Racing: Another nice little earner by Top Cees

AS SOMEONE pointed out afterwards, the biggest surprise about the success of Top Cees in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham yesterday was that the horse at the head of the weights, Allegation, did not finish second. Just a few weeks ago, Top Cees was the focus of a dramatic libel action in the High Court, during which Derek Thompson, the Channel 4 presenter, claimed that Kieren Fallon, the champion Flat jockey, had admitted stopping Top Cees in a race at Newmarket in 1995. Yesterday, the horse reclaimed his place in the headlines, while the Channel 4 crew kept their distance.

The libel action, which fascinated the racing world for almost three weeks in February, ended in victory for Fallon, Lynda Ramsden, Top Cees' trainer, and her husband, Jack. They had sued the Sporting Life over an allegation that they had been "cheating" when the horse finished fifth in the Swaffham Handicap at Newmarket in 1995. The claim was published following Top Cees' easy win in the Chester Cup, a few weeks after the Swaffham. They won their case, and were awarded a total of almost pounds 200,000 in damages.

As a result, Top Cees is possibly the most famous horse in training, though not, it would seem, the most popular. There were boos sprinkled amid the applause as the horse returned to the unsaddling enclosure, and his reception was, by Festival standards, a muted one. Top Cees started at 11-1, although the Tote paid almost 17-1.

The Ramsdens were understandably delighted with the success, for which Barry Fenton, his jockey, deserves much credit. Fenton was towards the rear for most of the race, but timed his challenge to perfection, hitting the front as they jumped the final flight.

"Top Cees is the love of my life after Jack," Lynda Ramsden said. "He is such a comical character. We only have two jumpers, so it is great for a Flat trainer to be able to take on the best National Hunt trainers."

Jack Ramsden, who is well known for his substantial and successful raids on the betting ring, said that he had had "a little bit" on Top Cees, but "I just wanted to see him do it. He is one of the family and he's been a good earner in many ways."

Channel 4 television, several of whose employees gave evidence in the libel trial, did not request an interview with the winner's connections.

Top Cees is not expected to run over hurdles again this season and may now attempt to win the Chester Cup for a third time at the course's big May meeting.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable