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Last Updated: 13/03/13 3:18pm
Lord Windermere: Landed the RSA Chase
Lord Windermere got up to deny Lyreen Legend in a dramatic renewal of the RSA Chase.
Jim Culloty's seven-year-old could be noted travelling well throughout but looked in trouble at the top of the hill, trapped as he was on the inside as Boston Bob made a sweeping move to go two lengths clear.
However, the Willie Mullins horse suffered a tired fall at the final fence to leave Lyreen Legend in front.
Davy Russell was soon after him on Lord Windermere who went on to score by a length and three quarters, with Hadrian's Approach (7/1) held in third after a less than fluent round of jumping.
Russell said: "I've only ridden him once at home, so all the credit goes to Jim Culloty, who has instilled confidence in him.
"Jim's done a marvellous job.
"I only steered him today and he was in super order."
Culloty said: "We knew this horse would like Cheltenham and it's all paid off.
"I fancied him like mad - I thought he'd love the ground here.
"I told Davy to ride him to get the trip. They went no pace and it suited us.
"He's the best horse I have and it was all about getting him here.
"Tom Doyle deserves a lot of the credit, he's taught him well and the first time he rode him he said to me 'this is the one you've been waiting for'.
"You get nervous 30 minutes before going out to ride in a Gold Cup, but I have been nervous for the last six months with this lad.
"I have 13 boxes and he is in box 11, and when I work my way down to him on a morning I just pray that he is OK.
"I wouldn't have thought he would run again this year, we purposely hadn't run him over three miles on heavy ground but he will have had a hard enough race today.
"As for next year we haven't even thought about it, this has been the long-term plan.
"We didn't bring him here last year thinking about today."
When asked if Lord Windermere was a possible Gold Cup contender next season, owner Dr Ronan Lambe said: "You'd hope so.
"He's a beautiful jumper and three miles is his distance."
Dessie Hughes said of runner-up Lyreen Legend: "I was very pleased. He was beaten by a better horse on the day.
"If the ground had been heavier it might have suited us more, but no complaints."
Paul Nicholls said of Unioniste, the vanquished 5/2 favourite: "He didn't jump as well as he might have done.
"He's been running on soft ground during the winter and they went a bit quick for him.
"He's a horse who will get stronger and might be a Hennessy type next year."