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Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Saturday, 13 November 2010

Little Josh wins Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham

Sam Twiston-Davies on Little Josh
Twiston-Davies and Little Josh dead-heated at Carlisle last month

Sam Twiston-Davies rode Little Josh to victory in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, earning his trainer father Nigel his third win in the Cheltenham race.

The 18-year-old jockey led from pillar to post as his mount jumped fluently to win by two and three-quarter lengths from fellow 20-1 shot Dancing Tornado.

The Nicky Henderson-trained 2-1 favourite Long Run, with amateur Sam Waley-Cohen on board, was third.

Long Run's stablemate Mad Max (15-2) came in fourth.

"He was class, he did everything spot-on," said Twiston-Davies junior, who took his A-levels earlier in the year.

"You can trust him with your life and he'll try his best for you," added the conditional jockey. "Hopefully he'll progress from here."


Twiston-Davies senior, also a victor in 1992 with Tipping Tim and in 2008 with Imperial Commander, trains at Naunton, only 12 miles from Cheltenham racecourse.

"I couldn't fault Sam - he was absolutely perfect - what a front-running ride," he said.

"He went out there, made the horse's mind up, gave him a breather down the back and then kicked on at the top of the hill - just perfection. "

Little Josh had dead-heated with Weird Al on his previous run at Carlisle a fortnight earlier.

It was the second big Cheltenham win of the year for Sam, who rode Baby Run to victory in the Foxhunters' Chase for his father at the National Hunt Festival in March.

Before the race, Long Run was considered the main challenger likely to test Kauto Star when he goes for an historic fifth King George VI Chase win at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Waley-Cohen had his mount prominent throughout but he brushed a few fences and could not find a kick three from home as he was passed by Dancing Tornado, from Michael Hourigan's Irish stable.

Sam Twiston-Davies on the National

"I don't have any excuses as, for the most part, he jumped well," said Waley-Cohen.

Trainer Henderson, meanwhile, was pleased with his pair, saying: "Both ran great races. I think it's possible that Long Run might find it easier on a flat track and at the moment we won't change our plans and the King George will be the next stop for him.

"That was a cut and thrust - a proper handicap chase - and the one thing you need to do at Kempton is stay, which this horse does."

"I think Mad Max probably wants better ground and he just got tired in the ground. At the moment I do not have a plan for him.

Second-favourite Great Endeavour was prominent but dropped away from the third-last to eventually come fifth, while Tchico Polos took a crashing fall.

Little Josh was the highest-priced winner of the race since 33/1 chance Senor El Betrutti, another horse trained near Cheltenham, scored in 1997.

Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase
1 Little Josh S Twiston-Davies 20-1
2 Dancing Tornado A P Heskin 20-1
3 Long Run Mr S Waley-Cohen2-1f
4 Mad Max B J Geraghty 15-2

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see also
Twiston-Davies aiming for title
08 Sep 10 |  Horse Racing
Long Run handed Kauto challenge
27 Sep 10 |  Horse Racing
Kauto Star makes winning return
06 Nov 10 |  Horse Racing
Tranquil Sea ends Irish drought
14 Nov 09 |  Horse Racing
Imperial Commander romps to glory
15 Nov 08 |  Horse Racing

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