Lough Derg: Tom Scudamore struggles to hide his delight after amazing winPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Lough Derg denies No Refuge in hurdle thriller
Report: Cheltenham, Thursday
Steel Plate And Section Hurdle (Class 2) 2m4½f, 4yo+
LOUGH DERG earned a quote of 33-1 for the World Hurdle as he got up in the dying strides to deny No Refuge in a thrilling finish to the Steel Plate and Section Hurdle.
The David Pipe-trained nine-year-old, who had finished sixth on all three of his starts this season, assumed his customary front-running role from the off and had the five runner field well strung out from an early stage under Tom Scudamore.
These tactics attracted theattention of Tony McCoy on Franchoek, who stalked the leader with an assurance which suggested last season's Triumph Hurdle favourite had plenty in the tank.
As they swept round to the home straight McCoy menacingly moved the 7-4 favourite Franchoek into the lead and set about securing the five-year-old's first win in six starts.
Lough Derg was not be beaten though as he showed all his battling qualities to overhaul Franchoek and then defeat No Refuge (11-4) who was storming home under Denis O'Regan.