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OpinionCook Review

Stage Star and Jonbon ensure status quo is preserved at Cheltenham as big two dominate

Chris CookSenior reporter
Paul Nicholls had the first and third in Saturday's Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Paul Nicholls had the first and third in Saturday's Paddy Power Gold Cup.Credit: GROSSICK RACING 07710461723

Paul Nicholls on Saturday, Nicky Henderson on Sunday, that was the order of things as Britain's big two trainers scooped the feature contests at Cheltenham's biggest meeting away from the festival. Nicholls will have been especially gratified to get his hands on the Paddy Power Gold Cup for just the third time in his long career and with a well-named youngster in Stage Star, whose name may be in lights for years to come.

The seven-year-old was one of two Grade 1 winners from the last festival who topped the weights for this year's Paddy Power, making it a high-quality running. As it happened, he was rather more ready than The Real Whacker for a race that turned into a stiff test thanks to morning rainfall.

The two quick fences in the straight caused problems for a few over the three days and Stage Star was nearly caught out, which would have been a crying shame. But he found a leg from somewhere and rallied impressively. 

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Published on 19 November 2023inThe Cook Review

Last updated 08:25, 20 November 2023