Racing / The Cheltenham Festival: Jodami power fuels northern Gold rush

AN old-fashioned victory for an old-fashioned Cheltenham yesterday as Jodami won the Gold Cup for the small Yorkshire yard of Peter Beaumont.

On an afternoon when Ireland took its Festival total to six wins to conjure memories of the fruitful years of the early 1980s, Jodami decorated the meeting with a performance of awesome power. In these days when sleek horses bred primarily for the Flat take a growing hold on winter racing, Jodami's win was also a success for the National Hunt traditionalists' idea of what a steeplechaser should be.

Jodami is a brute of a horse, a huge and stocky animal, and there was no more possessing a runner as the field tracked to post. Beaumont later revealed that all had been unusually fluent in his horse's preparation throughout this season, and the race itself proved a microcosm of this winter conditioning.

As Rushing Wild pulled the rest round Prestbury Park's demanding contours there was no one travelling as smoothly as Jodami. At the back of the field, Chatam's crude fencing made a nonsense of Peter Scudamore's decision to pick him in preference to Rushing Wild. The most damaging error, however, came from Cherrykino, who fractured an elbow at the seventh and had to be destroyed.

Other elbows were flying, as many of the jockeys tried to pump their way back into contention, but Mark Dwyer, Jodami's rider, was perched with the stillness of a winner.

Then the swing into the straight, and the eight-year-old's only dubious moment as he slipped slightly on the bend. This was swiftly overcome and, on the run to the last, Dwyer, who had been a loser in the Festival's roulette until yesterday with defeats on well-fancied horses to go with a fall, knew his time had come.

Behind there was nothing but toilers, including the short- priced favourite The Fellow, who had been caught out by the late change in tempo. 'When the race quickened my horse was a bit surprised,' Francois Doumen, the trainer of the French contender, said. 'After that he could not get back.' On the run- in, Rushing Wild was brushed away like a speck as Jodami swept to a two-length win, the north's first in the race since The Thinker in 1987.

Dwyer's race report suggested that this had not been the most demanding of assignments. 'I was always travelling well, and was just where I wanted to be throughout the race,' he said. 'Everything was covered as we came into the straight and my only worry was that something might come from behind. I didn't intend to be in front so soon, but when I got there I kicked on because I didn't want to disappoint the horse.'

This striking horse was an incongruous partner in the winners' enclosure for trainer Beaumont, a quiet figure without a trace of a ostentation. A farmer with a countenance to match his trade, Beaumont has eyes partially hidden behind unmanicured brows.

This is no arriviste in National Hunt training. Beaumont was a major force in the lesser realm of point-to-pointing before being persuaded by his owners to take out a full licence seven years ago at the age of 51. He is not a minnow, in the sense of the Welsh farmer Sirrell Griffiths, who won this race three years ago with Norton's Coin, yet when Beaumont returned to his stable at Brandsby last night there were just 15 mouths to feed.

Jodami's potential first manifested itself three years ago when he won a bumper race at Kelso at 33-1. He will never be those odds again. 'This is what we have aimed him at all season. We have brought him gently through,' Beaumont said. 'This time the plan worked out but they rarely do. Jodami is by far and away the best I have ever trained and he will develop a bit more next year.'

By that time, Jodami may well be an even more fearsome opponent as Dwyer believes the zenith has not been reached. The eight-year-old is not yet in the league of Forgive N' Forget, who delivered Dwyer's previous Gold Cup in 1985, but appears to have the aptitude to reach fresh heights.

'I had a great opinion of Forgive N' Forget because on his day he was very good,' Dwyer said. 'Jodami is progressing very much along the same lines. The horse hasn't been abused and you have to think there is a bit more left in there. He will be back next year boys. And he'll win it again.'

CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP

1. JODAMI M Dwyer 8-1

2. Rushing Wild R Dunwoody 11-1

3. Royal Athlete B de Haan 66-1

16 ran. Won by 2 lengths and 7. 5-4 fav The Fellow (4th). Winner trained by Peter Beaumont.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?