Don Cossack wins Gold Cup

Don Cossack wins Gold Cup
Updated 18 March 2016

Don Cossack wins Gold Cup

Don Cossack wins Gold Cup

CHELTENHAM, United Kingdom: Don Cossack, the 2-1 favorite, won the Gold Cup on Friday in an Irish sweepstake of chasing’s blue riband race.
Cue Card went down at the third-last fence, allowing Don Cossack, the top rated chaser ridden by Bryan Cooper and owned by Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud, to accelerate away for a convincing victory.
Djakadam, with Ruby Walsh on board, came in second for a second consecutive year, with Don Poli, also owned by O’Leary, in third.
“I’ve died and gone to heaven!” said O’Leary. “Unusually, there was never a moment’s worry and he jumped like a stag.
“He doesn’t have many gears, just one pace, but it’s a high cruising pace. Bryan gave him a masterful ride. He had him in the right place all the way.”
O’Faolains Boy and Smad Place set the early quick pace around two circuits of the Cheltenham course as the field quickly strung out with 22 fences to negotiate.
After one circuit, Smad Place found itself out on its own but was soon reeled in and with eight to jump, there was a lead group of five also including Don Cossack, Djakadam, Don Poli and Cue Card.
Cue Card, the 7-2 second favorite trained by dairy farmer Colin Tizzard, briefly challenged but then went down hard within sight of the finish after a badly misjudged jump.
The horse could have won his owners a £1 million bonus if he had added the Gold Cup to this season’s wins at Haydock and Kempton.
As it was, Cooper saw his chance and drove Don Cossack into a lead he would never give up, with two-time winner Walsh unable to press on Djakadam.
Cue Card’s trainer Tizzard said his horse was okay.
“He’s absolutely fine,” he said. “He’s walked back in here with a bit of grass between his ears but without a care in a world.
“You’re flat out in a Gold Cup and these things happen. It was a hell of a mistake and Paddy’s (jockey Brennan) had a fair whack — all you can say is thank God he’s got up and he’s come back here with not a care in the world.”