Betway Haldon Gold Cup Chase
|Grade 2, Exeter 15:30
2m 1f 109y, Class 1
1 Elixir De Nutz 13/2
2 Solo 11/4J
3 War Lord 15/2
6 ran Distances: 3¼l, ½l, 2½l
Time: 4m 22.25s (slow by 17.25s)
It's a big day for young jockey Freddie Gingell as Elixir De Nutz puts his handsome grey head down and gallops away with the 2023 @betway Haldon Gold Cup 🏆— Exeter Racecourse (@ExeterRaces) November 10, 2023
Congratulations to connections on a great performance from the winner! pic.twitter.com/UJp9tF3bLy
Elixir De Nutz displayed an incredible show of determination, securing a hard-fought victory under the expert guidance of Freddie Gingell. Fresh off an impressive performance at Chepstow, Elixir De Nutz stood as one of trainer Joe Tizzard's dual contenders in the race, with Brendan Powell, the stable jockey, aboard War Lord.
Gingell, Tizzard's nephew, showcased assertiveness right from the start on the grey contender. Entering the Grade Two competition at odds of 13-2, Elixir De Nutz strategically positioned himself, demonstrating prowess as competitors faltered around the crucial final turn.
Executing a gallant and precise sequence of jumps, Elixir De Nutz not only maintained but expanded his lead on the home stretch. Despite a determined chase from Paul Nicholls' Solo, it was the young and skillful jockey, Freddie Gingell, who emerged victorious, crossing the finish line with a commanding three and a quarter-length advantage.
“That is unreal. A big thank you to Terry Warner (the horse’s owner) and his family and to Joe and Colin (Tizzard) as well,” Gingell said.
“I went in and schooled him on Wednesday and Joe said ‘where would you rather go, Fontwell or Exeter’. I said I would love to go to Exeter to ride him as it is a big race and Joe has won it a few times. Riding in it was a big thing, but I never thought this would happen.
“The plan was to get a good start and go from there as there were five other very good horses in it. He was a bit slow going to the first, but he then jumped the first and took off with me. He was jumping outside the wings every time I gave him a squeeze and asked him.
“Harry (Cobden on Solo) came upsides me turning in and I thought ‘I will see what happens’, but I managed to get a breather into him as I thought Harry was coming with a very big challenge now. I thought ‘I will keep plugging onto the line’, but I thought we might have got racing a bit too early.
“For a moment or two I couldn’t believe it happened. I looked around and thought did I just win it sort of thing then Brendan (Powell) came and patted me on the back and it then really started to hit me.
“It is a big day and the last three years haven’t been easy. I can’t thank them enough for supporting me as it has been a really tough time. I passed my driving test last Tuesday and I have ridden a few winners, so it is all going well.”
The victory also left triumphant trainer Tizzard, who won the race three times as a jockey aboard Lake Kariba (1998), Flagship Uberalles (1999) and Cue Card (2012), fighting back the tears in an emotional response to the win as Gingell is the son of his late sister Kim.
Tizzard said: “We said it after we left Ayr last year about going for the Haldon Gold Cup. I said he always needs his first run and that worked a treat. The race suited him today. We were a bit worried about the ground, but the trip and the track were perfect for him. It is emotional.
“That is as good a ride that I’ve seen Fred give a horse to be honest. I wanted to get him revved up to be positive on him. He is only 17 years old, but he asked him at every fence. It is lovely for Terry and his wife who have made it down as they don’t get to the races all the time.
“That’s why me and dad are a little bit emotional (because we are thinking of Kim), but he (Freddie) didn’t need a lot of help.
“Fred is part of the family so it is lovely. I’m proud of Fred. He is a 17-year-old boy and he is a 7lb claimer. He has got a great job with Paul (Nicholls), but we are trying to give him a chance in these bigger races.
“He is razor sharp and he is a good jockey. He gave him an absolute belter I thought. I’m chuffed to bits with him. He is riding with lots of confidence and that is what you need. He gave that a proper ride and I don’t think he could have ridden it any better. “
Haldon Gold Cup Chase
£80,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m 1f 109y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 Elixir De Nutz 9 10-7 Joe Tizzard Freddie Gingell 13/2
2 3¼ Solo 7 10-10 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 11/4J
3 ½ War Lord 8 10-6 Joe Tizzard Brendan Powell 15/2
4 2½ Indiana Jones 7 10-8 M F Morris Darragh O'Keeffe 4/1
5 26 Editeur Du Gite 9 11-12 Gary Moore Niall Houlihan 8/1
6 7 Brave Seasca 8 10-9 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 11/4J