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Cheltenham

  • 14:35 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, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 25.75s
  • Off time: 14:35:14

Al Ferof beat Walkon to lead home a grey 1-2 in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase at Cheltenham

Last Updated: 17/11/12 4:39pm

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Al Ferof: First Paddy Power Gold Cup winner for Paul Nicholls

Al Ferof: First Paddy Power Gold Cup winner for Paul Nicholls

Al Ferof beat Walkon to lead home a grey 1-2 in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase at Cheltenham.

Paul Nicholls had never won the feature race at the Open Meeting but the Ruby Walsh-ridden seven-year-old moved well throughout and sealed the victory with good jumps at the last two fences.

Nicholls told Racing UK: "He goes well fresh, he always has done. On Thursday he worked as well as I have ever seen him work and I knew he had a chance, but he's always been quite a good horse.

"We'll have to think about Kempton (King George VI Chase) now. I always wondered if he would stay but he stayed well there and you'd have to say it might suit him."

Alan King's Walkon (7/1) ran a blinder in second, only giving best up the run-in, Nicky Henderson's Nadiya De La Vega (12/1) plugged on for third, whilst Casey Top (40/1) fared by far the best of the Irish challengers in fourth.

Hot favourite Grands Crus travelled powerfully for a long way but the response when he came under pressure down the hill was very disappointing and he weakened quickly.

Pipe said: "Tom said he wasn't really ever that happy with him. One fell in front of him with a circuit to go and he lost a near-fore plate. They're not excuses but that's what happened.

"We've had his heart checked and it was fine and the important thing is that he is back in one piece. We will get him checked out. Worse things happen."

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