Imperial Call lords it over the big two.
SO "they" never come back. Try telling that to the connections of Imperial Call, who produced one of the best performances of his career to trounce Florida Pearl and Dorans Pride in the Heineken Gold Cup at Punchestown yesterday, writes Tony O'Hehir.
The 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race in the United Kingdom for five-year-old and above horses. It is run over a distance of 3 miles 2½ furlongs (5,331 metres) on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse during the Cheltenham Festival in March. hero received a rapturous rap·tur·ous
Filled with great joy or rapture; ecstatic.
reception from the large crowd as he made every yard of the running to win the Irpounds 74,400 prize by 14 lengths.
Ruby Walsh Ruby Walsh (born Rupert Walsh on May 14 1979 in Kill, County Kildare) is the reigning Irish National Hunt champion jockey. He is the second child, and eldest son, of former champion amateur jockey Ted Walsh and his wife Helen. , already assured of the Irish jump jockeys' title in his first season as a professional and riding Imperial Call for the first time, punched the air in delight as the 10-year-old passed the post after running his rivals ragged.
Apart from a mistake at the eighth - "I was blessed and was sitting there with no reins," reported Walsh, Imperial Call jumped safely and, at times, spectacularly and he had the race virtually won when he ran to the right at the final fence.
Off the track since finishing third in the King George VI Chase The King George VI Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race in the United Kingdom for four-year-old and above horses. It is run over a distance of 3 miles (4,828 metres) at Kempton Park Racecourse on Boxing Day. There are eighteen fences to be jumped in the race. at Kempton on Boxing day, Imperial Call's well-being had been the subject of so many wild rumours that many believed he might never run again.
But yesterday's performance, which brought a 20-1 quote from Ladbrokes for next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup, showed there is plenty of life left in Lisselan Farms' pride and joy.
Fergie Sutherland, who trained Imperial Call to complete the Hennessy Cognac Cognac (kônyäk`), city (1990 pop. 19,932), Charente dept., W France, in Angoumois, on the Charente River. The French brandy to which Cognac gives its name has been manufactured and exported from the city since the 18th cent. Gold Cup-Cheltenham Gold Cup double three years ago, was among the large attendance. But the revitalised Adj. 1. revitalised - restored to new life and vigor; "a revitalized economy"; "a revitalized inner-city neighborhood"
revived - restored to consciousness or life or vigor; "felt revived hope" Imperial Call is all down to Raymond Hurley, who took over his training when Sutherland retired last summer.
And the 23-year-old trainer was justifiably thrilled after the race. He said: "It is great for the horse to have redeemed himself like that. There has been so much speculation about him and it means a lot to all at Lisselan Farms to see him put on a display like that.
"He loves to be out in front, dictating things. We were expecting a big run from him but not anything quite as good as that. Ruby gave him a fantastic ride."
While the winning team were all set for celebrations long into the night, the Florida Pearl and Dorans Pride camps were left slightly bemused by what had happened.
Neither horse jumped that fluently and Tony McCoy For the football player of the same name see Tony McCoy (football player).
Anthony Peter "AP" McCoy MBE (born 4 May 1974, Moneyglass, County Antrim, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Irish horse racing jockey, and is widely regarded as the greatest jump jockey to date. admitted that Dorans Pride was a beaten horse when he stumbled on landing and lost his hind hind
1. emanating from or pertaining to hindlimb.
2. adult female deer, especially red and other large species.
a hind which has not borne young. legs four out when running second.
Florida Pearl tried to close on Imperial Call, but he was never really travelling through the race and was always fighting a lost cause.
Willie Mullins Willie Mullins (born September 5 1956)  is an Irish racehorse trainer and former jockey. He is based at Closutton, Bagnelstown, Co Carlow, Ireland
He commenced racehorse training in 1988  said: "Maybe he just isn't as good as we thought. The ground was in his favour but that's twice in a row he has been beaten a long way.
"He's finished for the season and now we might try different tactics and ride him up on the pace in his races.
"We were giving a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner 5lb, but that certainly didn't make the difference."
Michael Hourigan said of Dorans Pride: "I'm making no excuses. Imperial Call was the best horse on the day and I'm delighted for Raymond [Hurley]. Our horse tasted grass at the fourth-last but he was struggling at the time. It was disappointing and he's going on a long holiday now."
Dorans Pride was eased after his bad blunder and finished a distance behind Florida Pearl, with Opera Hat, running her last race, another distance behind.
Escartefigue fell at the first fence, to the clear annoyance of Richard Johnson Richard Johnson may refer to: