Cheltenham: Annacotty wins Paddy Power Gold Cup

Annacotty wins in front of the new Cheltenham stand
Annacotty wins in front of the new Cheltenham stand

Annacotty won the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham as jockey Ian Popham held on in a thrilling finish.

The 12-1 winner was running in his first race for trainer Alan King after being moved from Martin Keighley.

Annacotty held on from the fast-finishing Buywise, with Sound Investment third and Double Ross fourth.

Popham, who has endured an injury-plagued career, was congratulated afterwards by Keighley.

"That was the most incredible feeling. I thought my career was on its backside," said Popham.

King added: "Ian has been riding him at home and reckoned he was in good form and the change of scenery has probably helped freshen him up a little."

Favourite Kings Palace, trained by David Pipe, finished down the field in 11th place.

Jockeys wore black armbands with tricolours as a mark of respect for the victims of the Paris attacks in which at least 128 people were killed. A minute's silence was observed before racing.

Result

1 Annacotty (Alan King) Ian Popham 12-1

2 Buywise (Evan Williams) Paul Moloney 10-1

3 Sound Investment (Paul Nicholls) Sam Twiston-Davies 20-1

4 Double Ross (Nigel Twiston-Davies) Ryan Hatch 16-1

5 Irish Cavalier (Rebecca Curtis) Paul Townend 8-1

20 ran. Distances: ½ length, ¾ length, 3¼ lengths

Racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

"Racing is a sentimental old thing and loves to celebrate a fairytale win for an underdog, and Ian Popham's victory on Annacotty was just that.

"While injury is part and parcel of being a jump jockey, Popham's had more than his fair share.

"So a great day for him against better-fancied, better-known rivals, and little wonder he was emotional about it afterwards. The horse has recently moved stables and is clearly on good terms with himself; a return to Cheltenham for the big steeplechase in mid-December seems likely."

Jockeys wore black armbands with tricolours after the Paris attacks
Jockeys wore black armbands with tricolours at Cheltenham after the Paris attacks
Jockeys at Cheltenham observe a minute's silence
Jockeys at Cheltenham observe a minute's silence