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Cheltenham

  • 14:30 Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase 2m 4f 110y

  • (Grade 3 Handicap) £160,000 added 4yo+ 18 ran
  • Winner £91,120 2nd £34,192 3rd £17,120 4th £8,528
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 25.50s
  • Off time: 14:34:12

Caid defies ground fears to win Paddy Power Gold Cup

Last Updated: 15/11/14 5:51pm

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The runners jostle for position over the last with Johns Spirit in front and Caid Du Berlais (blue and yellow silks) in his slipstream.

The runners jostle for position over the last with Johns Spirit in front and Caid Du Berlais (blue and yellow silks) in his slipstream.

Caid Du Berlais defied his own rider's fears about the worsening going conditions to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup at 10/1.

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, cementing his new position as stable jockey to champion trainer Paul Nicholls, told television viewers before the race that he was concerned over conditions and his celebrations were muted after he grabbed Johns Spirit in the final strides to score by a head.

"I've got a lot of apologising to do!" he said. "I told Paul not to run him. I was adamant to Paul he shouldn't run, but he's like my Dad - he knows best!"

Johns Spirit, who has a big following at his local course, was produced in similar fashion to 12 months ago by Richie McLernon and went clear after jumping the final fence.

Rather than 10st 2lb, though, he was saddled with 11st 12lb and the white-faced gelding could not cope with the final charge of Caid Du Berlais.

"He nearly didn't run, so that's fantastic," said Nicholls. "Sam rode him brilliantly, he just kept on the outside and followed Richie.

"I put a tongue tie on as I thought soft ground had stopped him before.

"When they are well things like this happen, I thought he had a chance at the last. The plan was very much about today - this was his Gold Cup.

"Sam's won with two different rides today that were top-drawer. He's a good young man, he doesn't panic and he's improving all the time.

"As I've said before, it's an investment for the future. This was a big day for Sam and I'm really pleased with him. He has done exactly what we asked him to.

"We'll see where we go from here but I'm just happy it all came together today."

He added: "I've not been worried about the stable form earlier this year. This is when you want them to come right - not in October. Most of the horses I've been running weren't entitled to win anyway."

Twiston-Davies added: "We just let him jump away, but it was impossible to get closer without expending too much energy by going wide. In fairness he really picked up after the last.

"It's only his fourth run over fences. It's a brilliant training performance."

The jockey revealed he had read criticism of himself and said: "When people want to moan or be rude about me, it makes me more willing to prove them wrong."

Johns Spirit got a terrific reception himself and trainer Jonjo O'Neill said: "He did everything right and it was just the weight that beat him. That's Cheltenham. He ran a blinder. We'll just get him home now and make a plan."

Present View, the 5/1 favourite, was a gutsy third and trainer Jamie Snowden said: "He ran brilliantly, it was just the ground. It just blunted his natural enthusiasm."

Fourth home was Nicky Henderson's Oscar Whisky, with the Seven Barrows trainer saying: "Barry (Geraghty) says go for the Ryanair Chase and now all we need to do is plan how to get there. He'll certainly come on for this run."

Sky Bet punters who placed each-way bets will also be paid out on fifth-home Buywise, who stayed on well despite making a series of jumping mistakes.

His jockey Paul Moloney said: "He ran a good race - it was just the mistakes that cost him and he was not good enough on the day.

"There were a couple of costly mistakes and this was as good a race as he has ever run in. Match practice is everything and you have got to take all those things into account.

"I am obviously disappointed but he has not been beaten far and he has run well - a positive run."

The winner was advised at 14/1 in Ben Linfoot's Value Bet column.

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