Imperial Call sweeps to victory

Racing

RICHARD EDMONDSON

reports from Cheltenham

They found a hero here yesterday, but a false God was exposed. This Gold Cup would have become known as the race One Man lost had it not been for a staggering performance from the brilliant young Irish horse, Imperial Call.

While Gordon Richards' grey was led away from the contest battered and exhausted, Imperial Call returned to the sort of reception that moves buildings, an appreciation from people who knew they had seen something special.

In the middle of the throng which celebrated with the Cork anthem, "The Banks Of My Own Lovely Lee", was the man who had plotted this victory, Fergus Carr Sutherland (who is better known as just plain old Fergie). Scots-born but now honorary Irish, the trainer had waited for 64 years for this, the greatest day of his life, to arrive.

Fergie struggled for words, but there was pleasure in a face that looks as though it has been in collision with raw weather and plenty of optics. A more serious contact in Sutherland's life came when he was a lieutenant in the 5th Dragoon Guards serving in the Korean War. He lost his left leg when stepping on a landmine, an injury which did not stop him from hunting with the Muskerry pack until very recently.

"He put them in their place didn't he," the trainer said. "I've thought this horse could win a Gold Cup since he was five and he has improved every day this year."

Imperial Call was handled masterfully by the Wexford-born jockey, 29- year-old Conor O'Dwyer. "Conor rode a copybook race," Sutherland said. "He kept him wide, got him jumping, kicked on and then let the horse's class do the rest."

O'Dwyer had just one moment of concern, when Richard Dunwoody and One Man arrived at his girths at the third last. "I was a bit worried," he said. "I knew I had plenty of horse under me but I didn't know how much Richard had left."

The answer to that became apparent moments later. "He [One Man] jumped well and travelled well, but about 20 strides before the second last he just emptied on me," Dunwoody reported. "If I hadn't been in third I probably would have pulled him up at the last. He might not have stayed."

Gordon Richards, One Man's trainer, was so perplexed that he sent his grey for a dope test. "The thing is that he went out like a light," Richards said. "It wasn't that he had no stamina because he didn't even get three miles today. The horse just hasn't given a true run and I think there must be something to blame."

As the favourite faded to finish sixth of the seven finishers, Rough Quest, who is now 6-1 favourite for the Grand National with Ladbrokes, and Couldnt Be Better ran into the places.

They were largely ignored, however, as Imperial Call was swamped by spectators, many of them waving small Irish tricolours Don King-style. A huge banner to the winner was unfurled, hats filled the air and then O'Dwyer joined them as he was bounced skywards in celebration.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 3 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We have an exciting role f...

KS2 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We have a key stage 2 cla...

Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Does a year 6 class of 16 ...

Subject Leader of ICT & Computing

£21588 - £36756 per annum + negotiable: Randstad Education Chelmsford: ICT/Com...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil