Midnight Shadow wins Gold Cup at Cheltenham after Coole Cody fall

Midnight Shadow claimed the spoils in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham after last year’s winner Coole Cody fell at the second-last when leading the field.

VICTORY: For Midnight Shadow, who had Ryan Mania on board. Picture: Getty Images.

Midnight Shadow was one of those in close pursuit and jumped the last in front – but he made a mistake there and was all out up the hill to hold the late challenge of Protektorat to land the prize for trainer Sue Smith and Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania.

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The eight-year-old was just three-quarters of a length in front at the line to strike at odds of 9-1. Protektorat (11-2 favourite) was half a length ahead of Lalor (7-1) in third, with Dostal Phil (16-1) a length back in fourth place.

FALL: Coole Cody, right, fell at the second last hurdle. Picture: Getty Images.

There was a strong pace from the start, with Coole Cody getting into the lead once the field settled down. Simply The Betts was prominent in the early stages, as was Al Dancer while Midnight Shadow was fairly handy.

Paint The Dream took closer order as the tempo increased, but his challenged petered out. Coole Cody looked certain to take a hand in the finish, only to make a dramatic exit at the tricky penultimate obstacle.