Coole Cody wins Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham

Tom O'Brien on Coole Cody
O'Brien got the ride on Coole Cody with regular jockey Adam Wedge out injured

Coole Cody put in a gutsy display to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham - the first big handicap of the jumps season.

Trained by Evan Williams and ridden by Tom O'Brien, the 10-1 shot led from early on but was far from foot perfect.

However, none of his rivals were able to get past.

The 14-1 chance Spiritofthegames was second for Harry Skelton with the 5-1 favourite Al Dancer, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, in third.

There was drama at the opening fence when Siruh Du Lac unseated jockey Tom Scudamore and with the loose horse alongside, the nine-year-old winner built up a big lead over the rest of the field.

Coole Cody's jumping was less than fluent and on occasions he was low over the Cheltenham fences while the rest of the field closed as they came down the hill.

But he showed plenty of spirit and when the serious challengers loomed from the final two fences, he was able to hold on for a three-and-a-quarter-length win - a notable one for O'Brien who had the ride in the absence of the injured Adam Wedge.

Williams said: "They are very hard races to win and we are usually second, third and fourth in all these big races - we have been second, third and fourth in them all! But if you keep trying, you'll get there in the end.

"Wedgy is out injured and it's a disappointment for him, but Tom has ridden me loads of winners over the years. We have had some bad luck stories here with Tom in the past, so it's great he's got a good one on the board."

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