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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Cup heroes Jodami and Imperial Call couldn't match Danoli in his finest hour

Danoli clears the final fence ahead of Jodami en route to landing the 1997 Hennessy Gold Cup
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In the second of a three-part series on great Irish Gold Cups, Ireland editor Richard Forristal recalls the seismic clash between Danoli and Jodami

There have been few more enjoyable chases run in Ireland – or anywhere – than this unforgettable 1997 edition.

Danoli secured his status as the people’s champion with a superlative display to fend off the brilliant three-time winner Jodami after an absorbing tussle.

At 12 years of age the similarly popular 1993 Gold Cup hero still retained a remarkable ability to hold his own in elite company, and it was a measure of his tenacity that he actually broke down on the run in as he chased Danoli home.

That’s what it took to challenge Tom Foley’s valiant winner, a horse who had touched the hearts of a nation but whose brilliant career had been hindered by falls over fences.

On this occasion, as the reigning Gold Cup winner Imperial Call cruised alongside the front-running Danoli on the approach to the fourth-last, he looked as though he might just be outclassed.

However, Tommy Treacy niggled away and the response was as generous as ever. Danoli seized back the lead on touching down, and had Imperial Call on his knees from two out.

Horse racing: Danoli clears the final fence in the 1997 Hennessy Gold Cup under Tommy Treacy
Treacy sought to make the best of his way home from there, but Norman Williamson was coercing Jodami on to his tail all the while. When they touched down over the last it looked like Jodami might be about to roll back the years and add to his stellar legacy in the race.

Danoli, though, would not be denied. He dug deep to prevail, in the process prompting scenes of mass hysteria that have still be replicated at the Foxrock track.

Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup Chase (Irish Gold Cup) result and analysis


Danoli seized back the lead on touching down, and Imperial Call on his knees from two-out
E.W. Terms
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