Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rivals' Errors Let in Johnson for Big Prize

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rivals' Errors Let in Johnson for Big Prize

Article excerpt

Byline: By William Hayler

Monkerhostin enjoyed big-race success in the pounds 110,000 Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The winner took advantage of his rivals' jumping mistakes in an incident-packed contest, most notably the final-fence fall of Our Vic who was just in front.

A length and a half down when his chief rival crashed out, Monkerhostin's rider Richard Johnson was a shade fortunate not to be unseated in the incident.

But his mount, sent off at 4-1, made no mistake when handed the initiative and stayed on well up the hill to beat Thisthatandtother (7-2) by seven lengths, with Europa (25-1) ( who would have been second but for pecking badly and then being hampered ( a neck away in third.

It was Monkerhostin's stable-companion Farmer Jack who set the initial pace with Our Vic close up, in company with Massac who fell fatally at the fourth.

That incident hampered Redemption, who was in last place, which resulted in Carl Llewellyn being unseated.

Murphy sent Our Vic into the lead at the fourth last while Farmer Jack came down at the next.

Monkerhostin, meanwhile, was making steady headway on the outside as Our Vic looked to stretch his rivals.

And stretch them he did as he had everything bar Monkerhostin beaten off by the final fence, which he seemed to jump well enough only to slither to the ground, a fall characteristic of a tired horse.

Our Vic was able to walk away from the incident after being given oxygen by vets as he lay on the ground.

"It was a great relief to see him get up and I think he got the biggest cheer of the day when they took the screens down," said the horse's owner, David Johnson.

"The vets were fantastic. He was down for a while but has got up OK and has trotted out sound."

Winning trainer Philip Hobbs expressed uncertainty over Monkerhostin's future targets. …

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