Champion trainer Paul Nicholls won the Paddy Power Gold Cup for the first time in his outstanding career on the second day of the Open meeting at Cheltenham today.
He gained his landmark success in the feature race with Al Ferof, ridden by Ruby Walsh, who won by three lengths from the Robert Thornton-ridden Walkon.
Nicholls said: “I knew he was coming right but I didn’t expect him to go that well. That was a stunning performance.”
Nicholls said Al Ferof might run next in the prestigious King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day because he runs best when fresh.
Nicholls had earlier struck with Far West in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial, while David Pipe, whose hot favourite Grands Crus flopped in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, also landed a double with Our Father in the Rewards4Racing Novices’ Chase and Goulanes in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Hurdle.
Gloucester Rugby stars Mike Tindall and James Simpson-Danial and former team-mate Nicky Robinson enjoyed an unforgettable day as their horse Monbeg Dude won the Henrietta Knight Handicap Chase.
On a day of doubles, Gloucestershire jockey Timmy Murphy followed up his victory aboard Our Father by winning the Centaur Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.