Racing: Scintillating win puts Fundamentalist into Gold Cup contention

It was the same race but a different heroic deed in the Cotswolds yesterday. Fundamentalist won the Independent Newspaper Novices' Chase, just as Britain's best chasers Best Mate and Azertyuiop had done before him, and his greatest accomplishment was that his awesome effort did not pale in the comparison. He looks like the next coming.

It was the same race but a different heroic deed in the Cotswolds yesterday. Fundamentalist won the Independent Newspaper Novices' Chase, just as Britain's best chasers Best Mate and Azertyuiop had done before him, and his greatest accomplishment was that his awesome effort did not pale in the comparison. He looks like the next coming.

The winning distance was eight lengths, but the impression created by the horse having only the fifth race under rules of his life was immeasurable. Even those associated with Fundamentalist appeared numbed, albeit pleasantly anaesthetised, by the experience. They could not identify where the gelding could go next, either short-term or in the distant future, past his own box at Nigel Twiston-Davies's local stables at Naunton. "It's the Arkle, Champion Chase, Gold Cup or SunAlliance isn't it?" Carl Llewellyn, the winning jockey, said.

It was, as usual, a small field for the Independent. There are never puddings in this early season delight, just icing. Martin Pipe's Contraband cut out the early running, until the field poked out on to the far side. At that juncture, Fundamentalist bobbed through on the inside and eased into a destructive rhythm.

"Down the back he was so relaxed and wasn't doing a tap," Llewellyn reported. "I felt like we were hacking but they were pushing in behind. I thought we were going too slow, but they weren't getting to me. That's always the sign of a good horse."

My Will, the favourite, provided a brief flourish coming down the hill, but nothing disturbed the clean vaulting of Fundamentalist at the head of the field. When Llewellyn fully opened the taps the rest gurgled away. His mount scampered clear, at the same time blasting a huge hole in the theory that he did not possess the speed for this two-mile mission.

Twiston-Davies's rubicund complexion suggested embarrassment at the size of his success, but the only confusion now is over which golden path to chart. Fundamentalist proved in victory over hurdles at the Festival in March that he has staying ability. Now we know fleetness is there as well. It is a problem for the trainer, one which all his brethren wished they had to confront.

"Perhaps I shouldn't mention him in the same breath as Desert Orchid, but he had the class and ability to win at the top level over two miles and three, and I'd like to think Fundamentalist might prove half as good as him," Twiston-Davies said.

Connections can now afford to be greedy. The smell of currency is likely to dominate their route. "Now he's won over that trip it opens up everything," Llewellyn said. "We'll look at the best prizes now and see where the best money is."

Twiston-Davies himself will rub his hands and then make a decision. "I have no idea where we will end up. Everything is possible and I don't know what the hell to do," he said. "It could be the SunAlliance, but there are plenty of alternatives to consider, like the the [Irish Independent] Arkle and even the Gold Cup. We could go the Gold Cup route this year.

"This is a very big, scopey individual and clever with it, in that if he gets a fence wrong he will put himself right. He has such a high cruising speed that I never felt coming back in trip would be a problem and he has not yet been off the bridle until the business end.

"They tell me only good horses win this race and that Best Mate is on the roll of honour. I'd love to think we we might have the next Best Mate."

Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
health
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Technical Systems Analyst

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

MS Dynamics NAV Developer

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A pioneering Re...

Marketing Campaign Manager, Stevenage

£34000 - £36000 per annum: Charter Selection: This market leading organisation...

Senior Insight Analyst - SAS

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Senior Analyst Vacancy - Urgent Requriem...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform