sport

Unioniste wins at Cheltenham

Unioniste created history by becoming the first four-year-old to win the Paul Stewart Ironspine Charity Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Owned by John Hales, the grey only got into the race as the first reserve but the 15-2 chance took full advantage to give the owner and trainer Paul Nicholls a famous double after winning the Paddy Power with Al Ferof.

Alan King's Walkon, who had chased home Al Ferof, once again had to settle for second.

Young jockey Harry Derham bided his time but a big leap at the last sealed the victory and he won by 11 lengths.

"He handled the ground, jumped fantastically and turning in I always thought he would pick up and go away," said the rider.

Coming down the hill a fairytale result looked likely when Andy Stewart's Tatenen slipped the field but a jolting mistake at the fourth-last fence put paid to his chances.

The victory was tinged with sadness for winning trainer Nicholls, with the stable's other runner, Cristal Bonus, suffering fatal injuries when breaking down early in the race.