1 Kitty's Light 11/4F
2 Moroder 16/1
3 Revels Hill 13/2
4 The Goffer 10/1
16 ran NR: Mucho Mas, Organdi
Distances: 2½l, 5½l, 6l Time: 7m 33.70s (slow by 16.20s)
A special achievement for Kitty's Light in winning the @Bet365 Gold Cup @Sandownpark one week after bagging the @Coral Scottish Grand National @ayrracecourse. Well done @CWilliamsRacing and @jacktudor9 pic.twitter.com/5Ln7FRw1EA https://t.co/qvx23GK6DM via @RacingBetter— RacingBetter (@RacingBetter) April 30, 2023
Just seven days after landing the Scottish Grand National, the Christian Williams-trained Kitty’s Light, who was third to the well-handicapped Hewick in last year’s renewal and was unfortunate the year before that, went one better after a protracted battle with Moroder.
In a deep renewal of the extended three-and-a-half-mile handicap, former King George VI Chase winner Frodon made much of the running, with Moroder upsides five out.
But Bryony Frost’s mount, shouldering top weight, was under pressure at the Pond Fence three out and as the 11-year-old back-peddled, Kitty’s Light was making stealthy headway under Jack Tudor.
There were plenty still in with a chance two out, but the 11-4 favourite, who was carrying just 10st 8lb having escaped a penalty for last week’s success at Ayr, powered up the hill and after jumping upsides at the final fence, strode out smartly to score by two and a half lengths from Moroder.
Revels Hill travelled smoothly only to be outgunned when it mattered and finished a further five and a half lengths down in third, with The Goffer making up ground to take fourth.
Having previously won the Eider at Newcastle, Kitty’s Light completed a hat-trick and became the first horse since Hot Weld in 2007 to successfully complete the Scottish National and bet365 Gold Cup Double.
Williams said: “Coming into today there were lots of negatives and we put ourselves under pressure running him again just a week later, but we’ve had the horse since he was a yearling and Jack knows him well. We know that when we give him a chance he will do something special.
“His constitution is unbelievable and at this time of year he comes into himself. It’s hard to get him right for 12 months of the year and it’s hard to get these horses right and they tend to just tend to come into themselves.
“When we won last year’s Scottish National with Win My Wings, I trained him for five years and I don’t know where that performance came from and it’s the same here today. We train him nice and quietly at home and he doesn’t get knocked about when he runs and Jack was nice and kind on him in the Scottish National. He didn’t pull him out (to challenge) until the second last and we had the cheekpieces in the wardrobe for when we needed them.
“There was no plan, he just came out of the race so well. We just felt that he’s a special horse and we wanted to give him the opportunity to do something that not many horses have done.”
Williams was emotional in the aftermath of Ayr, following news his five-year-old daughter Betsy has been diagnosed with leukaemia.
He went on: “Ayr was great last week, we were under pressure there as we’d had such a tough few weeks with Betsy and when we got up there the story was all about Betsy. All the emotions came out when he won whereas today all the focus was just on the result.
“We showed our emotion at Ayr, but today was purely a bonus and it was because he’d come out of the race so well and we wanted to give him the chance to do something special.
“Poor Tilly my older daughter doesn’t get a mention! Hayley Moore ran the London Marathon for Cancer Research and Betsy last week and she messaged me to say she was doing it. She brought me the medal half an hour before the race so I’ve had it on since and it’s just great.
“We’ve got tough times ahead but we’re lucky to be involved in this sport and to see the joy it brings with Betsy, Charlotte (wife) and all the family at home is just a big lift. It’s all down to this horse. People talk about the jockey and the trainer, but the horse is the one who gives us these days and gives us so much joy.”
Tudor said: “He’s a freak, an absolute freak. It’s the only way to describe him. I was worried about the ground when I walked the track as it was sticky as it’s hard enough on that ground and it felt like it.
“With running last week he’s had a hard week and a lot of travelling, but it was a great shout by the owners and Chris to run him. We thought all the facts were there and the boxes ticked to run him and that’s why we ran.
“He’s unbelievable, he’s done some amount (of good) for both mine and Christian’s careers. Everything that Chris and his family are going through is terrible but this horse has done so much to lift them, I spoke to Charlotte and she said that Betsy thinks she’s famous!
“It’s brilliant and I know they’re getting a massive lift from this, it’s bound to be helping.”
Bet365 Gold Cup Chase
£160,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 3m 4f 166y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 Kitty's Light 7 10-8 Christian Williams Jack Tudor 11/4F
2 2½ Moroder 56 9 10-4 Seamus Mullins Micheal Nolan 16/1
3 5½ Revels Hill 8 10-6 Harry Fry Kevin Brogan 13/2
4 6 The Goffer 6 11-3 Gordon Elliott Sean Bowen 10/1
5 1¼ Coolvalla 7 10-3 Chris Gordon Rex Dingle 10/1
6 1 Annual Invictus 8 10-8 Chris Gordon Mr Freddie Gordon 22/1
7 1¼ Certainly Red 9 10-10 Lydia Richards Caoilin Quinn 10/1
8 1¼ Tea Clipper 8 10-13 Tom Lacey Stan Sheppard 10/1
9 16 Frodon 11 12-0 Paul Nicholls Bryony Frost 16/1
10 2¼ Annsam 8 11-3 Evan Williams Adam Wedge 20/1
11 ½ Red Happy 6 10-2 David Pipe David Noonan 150/1
12 ½ Broken Halo 8 10-3 Paul Nicholls Tom Buckley 10/1
13 ½ D'Jango 10 10-2 David Pipe Sean Houlihan 150/1
FELL Enrilo 9 10-5 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 17/2
PU Musical Slave 10 10-2 Philip Hobbs & Johnson White Aidan Coleman 20/1
PU Court Master 10 10-2 Michael Scudamore Beau Morgan 28/1
NR 11 Organdi 11 10-3 Richard Phillips NON RUNNER
NR 15 Mucho Mas 7 10-2 Ben Pauling NON RUNNER