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Cheltenham Gold Cup Day

Coverage from the final day of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival

  • Lord Windermere wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup after steward's enquiry
  • Davy Russell rides the 20-1 winner trained by Jim Culloty, Bob's Worth is fifth
  • On His Own is second, The Giant Bolster third, Russell wins three races in all
  • Ruby Walsh and Daryl Jacob both suffer broken bones, will miss Aintree
  • Blog by Oliver Brett, with Tom Thurgood reporting from Cheltenham
  • Tweet us your comments @Channel4Racing

Thanks very much for your company this afternoon. What a day that was for Gigginstown, Ireland and Davy Russell! We'll be back doing another of these live blogson the Friday of the Grand National Festival, and please don't forget that we're on air for the Morning Line tomorrow at 9am on More4, with racing from Uttoxeter in the afternoon.


Confirmation that Ruby Walsh wins the Boodles Leading Jockey Award by virtue of his three runner-up spots, though he was tied on three wins with Davy Russell, Tom Scudamore and Barry Geraghty.


17:15 Cheltenham - FULL RESULT

1st Savello 16/1
2nd Ned Buntline 6/1jf
3rd Claret Cloak 6/1jf
4th Next Sensation 7/1


Ireland end the last day of the Festival with six of the seven winners on the day, and here's winning trainer Tony Martin: "Davy started the day with a winner, he won the Gold Cup, and that was a [John] Francome ride!"


Savello (16-1) wins the Johnny Henderson, one of the best finishes of the week, after Next Sensation tried to make all and almost did until the stalkers finally caught up with him after the last fence. A memorable treble on the day for Davy Russell - and that's the fourth win of the day for the Gigginstown House Stud.


Next Sensation has built up a huge lead in the early stages of the Grand Annual...


Oscar Hill, who broke free and looked like he wanted to run the 2,000 Guineas down the cross-country course, has been withdrawn... We'll soon be ready to get started, I promise.


Next Sensation, Claret Cloak and Ned Buntline are the three market leaders for the Jonny Henderson Grand Annual, but no favourite has won today. So once again you might want to look at those horses at double-digit prices...


So here we are it's the final race of this year's dramatic Cheltenham Festival, which has had no shortage of surprises. A strong day for the Irish (five wins out of six) could get even better now, but we still have to sort out the leading jockeys' award. Barry Geraghty (Tanks For That) & Tom Scudamore (His Excellency) are still in the hunt for that, but if neither win the race the currently hospitalised Ruby Walsh will take the Boodles-sponsored prize.


Michael O'Leary has confirmed that Last Instalment has been retired after getting tired and unseating Brian O'Connell during the Gold Cup.


FULL RESULT: 4.40 Cheltenham

1st Don Poli 12/1
2nd Thomas Crapper 10/1
3rd Caid Du Berlais 9/1
4th Urbain De Sivola 33/1


DON POLI (trained by Willie Mullins, with Mikey Fogarty riding) wins the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle - and that result confirms that Mullins will be the leading trainer of this year's Cheltenham Festival!


They are off and running in the Martin Pipe!


The starter's not ready for them yet, but we've almost caught up time - only four minues after the scheduled start of the penultimate race of what has been an absorbing Festival.


Vieux Lion Rouge is bidding to cap a near-perfect Festival for David Pipe as he goes for the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle - the race named after the trainer's father. Tom Bellamy has the ride with Kieron Edgar having unfortunately picked up an injury a couple of weeks ago.


Graham Cunningham has been saying that he "can't understand the logic" of On His Own being denied victory in the Gold Cup.

"There was clearly interference, and the stewards have said that. The winning distance was a short head - a few inches - and they are saying the clear interference did not affect the positons of the first and the second. I have a hard time working out the logic of that.

"David Casey gave On His Own a great ride and I thought he put his case very well to the stewards. But it's not a surpirse they allowed the race to stand because the rules, and the interpretation of the rules, have moved ever closer in that direction over the years."


Our TV coverage will be going off air soon, but stay with us on the blog for details of the last two races...


16:00 Cheltenham (Result)

1st Tammys Hill 15/2
2nd Carsonstown Boy 40/1
3rd On The Fringe 11/2


TAMMYS HILL (James Smyth) wins the Foxhunters', the winner trained by Liam Lennon. 


Harbour Court is running in about 12th position with quite a lot of ground to make up. Tammys Hill is lurking just behind Carsonstown Boy and it might be between those two...


Carsonstown Boy is travelling very nicely up the inner with seven fences left to jump...


We're finally under way in the CGA Foxhunters' Chase, sorry not to be able to preview the race in more detail!


Jim Culloty joins a select band of men to have both ridden and trained a winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. A BHA representative is now saying there was interference, but not enough to change the result. It has to be said that after the incident on the Flat in July between Sky Lantern and Elusive Kate it would only take interference of the most blatant proportions to get any result turned over!


Davy Russell: "I was on the best horse in the race, but throughout it I wasn't in an ideal position. I just couldn't ride a winner for Jim all year but he kept on saying 'wait for Cheltenham, just wait for Cheltenham'."



David Casey [On His Own]: "I tried to keep a straight line as best I could but the other horse carried me across the track and I felt he [Lord Windermere] interfered with me. I would have won the race without being carried across and he pushed me into Mr Scudamore's horse [The Giant Bolster] too."

...but that's all irrelevant as it has now been confirmed that LORD WINDERMERE keeps the race...


On the betting exchanges, Lord Windermere is about 3-1 on to keep the race, with On His Own 3-1 against...


So just to confirm, the stewards are looking into interference between the first three horses past the finish line. Lord Windermere appeared to come across the course, taking the racing line of On His Own, with The Giant Bolster also involved in the post-mortem.


Winning trainer Jim Culloty talks to Clare Balding: "This is unbelievable. I'm expecting to lose the stewards' enquiry as I really can't believe it. We were always going to drop in, take our time, and ride him almost just to be placed."


Lord Windermere, who was almost tailed off at one point, just beats On His Own in a most extraordinary finish in which about six horses had a chance going over the last.


Teaforthree is running a huge race but Bobs Worth is just about in contention...


On His Own got a crack across his quarters by Casey just before seven out and Last Instalment, who was weakening, unseats his rider.


Lord Windermere is slightly tailed off at the back of the feed, while Lyreen Legend has made plenty of progress through the field to be just behind the leader, On His Own.


Last Instalment and Cloudy Too are among those jumping well and Bobs Worth is beginning to make stealthy progress.


Silviniaco Conti clears an obstacle very left-handed as On His Own leads with 15 fences to jump.


Fehily switches Conti to the inner now, and they're travelling at a pretty steady gallop - remember this is a long trip so that's sensible...


Bobs Worth has settled in the rear, while Silviniaco Conti travels wide in mid-division.


And finally we are under way in the 2014 Betfred Gold Cup!


Another attempted start is aborted. The comunication between the starter and the jockeys is leaving something to be desired at the moment...


FALSE START. Knockara Beau and Jan Faltejsek were very keen to get away quickly but the starter didn't like that at all.


Lord Windermere is getting a little bit warm at the start, says Rishi. He notes The Giant Bolster looks in particularly good order...


So the Gold Cup should be finishing about now, but the incident involving Port Melon and Daryl Jacob has delayed us a bit. The 13 horses have paraded in front of the stands in the most perfect spring weather imaginable and hopefully it won't be too long to go now.


"This is the horrible bit, all this hanging around," says Nicky Henderson. Bobs Worth's trainer also has the Hennessy winner Triolo D'Alene in this race, and if he stays on nicely and comes out of the race well he'll go to the Grand National with plenty of chances.


Bobs Worth is looking to be many punters' last hope of salvaging a profit from the Festival. The best price along the rails is 11-8 about the horse that could give Barry Geraghty his fourth win of the week. Now, Paul Nicholls on Silviniaco Conti: "We need luck in running. He did surprise us the way he was lit up and keen last year. Obviously a year on he is older and wiser and we hope he doesn't do that again."


Nicky Henderson is in the vicinity as Bobs Worth is being led out of his stable now with that familiar low head-carriage. He's a horse that doesn't strut about or pose much for the cameras, saving his work for the racecourse. Clare's got the owner of On His Own, Graham Wylie: "The horse, mentally, is in a good place and is physically strong."


Confirmation that David Casey, who fell off Briar Hill (the horse has a small fracture below his eye-socket) is fit to ride On His Own. Daryl Jacob is currently heing assessed in hospital - his injuries are thought to be less serious than those suffered by Ruby Walsh today and Bryan Cooper on Wednesday.


The Betfred Gold Cup is certain to be off late. There remains a huge amout of confidence in the two market leaders, with Bobs Worth 7-4 in a place or two if you look really hard, and Silviniaco Conti a best-priced 3-1. Of the horses at double digit odds, On His Own is one I really like the chance of.


"He was staying on very well on his last run, but he's a chaser" - Noel Meade on Very Wood, one of only two runners for the County Meath trainer this week, the other being Ned Buntline in the final race of the Festival later today.


2:40 Cheltenham - Result
1st Very Wood 33/1
2nd Deputy Dan 10/1
3rd Apache Jack 20/1


Well... Deputy Dan looked poised to win it approaching the last, but Paul Carberry, one of the most experienced and patient of all jockeys, was niggling away on Noel Meade's outsider Very Wood - and the 33-1 shot wins the Albert Bartlett! "He's going to be a lovely chaser," says Carberry.


Briar Hill falls in the Albert Bartlett. Both he and David Casey seem to have come away without any major injuries.


Finally, after a 14-minute delay, they're racing in the Albert Bartlett.


Deputy Dan has been backed from 14-1 into 10-1, while Captain Cutter is 7-1 from 8s. They're almost ready to line up for the start.


An update from Alice Plunkett: "Daryl basically landed on our camera. His leg's sore. He wants to get up but the medics want to put him on a stretcher."


Long delay ahead of the Albert Bartlett, probably because of a health and safety issue with the rail damaged in Dary Jacob's fall needing to be repaired. "You run the risk of a horse taking fright with all those hi-vis jackets down there," says Mick. Some horses now being dismounted.


Daryl Jacob has been thrown off Port Melon after the horse took fright by the rail when going down to the start. The horse will be withdrawn. The horse is OK, but Jacob is injured and can't take part.


"If Briar Hill doesn't win it's going to be a disastrous meeting for punters," says our man in the ring, Brian Gleeson. That's probably slightly overstating things as a successful plunge on Bob's Worth would help out a lot of people. If you want value in this, Deputy Dan and Mosspark offer some appeal.


Tom Scudamore could win the Boodles Leading Jockey Award if Kings Palace, well fancied in many quarters for the Albert Bartlett, reaches the line first in our next race. "The next 30 minutes is vitally important, I don't think too far ahead." In other words, the Gold Cup can wait for David Pipe's stable jockey.


Paul Nicholls on Lac Fontana: "We did fancy him strongly and that will make such a big difference to Daryl. It's a tough game, these guys never deserve any criticism for anybody."


"Daryl knows the position he is in, but he wants the Paul Nicholls job so badly, and when you want something so badly sometimes you try too hard" - the words of Mick Fitzgerald, who Jacob has just credited as a brilliant jockey coach, notably through the course of this season.


14:05 Cheltenham (Result)

1st Lac Fontana 11/1
2nd Arctic Fire 7/1
3rd Montbazon 20/1
4th Diakali 25/1


And at last! The Daryl Jacob-Paul Nicholls partnership strike gold. His stirrup iron broke in the first race, he was distraught yesterday when losing a tight photo finish, now all that can be forgotten. LAC FONTANA providing Jacob with his second winner ever at the Festival and it's Nicholls' first of the week.


Cheltenian is travelling in a good position with three flights left to jump. Alaivan is prominent too.


They're off in the County Hurdle!


Business is "absolutely phenomenal" says Tanya, with so much attention focused on Cheltenian. That one's price has almost halved from a morning 10-1 to 11-2.


AP McCoy's ride is Minella Foru in the second race. "Big things were expected of him early in the season and there's still plenty of time for him to come good," says Jim.


Ruby Walsh has a compound fracture of his right humerus (upper arm) and will have surgery at Gloucester. You'd have to say he's now doubtful for Aintree. Meanwhile, the news from Frenchay Hospital is that Bryan Cooper's leg injuries are really bad - and he faces a long spell on the sidelines.


In all, we will have 28 runners in the County Hurdle. "It's a real cavalry charge," says Nick. Very much one of those races where the jockeys won't want to see a horse fall in front of them!


Next up is the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle at 2.05, with previous Festival winner Cheltenian bidding to give both Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson their third success of the week.


JOCKEY CHANGES: The ride on Diakali in the second race now goes to Danny Mullins, with David Casey switching to Arctic Fire, who was to have been the ride of Ruby.


Ruby Walsh is OUT FOR THE REST OF THE DAY. He will be assessed in hospital as to what the extent of his injuries is now. The ride on On His Own in the Gold Cup now becomes vacant.


Oh to be a fly on the wall when Daryl Jacob and Paul Nicholls have their next tete-a-tete. It's a wretched world when the luck's not going with you but I'd hate to speculate on whether Jacob will still be Nicholls' main jockey this time next year.


"I don't think Last Instalment will beat Bobs Worth because Bobs Worth has got his ground today" - those words coming from the mouth of Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, who had the winner of the Triumph Hurdle and also owns Last Instalment.


Davy Russell: "Gordon has done a marvellous job with this horse. It's only his third run and he he had him on the button."

1:30 Cheltenham - Full result

1st Tiger Roll 10/1
2nd Kentucky Hyden 20/1
3rd Guitar Pete 7/1


TIGER ROLL (10-1) wins the JCB Triumph Hurdle with Davy Russell booting home the winner for Gordon Elliott. Walsh is holding his wrist and looks to be in a degree of pain. Meanwhile Daryl Jacob lost an iron when travelling well on Calipto.


Royal Irish Hussar is gaining a strong position with one flight to jump.


Abbyssial falls with Ruby Walsh on board and brings down Adriana Des Mottes, so both Willie Mullins runners are out of the race early.


"Big ones, small ones, round ones, tall ones..." Mick Fitzgerald reckons there's something for everyone in the Triumph Hurdle field... and they're off!


Plinth is going down to the start right now with Graham Cunningham telling C4 viewers that the beautiful conditions may well suit horses who are bred to race on the Flat.


TIGER ROLL "is an interesting horse but not very inexperienced," says Nick. Graham reckons he's an "interesting contender" and he looks beautifully forward in his spring coat. Rutherglen has been backed into 10-1 meanwhile, while the Aidan O'Brien-trained Plinth, who we mentioned earlier, is 12-1.


One might have expected a bit of a plunge for Guitar Pete, the main Irish hope, but punters were quite badly stung by Annie Power's defeat so some might be biding their time today...


In bright sunlight, the punters queue up with their crisp £20 notes and most of them seem to be going for Royal Irish Hussar. Can he give Barry Geraghty a fourth winner of the week with Bobs Worth still to come?


The horses are about to enter the parade ring ahead of the season's big race for juvenile hurdlers, the JCB Triumph Hurdle. Calipto is drifting in the market as negative vibes around the Paul Nicholls yard resonate with Royal Irish Hussar going the other way. There's the prospect of a flip-flopping favourites situation.


Looking down some of the interesting Gold Cup each-way chances, what do you think of On His Own? More a Grand National type, his form has been so good this season that he was supplemented for this race at considerable cost and will be the mount of Ruby Walsh for trainer Willie Mullins, in the Andrea and Graham Wylie colours. Some bookies are still laying that one at 22-1.


Here's Noel Fehily, looking for his first winner of the week, on some of his rides outside his big hope Silviniaco Conti: "Better ground will definitely bring out improvement in Saint Roque in the Albert Bartlett. That's the main thing for him so hopefully he'll be better today.

"I've won two novice chases on Claret Cloak and he's done nothing wrong over fences this season. He ran a good race in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown and today's grund is a big plus for him. He's a horse I like and I think he'll run a big race."


Robbie McNamara, a winner of two races already this week on his cousin JT, who suffered a serious injury here 12 months ago: "He's working hard on the ventilator and can breathe on his own for eight or 10 hours a day. He was a gifted horseman and it was a huge tragedy what happened to him."


Ooh we like that!! Any more #cheltfie action for us? ...meanwhile our studio team are analysing the curious case of the two Gigginstown runners. Remember First Lieutenant is out of the Gold Cup, Last Instalment in.


AP McCoy on his son Archie, who had an operation last Friday to move arteries around his heart: "He's doing really well, he's improving." McCoy is due to take a break with his family after racing at Kempton tomorrow - a short trip to Portugal, will hopefully do them all a lot of good as McCoy himself was riding with a lot of pain on Thursday.


How to own a racehorse

Follow in the footsteps of Sire De Grugy's connections and get involved in the thrill of racing


Friday March 14th - Day Four

A rundown of your televised races today:

1:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (2m 1f)
2:05 Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (2m 1f)
2:40 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (3m)
3:20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (3m 2½f)
4:00 CGA Foxhunter Chase (3m 2½f)


"It'll be a fast race and a challenging race," says Simon Holt, who notes that there are some areas behind the jumps that will have firmer taking-off points than others. "Some of the fences are quite soft at some courses," adds Simon. Not here...


Winning a Gold Cup in successive years has eluded a number of chasing stars: Kauto Star, Denman, Long Run, Imperial Commander - none of them could do it. But that's probably the only negative thought you could have regarding Bobs Worth, who quickened so splendidly in his win at Leopardstown just after Christmas.


We're live on air now on Channel 4, so if you want to multi-screen, use this link:

"He's bidding to be the first back-to-back winner since Best Mate... the little horse who puts his head down and tries his heart out" - Clare Balding on BOBS WORTH. Even if you're not backing Nicky Henderson's runner, you've got to admire his sheer determination to finish a job half-started.


A possible each-way selection for the Triumph mught be Plinth, who was given an early tour of the parade ring by his trainer Aidan O'Brien. The Master of Ballydoyle has booked AP McCoy for the ride.


What a glorious sight there, thanks for the photo, Lauren.

...Are you up or down this Festival? It's certainly been a tremendous week for Tom Scudamore and Barry Geraghty, who with three winners each are giving Ruby Walsh plenty to think about in the race for the Boodles Leading Jockey Award. It's been a rough week though for the likes of Paul Nicholls, Daryl Jacob and Twiston-Davies pere et fils, none of whom have yet to taste the sweet smell of Cheltenham success.


More from Tom:

"One of the more interesting Triumph Hurdle contenders is Achtung. This brother to 2007 Derby winner Authorized was a flop on the Flat for Jeremy Noseda and the switch to hurdles hasn't proved inspired so far." You can back Achtung at 500-1.


More from our man Tom Thurgood, who's looking with interest at his racecard ahead of the JCB Triumph Hurdle (1.30)

"Despite some very close seconds, Paul Nicholls has no winners from 24 runners at this year's Cheltenham Festival but Calipto looked one of the trainer's better chances before the start of the week and the four-year-old attempts to justify favouritism in the Triumph Hurdle.

"Unbeaten in two starts since arriving from France, he beat subsequent Grade 2 winner Activial at Newbury in November and the better ground here is expected to suit."


Bobs Worth is now the 13-8 favourite with the Gold Cup sponsors Betfred while King George winner Silviniaco Conti - whose trainer Paul Nicholls has had a blank Festival so far - is next in the market at 3-1.

Betfred's Andrew Griffiths said: "The market is all about Bobs Worth. Punters have been backing the ears off him at 9-4 this morning and our liabilities are rapidly soaring towards the £1m mark. We still have nightmares about last year's race where Bobs Worth cost us close to £4m. It won't be quite as bad this time if he defends his title, but you can be certain we won't be cheering him on."


Our live TV coverage begins in around half an hour, but we'd love to hear about your bankers for the final day (remember it might not be in the Gold Cup!) and your highlights of the Festival so far - so tweet us on @Channel4Racing whenever you want to.


The big race is at 3.20 of course, and the Giggingstown House Stud team have played a bit of a two-card trick, by pulling the Mouse Morrris-trained First Lieutenant out of the race while keeping in Last Instalment, regarded as a "fragile" horse on account of leg problems in the past. That one is trained by Philip Fenton and will be ridden by Brian O'Connell


So here we are on the final day of this year's Cheltenham Festival. But let's not be sad about it. It's not like that moment on Christmas Day when your nan starts snoring in front of Corrie and nobody can face doing the washing-up. This, folks, is GOLD CUP day. And what a renewal it should be today...


More success for Geraghty as Big Buck's bows out

More Of That landed the World Hurdle from Annie Power in the third-day highlight at the Cheltenham Festival - read Tom Thurgood's report from Prestbury Park