Denman wins Gold Cup

Denman destroyed his rivals to win the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.





Ridden by Sam Thomas, the 9-4 chance took over at the head of affairs with just over a circuit to go and he poured on the pressure up front.



Reigning title-holder Kauto Star looked in trouble coming down the hill but finished well for second, while Neptune Collonges flew for third, giving trainer Paul Nicholls a famous one-two-three.

The eventual third set a decent clip through the early stages but a flying leap from Denman propelled him into the lead at the 11th obstacle.

Thomas was always sitting confidently from that point, while Kauto Star, who had worryingly brushed through a number of fences at that stage, was in a decent rhythm himself.



However, the epic duel the racing world had waited for all season never really materialised as Denman and Thomas gradually turned the screw.



Having appeared to jump the third-last with a mountain to climb, Kauto Star (10-11 favourite) did begin to make some inroads into Denman's lead.



But while the winner's stride began to shorten a touch after the penultimate obstacle, a good jump at the last sealed a seven-length success.



Kauto Star responded to Ruby Walsh's urgings in gutsy style but was under pressure for second late on as Neptune Collonges got to within a short-head at the line.

Thomas told Channel 4 Racing: "I don't know what to say, I'm lost for words again. What a horse.

"He wasn't doing a tap in front, he just stays and stays.



"I went through the race in my head a million times before and it just went absolutely according to plan.



"He's just such a good horse and travelled so well for me."



Nicholls added: "That was brilliant. What a great performance and good for the whole team.



"Going out on the second circuit he was going really well. He's just good.



"The moment I first saw the horse with Paul Barber (joint-owner) we said 'wow'.



"Neptune Collonges has been improving all the time and Kauto ran a good race too, but they were beaten on the day by a better horse. It's brilliant for the whole team."

Barber's partner in Denman is the effervescent professional gambler Harry Findlay, who said: "We had to get the tactics absolutely right to beat our stablemate (Kauto Star).

"Forget about your Grand Prix and your football and your tennis. This was two stablemates. We had to do what we had to do to break the champion.



"All this about conspiracy theories and whatever, we've had to do everything to break Kauto Star's heart and that's what we've done.



"We've gone through the race so many times and we knew what we had to do. It was just brilliant.



"Just like the Hennessy. He had a lovely lead after four fences. We all knew. We knew down the back he was going to win."

Walsh admitted he knew his fate a long way out.

He said: "The best horse on the day won.



"I was struggling past the winning post on the first circuit when Sam picked it up. I just couldn't get there. Well done to them all.



"Denman has gone a good old gallop, but he was going no quicker than they did in the Tingle Creek last season. I always thought Kauto could travel but he didn't today."



Walsh had been in the unenviable position of having to choose which horse to ride and sadly for him got it wrong.



He went on: "If you get it wrong, you get it wrong. I could only ride one. I picked the wrong one and that's racing.



"Of course he (Kauto Star) could come back next year. On any given day any horse can win."



Paddy Power make Denman 7-4 favourite to retain his crown in 2009 with Kauto Star a 4-1 chance.

Kauto Star's owner Clive Smith was magnanimous in defeat.

"It's a great winner for the stable and I'm very pleased for the Denman connections," he said.



"We didn't quite run up to our best, but I'm not saying we might have done any better. Congratulations to the Denman camp.



"Ruby said the horse found the ground a bit tacky and he didn't jump so well. He couldn't get off the ground so well.



"It's an incredible game. You're up one day and down the next. I think we'll have him (Denman) in the rematch in 12 months' time. I'm fine and happy about it."



Suggested Topics
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum