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Coneygree Sparkles On Biggest Stage With Sensational Gold Cup Victory

Friday 13th March 2015

Coneygree became the first novice since 1974 to win the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup as the Mark Bradstock-trained raider produced a faultless display of jumping in a sublime front-running display, as the 7/1 shot fought off a spirited effort from Road To Riches and Djakadam in a memorable renewal of the Cheltenham Festival showpiece.

Having elected to bypass the RSA Chase earlier in the week, Coneygree's connections would've enjoyed the rain that hit Prestbury Park in the lead-up to the race and the eight-year-old was trying to emulate Captain Christy, won the Gold Cup as a novice just over three decades ago.

As he had done on his previous runs, Nico De Boinville elected to send Coneygree to the front from the outset and he jumped like a stag throughout the contest and whilst many of his rivals were struggling from a long way from home, Bradstock's charge continued to maintain a fierce gallop.

Silviniaco Conti, who had attracted significant support in the morning, travelled well in behind, but was quickly struggling as they entered the final five furlongs of the race, whilst there was to be no fairytale for AP McCoy in his last Gold Cup as his mount Carlingford Lough was tiring at the top of the hill.

Meanwhile at the front Road To Riches was forever in touch with Coneyrgree and Ruby Walsh had eased Djakadam into contention and it was that trio that fought it out up the home straight, with the British raider coming out on top in a thrilling finish.

Jumping the last in front Coneygree veered off a straight line, but whilst Djakadam and Road To Riches fought on the far side rail they could not reel in the front-runner and it was Coneygree who eventually won by one-and-a-half lengths.

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