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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lord Windermere Wins $914,000 Cheltenham Gold Cup

 Davy Russell celebrates after riding Lord Windermere
to victory in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase.
(Andrew Redington/Getty Images Europe)
( Lord Windermere stormed through the field in the final stretch to win the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup in a photo finish before a sellout crowd of 67,500 March 14 on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.

After two false starts and a tight finish, Lord Windermere, trained by Jim Culloty and ridden by Davy Russell, snatched the race by a short head from On His Own.

A stewards' inquiry was held following the race because Lord Windermere had drifted into On His Own after they cleared the last fence. Although officials concluded there was a clear interference, they ruled it was not sufficient to amend the placings.

 Davy Russell and Lord Windermere (far right).
 (Andrew Redington/Getty Images Europe)
Lord Windermere, an Irish-bred 8-year-old Oscar gelding owned by Dr. Ronan Lambe, finished the about 3 1/4-mile trip over 22 fences in 6:43.88 on good turf. Entering off a sixth-place finish in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown Feb. 9, his record improved to 6-3-1 from 16 career starts.

"I'm obviously delighted and relieved. It was nerve-wracking," Russell said after the results were confirmed. "I knew I was under no pressure and I just took a chance of going down the inside and he's done it."

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