Amateur jockey makes history at the Gold Cup for his tragic brother
Saturday 19 March 2011
A man whose day job is running a chain of dentists lit up horse racing yesterday by becoming the first amateur jockey in 30 years to win chasing's most illustrious prize.
Sam Waley-Cohen won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on his mount, Long Run, beating a field including three previous winners in one of the most compelling and emotional races of the modern era.
Long Run is the youngest Gold Cup winner since 1963 and, in beating Denman and Kauto Star, was immediately hailed as one of the best in nearly 50 years.
Waley-Cohen, 28, dedicated his success to the memory of his brother, Thomas, who died of cancer in 2004, aged just 20. He even had his brother's initials stitched into his saddle.
In his spare time, Waley-Cohen embarks on various adventures to try to make up for the lack of opportunities afforded to Thomas. He recently climbed Mont Blanc carrying a pair of skis, which he then put on to make the descent.
It is Waley-Cohen's record, though, in competing with the likes of Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh in some of the sport's biggest races, that qualifies him as a true Corinthian throwback. Long Run started yesterday at 7-2 favourite, after winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton. "This is a very emotional moment," Waley-Cohen said. "It's a great family event and Thomas would have been very much a part of it. But that's what has been so wonderful about the journey here. There has been an amazing amount of goodwill. So many people have an emotional stake in the horse." Waley-Cohen could now achieve an unprecedented double by winning the Grand National on another of the horses which are owned by his father, Robert. Oscar Time is already one of the favourites for the big race at Aintree next month.
Latest in Sport
England vs Japan: Watch the moment Laura Bassett's own goal saw England knocked out of the 2015 Women's World Cup
Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United: Transfer news live - Robin van Persie to leave, Saints and Tottenham battle for Toby Alderweireld
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Manchester United goalkeeper spotted arriving at Madrid airport
Copa America 2015 final: Lionel Messi given cheeky 'ET' warning citing 'finger in anus' incident
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 3 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 4 Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown knocks Rafael Nadal out of the championship
- 5 Primark and Penny's heir Barry Ryan drowns trying to save his 21-year-old son
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...
£11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...
£15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...