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Sandown Park

  • 15:10 bet365 Gold Cup Chase 3m 5f 110y

  • (Grade 3 Handicap) £140,000 added 5yo+ 18 ran
  • Winner £79,814 2nd £29,946 3rd £14,994 4th £7,476
  • Going: Good to Firm, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 7m 16.50s
  • Off time: 15:11:24

Poker strikes Gold

Murphy leaves it late on Poker ace

Last Updated: 23/04/11 4:43pm

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Poker De Sivola: Sandown winner

Poker De Sivola: Sandown winner

Ferdy Murphy's Poker De Sivola (11-1) stayed on best of all to land the feature bet365 Gold Cup under a fine Timmy Murphy-ride at Sandown.

The eight-year-old was hampered before unseating Graham Lee when well back in last week's Scottish National and he was held up way off the fast pace by Murphy on Saturday.

Baby Run, Aimigayle and Fire And Rain ensured the contest was run at a true gallop and Poker De Sivola didn't look like playing a part in the finish until the Pond Fence.

It was soon clear rounding the home turning that Murphy was motoring on the David Johnson-owned horse and the pair caught the David Pipe-trained Faasel (14-1) on the run-in.

Long-time leader Baby Run (6-1 favourite) was back in third with Triggerman (10-1) back in fourth.

Ability

The winning rider said: "He's not the most straightforward of horses. He's one of those you have to sort of not try on and kid and the more you do that the more he enjoys it.

"I really enjoyed it and I think he did. He has ability on his day, but doesn't always produce his best."

Delighted owner Johnson said: "If he had not unseated Graham Lee in the Scottish National last weekend we wouldn't be here. It was Graham's idea to run after that and Ferdy agreed, so we are here by default really.

"It's a great way to end the season, Timmy gave him a brilliant ride - he is a great horseman and I don't think he gets the chances he deserves."

Fresh

Johnson added: "He probably didn't run more than a mile in Scotland and he would do more on the sand with Ferdy.

"He was fit and well and we thought he could get a place. Even at the third-last I was wondering what the prize-money for fourth was, but I think the others have tired rather than us finishing.

"To win a race like this on the last day of the season is great and I would like to thank Timmy, Ferdy and Graham."

Hunter chaser Baby Run has been one of the success stories of the season, winning over the National fences at Aintree in the hands of trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies' son, Willie.

The latter broke his leg last weekend and the trainer's other son, Sam, was back in the saddle on this occasion.

Twiston-Davies senior said: "He ran an absolute blinder, the ground was just a bit too quick.

"If the boy (Willie) makes a good recovery and turns conditional there is no point going hunter chasing and we might aim him for the Hennessy."

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