line for a last-gasp success in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham to put himself firmly in the picture for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

Cape Tribulation
© Racehorse Photos

Cape Tribulation
In an attritional renewal, only the winner, Hunt Ball and Imperial Commander were in contention from quite some way out as gruelling conditions took a toll, with Cape Tribulation in the slipstream of the other two under a superb waiting ride from Denis O'Regan.

Hunt Ball gave way in the straight and just as Imperial Commander, the 2010 Gold Cup winner having his first start for 680 days, looked like he had done enough, Cape Tribulation (7-1) dramatically got up on the line.

O'Regan said: "He jumped well, he travelled great and he enjoyed the ground. He's a different horse this year and I'm delighted.

"I missed the second-last and I had to give him a chance to get rolling again. He loves Cheltenham and he tried his heart out. He's a very tough horse when it comes down to it."

Jefferson added: "Now I think we'll probably have to come back for the Gold Cup. I'm not saying he's going to win it, but he might get placed in one, this year's especially. He's in the World Hurdle, but he is jumping so well now I think the Gold Cup is the race he'll go for.

"On his day he's a good horse. Denis was brilliant, but if a horse does everything right these are good jockeys and they know what to do. He might be better on better ground and if could get a place in the Gold Cup that might be better than running with a big weight in a handicap."

Imperial Commander

Imperial Commander

Imperial Commander will head straight back to Cheltenham in a bid to reclaim the Betfred Gold Cup following his fine effort in the Argento Chase.

The 12-year-old went agonisingly close to making a triumphant return when he was caught in the dying strides by Cape Tribulation on Saturday, in his first race since he was pulled up in the Gold Cup some 680 days earlier.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies told At The Races: "It was heartbreaking to see him mugged on the line, but yet again he showed all his doubters wrong. He can come back and hopefully is as good as ever."

He added: "He's 100%, not a bother on him. It's a relief and in top-class races you always worry a little bit about injuries, but he's never had any horrendous injury. They have only been very minor, they just take time to mend.

"He goes straight to the Gold Cup.

"The bounce factor wouldn't worry me at all. Firstly it's nearly seven weeks, so he can have a break now and we can get him back again.

"I'm not a great believer in bounce factors. I think all he can do is improve."


Argento Chase
£100,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 1f 110y, Class 1
10 ran
Going: Heavy (Soft in places)

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Cape Tribulation
J M Jefferson
D F O'Regan
11st 6lbs
7 - 1
Imperial Commander
N A Twiston-Davies
P J Brennan
11st 0lbs
7 - 2
1/2 length
Hunt Ball
K Burke
Nick Scholfield
11st 3lbs
11 - 1
36 lengths
Midnight Chase
N P Mulholland
D C Costello
11st 10lbs
12 - 1
93 lengths
Wayward Prince
Mrs H Parrott
Jack Doyle
11st 10lbs
18 - 1
Weird Al
D McCain Jnr
J M Maguire
11st 10lbs
7 - 1
Hey Big Spender
C L Tizzard
J Tizzard
11st 6lbs
25 - 1
Grands Crus
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 5lbs
5 - 2
Little Josh
N A Twiston-Davies
S Twiston-Davies
11st 4lbs
20 - 1
Quartz De Thaix
Miss V Williams
Aidan Coleman
11st 4lbs
9 - 1
Tidal Bay
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 10lbs
Calgary Bay
M R Channon
D Elsworth
11st 6lbs
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