Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Horse Racing: Le Duc Extends Glorious Record; Nicholls Sees Run Continue

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Horse Racing: Le Duc Extends Glorious Record; Nicholls Sees Run Continue

Article excerpt

Byline: By Martin Kelly

PAUL Nicholls captured Sandown's Royal Artillery Gold Cup Amateurs' Chase for a fourth time in six years as Jamie Snowden booted home odds-on favourite Le Duc.

The champion trainer and the amateur jockey teamed up with Storm Damage (2003), Whitenzo (2005) and Inca Trail (2006) and added to the tally in dramatic style.

Leased from leading owner Andy Stewart to Major Mike Shaw for the day, the nine-year-old was sent off the 4-6 market leader to hit the bullseye for the first time in over three years.

Le Duc jumped to the lead at the Pond Fence and looked ready to seal the deal - only for front-running Constantius to come back for more.

However, the latter crashed out at the penultimate obstacle, leaving Le Duc clear to see off Milord Lescribaa by 10 lengths.

Constantius' rider Guy Disney was taken to Kingston General Hospital for examination, having suffered concussion during his fall.

Snowden said: "The more you kid him along the better he goes and he gave me a smashing ride."

Nicholls' assistant Dan Skelton added: "That was a perfect confidence-booster and he'll go back to Cheltenham now for the crosscountry race.

"He was running well there last time when unseating at the thirdlast and going left-handed suits him slightly better.

"Credit has to go to Andy, who leased him out for this - Mike Shaw has now won this four times."

Shaw said: "It is amazing to win this again and I must be one of Paul's luckiest owners, without being a proper owner!" Le Duc's victory formed the second leg of a double for Nicholls, who also struck when Sam Thomas got The Luder (9-2) home by a length and a quarter in the Facilitas Brade Handicap Chase.

ALAN Swinbank faces more trouble from the British Horseracing Authority after a horse banned under the non-trier's rule won at Newcastle on Tuesday - when he should still have been serving the suspension. …

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