What a Guy! Disney lands second Artillery Gold Cup on Rathlin Rose
Captain Guy Disney, who lost his right leg below the knee in Helmand Province in 2009, described winning the Royal Artillery Gold Cup last year aboard Rathlin Rose as a dream come true, and the pair, who followed up in the Grand Military Gold Cup last year, landed the race once more with a strong-staying victory.
The David Pipe-trained ten-year-old, who was backed into 9-4 favouritism to land the prize again, was given a patient ride by Disney as runaway leader Renard tried to run the finish out of his rivals.
However, the rider produced the game Rathlin Rose at the last and a good jump took him into the lead before clearing away to record an easy success.
Disney said about his success on the ten-year-old: "I think when you're on a horse like this who jumps, travels and has been round the course and distance, it's lovely.
"Look at his run in the Welsh National – he's very good. It's very nice to ride a horse like that. I saw Roddi Greene in the week – I've had a few bad falls this year – and I was just trying to calm things down a little bit. There's more time than you think and you don't have to rush.
"You can't bottle the feeling of winning this race – I didn't want to rest on my laurels from last year – and I'm chuffed for David [Pipe] and Fergus Wilson.
Regarding the connections between horse and servicemen, Disney added: "I think if you look back, there used to be such a connection between the horses and military. It's not a real job for us – the majority of riders have been in Iraq, Afghanistan or Bosnia – and it's great that the big trainers run horses in this race. It's a real priviledge to take part."
Jamie Snowden, who won this race as a rider on the Paul Nicholls-trained Le Duc in 2008, trained the second-placed finisher for the second season in a row as Midnight Monty, ridden by Major Harry Wallace, stayed on stoutly to pass the back-peddling Renard up the hill with that rival coming home a clear third.
Renard's jockey, Captain Will Kellard, said: "The whole plan with him is to get him to enjoy himself. He can spit his dummy out and that's that so we were trying to give him a chance. He went round there with his ears pricked and had a good time.
"I had a great spin on him. For a novice jockey it's such a treat to ride a horse like this.
"Richard Lee said to me a long while a go that the person who wins this race falls off the least, so I thought I'd give it a go! I've been very, very lucky to take part."
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