The Cheltenham Festival of 2014 reached its zenith on Friday as Irish raider Lord Windermere (20-1) finished best of a longshot trio who blindsided expected protagonists Silviniaco Conti and Bobs Worth (6-4 fav) in one of the most surreal finishes the Gold Cup has ever seen writes David-Lee Priest.
Whether Colin Tizzard’s Cue Card would have stayed on to beat the fancied pair as he did at Haydock in November we will never know, or perhaps we will next year.
This columnist thinks he would have.
Stable jockey Joe Tizzard told the Echo: “We are looking to next season for him now, he’s fine in himself and will recover, clearly it’s disappointing but when these things happen you have to look forwards not back.”
The Triumph hurdle took place without Harry Fry’s precocious Activial who scooted up in the Adonis at Kempton last month.
The trainer told the Echo: “He is a typical NH bred rather than being ex-flat so the race would have come a year too soon, there is a chance he’ll go to the Aintree race instead.”
Similarly, Regal Encore, the JP McManus-owned six-year-old, was taken out of the County Hurdle.
Trainer Anthony Honeyball added: “Despite coming through the Imperial Cup in good shape after they didn’t go enough of a gallop for him, he’ll likely go to Aintree or Punchestown now.”
There were to be no heroics in the final race of festival 2014 for the Tizzards as Oiseau De Nuit was unable to recapitulate his bold win in the 2011 renewal of the Grand Annual and last year’s placed effort afer falling yesterday.
He owes the Tizzards nothing as rider Joe said himself, “he is a class act”.