THE Racing Post Gold Cup went the way of Wales as Coole Cody came up trumps at Cheltenham.
A desperate faller when in contention in last month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, Evan Williams’ ten-year-old was sure-footed up the straight this time.
Jockey Adam Wedge kept the 12-1 winner in full flow up the hill to fight off admirable Midnight Shadow, with fast-finishing runner-up Zanza too late to the party.
Wedge was always on the gas and ‘hard as nails’ Coole Cody was rewarded with his second big pot at Prestbury Park.
Williams, who trains in the Vale of Glamorgan, said: “He’s won a Paddy Power and now this, if he never wins another race in his life it doesn’t matter. He turns up at these gigs every time.
“These big ones are sweet, I was brought up watching these races. I remember all the brilliant horses winning these races and to be in that context means an awful lot.”
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The resurgent form of Nigel Twiston-Davies showed no sign of slowing as he swooped with Guard Your Dreams in the International Hurdle.
Under a typically tough Sam Twiston-Davies, the pair stayed on best to deny last year’s winner Song For Someone.
Last seen when third to Buzz at Ascot, the five-year-old made the drop back in trip count here and was given quotes of 25-1 for the Unibet Champion Hurdle.
The winning rider said: “We’ve had so many shouting matches about coming to this race, but as always dad got it right, he’s a genius.
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“He’s got such big balls to target a race like this, but that’s why he’s got so many kids!”
Earlier on the card My Drogo notched a first win over fences at the second attempt despite a couple of scares. Dan Skelton has eyed a return to the track on New Year’s Day for the Dipper.
The trainer said: “We are not afraid to run him and we will have to give him a bit more experience.
“Visually his jumping is not silky and we can all agree that, but it’s the result that counts.”
Blazing Khal fired himself to the head of the betting for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle back at Cheltenham in March.
The Irish raider, now 5-1 for the three mile Grade 1, backed up his win here last month thanks to another cosy success, with Gelino Bello even further back this time around.
Winning trainer Charles Byrnes said: “I’d say he had plenty left there and his jumping was much better.
“Maybe we’ll run at the Dublin Racing Festival in February, then God willing we’ll be back here in March for the big one.”
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