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Cheltenham

  • 15:20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase 3m 2f 110y

  • (Grade 1) £500,000 added 5yo+ 14 ran
  • Winner £284,750 2nd £106,850 3rd £53,500 4th £26,650
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 36.20s
  • Off time: 15:20:15

Full result

15:20 Cheltenham Result 16th March 2012
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Synchronised (IRE) 11-10 A P McCoy Jonjo O'Neill 9 8/1
Held up towards rear on inside, pushed along 13th, headway 18th, switched outside approaching 3 out, 5th and outpaced when switched inside before next, soon ridden, switched right to challenge approaching last, led flat, stayed on well opened 15/2 touched 9/1 £5000-£500 £80000-£10000 £8000-£1000(x2)
2nd The Giant Bolster 11-10 T Scudamore D G Bridgwater 7 50/1
Mid-division on inside, tracked leaders 13th, went 2nd 3 out, led approaching next, ridden last, headed flat, kept on under pressure, held on for 2nd towards finish opened 50/1 touched 50/1
3rd ¾ Long Run (FR) 11-10 Mr S Waley-Cohen N J Henderson 7 7/4f
Tracked leaders on inside, hit 13th, close up 4 out, driven to chase leading pair before 3 out, every chance last, ridden and kept on flat, held for 2nd towards finish opened 2/1 touched 2/1 £40000-£20000(x3) £20000-£10000(x5) £16000-£8000 £10000-£5000(x6) £6000-£3000(x3) £2000-£1000(x8) £15000-£8000
4th 5 Burton Port (IRE) 11-10 B J Geraghty N J Henderson 8 8/1
Mid-division, headway 18th, chased leaders on outside 3 out, soon driven, effort and chance approaching next, no extra before last opened 13/2 touched 8/1
5th Time For Rupert (IRE) 11-10 D F O'Regan P R Webber 8 33/1
Always prominent, tracked leader 9th, led 18th, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, kept on until no extra from last opened 33/1 touched 33/1
6th 10 Knockara Beau (IRE) 11-10 Jan Faltejsek G A Charlton 9 66/1
Chased leaders, outpaced 4 out, lost touch before 3 out, plugged on from next, no chance with leaders opened 66/1 touched 80/1
7th 11 Midnight Chase 11-10 D C Costello N P Mulholland 10 12/1
Led, mistake and headed 18th, lost place when hit next, weakened 3 out opened 12/1 touched 12/1
8th 17 China Rock (IRE) 11-10 A E Lynch M F Morris 9 100/1
Mid-division on outside, tracked leaders 9th, hit 12th, lost place 3 out, soon weakened opened 100/1 touched 100/1
9th 15 The Midnight Club (IRE) 11-10 P Townend W P Mullins 11 100/1
In rear, hampered 2nd, struggling 15th, never dangerous opened 100/1 touched 100/1
10th 7 Carruthers 11-10 Matthew Batchelor M Bradstock 9 100/1
Mid-division, hampered and dropped towards rear 2nd, mistake next, headway into mid-division on outside 10th, lost place 14th, soon behind opened 80/1 touched 100/1
PU Diamond Harry 11-10 N Fehily Nick Williams 9 20/1
Held up towards rear, struggling 17th, lost touch and pulled up before 4 out opened 22/1 touched 22/1
PU Kauto Star (FR) 11-10 R Walsh P F Nicholls 12 3/1
Pressed leader, lost place 7th, dropping away when eased and pulled up before 9th opened 4/1 touched 9/2 £45000-£10000 £18000-£4000 £9000-£2000 £4500-£1000(x3) £6000-£1500
PU Weird Al (IRE) 11-10 J M Maguire D McCain Jnr 9 8/1
Behind, reminders after 12th, soon struggling, lost touch and pulled up before 4 out opened 8/1 touched 9/1 £10000-£1200
F What A Friend 11-10 D A Jacob P F Nicholls 9 25/1
Mid-division, fell 2nd opened 25/1 touched 25/1
NR Quel Esprit (FR) 11-10 P Townend W P Mullins 8

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £8.00 Tote Place: £1.80,14.00,1.30
Straight Forecast: £327.95 Exacta: £707.80 Trifecta: £6,358.40 Swingers: 1&2:66.60 2&3:24.50 1&3:3.20

Jackpot: £76,027.09 carried forward to Uttoxeter, 17th Mar
Placepot: £627.40, Pool: £1016468.06, 1182.5 winning tickets
Quadpot: £12.80, Pool: £49090.56, 2832.38 winning tickets

Verdict

The anticipated match failed to materialise with SYNCHRONISED upstaging his more illustrious rivals but this was far from a shock result. Kauto Star was presumably still suffering from the effects of his well-publicised schooling fall which was a great shame for all those involved with the marvellous 12 year old. Ruby Walsh reported that he wasn't stretching out as normal and was quick to act. That appeared to leave the way clear for Long Run to regain his crown but the seven year old hadn't convinced this term and failed to run up to last season's form. He didn't have that easy a passage on the inside and his jumping continues to lack fluency despite intensive schooling (it's an irrelevant argument as he's Sam Waley-Cohen's mount but he does look as though he would benefit from the assistance of a stronger jockey to make his mind up for him at his fences) but he was close enough if good enough although it's hard to believe that the horse that we saw last year would have been re-passed by The Giant Bolster up the hill. He is only seven years of age but Nicky Henderson and his team now have the task of trying to get him back to where he was and that could be no easy task. This was always likely to be run at a good pace with plenty of front-runners in the field and that proved to be the case which certainly helped the cause of Synchronised as the dual Welsh National winner has stamina in abundance and was always likely to play his cards late in the day. He's not the biggest and struggled at a few of his fences but he's plucky and fairly sprinted away from his rivals having jumped the last much as he had when making a successful step to graded company in the Lexus. This was only the ninth chase start of his career and one would like to think that he will be able to return to defend his crown in the same form. They say no one remembers who finished second but David Bridgwater will be a very proud man after his stable star (from only a small string) The Giant Bolster delivered on their expecations and more in running the race of his life and his whole team deserve huge credit for their handling of the horse this season and it's to be hoped that they get more firepower as a result. Plagued by jumping problems early in the campaign, jumping guru Yogi Breisner has been a regular visitor and the dividends were first reaped when the seven year old routed a good field of handicappers in January. He was firmly put in his place by Long Run in the Denman Chase but comprehensively reversed that form and proved his stamina for this trip. He has the speed to drop back in distance but in the short-term would be an exciting ride in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree which is a possible target for both Long Run and Burton Port. There were concerns that the latter would bounce after his pleasing return in the Denman but he ran a fine race, just not quite getting up the hill as well as the other principals - he is in the Grand National and connections may be tempted to chance their arm but he's now had two quick runs after a long lay-off. Time For Rupert ran his best race of the season and jumped far better than he had done earlier in the campaign, the result of intensive schooling at speed and he may be able to build on this next year. Knockara Beau ran as well as could have been expected but Midnight Chase was a shade disappointing and was probably just found out at this level having always been pestered for the lead. Fragile pair Weird Al and Diamond Harry both attracted support but neither ever looked remotely likely to get involved; the former was reported to have bled from the nose while the latter has now disappointed on all three chase runs here and has been talked of as an autumn horse. China Rock raced well for a long way as he continued his comeback from injury but failed to get home having raced a shade keenly, a drop in trip may suit. The Midnight Club was always likely to struggle but should be spot on for the National.