Al Ferof wins Gold Cup
Al Ferof beat Walkon to lead home a grey 1-2 in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase at Cheltenham.
Paul Nicholls had never won the feature race at the Open Meeting but the Ruby Walsh-ridden seven-year-old moved well throughout and sealed the victory with good jumps at the last two fences.
Nicholls told Racing UK: "He goes well fresh, he always has done. On Thursday he worked as well as I have ever seen him work and I knew he had a chance, but he's always been quite a good horse. We'll have to think about Kempton (King George VI Chase) now. I always wondered if he would stay but he stayed well there and you'd have to say it might suit him."
Alan King's Walkon (7/1) ran a blinder in second, only giving best up the run-in, Nicky Henderson's Nadiya De La Vega (12/1) plugged on for third, whilst Casey Top (40/1) fared by far the best of the Irish challengers in fourth.
Hot favourite Grands Crus travelled powerfully for a long way but the response when he came under pressuredown the hill was very disappointing and he weakened quickly.