bet365 Gold Cup
Grade 3 Handicap, Sandown
£150,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 5f 110y, Class 1
Saturday 26th April 2014

Free Racing Tips

1 Hadrian's Approach 10/1
2 Burton Port 8/1C
3 Godsmejudge 10/1
4 Restless Harry 20/1
NR: Twirling Magnet (IRE)
19 ran Distances: ¾l, 2½l, hd
TIME 7m 35.10s (slow by 20.10s)

Hadrian's Approach ran down Burton Port to claim a thrilling renewal of the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

Hadrian's Approach
© Racehorse Photos

Hadrian's Approach

The dangerously well-handicapped Burton Port travelled really well in the hands of Tony McCoy, carting the champion jockey to the lead down the back straight while most of his opponents were being ridden along, and he was still hard on the bridle rounding the home turn.

But 10-1 shot Hadrian's Approach emerged as a serious threat at the final fence and after a titanic tussle up the hill, Nicky Henderson's charge saw out the three miles and five furlongs best under Barry Geraghty to claim the traditional end-of-season highlight by three-quarters of a length.

Godsmejudge ran a fine race in third, turning out just a fortnight after his excellent effort in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr, with Restless Harry also running with plenty of credit in fourth.

Henderson said: "It always looked as if AP (McCoy) was going the better of the two, but Barry wasn't for giving up. They were both tough, as it was a tough race in that ground. I thought it would be too soft for our horse, but he does stay - he stays really well.

"He might not be the most predictable character and he was disappointing at Cheltenham. He ran very well in this race last year (finished fifth) and we took him to Scotland a couple of weeks ago for the Scottish Grand National. The ground was very soft on the morning of the race, so we took him out and decided to bring him back here.

"To be honest, the ground is only marginally better, but Barry gave him a wonderful ride. He just let him creep into it and I don't think he knew he was in a race until he had to ask him. He had to dig pretty deep for it, but he got it. He's got his own style of doing it. He might not be flamboyant, but he stays and his jumping has improved.

"He started in the Hennessy Gold Cup last year and I would think he'll do so again next season, but we'll see. I don't think Aintree (the Grand National) beckons for him next year. We've got a bit of time to enjoy today."

The stewards took a dim view of Geraghty's ride though, banning him for nine days (May 10-18 inclusive) and fining him £3,150 for using his whip above the permitted level.

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill said of the runner-up: "It was brilliant and I'm thrilled. He did everything right and just got beaten by a better one on the day. He jumped liked a buck, he travelled great and there are no excuses, unfortunately! He didn't stop, he kept going, but he's as cute as a fox. He's good on his day."

Alan King, trainer of Godsmejudge, said: "He ran a tremendous race only two weeks after Ayr. He's probably a little bit better going left-handed but he was still coming back and he kept digging. I always hoped the Grand National would be his target this year, but hopefully we'll train him for it next year."

Bet365 Gold Cup Chase (Grade 3 Handicap)
£150,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 5f 110y, Class 1
19 ran

Going: Good to soft

Hadrian's Approach
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 0lbs
10 - 1
Burton Port
Jonjo O'Neill
A P McCoy
10st 9lbs
8 - 1
3/4 length
A King
W Hutchinson
10st 13lbs
10 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
Restless Harry
R Dickin
C Poste
11st 0lbs
20 - 1
Spring Heeled
J H Culloty
D N Russell
11st 3lbs
12 - 1
12 lengths
Summery Justice
Miss V Williams
L Treadwell
10st 2lbs
25 - 1
6 lengths
Roalco De Farges
P J Hobbs
R Johnson
10st 3lbs
8 - 1
P F Nicholls
Ryan Mahon
10st 6lbs
14 - 1
3 1/2 lengths
M Bradstock
Nico de Boinville
11st 2lbs
25 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
Bally Legend
Mrs Caroline Keevil
Ian Popham
10st 12lbs
25 - 1
14 lengths
Ardkilly Witness
Dr R D P Newland
T J O'Brien
10st 4lbs
8 - 1
21 lengths
Opening Batsman
H Fry
Nick Scholfield
10st 8lbs
33 - 1
7 lengths
Midnight Appeal
A King
J E Moore
10st 9lbs
16 - 1
19 lengths
Houblon Des Obeaux
Miss V Williams
Aidan Coleman
11st 12lbs
20 - 1
Bury Parade
P F Nicholls
N Fehily
11st 10lbs
9 - 1
Rigadin De Beauchene
Miss V Williams
R T Dunne
11st 1lbs
33 - 1
Rose Of The Moon
D O'Meara
Jake Greenall
10st 7lbs
20 - 1
Same Difference
N A Twiston-Davies
Sam Twiston-Davies
10st 5lbs
8 - 1
Emperor's Choice
Miss V Williams
T Scudamore
10st 2lbs
33 - 1
Twirling Magnet
Jonjo O'Neill
D C Costello
10st 8lbs