After an anxious wait, Lord Windermere had to survive a Stewards Enquiry after flashing home to past the post first in the 2014 Gold Cup in an enthralling finish to the race beating home On His Own and The Giant Bolster.
Reigning Champion, Bobs Worth was only able to manage fifth after wandering up the hill as did Silviniaco Conti who took fourth.
But it was all happening on the stands side as Lord Windermere, On His Own and The Giant Bolster scrapped out the sprint finish to give Jim Culloty a Gold Cup win as a trainer, 10 years after he won the race as a jockey on the great Best Mate.
The combination had to survive an anxious wait as a Stewards Enquiry was called quickly after the finish.
Early on in the race, the pace was not frenetic as Knockara Beau, Last Instalment and Teaforthree made the early running. The lead changed hands several times after that until settling down with On His Own after the water fence. Lord Windermere however, was detached early on and was trailing about five or six lengths for most of the way.
Bobs Worth never appeared to be travelling too well for Barry Geraghty and was being nudged along at various stages through the race.
Coming down the hill first time around and passing the stands, Last Instalment moved through for Brian O’Connell to take the lead, but he would not stay there for long as he never looked that comfortable on the ground and faded going down the back straight before unseating five out.
Three fences from home and On His Own was out in front with Silviniaco Conti. From here, Noel Fehily began to quicken the pace and heading for home, the Paul Nicholls trained runner led at the second last and appeared to be going best of all.
Barry Geraghty switched Bobs Worth to the inside to make his run but never looked to be any danger to the leaders with Lyreen Legend not far behind.
Silviniaco Conti gave his rivals some hope at the second last as he blundered away his chance and On His Own was able to close the gap. All the while, Davy Russell was still making ground on the eventual winner, Lord Windermere with The Giant Bolster also making his run.
At the last, Russell still had plenty of ground to make up but as the leaders stopped on the run up the hill, Lord Windermere was only getting going and he went past Silviniaco Conti.
David Casey managed to get a renewed effort from On His Own and he came between Lord Windermere and The Giant Bolster. The trio came close all the way up the hill and drifted towards the stands all the time.
As they flashed past the post, Lord Windermere had his head just barely in front of On His Own and The Giant Bolster.
The Stewards Enquiry was called quickly after but the decision was made and there was no change to the result. The win also gave his owner, Dr Ronan Lambe a third winner this week after Silver Concorde and Spring Heeled won while Russell and Culloty were recording their second wins each.
“Halfway around Davy Russell was getting the sack!” Culloty said.
“Davy rode him last time and it was a false-run race and we were disgusted by it. Davy came in and had a smile on his face after being beaten 25 lengths and said to Dr Lambe ‘take no notice, it will be different at Cheltenham’. Quite literally, I can’t believe it.”
Russell wasn’t able to believe his luck and was never contemplating victory; “I can’t believe it he was never on the bridle,” he said, “never in the race.”
He added: “The whole field was in front of me. I just sat and suffered the whole way. He jumped brilliant and I didn’t use any petrol on the inside the whole way – I can’t believe it.”
And so a new Champion is crowned after a Gold Cup that will go down in history as one of the most exciting renewals of the race for many years.
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