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Lord Windermere survives inquiry to win Cheltenham Gold Cup

Updated: Friday, 14 Mar 2014 16:44 | Comments

Davy Russell claimed the Gold Cup aboard Lord Windermere (right)
Davy Russell claimed the Gold Cup aboard Lord Windermere (right)

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Connections of Lord Windermere survived a lengthy stewards' inquiry to take glory at Cheltenham after the eight-year-old came from last to first to snatch victory in the Betfred Gold Cup.

Trained by Jim Culloty, who won three Gold Cups on Best Mate as a jockey, last year's RSA Chase hero just prevailed from On His Own after an amazing run to the line.

Silviniaco Conti led over the last, but he was collared by Davy Russell on Lord Windermere (20-1), who just held the Willie Mullins-trained On his Own (16-1) by a short head.

The Giant Bolster (14-1) stayed on strongly to finish third, three-quarters of a length back.

After two false starts, Knockara Beau was quickly away, although On His Own soon took it up while Lord Windermere was a few lengths detached in last place after a few fences.

Teaforthree and Lyreen Legend were others to join in with pace-making duties and then Last Instalment unseated his rider at the fifth-last fence.

Silviniaco Conti led three out and last year's winner Bobs Worth was also in with a chance as the pack closed in a wide-open race.

Lord Windermere joined in the fight late, but he veered right on the punishing dash to the line, resulting in an inquiry, as he just kept On His Own at bay.

An anxious wait followed before the stewards announced the placings would remain unaltered.

Russell said: "I can't believe it, I was never on the bridle.

"I was never in the race, the whole field was in front of me for the whole race, I had to sit and suffer the whole way.

"I didn't use any petrol, I went around the inside and he jumped great.

"The whole way round I was hunting, I thought the race had gone - the credit has to go to Jim Culloty, what a man."

Russell went on: "I was on the best horse in the race. He was very idle, like he was last year. 

"Silviniaco Conti veered over and startled him a little bit.

"I wanted to do the right thing for the horse. I couldn't ride a winner for Jim all year, but he kept saying to me wait for Cheltenham."

Culloty said: "To be fair halfway round Davy Russell was getting the sack! 

"He was beaten 26 lengths at Leopardstown last month, but Davy said take no notice, it will be a different ball game at Cheltenham.

"I knew he'd take his time but that was waiting tactics exaggerated. I can't believe it. The horses just weren't right this season, but God they have come right at the right time."

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