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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Bell battles on through after Gold Cup celebration

ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell, nephew of Big Orange’s trainer Michael, can’t contain his excitement after the victory
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If ever there is a reason to be a dirty stop out, your brother winning one of the most thrilling Gold Cups of recent memory is a pretty good one.

That was the case for Ascot broadcaster Rupert Bell, whose sibling Michael landed Thursday's feature with the popular Big Orange.

Bell spent the night celebrating in the company of Ascot chief executive Guy Henderson, but to his credit emerged to broadcast talkSPORT's morning show from the course at 6am on Friday.

"I was asked for dinner at the chief executive's house and very kindly I was offered a bed," he said. "I bought clothes to change for supper, but not the necessary shirt and tie for today. Luckily, the chief executive's brother-in-law George Wingfield Digby, who was only coming today, brought two white shirts and also had a spare tie.

"I did have a change of underwear and socks though. I had a shave with a Bic razor, which wasn't good enough and I had blood on the shirt, which Alan Brazil pointed out on the radio."

Bell was also keen to set the record straight with his son Oli, who has been on duty for ITV and may have speculated how his father spent the evening.

"My son assuming I fell asleep in the car park is scandalous and he can never ask me for money again as a result of his pack of lies," Bell snr added.

Always next year for sales big guns

The desire to have a runner at Royal Ascot was undoubtedly the reason behind many of the purchases at the Goffs London Sale on the eve of the meeting this week, where over £4,500,000 was spent at the boutique sale.

However, those that have turned up following the sale have hardly proved an instant success on the course for those who dug deep to buy them, as Friday’s runners showed.

Armum (a £250,000 buy, 20th in the Albany), Whitefountainfairy (a £300,000 buy, 17th in the Albany), Legendary Lunch (a £125,000 buy, tenth in the Commonwealth Cup), Straight Right (a £450,000 buy, seventh in the Commonwealth Cup) and Night Of Glory (a £450,000 buy, tenth in the Queen’s Vase) all failed to shine.

It seems Royal Ascot glory is harder to achieve than some may have hoped. On the plus side, there is always next year.

Chapman and Cooper take aim

Royal Ascot is no place for gentlemen to be exchanging blows, although something about the place seems to get certain people hot under the topper.

Take Matt Chapman for example. Top jump jockey Bryan Cooper took to Twitter to query if the Racing Post’s ebullient text commentary on the Commonwealth Cup had been done by ITV’s betting man.

Following an exchange with another user, Cooper added: “I believe [Chapman] has to be careful with his words these days...got a slap on the wrists.”

That drew a response of “idiot” from Chapman, who added: “Surely you’ll be going for a cup of tea soon!” followed by smiley faces, referencing Michael O’Leary’s sacking of Cooper’s predecessor Davy Russell as Gigginstown House Stud number one rider.

“I prefer coffee,” Cooper shot back, adding. “I hope you only rented that top hat and tails, you’ll hardly be using them next year…”

My son assuming I fell asleep in the car park is scandalous and he can never ask me for money again as a result of his pack of lies
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