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Madison Du Berlais wins Hennessy

Madison Du Berlais (right) jumps clear of Air Force One
Madison Du Berlais (right) held off the challenge of Air Force One

Madison Du Berlais claimed the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury to hand trainer David Pipe and jockey Tom Scudamore their first win in the prestige race.

The 25-1 shot had finished fourth in 2007 but this time Scudamore guided him into the lead with four fences to go.

Madison Du Berlais held off fancied Air Force One to win by three lengths with Snoopy Loopy taking third.

Joint-favourite Big Bucks, backed at 5-1, was a close third when he unseated Sam Thomas at the final fence.

Pipe and Scudamore were emulating their respective fathers, Martin and Peter, who also shared success in the race.

"It's tremendous," said Scudamore. "We've all worked so hard recently.

"My dad won it 20 years ago and this was awesome.

"I knew people had been worried about the form of the yard but he just travels and I think the guv'nor would have won on him"

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Island Flyer had made the early running from Dear Villez but Madison Du Berlais and Air Force One made sure they stayed in contention.

Big Buck's, bidding to give Paul Nicholls and Sam Thomas back-to-back victories after Denman last year, was held up in the early stages.

He looked dangerous four out before he went through - instead of over - the final fence, leaving Air Force One and Madison Du Berlais to fight out the finish.

Du Berlais' victory ended a barren spell for Pipe and he said: "I told everyone this horse had no chance due to the form of the stable.

"I can't believe it and we've just had two winners at Towcester as well. I had to check the result to make sure it was true."

Earlier, Duc De Regniere, trained by Nicky Henderson, strode clear for a five-length victory in the Long Distance Hurdle to boost his hopes for March's Ladbrokes World Hurdles at Cheltenham.

The 9-1 winner was travelling well up the straight and responded immediately when Tony McCoy pushed him on for a final effort.

McCoy said: "They went no pace and it was always going to suit my horse. As long as I could keep him in contention I knew he had a good chance of winning."

But the race was overshadowed when three-time winner Inglis Drever was pulled up and brought back to the stables in the horse ambulance for assessment.

Meanwhile, the British Horseracing Authority has made initial moves to save the wbx.com "Fighting Fifth" Hurdle, which fell victim to Newcastle's abandoned schedule because of frost.

The Grade One hurdle, which had attracted the likes of Punjabi, Sublimity and Harchibald, could now be staged next Saturday when there are meetings at Sandown and Chepstow.


Hennessy Gold Cup result:

1 Madison Du Berlais (T Scudamore) 25-1
2 Air Force One (N Fehily) 5-1
3 Snoopy Loopy (S E Durack) 12-1
15 ran

Long Distance Hurdle result:

1 Duc De Regniere (A P McCoy) 9-1
2 Mobaasher (S Thomas) 9-1
3 Pettifour (P J Brennan) 4-1
9 ran

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see also
Snoopy Loopy exploits Kauto fall
22 Nov 08 |  Horse Racing
Denman powers to Hennessy success
01 Dec 07 |  Horse Racing
Knowhere collects Old Roan Chase
26 Oct 08 |  Horse Racing


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