Friday 26 July 2019

Cheltenham Gold Cup 2010

The 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup, sponsored by Totesport, featured ten runners and produced a dramatic finish, with odds-on favourite Kauto Star taking a crashing fall at the fourth last fence. Trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh, Kauto Star had won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2007 and 2009 and started 8/11 in his bid for a third Gold Cup victory.

However, the ten-year-old blundered badly at the eighth fence and appeared to be struggling long before parting company with his jockey. He was niggled along heading out on the second circuit and, although only 3 lengths down, was labouring in fifth place when falling at the fourth last, soon after the turn at the top of the hill. Ruby Walsh acknowledged that fact, saying, “His first one was a bad mistake. It knocked me out of position and I could not get him on an even keel.”

In any event, the race was won, in convincing style, by 7/1 third favourite Imperial Commander, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by Paddy Brennan. The seven-year-old was always prominent and, having taken the lead at the second last fence, was driven clear to win by 7 lengths, going away. The 2008 winner, and 4/1 second favourite, Denman finished a tired second under A.P. McCoy, but was still 23 lengths clear of 2009 Grand National winner Mon Mome who, at 50/1, stayed on strongly in the closing stages to deny Carruthers of third place in the dying strides.

Imperial Commander was a first Cheltenham Gold Cup winner for trainer and jockey. Twiston-Davies was bullish about his charge, saying, “It’s just absolutely brilliant. It’s been very hard for us sat there with the third-favourite when all the talk was about Kauto and Denman, but we always knew we were going to win.”

Brennan, too, was cock-a-hoop, saying, “It's by far the best day of my life. I'm speechless. It was a dream the whole way.”

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