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Last Updated:  Thursday, 3 April, 2003, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Gold shines at Aintree
First Gold put in an impressive display of jumping
First Gold jumped superbly
First Gold was back to his brilliant best to land a shock win in the Martell Cognac Cup Chase at Aintree.

The 14-1 French raider sprinted clear of a quality field to triumph in the contest he won two years ago.

First Gold, ridden by Thierry Doumen and trained by his father Francois, was taken out of the Grand National to concentrate on this race.

And he showed all his old class as he controlled matters from the front, with Lady Cricket 14 lengths back in second.

Commanche Court was a further three-quarters of a length away in third, with favourite Valley Henry never a danger.

Thierry Doumen, who has previously been criticised by some English observers for his riding tactics, punched the air with delight as he crossed the line.

"It felt like the real First Gold," the jockey told BBC TV afterwards.

His father said it had been hard work to get the horse, winner of the King George VI Chase in 2000, back to form.

"The horse was not very well, so I'm pleased it has worked," said Francois.

Links to more Grand National 2003 stories


Winning jockey Thierry Doumen
"The horse is just getting his marks back"

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