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Regal Parade (right, white and blue cap) wins the 2008 Ayr Gold Cup

Regal Parade (on right, white and blue cap) lands the Ayr Gold Cup

  PICTURE: John Grossick  

Regal Parade leads home Nicholls one-two


DAVID NICHOLLS may have been concerned when he saw low numbers dominate Friday's Silver Cup having drawn high berths for four of his five Ayr Gold Cup runners but, with all eyes on the far side, Regal Parade led home Tajneed to give the trainer an unexpected one-two.

It was always going to be a war of attrition in the sticky conditions and, led along by stablemate Indian Trail, the stands' side group always appeared marginally ahead of their rivals on the inside rail.

The 15-2 favourite Advanced, seemingly travelling sweetly in the far side group, was one of the first to make a move under Neil Callan, and appeared in control, but the stands' side were not for beating and 7lb claimer William Carson conjured an irrepressible run out of Regal Parade.

Dropped to six furlongs for the first time, the out-and-out stayer powered through the mud to beat stablemate Tajneed by almost a length, belying odds of 18-1 - he had been available at 28-1 when Pricewise tipped him in the Post - for owners Dab Hand Racing. He was giving his trainer a fifth Gold Cup in nine years.
Nicholls admitted after the race that he had only met Carson for the first time as he gave him the leg up.

He said: "One of the owners booked William. I had never seen him before we met in the parade ring, and I told him to ride the horse with plenty of confidence and he gave him a great ride.

"We don't have a pecking order (for multiple runners). It is hard enough to get a horse with a chance in the race and if they are good enough, we run them all.                                        

"All the owners know the score and as far as the stable is concerned, we don't mind what wins.

"It is a team effort and although my son Adrian rode the runner-up and will be gutted, he will also be pleased the team has won it.

"I think we might take Regal Parade to Dubai this winter."

Nicholls junior added: "My choice was between Tajneed and Valery Borzov and at least I got that right.

"The main thing is that dad trained the winner again, he loves this race."

Carson was registering the biggest success of his fledgling career and was pleased to achieve something his grandfather, the legendary Willie Carson, never did.

He added: "My grandfather never won the Ayr Gold Cup but he finished second once and he thought he had won!

"Everything went well in the race and Regal Parade did it really well."

Carson senior was watching at Newbury and said: "I am light headed and very happy for William - I'm lost for words."

Confuchias completed the podium for thenear side but was closely followed by 20-1 shot Knot In Wood, who jumped out of stall 11, the lowest number in the top four.

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