Oscar Delta... echo... alpha... romeo
Young Irish jockey unfortunately unseated on the run-in during Foxhunter Chase
Colm Sweeney rides Salsify to victory as Oscar Delta rider Miss Jane Mangan lies on the floor in the CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup at Cheltenham.
Oscar Delta jinked to the left, hitting the rope where there was no permanent rail. The daughter of trainer Jimmy Mangan was unshipped, leaving Salsify to repeat last year’s victory.
Creevytennant set the pace but continually jumped out to the right and he was still in front until the fourth-last where Oscar Delta took it up.
The 10-year-old pulled away from Salsify between the third- and second-last fences and jumped the last with a handy lead.
He looked set for victory until it turned into defeat and agony for connections.
Colman Sweeney was able to coast his mount, trained by his father Rodger, over the line 20 lengths ahead of Divine Intavention with Cottage Oak a neck away in third.
Jane Mangan said: “It felt like it was a dream when I hit the ground. It was like a Disney film or something.
“He just thought we were going for another circuit, then he jinked, corrected himself and I wasn’t ready but as dad (Jimmy Mangan) said, thinking of the McNamaras it could be a lot worse.”
Salsify is the first back-to-back winner of the amateur riders’ Gold cup since Double Silk in 193-94.
Sweeney jnr said: “God was on my side, I feel sorry for Jane, though. I did feel he was going to rally but I probably wouldn’t have got there. This horse is a different horse on decent ground, he didn’t feel the same at all on soft.
“He can be very keen so I dropped him right out until I got settled and then he jumped into it. He does rally and stay on but I think Jane would have won.
“I’d like to dedicate this to John Thomas (McNamara) as everything we do we do for love. He was one of the senior boys when I first started and he still is. We’re all thinking of him.”
Sweeney snr said: “It was very lucky and I’m gutted for Jane who is a good friend of ours and a very polished rider. Our fellow didn’t like the ground but he kept trying his best but Jimmy Mangan should have been the winner.“