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Congratulations are in order as Don Cossack races to victory in The Gold Cup at this year’s Cheltenham Festival 2016.
Saddled by jockey Bryan Cooper, Don Cossack was trained by professional racehorse trainer Gordon Elliot. This win marks owner Michael O’Leary’s second victory in the prestigious equestrian race. Such an achievement can only be described as being satisfying, after Cooper suffered a number of criticisms since taking the position of first jockey under owner Michael O’Leary.
With rival Cue Card hot on his tail, Cossack rode confidently to victory with conviction, as Cue Card fell at the last fence, driving chest first into it. Thankfully, the horse seems uninjured.
Cooper made his mark on Cheltenham Festival three years ago, when he partnered three winners, a result which rendered the jockey too emotional to describe his feelings towards the victory, simply citing it was ‘unbelievable’ when questioned by Channel 4 reporters.
Victoria Pendleton finishes fifth on her debut
Speaking of his victory in The Gold Cup to The Guardian, Cooper stated “Fair play to Gordon, he stuck by me, I had the hardest decision and he had him right for today. He never missed a beat. It was a hard decision to make, but there’s a man up there looking out for me, Dessie Hughes.”
Horse owner Michael O’Leary added “There was never a moment’s worry. He jumped brilliantly and Bryan gave him a superb ride, he was always in control. He has so much natural pace but not a change of gear, it’s a high cruising speed but he’s a magnificent jumper and Gordon is a magnificent trainer. It was disappointing he got beat in the Ryanair last year but he’s made up for it now, I’d swap a Ryanair for a Gold Cup.”
The Gold Cup
Meanwhile, black horse at Cheltenham Festival, Olympic gold medal winning cyclist-turned professional jockey, Victoria Pendleton not only finished the Foxhunters Chase alive and unscathed, but ended the race with an incredibly respectable fifth position out of 24 jockeys. Speaking to The Telegraph, Pendleton cited "I am overwhelmed at how lovely the crowd has been. I am honoured to have been given this opportunity. It has been such a thrill. This is up there with anything I have ever done. Thank you to all the jockeys who have been so welcoming to me, to be accepted as part of this; it’s been great. This is one of the greatest achievements of my life.”