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McCoy guides Synchronised to Gold Cup
Tony McCoy guided Synchronised to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
It was a second Gold Cup triumph for the 16-time champion jockey under Jonjo O'Neill's 8/1 shot.
The dual Welsh National winner won by two and a quarter lengths from 50/1 outsider The Giant Bolster.
Defending champion and 7/4 favourite Long Run was three quarters of a length back in third after two-time former champion and crowd favourite Kauto Star was pulled up early by Ruby Walsh.
Midnight Chase made the early running as 13 took on the three-mile, two-and-a-half-furlong trip but that was soon 11 as What A Friend fell at the second before Kauto Star's bid to win a third Gold Cup at the age of 12 - after his previous triumphs in 2007 and 2009 - ended when Walsh pulled his mount over.
Six of the last nine Gold Cup favourites have triumphed and Nicky Henderson's eight-year-old Long Run look poised going over the last but Synchronised, owned by JP McManus, powered away up the hill with The Giant Bolster also overtaking Sam Waley-Cohen's mount.
McCoy, whose previous Gold Cup victory came on Mr Mulligan in 1997, said: "It's great for Jonjo and JP McManus. He's really delivered today.
"He was off the bridle the whole way and when I missed the third-last I thought my chance had gone."
It was a first Gold Cup triumph as a trainer for O'Neill, who memorably rode Dawn Run to victory in the race in 1986.
"Magic, this is a big team effort...everybody had done so much work on this horse," O'Neill commented.
Kauto Star, whose participation in the Gold Cup was in jeopardy following a schooling fall a fortnight ago, returned from the race unscathed.
Trainer Paul Nicholls said: "He's absolutely fine. Ruby wasn't happy after he'd jumped a couple of fences and we said if he wasn't happy to pull him up, and he's done the right thing. There's obviously something tweaking him."ET-9X00-HD
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