Imperial Commander wins dramatic Gold Cup

Imperial Commander stayed-on strongly up the hill for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and jockey Paddy Brennan to land the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The 7-1 chance travelled powerfully all the way and with Kauto Star falling four fences out, only 2008 Gold Cup winner Denman could stay with him on the turn for home.



Imperial Commander was easily travelling the best of the two, however, and after going clear on the run to the last, he powered away on the run-in to win with seven lengths to spare.



In a dramatic race, reigning champion Kauto Star - chasing a hat-trick of Gold Cup successes - made a horrendous mistake at the eighth fence and never really recovered.

Ruby Walsh began to get lower in the saddle a full circuit from home and looked beaten when coming to grief at the fourth-last. Thankfully, he soon rose to his feet.



Fellow Paul Nicholls' inmate Denman travelled with zest towards the head of affairs under Tony McCoy, but Imperial Commander was cantering all over him turning for home.



Denman refused to go down without a fight, but Imperial Commander began to stamp his authority on the run to the last and passed the post with plenty in hand.



Denman filled the runner-up spot for the second year in succession, while last year's Grand National winner Mon Mome (50-1) finished strongly to finish third.



Brennan said: "It's by far the best day of my life. I'm speechless. It was a dream the whole way.

"I've just got to take time to thank my boss (Twiston-Davies). He's the best boss ever - he's produced two horses this week (Imperial Commander and Champion Hurdle runner-up Khyber Kim) and I just had had to steer them."

Twiston-Davies said: "It's absolutely superb.

"I thought Kauto was in trouble some way out before he fell.



"All the hacks (press) were saying he didn't stay so we'll go for the Ryanair next year!



"It's just absolutely brilliant. It's been very hard for us sat there with the third-favourite when all the talk was about Kauto and Denman but we always knew we were going to win."



McCoy said: "When we came down the hill he (Imperial Commander) was going a bit better than me. I hoped he might stop but that's not the way it turned out."

Mon Mome's jockey Aidan Coleman said: "Roll on Aintree. As you expect from a Grand National winner he got outpaced at one stage, but he stayed on great and he has run a super race."

Denman's joint-owner Paul Barber said: "On this ground I was absolutely thrilled with Denman. Let's not forget the best horse won by a long way today and I look forward to taking him on again next year."

Harry Findlay, Denman's other part-owner, said: "Both the Paul's (Nicholls and Barber) are very happy with that. It was a great performance. I thought in running we were going to win it, but Imperial Commander has shown a lot of class and speed and all I can do is take my hat off to him.

"He (Denman) looks a National horse through and through and I'd be very surprised if he doesn't take in next year's race."



Venetia Williams, trainer of the third, said: "I felt a bit funny using a Gold Cup as a prep run for Aintree but I'm so delighted with that run.



"I thought he'd have a chance of getting in the first five but the way he finished up that hill reminded me of being at Aintree last April."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
News
Williams says: 'The reason I got jobs was because they would blow the budget on the big guys - but they only had to pay me the price of a cup of tea'
arts + ents
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

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Austen Lloyd: In-House Solicitor / Company Secretary - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee