- 25-year-old Harry Cobden continued his hot streak with a Cheltenham double
- Cobden won on 4-1 favourite Stage Star to land feature Paddy Power Gold Cup
- Wins take Cobden’s total to 67 for the season with 14 coming in the last 15 days
Harry Cobden showed off the full range of his skills to land a big-race double at Cheltenham.
The 25-year-old employed waiting tactics on JCB Juvenile Hurdle Trial winner Burdett Road before making virtually all the running on Paul Nicholls-trained 4-1 favourite Stage Star to land the feature Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Cobden had his heart in his mouth when Stage Star almost fell at the last, the gelding’s nose hitting the floor as he staggered sideways. But Stage Star had plenty in the tank and was able to regain momentum to pull four lengths clear of runner-up Notlongtillmay.
Stage Star had won the Turners Novices’ Chase at last season’s Cheltenham Festival and will now be targeted at the Ryanair Chase at the March meeting. Betfair cut his odds for the race from 12-1 to 4-1.
Cobden, after winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup for the first time, said: ‘He is an honest horse and is a lot more relaxed now. He is also 10lb better here than anywhere else. We met the last all wrong but to go from nearly 30mph to walking out the back of it, nearly falling and then getting going again shows the true courage he has. I have always wanted to win this race. Thankfully this lad got me over the line.’
Harry Cobden’s hot streak continued as he won the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Stage Star
The 25-year-old recovered from a mistake on the final hurdle to secure victory at Cheltenham
Nicholls has now won the Paddy Power Gold Cup three times. The champion trainer, also responsible for third-placed Il Ridoto, said: ‘Stage Star has definitely improved on last year’s form. He has won a tad cosily, even with a mistake like that. That puts him right in the mix for the Ryanair and that’s what will be his target. If he didn’t run before then I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.’
Burdett Road is now 12-1 for the Triumph Hurdle in March. He needs to brush up his jumping but has an engine, as he showed when winning on the Flat at Royal Ascot in June. He is putting the Newmarket stable of first-season trainer James Owen on the map.
Cobden is the hottest jockey in Britain at the moment with 14 winners in the last 15 days. That takes his total to 67 for the season.
But that achievement still leaves him 33 behind the jump jockey championship leader Sean Bowen, who rode his 100th winner of the season when successful on Booster Bob at Uttoxeter.