Coole Cody produces red-hot performance to win Cheltenham’s Paddy Power Gold Cup as jockey Tom O’Brien toasts ninth win of the season
- Coole Cody recovered from a terrible slip at the fourth fence to claim victory
- Eldorado Allen galloped away to win the grade two Novices’ Chase by 19 lengths
- Defi Du Seuil and Put The Kettle On will go head to head in the Shloer Chase
Cheltenham behind closed doors might be a dispiriting experience, but Coole Cody produced a performance to lift a despondent heart with a gutsy win in the Paddy Power Gold Cup that acted as a reminder of the drama the home of jump racing can deliver.
A bare reading of the result with 10-1 shot Coole Cody’s three-and-a-quarter-length win from Spiritofthegames does not get close to doing justice of the winner’s performance, leading from the third fence, surviving an horrendous slip at the fourth and then maintaining a relentless gallop to see off what was an above-average line-up.
On only his fourth start for trainer Evan Williams, Coole Cody also delivered a significant and timely ninth winner of the season for jockey Tom O’Brien.
Coole Cody (ridden by Tom O’Brien) produced a gutsy display to claim victory at Cheltenham
Williams said: ‘It was a bit rough and ready out there but it is not a beauty contest. He was nearly down but that probably woke him up – he is a funny character at times.
‘If he could go to the pub at night and have a fight he would prefer to do that than sit in front of the fire in his slippers. But when he gets the bit between his teeth and gets rolling he is very tough.’
O’Brien added: ‘The ground was quite greasy and he just slipped. I thought we was going down – thank God he didn’t. This has come at the right time. It has gone a little quiet numbers wise. It puts you back in the limelight.’
O’Brien’s plan to get a lead from Siruh Du Lac looked to have evaporated when that rival unseated Tom Scudamore at the first fence but the horse continued rider-less alongside or much of the race, something Williams considered helpful.
Mister Fisher and Slate House (both pulled up) were both seen off as had Saint Sonnet by the time he fell at the second last. A blunder two out did for Sky Pirate as well-backed 5-1 favourite Al Dancer stayed on for third but he never looked like catching Coole Cody.
Meanwhile, the improving form shown by the Colin Tizzard string continued when Eldorado Allen landed the grade two Novices’ Chase by 19 lengths from Quel Destin.
Eldorado Allen was a class apart in the grade two Novices’ Chase as he won by 19 lengths
Gumball was still going well in front when falling two out.
Tizzard, who runs exciting The Big Breakaway in the opener at Cheltenham today, said: ‘Eldorado Allen is a big strong horse who I think is the best two-mile chaser we have had.’ The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown next month could be his next run.
Meanwhile, Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil attempts to bounce back from his disappointing run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase by trying to win back-to-back Shloer Chases on Sunday afternoon.
Opposition includes Henry De Bromhead-trained Arkle Trophy Chase winner Put The Kettle On, who is two from two at the track.
Meanwhile Nicky Henderson will train Jonbon, the brother to eight-time grade one winner Douvan who cost owner JP McManus £570,000, a record for a graduate from point-to-pointing.
Put The Kettle On (pictured) will provide stiff competition for Defi Du Seuil in the Shloer Chase