03/14/2014 1:44PM

Cheltenham Gold Cup goes to 20-1 shot Lord Windermere


Lord Windermere closed from last in a field of 13 and survived a stewards’ inquiry for a historic win in Friday’s $913,000 Cheltenham Gold Cup at Cheltenham Racecourse in western England.

A 20-1 outsider, Lord Windermere finished a short head in front of 16-1 On His Own, but drifted to the right between the last of 22 fences and the finish. The order of finish was not changed after the inquiry.

Lord Windermere’s win gave trainer Jim Culloty the distinction of being the fourth person to win the Gold Cup as a jockey and trainer. Culloty rode Best Mate to three consecutive Gold Cup wins from 2002-04.

Jockey Davy Russell had Lord Windermere in last for the first 2 1/2 miles of the race over 3 5/16 miles. Lord Windermere reached contention two fences from the finish and took the lead over the last fence.

On His Own finished three-quarters of a length over The Giant Bolster, a 14-1 shot. Silviniaco Conti, the winner of the Grade 1 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park in December, led with two fences remaining, but could not sustain the bid in the final 200 yards.

Bobs Worth, the 2013 Gold Cup winner and 6-4 favorite in Friday’s race, was within range of the front with four fences remaining, but faded from contention and finished fifth, beaten four lengths.

Lord Windermere is an 8-year-old Irish-bred gelding by Oscar who races for Dr. Ronan Lambe. Lord Windermere won the RSA Chase for novice chasers over 3 5/16 miles at the 2013 Cheltenham festival, but was winless in three starts in England and Ireland during the current steeplechase season.

Lord Windermere was sixth of seven in the Grade 1 Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown, Ireland, on Feb. 9, a race that told Culloty the race strategy he wanted to employ in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

“We suspected he needed to come back here to show his best,” Culloty said of Cheltenham. “I just told Davy to drop him out and ride his own race.”

Lord Windermere has won 6 of 16 starts, with all his races in steeplechases over hurdles or fences.