Starchitect dies from winning position at Cheltenham

‘He just broke a hind leg. It is just a freak accident but they happen’ - David Pipe

Guitar Pete ridden by Ryan Day jumps the last to win the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Steeple Chase during day two of The International meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse. Photograph: PA

Guitar Pete ridden by Ryan Day jumps the last to win the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Steeple Chase during day two of The International meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse. Photograph: PA

 

Guitar Pete claimed something of a hollow victory following the death of Starchitect in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Foxtail Hill took the 10-strong field along for much of the two-mile-five-furlong journey before David Pipe’s Starchitect, runner-up in last month’s BetVictor Gold Cup at the track, bounded into the lead down the hill.

The six-year-old turned for home with a significant lead, but he broke down on the run to the second fence from the finish and was swiftly pulled up and dismounted by Tom Scudamore.

Pipe confirmed that Starchitect suffered a broken hind leg.

He said: “No horse deserves that and Starchitect definitely didn’t deserve it.

“He was a real tough customer and always tried his heart out. This was going to be his day today.

“Paul and Clare Rooney (owners) weren’t here today and our thoughts are with them.

“He just broke a hind leg. It is just a freak accident but they happen.

“These things can happen out in a field on the racecourse. They can happen anywhere.

“We hope they never do but they do from time to time.”

King’s Odyssey and 3-1 favourite Clan Des Obeaux were left in front once Starchitect suffered a fatal injury, but the Nicky Richards-trained Guitar Pete picked them both up on the run-in.

The 9-1 chance galloped on strongly under his light weight to score by two and three-quarter lengths in the hands of 3lb claimer Ryan Day.

Clan Des Obeaux finished second, while King’s Odyssey was third.

Speaking from Doncaster, Richards said: “It’s awful what happened to the other horse (Starchitect) and my heart goes out to Mr and Mrs Rooney.

“Nobody likes to see that and our thoughts are with them.”

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