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GOLD CUP 2018
Friday March 16th - 3:30
Synchronised Beats the Giant Bolster in 2012 Gold Cup
The fateful turn of events in the 2012 Cheltenham Festival effectively denied the timeless Kauto Star the already seemingly booked first position. As such, Kauto failed to finish the apparently well-choreographed dash he'd so amazingly started, giving Synchronised a perfect opportunity to steal the ultimate show. Although the cheers lauded the ill-fated racing luminary, the final 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup glory went to a little hard-fighting horse - Synchronised. As a direct result of the unanticipated success this unlikely runner, Tony McCoy sterling record as one of racing history's ablest professional horse rider got a godsend chance to glisten brighter than ever before.
The above-mentioned triumphant developments highlighted above readily sent the entire sporting world reeling with utter awe, witnessing the unimaginable a number-one Cheltenham victor whose self-effacing trainer had sarcastically likened to a "pit pony". Subsequently, the immensely underrated gelding somehow hid their finest gifts under the obvious glimmer of long-established stars such as the goofing Kauto - trained by the globally acclaimed Jonjo O'Neill. The humble title winner didn't promise any decent odds of registering even a mediocre placement - but what the mount lacked was correspondingly made up for by the legendary McCoy's inimitable equine gaming experience and wide-spanning racetrack finesse.
Racing analysts described an elaborate cocktail of useful qualities that handed the disparate duo this all-surprising sporting honor. To begin with, O'Neill's thorough tutelage of the low-profile champion needs not to be overemphasized. As logic wholly precludes - not even the most capable racer would steer a poorly trained gelding skillfully enough to achieve such a laudable first in the hotly contested Cheltenham meet. Another obvious strength lay with the expansively practiced rider - the invincible McCoy is the very first guy anyone would have comfortably voted as a formidable contender able to transform an impossibly challenged runner into an overnight jackpot winner. Rather arguably, a few critically reasoning pundits cited the "little pony's" disarming inexperience as an otherwise unseen advantage that the unforgiving McCoy must have slyly capitalized on to pull off a fast one on his self-assured rivals.
Based on reliable first-hand accounts, the 16-time gold winner showcased the spectacular ride the whole world considered to be his enviable preserve. Steering the presumably ill-confident would-be winner in his characteristic style, with only few competitors appearing to be galloping worse toward the end of circuit, the experience-emboldened icon soon trained his sights on the now unfortunate dual Cheltenham champion. Treating all other competitors as imperfect matches for his tested and tried sporting acumen, only Kauto Star really looked capable of outsmarting him. And - by sheer luck and not a creditable act of outstanding talent on his part - Tony McCoy dashed past the trailing twice-winning challenger to ink a yet another resounding Cheltenham Gold Cup win in the 2012 staging of the decades-old equestrian gaming tourney.
To give the McCoy-Synchronised pair an even greater certainty of a definite victory over other nearly accomplished contesters, the embattled Kauto was surprisingly pulled up by the enthusiastically pursuing Ruby Walsh after the 9th fence. At this odds-turning juncture, the double gold winner appeared truly outpaced by luckier racing stars. Going by the unputdownable newspaper front-page splashes of a celebrating McCoy and an expectedly crestfallen Kauto Star, the 65,000 fans yelling hearty cheers and demeaning jeers hadn't foreseen the 9-1 shot Synchronised's decisive racetrack advantage over a 50-1 outsider - The Giant Bolster. Although the least-expected champion of the internationally followed tournament outdistanced the second-ranking The Giant Bolster by a mere two-and-a-quarter lengths - a comparatively slimmer difference set against immediate precedents - Europe's most valued steeplechase duel still attained its usual thrilling finish.
A remarkably successful Cheltenham version, the 2012 Gold Cup event had comparatively reduced technical hindrances and animal/human casualties, apart from the little in-field setback Kauto Star fell into. The elaborately organized and executed gaming gathering occurred under Betfred sponsorship - the only time these benefactors were supporting this immensely watched tourney. This precedent-setting change in sponsorship roles ensued after Betfred bought Tote in June 1980. Subsequently, the newly ratified change of trusteeship led to Tote's discontinuation of the festival's financing responsibilities.
The 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup attracted a total of fourteen contestants. However, the Irish-trained Quel Espirit did not actually take part in the final sporting competitions despite having successfully made the card. Again, out of the 14 runners who entered the games, only 10 endured until they crossed the finishing line. In addition to the foregoing upsets, three of the participants were pulled up by their drivers, all for varying individual reasons. As aforementioned, the 2012 Cheltenham event realized extremely fewer casualties than nearly any other such annual function held in the preceding decades. In fact, only one jockey-and-horse pair fell off at the second fence. What A Friend - the unfortunate runner and their equally unlucky jockey - did not suffer any long-sustained health setbacks.
According to the surprise victor's training specifications, it is painstakingly tutored to win a Derby and less of Gold Cup - an innate flaw that Synchronised adequately weathered away to outshine other better skilled competitors. Going by the privy details of his sire - Sadler's Wells - it is the only horse that was able to produce title-holding stars for these two quite dissimilar competitive horse-riding niches. With regard to the gold earner's genetic connections, Synchronised unique pedigree is specifically hard-wired purely for National Hunt-like races.
The still successful runner continues to win fairly noteworthy recognitions in the English equine games, having scooped several coveted placements at grass-root levels and also within the topmost racing ranks. Synchronised participates under the colors JP McManus and, as previously stated elsewhere above, its proud trainer is Jonjo O'Neill - the medal-decorated recipient of the star-studded 1986 Gold Cup on the famous Dawn Run.
Despite his worthy doubts regarding the diversely talented horse, O'Neill seemed to have finally reaffirmed his unsteady faith in his previously underestimated runner. In his own words, the then exhilarated stable owner happily remarked that his product was a "smashing little horse" whose breeding disadvantages couldn't undo the sheer fact that truly had the gallant "heart of a lion."
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