There were two unfortunate jockeys who missed out on their rides in the Gold Cup; Davy Russell who suffered a punctured lung on Thursday and Paul Carberry whose horse was brought down in the third. AP McCoy stepped into the breach for Russell’s mount Sir Des Champs and Sam Twiston-Davies took over on Monbeg Dude. As they went down to the start for the big race Bobs Worth with Barry Geraghty up was favourite with Sir Des Champs, Long Run. Silviniaco Conti and The Giant Bolster all well fancied. the first mile. Coming down to the last it was Bobs Worth, Sir Des Champs and Long Run all in with a fighting chance but Bobs Worth continued his unbeaten record at Cheltenham and stormed up the hill to take it, giving Nicky Henderson his 50th Festival winner. Sir Des Champs was in second with Long Run holding on for the third. The JCB Triumph Hurdle saw Our Conor take it by an impressive 15 lengths from Far West; the first time in 11 years the Irish have been victorious. 20 year old jockey Brian Cooper made it two for two in the second, partnering Ted Veale in the County Hurdle when snatching it from Tennis Cap who was running well and looked to have everyone else in trouble. In the third race favourite At Fisher’s Cross gave AP McCoy his first win of the Festival with his stamina shining through. There was a photo finish for second which was awarded to African Gold over Inish Island. Earlier on in the contest, I Shot the Sheriff fell bringing down Our Vinnie which aggravated Paul Carberry’s already injured shoulder putting him out of the Gold Cup. In the Foxhunter Salsify repeated his first from last year. But he was lucky that Oscar Delta ducked in towards the tape with Jane Managan who was unseated. Salisfy was struggling to catch Oscar Delta when Managan went out the side door leaving him free to score. The Martin Pipe gave Paul Nicholls his first festival winner this year as Salubrious cruised up and won by seven lengths from Nagpur. The final race of the Festival 2013 was another Irish victory as Alderwood led home Kid Cassidy giving JP McManus a one two and the Irish a record 14 victories over 13 British. There was a shadow over the day as JT McNamara is still in hospital seriously ill but the latest news is that he is stable after an operation on vertebrae in his neck. Best wishes to him from me and all at JPFestival.com. Four action-packed days with stunning victories, record-breaking feats, heartache and a lot of fantastic horses. Roll on next year.
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