Cheltenham Festival 2013: Gold Cup as it happened

Bobs Worth wins the Gold Cup ahead of Sir Des Champs and Long Run on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.

15 March 2013 Last updated at 17:54 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1737: 

    So, Ireland finish ahead of Great Britain by the narrowest margin, with horses trained on the other side of the Irish Sea winning 14 of the 27 races.

    Willie Mullins finishes as top trainer with five wins, with Ruby Walsh as top jockey after four victorious rides.

    Cheltenham 2013 has been thrilling, dispiriting, but always engrossing. Thanks for your company over the past four days, I'm off for a restoring bucket of oats.

  2. 1728: 
    John Hunt, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator at Cheltenham

    "I think, as ever, the class of the field in the whole meeting is my abiding memory. Also, the enthusiasm of the spectators is always incredible."


    David Sells: "An Alderwood win - good end to the day."

  4. 1727: 

    The fence that was scheduled to be the last in the Grand Annual Chase Challenge was skipped by the field after Wayne Hutchinson and Kubeshwar suffered a heavy fall at that flight.

    Thankfully both horse and rider look to be ok.

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "Ireland 14-13 GB. Historic win for the Irish. AP McCoy completes final-day double on Alderwood in a 1-2 for JP McManus."

    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "There were 23 runners to negotiate through for AP McCoy. It was like the Red Sea opening up for him, and to do it on the inside is a tremendous skill.

    "Cheltenham keeps turning and you can get stopped on the points unless you have the skill to get out of them."

  7. 1723: 

    1. Alderwood A P McCoy 3-1 Fav

    2. Kid Cassidy Jeremiah McGrath 12-1

    3. Oiseau de Nuit Brendan Powell 33-1

    4. Drumshambo Aidan Coleman 20-1

  8. 1720: 

    It was the two JP McManus-owned horses, Alderwood and Kid Cassidy, who duked it out up the hill. It was the former, trained by Thomas Mullins, who comes through to give Ireland their 14th win of the Festival and AP McCoy his second.

  9. 1719: 

    Kid Cassidy leads into the closing stages, but there is plenty of pressure from Alderwood.

  10. 1719: 

    His Excellency falls four from home.

  11. 1718: 

    Petit Robin and King Edmund are both well-placed. Alderwood is creeping up through the field.

  12. 1716: 

    Stagecoach Pearl takes on the early pace and it as brisk as expected.

    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It will be fast and furious out there. Alderwood has improved over fences and Viva Colonia is also one to look out for."

  14. 1715: 

    With the scores between Great Britain and Ireland's trainers tied at 13 wins apiece, Alderwood, who won the County Hurdle last year and is under the tutelage of Willie Mullins, might be the Emerald Isle's best hope of winning the decider.

  15. 1713: 

    After trainer David Pipe missed out on the race named after his father, Nicky Henderson will try and keep this one in the family. He has five runners attempting to deliver for him.

    The leading contender is Kid Cassidy who went off as favourite last year and finished 12th, but might stand more of a chance with 2lbs less on his back.

  16. 1708: 

    We are at the final race of the four day's racing. It is a second handicap, just a touch over two miles: the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup.

    Cornelius Lysaght, on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at Cheltenham

    "This year's Cheltenham Festival has ticked every box, but not every box you want to see ticked. The drama with JT McNamara was horrible to see.

    "We had that to deal with, but we also had the highest class jump racing in the world to take in. Hurricane Fly sticks in the mind, Sprinter Sacre obviously, and from today, we had some great performances from youth.

    "In terms of hurdling, the horse I will be writing in my calendar is Our Conor. He is a Champion Hurdler in the making."

  18. 1657: 

    That emotional win for Paul Nicholls was made more pertinent as jockey Harry Derham is the trainer's young nephew. Derham was also a winner as a 17-year-old at Cheltenham, aboard Brampour in November 2011.

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "26 races in and champion trainer Paul Nicholls off the mark, after some tough luck at 2013 Cheltenham Festival."

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Trainer Paul Nicholls after his first win of this Cheltenham Festival meet: "It has been a hard old time. That is one for Dominic [Baker, son of Nicholls' head lad Clifford, who died in a car crash earlier this month] after he died.

    "We have had to cope with a bad week and a funeral next week, that one is for Dominic.

    "I thought the ground was too soft for him so I told jockey Harry Derham to hold back and he gave it an absolute peach."

  21. 1651: 

    1. Salubrious Harry Derham 16-1

    2. Nagpur Tom Cannon 33-1

    3. Double Ross Adam Wedge 14-1

    4. Make Your Mark D G Lavery 8-1

  22. 1646: 

    Paul Nicholls finally has his Festival winner for the year. Salubrious, with Harry Derham on board, came through wide and fast to overhaul Double Ross.

  23. 1645: 

    With two to jump, Gevrey Chambertin looks to be fading out of contention.

  24. 1642: 

    Double Ross makes the early pace. Edeymi could be one to watch after making a return to form when he finished strongly to take second in the Fred Winter.

  25. 1641: 

    They are away first time.

  26. 1640: 

    Should Gevrey Chambertin come home for him, it will be the first time that trainer David Pipe will have won the race named after his father.

  27. 1638: 

    Gevrey Chambertin, with three wins in his last three outings, leads the market at 11-4. He is the brother of 2011 world Hurdle runner-up and looks like he shares plenty of his quality.


    Daniel Cocks-Moran: "No sympathy for Jane Mangan as the horse is clearing being ridden into the rails! She'll be popular with the punters!"

  29. 1636: 

    That win for Salsify equals the record of 13 Irish-trained winners that was set back in 2011. Two more races to beat that mark; first of all the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle.


    Matt on text via 81111: "Cheers Michael Owen, a very profitable afternoon thanks to your Bobs Worth prediction!"

  31. 1629: 

    It is not just the form of the horses that has been affected by the day's rain. Some of the spectators are finding the conditions trickier to negotiate than they were earlier in the week.

    Cheltenham spectators
  32. 1625: 

    If you missed the Gold Cup shake-down, BBC Sport's Frank Keogh's report on Bobs Worth's win is fresh off the internet presses and up on the site.

    Over on the wireless we have switched from Radio 5 live to 5 live sports extra where there will be coverage of the final two races of the meeting.

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Salisfy jockey Colm Sweeney on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "One thing I will say is that he rallied last time when he was dead. But I feel for Jane.

    "He stays well and I probably gave him too much to do. He was good for me and he is brave as they come."

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at Cheltenham
    Jane Mangan

    "They were travelling at 23mph and when you suddenly drop down to 5mph you have no chance of staying onboard.

    "I would be the first to be critical if she had done something wrong, but she rode the horse beautifully."

  35. 1615: 

    1. Salsify Mr C J Sweeney 2-1 Fav

    2. Divine Intavention Mr M Wall 50-1

    3. Cottage Oak Mr P Gerety 9-1

    4. Doctor Kingsley Mr P Mann 40-1

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at Cheltenham

    "You know what happened, the horse half-thought he had to go round again but he then collided with the rail.

    "Your heart goes out to her there."

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Unseated Oscar Delta rider Miss Jane Mangan on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "I felt like I had the race won. This is a nightmare."

  38. 1610: 

    Late drama down the home straight. We seemed set for a straight slug-out between Salisfy and Oscar Delta, but Jane Mangan, on board the latter, is suddenly dumped out of the side door as her mount jinks to avoid a post that wasn't really there. Kind of like a horizontal Devon Loch.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at Cheltenham

    "This will be the ride of the meeting if Colm Sweeney comes up from the back on Salsify."

  40. 1609: 

    Oscar Delta leads with two to jump but Salsify is emerging from the mash behind him.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at Cheltenham

    "Salsify is going well but he has a lot of ground to make up."

  42. 1608: 

    Salisfy is moving his way up through the field, but there are plenty of runners for him to tick off the list as he settles into tenth.


    Joe Confrey: "Just missed out on a peach of a tricast. Had the Bolster in third. Bring on next year!!!"

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at Cheltenham

    "Colm Sweeney on Salsify is a very experienced jockey who could have turned professional in his pomp."

  45. 1605: 

    Creevytennant is out in front, but his jockey is having all sorts of bother attempting to keep him on the straight and narrow as he jumps right at every barrier.

  46. 1603: 

    A little past the appointed hour, but we are away. Only amateur jockeys in this one.

  47. 1603: 

    Veteran Backstage, trained by Gordon Elliot, may find that the ground has turned a little mushy for his taste.

  48. 1601: 
    John Hunt, BBC Radio 5 live commentator at Cheltenham

    "Salsify won this race last year and he is a very short price this year. He is a clear starting point for this race, but I like Dante's Storm."

  49. 1601: 

    Chapturgeon was second in 2013 and lost out by only a length. He won last time out at Newbury on soft ground and today's rain might play in his favour.

  50. 1559: 

    Salsify is defending his title and at just eight years old should have improved still further since last year's triumph.

  51. 1557: 

    The racing keeps coming. Another three races to go to close out the Festival, the first up is the CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup.

  52. 1554: 

    Comedian Alan Carr and Russell Brand have just been chatting to BBC Radio 5 live's Derek Thompson and seem to be having a whale of the time at the races.

    There is a little dispute as to whether Brand, without shirt or tie, has under-clubbed on the dress code though.

  53. 1552: 

    The Gold Cup goes to owners The Not Afraid Partnership as Nicky Henderson waggles his own momento, a kind of gold goblet.

    Nicky Henderson
  54. 1549: 

    Bobs Worth is wrapped up in the winner's blanket as his connections make their way up to press the flesh with Princess Anne and collect their big prize.


    Lucy Mitchell: "Randomly bet Bobs Worth last minute and he came home to win! Wayyheyyy!"

    Michail Kolpidis: "Great stuff, well done Bobs Worth."

    Lee 'MacB' Parker: "After two good wins the past two days, today has been a day of betting failures."

  56. 1545: 

    Silviniaco Conti and his jockey Ruby Walsh appear to both be ok after taking that fall in closing stages. A miserable Festival for Paul Nicholls continues.

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "A Gold Cup reminder from Barry Geraghty that AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh not only ones in golden generation of jump jockeys."

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Long Run jockey Sam Waley-Cohen on BBC Radio 5 live: "Long Run ran a cracker. He made one or two mistakes for a lack of concentration, but I could not ask any more of him. He is a star."

  59. 1542: 

    That result completes a unique achievement for jockey Barry Geraghty who bought Bobs Worth as a yearling for £13,800, sold him as a four-year-old to Nicky Henderson for £21,000 and has just ridden him to victory in the Gold Cup as an eight-year-old to land a first prize of £313, 225.

    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "It was an honest race. Long Run went off at a sensible gallop.

    "Coming down the hill you thought Bobs Worth was beat."

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "Thought 2011 Gold Cup was best I'd seen at track (since 1995) as Long Run beat Kauto + Denman but Bobs Worth win trumped it."

  62. 1538: 

    Bobs Worth's win is vindication for Nicky Henderson's decision to keep his runner under wraps since his Hennessey Gold Cup victory in November. He took the victory by seven lengths in the end.

    That makes it sound more comprehensive than it felt.

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Bobs Worth jockey Barry Geraghty speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "It was brilliant. He is such a great little horse who just loves the job.

    "We had faith in the horse. Nicky Henderson knew he would have him fit enough, he knows how to get them ready for Cheltenham."

  64. 1534:  

    Bobs Worth trainer Nicky Henderson speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "It has been a long old week. Both boys gave them great rides and both horses were brave to the line.

    "It is dreams, isn't it? Barry Geraghty gave that a lovely pace.

    "It has been a long wait as neither horse has run for a long old time.

    "He is such an honest horse, he always gallows up the hill."

  65. 1533: 

    That victory is Nicky Henderson's 50th Festival winner and it should be enough to wrap up his first trainers' championship in 26 years.

  66. 1531: 

    1 Bobs Worth (B J Geraghty) 11-4 Fav

    2 Sir Des Champs (A P McCoy) 4-1

    3 Long Run (Mr S Waley-Cohen) 7-2

    4. The Giant Bolster 16-1

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Extraordinary ride from Barry Geraghty. He plucked that from nowhere.

    "He looked totally beaten but he managed to galvanise his horse. That was some race, unbelievable!"

  68. 1529: 
    Bobs Worth

    I said he was nowhere with three to go, but that was a perfectly judged ride by Barry Geraghty. Bobs Worth stalked the frontrunners to perfection, coming through over the last and having enough left in the tank to continue pulling away up to the line.

  69. 1528: 

    Bobs Worth rises first at the last....

  71. 1528: 

    Siviniaco Conti falls on the third from home.

  72. 1527: 

    No sign of Bobs Worth as yet with three to jump.

  73. 1527: 

    Long Run is leaping like a stag at the front of the field. He looks eager and full of energy. Monbeg Dude has been dropped.


    Will McKenzie in Glasgow on text via 81111: "Haven't backed a winner all festival! Hopefully Long Run will save my week."

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "There is a huge cheer from the crowd as the horses come past the grandstand."

  76. 1526: 

    AP McCoy eases Sir Des Champs up into second place behind Long Run as the field pass the grandstand for the penultimate time. Ten to jump.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "AP McCoy is having a nice ride on Sir Des Champs."

  78. 1524: 

    Silviniaco Conti is in third behind The Giant Bolster and Long Run. Solid jumping across the field, but early stages on the three and a quarter mile course.


    Esther: "Cape Tribulation for me!"

    Rachael Wright: "Come on Silviniaco Conti, win me some money."

    Victoria Hardwick: "Cape Tribulation to win... Excellent jockey on board!"

  80. 1522: 

    We are away and it is Long Run and The Giant Bolster who make the early pace.

  81. 1522: 

    The walking wheel of horses are circling at the start. The crowd are baying for the start.


    Robert Sheldon: "Long Run to take it from Bobs Worth by more than two lengths. Stroll in the park for the wet weather wonder."

    Rob Nothman, BBC Radio 5 live's betting expert

    "Long Run has emerged in the last few minutes as the second favourite."

  84. 1521: 

    The Giant Bolster can point to a surprise second place last year, Cape Tribulation will relish the softer going.

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "Welsh National winner Master Oats won the 1995 Gold Cup in soft ground the same season. Monbeg Dude anyone?"

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Bobs Worth part-owner John Jarvis on BBC Radio 5 live: "I do feel nervous. We could have done without the rain but Bob is a stayer and he absolutely adores this place."


    BBC Sport's Richard Conway at Cheltenham: "The great, now retired, Kauto Star taking applause of race fans in the Cheltenham parade ring."

  88. 1519: 

    Monbeg Dude, bought on a drink-fuelled whim by former England centre Mike Tindall and co-owned by James Simpson-Daniel of England and Welsh fly-half Nicky Robinson, has had a late change of jockey with Paul carberry replaced by Sam Twiston-Davies. Won the Welsh National on heavy ground.

  89. 1516: 

    Sir Des Champs, like Long Run, comes in off wins at the two previous Festivals and landed the Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Willie Mullins has seemed to bring his string to the simmer just right, but the ground may be a bit soft with the skies still spitting.


    Johnnie_Norton: "McCoy has got the bit between his teeth. Hopefully he'll come up trumps for me on Sir Des Champs."

    Jake 'De Jong' Side: "After McCoy's victory in the Novices Hurdle I fancy him in the Gold Cup riding Sir Des Champs."

    Daniel Tasker: "Cape Tribulation for me, stamina and likes the mud."

  91. 1513: 
    Silviniaco Conti

    Silviniaco Conti has been on a steep upwards curve all season with solid wins at Wetherby, Haydock and Newbury. It would be Paul Nicholls' fifth Gold Cup, but does the less-than-impressive form of the Ditcheat yard count against him?


    Andy in Glasgow on text via 81111: "Think the cheekpieces will sharpen up Long Run's jumping and see him regain the Gold Cup."

    Jon in Sheffield on text via 81111: "I have had seven winners this festival leaving me £400 up. I've stuck £200 on Silviniaco Conti. Feeling confident. Do not let me down you beauty!"

  93. 1510: 

    Bob's Worth has the impressive boast of never having lost at Cheltenham and never being beaten from ahead in a jumps race. He carried a big weight to victory in the Hennessey Gold Cup in November.

  94. 1506: 
    Long Run

    There is history at every turn here.

    2011 winner Long Run is aiming to emulate Kauto Star by regaining the Gold Cup title. He will have the cheek pieces in place to try and keep him concentrated on the job in hand.


    LudaChris: "No one mentioning Captain Chris. An unlucky and close second in the King George and has won at Cheltenham before."

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "Cheltenham Gold Cup anyone's guess - am going 1 Silviniaco Conti 2 Long Run 3 Monbeg Dude. Your picks probably more profitable."

  97. 1500: 

    Next up, is the biggest of big ones. The Cheltenham Gold Cup off is 20 minutes away and this is the last call for your predictions on a race that is no open-and-shut case.

    #bbcracing on Twitter, 81111 for texts from UK phones. Ready, aim, fire.


    Kitty Vaughan: "So happy for Tony McCoy! Ridden with such class, world class."

  99. 1457: 

    A very dignified response to his victory from AP McCoy who also paid tribute to Campbell Gillies who won this race last year on Brindisi Breeze before his death in a swimming accident in Corfu in June.

  100. 1454:  
    BBC Radio 5 live
    AP McCoy

    Novice Hurdle winning jockey AP McCoy on BBC Radio 5 live: "It is very difficult to enjoy today after JT McNamara's injury. He is like a family member and it is very sad.

    "It is a very tough thing to enjoy."

  101. 1453:  

    At Fishers Cross' owner JP McManus on BBC Radio 5 live: "It was nice. With all that happened yesterday, it does not seem right to celebrate.

    "JT McNamara's family are all in our thoughts. I am delighted to be here, but it is difficult when our friend needs our prayers."

  102. 1452: 

    1. At Fishers Cross A P McCoy 11-8 Fav

    2. African Gold S Twiston-Davies 9-2

    3. Inish Island R Walsh 13-2

    4. O'Faolains Boy 16-1

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "AP McCoy was not that exuberant when he crossed the line, he looked like he thought he should have done this earlier."

    John Hunt, BBC Radio 5 live commentator at Cheltenham

    "We have had to wait three days and more than 20 races, but Tony McCoy is finally home!"

  105. 1448: 
    AP McCoy

    At Fishers Cross makes it look easy underneath AP McCoy, scampering away from the field at the merest urging from the champion jockey. By far the class of the field.

  106. 1447: 

    African Gold and At Fishers Cross lead at the final fence.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "If you had to be on one here, you would want to be on African Gold."

  108. 1446: 

    O'Faolains Boy has made all the pace, but is coming under pressure from Le Bec with African Gold also moving up through the field nicely.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "It is a game of cat-and-mouse at the moment at the front."

  110. 1445: 

    Our Vinnie and I Shot The Sheriff have both fallen on the seventh from home. Both jockeys are up and look ok.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "They are not crawling here, AP McCoy is getting his horse jumping nicely and African Gold is travelling along."

  112. 1443: 

    They are away and it is O'Faolains Boy who is the frontrunner under Jason Maguire from Le Bec.

  113. 1440: 

    Our Vinnie is also in decent nick with two wins in his last three and has a strong record over this trip and at this circuit.

  114. 1439: 

    African Gold, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, also likes soft ground and is on a roll of four successive wins.

  115. 1437: 

    AP McCoy is on board At Fishers Cross in search of his first winner of the Festival as well.

  116. 1434: 

    The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle is the next race to test the conditions.

    The softening turf should only consolidate the place of At Fishers Cross as the favourite. He outstayed Neptune winner The New One on heavy ground at this circuit in January, That win followed one over Coral Cup winner Medinas in December. Not a lot of arguing with that.

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Two-time Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson on BBC Radio 5 live: "I am not happy with this rain, it does not suit us at all for the Gold Cup."

    Henderson saddles Long Run and Bobs Worth in the big race. The Gold Cup running is getting wider and wider with Paul Nicholls string still not firing.

  118. 1426: 

    The rain is well into the Cheltenham turf. The field came back from the County Hurdle looking like they had been mining mud.

    The going has been accordingly shifted by the racecourse officials to soft, good to soft in places.

    Rain at Cheltenham
  119. 1421: 

    That is Bryan Cooper's last ride of the day and the festival. He can head back into the warm and dry and reflect on a job very well done. I suspect he will watch Sir Des Champs performance in the Gold Cup with particular interest.

    His was one of the names mentioned in connection with that ride after Davy Russell was ruled out with a spontaneous collapsed lung. Instead AP McCoy will fill the saddle.

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham
    Bryan Cooper

    "Ireland 12 GB 10. Jockeys caked in mud from rain-soaked Prestbury Park ground."

  121. 1417: 

    1. Ted Veale B J Cooper 10-1

    2. Tennis Cap D J Casey 11-1

    3. Manyriverstocross W Hutchinson 25-1

    4. Shadow Catcher D J Condon 16-1

  122. 1416: 

    That is Bryan Cooper's third winner of the week in total after also piloting Benefficient home in the Jewson Novices' Chase. He also scored a second place in the RSA Chase behind Lord Windermere. All in all a pretty convincing advert for his talents.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Many of our listeners would never have heard of Bryan Cooper but he has lit up a miserable afternoon here. He rides for a very astute man in Tony Martin and the rain was perfect for Ted Veale."

  124. 1411: 
    Bryan Cooper

    It is a double for Bryan Cooper in the opening two races of the closing day of the festival. He shakes his head in disbelief as Ted Veale slows to a trot after the line. Cooper deserves to add to his success with Our Conor as he lined up Tennis Cap from a fair distance out and put him away with a well-timed run up to the line.

  125. 1410: 

    Ted Veale, with Bryan Cooper on board, draw level.

  126. 1410: 

    Tennis Cap still leading with two to jump, it will be an impressive front-running win if he can hang on.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "I liked Tanerko Emery before the start. All the jockeys are currently jockeying for position and Cotton Mill is pulling hard."

  128. 1408: 

    Tennis Cap leads over the third for trainer Willie Mullins who has a formidable record in this race.

    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "As the ground gets softer, the races get longer as it is harder work for the horses to get around so their stamina is tested more. That leads to certain horses excelling while others struggle."


    Jack Greenfield: "I'm liking the look of a Ranjaan e/w for the 2.05."

  131. 1407: 

    We are away and running.

  132. 1407: 

    Olofi enjoyed the uphill finish here when he won the Racing Post Hurdle on this circuit in November and may figure again.

  133. 1404: 

    It is a tricky one to call as ever with the handicaps, but perhaps there is a bit of value around Ifandbuywhynot who overcame the fancied Tanerko Emery on this turf in the autumn. A good three wins in his last four starts as well.

  134. 1401: 

    Not just any celeb either. We had Pippa Middleton in the house yesterday, Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall have practically been part of the furniture, but they have saved the best for the last day with Prince William and Kate Middleton in the posh seats.

    Kate Middleton and Prince William
  135. 1357: 

    Talking of Champion Hurdle prospects, there is a previous winner up in the next race - the County Hurdle.

    Punjabi edged out Celestial Halo in 2009, but that form feels like a long time ago. He has been pulled up in his last two races and has been given a decent chance by the handicapper.


    Alex Feagan: "The rain at Cheltenham is going to make the Gold Cup even harder to call than it already was!"

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham
    Mark Boylan

    "On a day of mixed emotions, there were poignant moments in the Cheltenham parade ring as a 15-year-old Irish singer performed his ballad in tribute to the late jockey Campbell Gillies.

    "Campbell's mother Lesley and other family members were in attendance as they remembered the rider, who died in a swimming pool accident on holiday in Corfu a day before his 22nd birthday last summer.

    "The jockey rode Brindisi Breeze to victory at the Festival last year."

  138. 1346: 

    The connections of Our Conor lead their horse back into the winners' enclosure. They are rolling ten deep or so, wearing matching scarves in their horse's colours, and there are high fives all round. All the journalists' questions are about the possibility of a return for the Champion Hurdle in 2014.

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "Massive Irish roar from the packed ranks cheered home 15-length Triumph Hurdle winner Our Conor."


    Keef_87: "Wow, Our Conor, wow."

    BBC Radio 5 live
    Bryan Cooper

    Triumph Hurdle winning jockey Bryan Cooper on BBC Radio 5 live: "Our Conor has so much class, he has everything.

    "The rain is now getting into the ground and I think it could open up and get a bit softer for the Gold Cup.

    "I had never had a feeling like it when I came to the last. He could give Hurricane Fly a run for its money in the Champion Hurdle."

  142. 1342: 

    1. Our Conor; B J Cooper 4-1

    2. Far West; R Walsh 4-1

    3. Sametegal; Ryan Mahon 33-1

    4. Rolling Star; Diakali

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Our Conor romped it! It was unreal from him.

    "It was the first time we have seen him on this side of the Irish Sea and he is a live Champion Hurdle hope."

    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "You do not very often see a jockey able to look around as he comes to the last. Our Conor is probably the horse to beat at the Champion Hurdle despite him being quite young."

  145. 1337: 
    Our Conor

    Ireland move back ahead of Great Britain in the Festival standings and that was a very Irish winner. Irish-bred, Irish-trained with Irish jockey Bryan Cooper on board to collect his second victory of the four days. Our Conor roared away from the rest to win by streets and streets with the highly-fancied Rolling Star nowhere.

  146. 1336: 

    Our Conor cruises past Diakali with the final flight approaching. The rest have a lot to do to catch him.

    Luke Harvey, ex-National Hunt jockey on BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "You do worry that Diakali is going a bit quick."

  148. 1335: 

    Diakali starts to press the pace and Paul Townend opens his lead out to three lengths. They are about to descend the hill towards the second from home.

  149. 1334: 

    Our Conor is tracking Diakali in second, with favourite Rolling Star sat in nicely in third.

  150. 1333: 

    Diakali heads out fastest as the first race gets up and running to cheers from the grandstand.

  151. 1332: 

    Cape Explorer holds up the off as he takes another look at the practice hurdle. I remember that sort of last-minute cramming from my GCSEs.

    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "I will be going for Our Conor in the Triumph Hurdle."

  153. 1330: 

    Our Conor, with Bryan Cooper on board, comfortably beat the impressive Diakali at Leopardstown last month. He would be the first Irish winner of this race since 2002.

  154. 1328: 

    Nicholls' rival in the trainers championship Nicky Henderson saddles Rolling Star, who looked very smart in beating Irish Saint on his British debut at Cheltenham in January.

  155. 1325: 

    We are nearing the off in the opening race of the day the Triumph Hurdle over two miles and a furlong.

    Paul Nicholls' usual run of success has dried up at Cheltenham this year. He is yet to register a winner and if Far West, unbeaten in his last four hurdles outings, fails to deliver a good performance stable-mate Silviniaco Conti could drift in the Gold Cup market.

    Stoke striker and horse racing enthusiast Michael Owen

    "Gold Cup predictions:

    1st Bobs Worth

    2nd Long Run

    3rd Sir Des Champs

    I like Silviniaco Conti but the form of the yard is a major worry."

  157. 1320: 

    The Injured Jockeys Fund and the Irish Turf Club release a statement confirming jockey JT McNamara fractured two vertebrae in his neck in a fall on Thursday and he is currently in theatre at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol. You can read more about McNamara on the BBC Sport website.


    Asa in Exeter on text via 81111: "Fingers crossed!! 1.30 Hidden Justice 2.40 African Gold 3.20 Long Run."

    Rob Nothman, betting expert on BBC Radio 5 live

    "With more and more punters backing Sir Des Champs after AP McCoy got the ride, I expect the current 6-1 price to narrow."

  160. 1315: 

    It is worth taking a break from surveying the form to get across a superb piece from BBC Sport's Frank Keogh. He remembers the life of jockey Campbell Gillies, who won the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle on this day last year, and looks forward to the tribute that will be paid at Cheltenham before racing starts this afternoon.

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "Windy and fairly heavy rain now. Crowd of 67,000 expected. Over four days, +220,000 pints of black stuff drunk."

  162. 1310: 

    Race card, betting kitty, plastic pot of something refreshing, binoculars if you fancy really looking the part. There is another essential part of the Cheltenham spectators arsenal today - the trusty brolly.

    Racegoer at Cheltenham

    The rain is coming down pretty steadily now.

  163. 1307: 

    The national newspaper writers have raised their game to new heights with some corking features ahead of the Festival's climax.

    The Guardian's Greg Wood highlights Bobs Worth jockey Barry Geraghty's shot at a piece of unique Gold Cup history as he attempts to become the first person to buy, sell and ride the same horse to victory in the big race.

    In the Telegraph, Paul Hayward remembers when, in the not-too-distant past, a dairy farmer from west Wales shocked the racing world with a 100-1 winner and wonders if those days are gone forever.

    Over in the Times Simon Barnes reflects on the "dreadful paradox in all horse sports". "Here is a beautiful and beloved animal, yet you put it at risk, so that it can most truly and perfectly be itself," he writes.

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    "Gold Cup withdrawal Sunnyhill Boy was about 33-1 shot. Ante-post backers will lose money unless non-runner, no bet offer."

  165. 1303: 

    The withdrawal of the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Sunnyhillboy solves a problem for Willie Mullins, who was looking for a pilot for Sir Des Champs after Davy Russell was ruled out with a punctured lung.

    AP McCoy, still without a winner at this year's Festival and originally slated to ride Sunnyhill Boy, swaps across to take control of the more-fancied Sir Des Champs. Neat.

    AP McCoy
  166. 1300: 

    Your pick for the big race has been narrowed down to just nine runners after Sunnyhill Boy was withdrawn this morning because of an unsatisfactory scope - basically a catch-all term meaning a little under the weather.

    He follows Bog Warrior out of the race, who was withdrawn after running on Thursday.


    Lee Schofield: "I'll be on Cape Tribulation for the Gold Cup this afternoon... Excellent e/w value and loves running at Cheltenham!"

    Peter Anketell: "Get the tips going, no luck all week other than Outlaw Pete yesterday!! All I have so far is Our Vinnie and Salubrious..."

    David Dawson: "Silviniaco Conti in the sweep, sounds like the name I had in the Papal sweepstake earlier in the week."

  168. 1257:  
    Simon King, BBC Radio 5 live weather forecasterWEATHER FORECAST

    "It's going to turn very soggy at the racecourse during the afternoon with heavy rain moving in for the first part of the afternoon and then lasting throughout.

    "The wind will also pick up making things also turn a little breezy. The maximum temperature will be higher than they have been at around 7 degrees but with the wind and rain probably not feeling particularly pleasant!"

  169. 1255: 

    Before you start handing over your hard-earned, you might want to have a chat with your local (to Cheltenham anyway) weatherman. The going is currently good to soft, good in places. But that could all change...


    Kirsteen Fraser: "Any tips for Cheltenham today my friends? Not for the Gold Cup as that seems too short but other races of the day?"

  171. 1250: 

    It is an open field for the big race, so let's hear your Gold Cup shouts loud and early on #bbcracing and 81111 via texts from your UK mobiles.

    I'm also interested in your moment of the Festival so far. I'm torn between Cue Card's sparkling performance in the Ryanair Chase and the late winning bursts from The New One and Quevega.

  172. 1247:  

    As with the last three days at Cheltenham, all the action will served up live to your ears on BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra.

    Before they fire up the transmitters out in the Cotswolds, how about warming up for the day's action with the thoughts of Gold Cup winning jockey Andrew Thornton, BBC commentator John Hunt and BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght on today's action on the 5 live podcast?


    1330 Triumph Hurdle:

    Our Conor, Far West and Rolling Star are all unbeaten over hurdles this year. At least two of those records will fall in the opener.

    1405 GMT: Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle

    Four of the last six winners have been trained by a Mullins with a 50-1 winner and three 20-1 champions in the last five runners. If you believe in those sort of omens, Willie Mullins fields three runners, including mid-priced Abbey Lane and Midnight Game.

    1440 GMT: Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle

    At Fishers Cross has two Cheltenham victories in his last two outings at the circuit, can he make it three from three here?

    1520: GMT: Cheltenham Gold Cup

    Is there going to a fresh name on the Gold Cup winners' list or can Long Run repeat his 2011 success?

    1600 GMT: CGA Foxhunter Chase

    Last year's winner, runner-up and third place - Salsify, Chapoturgeon and Oscar Delta -all return for another crack.

    1640 GMT: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle

    Three from three over the hurdles for Gevrey Chambertin and he is likely to head off as favourite in his bid for a fourth success.

    1715 GMT: Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase

    Owner JP McManus, who has been not had much success so far in the Festival, fields two strong runners in Alderwood and Kid Cassidy.

  174. 1242: 

    There is plenty of support for the day's feature race on a full card today. Details coming right up for you.

  175. 1241: 

    The latest news that we have is that McNamara has suffered an injury to his C3 and C4 vertebrae and continues to be assessed with his wife Caroline by his bedside.

    I'll bring you any updates on his condition if and when they come in today.

  176. 1237: 

    As the fans begins to fill the magnificent racecourse in the shadow of Cleeve Hill, there is no doubt that the excitement of Gold Cup day has been tempered by events yesterday.

    Amateur jockey JT McNamara remains in Frenchay Hospital in Bristol after suffering a serious neck injury in a fall from Galaxy Rock in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

    Although he was conscious after the fall, the 37-year-old Irishman is in an induced coma while he undergoes treatment.

    Also on the course yesterday, the David Pipe-trained Matuhi had to be put down after incurring a serious spinal injury in the Byrne Group Plate.

    JT McNamara
  177. 1235: 

    In the absence of the retired Denman, Kauto Star, who has swapped the turf for the dressage arena, and Synchronised, who sadly died in last year's Grand National, there is a fresh-faced, rather than star-studded, field for the Festival's crown jewel.

    Bobs Worth, who kicked on to win the Hennessey Gold Cup in style in November, heads the betting in this year's race.

    Also in the mix is Long Run, attempting to become only the second horse to regain the Gold Cup, Sir Des Champs, a winner at the last two festivals, and Silviniaco Conti, who is one of champion trainer Paul Nicholls' few remaining hopes of a winner at this year's festival.

  178. 1230: 

    Only a handful of inches high, but made of 10 ounces of solid gold, each Cheltenham Gold Cup is worth nearly £11,000.

    This year's prize money for the first horse past the post is £313,225.

    But the value of victory in the big race cannot be measured in monetary value.

    It is a chance to weave your name into National Hunt history in the most celebrated meeting in the calendar.

    Welcome to the final, biggest and best day of the Cheltenham Festival.