Kelly gutted after Tea For Two unseat ends the dream
There was no fairytale end to Lizzie Kelly's attempt to become the first female jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with the rider unceremoniously unseated from Tea For Two at just the second fence in an incident her mother Jane Williams – the horse's owner – described as novicey.
Kelly, who became the first female to partner a Grade 1 winner over obstacles in Britain or Ireland when winning last season's Feltham Chase on her Gold Cup mount, was understandably reluctant to discuss the matter, but having stayed down for a while after the fall she was seen pounding the turf in frustration.
She was only the second female to even have a ride in the race; her predecessor, Linda Sheedy in 1984, also failed to complete when pulling up 500-1 shot Foxbury in Burrough Hill Lad's race.
Williams said: "Lizzie's gutted obviously, but you would be wouldn't you? You just want your chance to find out what you've got – we fancied our chances to be in the money and the way the race was run, it'd have suited him. We feel disappointed we haven't had the opportunity.
"He double-stepped at the fence and just put down, it was novicey but he's not a novice. He's a horse so he won't tell us and we'll never know exactly why he did it."
Tea For Two, who was sent off at 40-1, was none the worse for wear, and on plans Williams added: "I imagine he'll go to Aintree or Sandown as he only did a circuit and he's fine. He tried to jump in the car park at one point. He looked quite pleased with himself."