Cheltenham: Annacotty wins Paddy Power Gold Cup
Last updated on .From the section Horse Racing
Annacotty won the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham as jockey Ian Popham held on in a thrilling finish.
The 12-1 winner was running in his first race for trainer Alan King after being moved from Martin Keighley.
Annacotty held on from the fast-finishing Buywise, with Sound Investment third and Double Ross fourth.
Popham, who has endured an injury-plagued career, was congratulated afterwards by Keighley.
"That was the most incredible feeling. I thought my career was on its backside," said Popham.
King added: "Ian has been riding him at home and reckoned he was in good form and the change of scenery has probably helped freshen him up a little."
Favourite Kings Palace, trained by David Pipe, finished down the field in 11th place.
Jockeys wore black armbands with tricolours as a mark of respect for the victims of the Paris attacks in which at least 128 people were killed. A minute's silence was observed before racing.
1 Annacotty (Alan King) Ian Popham 12-1
2 Buywise (Evan Williams) Paul Moloney 10-1
3 Sound Investment (Paul Nicholls) Sam Twiston-Davies 20-1
4 Double Ross (Nigel Twiston-Davies) Ryan Hatch 16-1
5 Irish Cavalier (Rebecca Curtis) Paul Townend 8-1
20 ran. Distances: ½ length, ¾ length, 3¼ lengths
Racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght
"Racing is a sentimental old thing and loves to celebrate a fairytale win for an underdog, and Ian Popham's victory on Annacotty was just that.
"While injury is part and parcel of being a jump jockey, Popham's had more than his fair share.
"So a great day for him against better-fancied, better-known rivals, and little wonder he was emotional about it afterwards. The horse has recently moved stables and is clearly on good terms with himself; a return to Cheltenham for the big steeplechase in mid-December seems likely."