Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Punters Raise Roof as Punch Wins Fight

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Punters Raise Roof as Punch Wins Fight

Article excerpt

Byline: Goodwood Cup Review

For the second consecutive day raw emotion took over at Glorious Goodwood but while jockey Pat Eddery caused the lumps in the throat following an emotional Sussex Stakes success this time it was Persian Punch who was the hero as he outgunned Jardines Lookout to win the Lady O Goodwood Cup.

It was a close run thing as the veteran regained his title from the current holder by a short head at the end of a thrilling battle which could have gone either way.

However, despite being headed by his four-year-younger rival two furlongs from the end of the two miles marathon, the 10-year-old bravely fought back under Martin Dwyer before the line came in time for him to record a short head verdict.

And come in time it did for - almost unbelievably - the heart-stopping excitement continued as the second launched yet another attack in the shadow of the post in a bid to keep his crown.

In the end it was the veteran who was led into the winner's circle and the reception Persian Punch received could not have been warmer as he was cheered to the echo by his adoring fans.

There in the melee to greet the oldest winner of the race was owner Jeff Smith who was almost lost for words.

"It's not often I'm speechless," said the emotional Smith. "He really is a war horse.

"It's unreal, extraordinary, we have run out of superlatives for him.

"Looking back to last year when Persian Punch finished last after almost certainly having set off too fast in front, it was just one of those things, and just look at what he has done now.

"He has won two Goodwood Cups and 11 Group races in all and we should just be here and enjoy the moment because I don't think we'll see the likes of him again.

"He's such a wonderful old horse and loves his racing. He enjoys the challenge of other horses taking him on, if it wasn't a battle he wouldn't be happy."

Smith, an executive in the aviation parts industry also paid tribute to winning trainer David Elsworth. …

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