herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Cossack's gold raid

Bryan Cooper riding Don Cossack celebrates victory after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup with trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Michael O’Leary. Photo: Getty
Bryan Cooper riding Don Cossack celebrates victory after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup with trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Michael O’Leary. Photo: Getty

Don Cossack capped a tremendous week for Ireland at the Cheltenham Festival and led home a historic 1-2-3-4 for Irish-trained horses in the Timico Gold Cup yesterday.

For just the second time since Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud colours were carried to victory by War Of Attrition in 2006 the Cheltenham Gold Cup will make its way across the Irish Sea as Don Cossack justified five years of faith from his trainer and all the support of those that sent him off the 9/4 favourite.

Cue Card took a smashing fall when still in contention alongside Don Cossack and runner-up Djakadam at the third last and certainly wasn't out of contention but this was all about Elliott and Bryan Cooper, two relatively young members of their trade who were enjoying life defining moments in Prestbury Park yesterday afternoon.

"I'm just so happy for all of us - all the staff in the yard, and my mother and father.

"I'm in a great position; I've got a lot of good owners at the moment, a great yard, it's just brilliant. I was too nervous to really watch the race, I look forward to seeing it again."

Aidan O'Brien was in attendance to see Ivanovich Gorbatov win the Triumph Hurdle and although he will be officially recognised as the winning trainer, his son, Joseph, has been overseeing Ivanovich Gorbatov's preparation and is due to have his own licence in the summer.

Joseph admitted: "It feels slightly surreal. It's completely different to being in the saddle.

"When you're riding, you don't get a chance to take in the whole occasion but now, you don't have much to do on the day itself as the job is done.

"When you're riding, everything you do is on the day."

Aidan added: "Since he was a baby he hasn't known anything else and he works incredibly hard at it."

Winning

For the first time ever there was 28-races run at the Cheltenham Festival this year with Ireland claiming 14 of them, the last of which was On The Fringe winning back-to-back Foxhunters' Chases.

After winning at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown last season, Enda Bolger again had On The Fringe primed to the minute for yesterday after a disappointing run at Leopardstown on his first start this season.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News