Kicking King wins Gold Cup

Kicking King landed a famous victory for Ireland in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of the Festival today.

Kicking King landed a famous victory for Ireland in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of the Festival today.

Ridden by Barry Geraghty and trained by Tom Taaffe, whose father Pat rode the mighty Arkle to a hat-trick of victories in the 1960s, Kicking King showed he stayed every yard of the extended three-and-a-quarter-mile trip.

Kicking King, the 4-1 favourite, took it up at the third-last and shook off a brave bid by the outsider Take The Stand to storm clear up the hill.

Take The Stand (25-1) was five lengths behind in second place, with last year's runner-up Sir Rembrandt (12-1) a further eight lengths away in third.

As expected Grey Abbey took the field along from Take The Stand, with Kicking King in midfield and Beef Or Salmon held up towards the rear.

Truckers Tavern became detached from the others after putting his hind legs in the water, and Beef Or Salmon was clumsy at the ninth before getting a reminder from Paul Carberry’s whip at the 10th.

At halfway, Kicking King had moved into fifth place just behind Strong Flow.

Pizarro fell at the 18th, where Grey Abbey still led, but Kicking King was going ominously well.

He took up the running at the third-last and had all his rivals beaten off apart from Take The Stand, who looked threatening under Tony Dobbin.

Kicking King, winner of the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, then had to dig deep into his stamina reserves, which he did in style to give the Irish their eighth winner of the meeting.

Geraghty, who won the Queen Mother Champion Chase on the great Moscow Flyer on Wednesday, told Channel 4 Racing: "I am fortunate enough to have possibly the two best chasers on the go at the minute - he is some tool.

“I was running away all the time, jumping brilliantly over the last three. Unbelievable – and he is only seven years old.”

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