Splash Of Ginge lands BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham
25-1 winner bravely holds off Starchitect in the mud to score under Tom Bellamy
Splash Of Ginge took the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty
Splash Of Ginge was a 25-1 winner of the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham for Nigel Twiston-Davies.
The nine-year-old was racing from nearly the bottom of the weights and was overlooked by Jamie Bargary in favour of stablemate Foxtail Hill, who faded in the final half-mile, leaving Tom Bellamy to take the ride.
Splash Of Ginge was left in front with Starchitect rounding the turn for home and a couple of big leaps helped him hold off David Pipe’s runner up the famous hill to win by a neck, with Le Prezien third and Ballyalton fourth.
Favourite Kylemore Lough had just made an early move down the back straight when he left his hind legs in the water jump, costing him huge momentum, while Theinval fell at the first, almost bringing down Guitar Pete.
Ryan Hatch had struck up a good rapport with the horse, but is still recovering from an injury picked up at this meeting 12 months ago.
Bellamy said: “I’m thinking of Ryan, I live with him and he told me all about the horse.
“When I looked at the race I thought he was over-priced. I was told to give him plenty of light, he was hanging left so I thought I’d be in trouble, but it worked out well.
“I’ve just started riding out for Nigel again and I’ve had two winners in a week for him now.”
Twiston-Davies said: “He’s got a big following this horse and he’s been remarkable for us.
“He just lost his confidence over fences a bit so we put him back over hurdles and he’s come back this season like a bull.
“He ran well at Wetherby, but as soon as the rain came, the soft ground is the key to him. I thought Foxtail Hill might do the job, but he couldn’t cope with the ground.
“Let’s hope there’s a few more big winners left. It’s great for Tom, the owner (John Neild) likes giving young jockeys a chance.
“We’ll certainly be back in December and we may think again about the Grand National, John is a Liverpudlian after all.”