Racing: Eulogy has the last word

RICHARD ROWE joined the select band of men who have both ridden and trained a Whitbread Gold Cup winner when Eulogy took the 43rd running of the jump campaign's last hurrah here yesterday. And the nine-year-old's victory was all the sweeter for being very much against the run of play for the Sussex-based handler. It was his troubled Pulborough stable's first winner for five weeks and only the fifth this term.

"I had just about given up on the season", said Rowe. "Just about everything had gone wrong. But then a couple of weeks ago the horses seemed to pick up a little. And in the parade ring before the race today I thought Eulogy was walking round like a horse who was really up for it."

So it proved, as Barry Fenton brought the big chestnut, a 14-1 shot, home three and a half lengths clear of Betty's Boy (15-2), with Jathib (20-1) a length third. He was followed in by Fine Thyne (20-1), Cariboo Gold and a tired-looking favourite, the Grand National winner Bobbyjo.

With the trainers' championship - Paul Nicholls holding what seems a winning margin over habitual title holder Martin Pipe at the start of the day - yet to be resolved, Tony McCoy made a bold effort for the Pipe camp on Jathib, starting his run for home early on the second circuit and kicking five lengths clear. His tactics worked in respect of all bar Eulogy and Betty's Boy, who caught him three out. Eulogy was awkward at the obstacle as Betty's Boy forged into the lead. But Fenton had Nicholas Cooper's gelding in contention by the last, which he jumped with ears pricked.

And if the season had hitherto been something of a downer for Rowe, the same could not be said for Fenton. It was the second big race of the season for the 22-year-old from Co Limerick, after Kendal Cavalier's Welsh National win. "Everything went to plan," said the young Irishman, in his fourth year in Britain. "I gave him a bit of room early and they went a good gallop, which suited him. At the Pond he started to lug to the right, so I let him pick his way. But coming to the last he was running again and he met it spot-on.

"I gave him a couple of smacks on the run-in to keep him up to his work and he put his head down and stuck on really well." Those smacks, however, could prove costly. The stewards took the view that Fenton had hit his mount on his flanks rather than on his rump and have referred him to Jockey Club headquarters in London for punishment.

It was 17 years ago that Rowe, 39, rode Shady Deal to Whitbread victory. He is now in fairly distinguished company, his predecessors being Stan Mellor, Josh Gifford, and David Nicholson. Rowe prefers his present situation, despite its frustrations. He said: "Riding the winner was a momentary thrill, but this is lasting satisfaction."

He has had to be patient with Eulogy. Lameness forced the son of Paean to miss last year's Whitbread and he had raced only twice previously this year. Rowe said: "I am delighted it's come right, not only for the owner but for my staff as well. It's been a long hard season for them, with no pool money and horrible wet weather. It is tremendous to finish on a high."

Adrian Maguire reported that Bobbyjo, who made a bad mistake at the ninth fence, was feeling the effects of his extertions two weeks previously.

Yesterday's mixed card, featuring the Whitbread and the Classic Trial, is unique in that there is the opportunity for the National and Derby winners of the year to be seen on one afternoon. However, only four Aintree winners had previously tried the double and none coincided with the appearance of a subsequent Epsom hero.

No likely change this year. Neither Fantastic Light, lucky short-head winner of the Trial after Daryll Holland appeared to drop his hands early, nor runner-up Dehoush are Derby entries, and third-placed Glamis, though staying on, looked short of pace.

Paul Carberry will miss the rest of the jumps season after undergoing emergency surgery yesterday. The Irish jockey, who won the Grand National on Bobbyjo but missed yesterday's ride in the Whitbread because of an injury when riding out, collapsed at home and was taken to Cashel Hospital where he had an operation on his spleen. He was briefly in intensive care but is reported to be stable.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss