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Malcolm Jefferson hails ‘tremendous’ Cape Tribulation run
MALCOLM JEFFERSON hailed his “tremendous” Cape Tribulation after he finished fifth in the Betfred Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
The North Yorkshire trainer said the nine-year-old, who had to settle for the minor placings as Bobs Worth (11-4 fav) won jump racing’s blue riband for jockey Barry Geraghty and trainer Nicky Henderson, “just wasn’t quite good enough”.The rain-softened ground drew some punters to the Rowland Meyrick Chase and Argento Chase winner and his price shortened from 16-1 to 12-1 just before the start of the stamina-sapping three-and-a-quarter-mile contest.
Held up at the back of the field early on, Cape Tribulation, ridden by Denis O’Regan, was in the hunt until taking the water jump awkwardly and falling out of contention.
But as Bobs Worth came through to see off Sir Des Champs and the ever-game Long Run, who finished in the first three at his third successive Gold Cup, Cape Tribulation battled hard and stayed on up the hill to grab more than £12,300 in prize money.
“He’s run a great race. He just wasn’t quite good enough,” said Jefferson. “He jumped brilliantly apart from the water jump but he stayed on again and I am quite happy. I would have loved to have finished in the first four, but he has still done well.
“He’s got time on his side and he jumps well and I couldn’t complain about anything. He turned up here in great form and he hasn’t let us down. He has come back safe and sound and that’s the main thing.
“He has been a great horse for the yard. He’s won the Rowland Meyrick and the Argento. He’s won a big hurdle at Cheltenham and at Aintree, and those horses are very hard to come by. We are a 40-horse yard, not a 140-horse yard. It’s marvellous.”
O’Regan added: “He ran his best and it was just an outstanding race. He loved the ground and he jumped fantastically. Malcolm Jefferson had him there in top form and he ran a superb race and finished fifth in a Gold Cup.”
In a fascinating race, Bobs Worth ground out the victory after it had looked at the third last that it might be between Long Run, Sir Des Champs and Silviniaco Conti.
When the latter crashed out at that fence, Long Run tried gallantly to hold off his pursuers but, once Bobs Worth drew level on the run to the final flight, there was only going to be one winner.
Bobs Worth had seven lengths over Sir Des Champs at the finish with the 2011 Gold Cup victor Long Run a further two and three quarter lengths adrift.
Geraghty dedicated his victory to amateur JT McNamara, who suffered a serious neck injury at the Festival on Thursday. “I just wish it were a happier day, because we are all very upset about JT.”