3 minute read
Freddie Gingell recorded a poignant big race success aboard Joe Tizzard’s Elixir De Nutz in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on Friday.
"We said it after we left Ayr last year about going for the Haldon Gold Cup. I said he always needs his first run and that worked a treat. The race suited him today. We were a bit worried about the ground, but the trip and the track were perfect for him. It is emotional.
"That is as good a ride that I've seen Fred give a horse to be honest. I wanted to get him revved up to be positive on him. He is only 17 years old, but he asked him at every fence. It is lovely for Terry and his wife who have made it down as they don't get to the races all the time.
"That's why me and dad are a little bit emotional [because we are thinking of Kim] but he didn't need a lot of help.
"Fred is part of the family so it is lovely. I'm proud of Fred. He is a 17-year-old boy and he is a 7lb claimer. He has got a great job with Paul [Nicholls], but we are trying to give him a chance in these bigger races.
"He is razor sharp and he is a good jockey. He gave him an absolute belter I thought. I'm chuffed to bits with him. He is riding with lots of confidence and that is what you need. He gave that a proper ride and I don't think he could have ridden it any better. "
It was a confident ride from seven pound claimer Freddie Gingell, who sat in second aboard the nine-year-old before taking the lead at the fourth fence. Elixir De Nutz kept on well and pulled five lengths clear at the last fence, maintaining a similar margin all the way to the line.
"That is unreal. A big thank you to Terry Warner [the horse's owner] and his family and to Joe and Colin [Tizzard] as well," Gingell said.
"I went in and schooled him on Wednesday and Joe said 'where would you rather go, Fontwell or Exeter'. I said I would love to go to Exeter to ride him as it is a big race and Joe has won it a few times. Riding in it was a big thing, but I never thought this would happen.
"The plan was to get a good start and go from there as there were five other very good horses in it. He was a bit slow going to the first, but he then jumped the first and took off with me. He was jumping outside the wings every time I gave him a squeeze and asked him.
"Harry [Cobden on Solo] came upsides me turning in and I thought 'I will see what happens', but I managed to get a breather into him as I thought Harry was coming with a very big challenge now. I thought 'I will keep plugging onto the line', but I thought we might have got racing a bit too early.
"For a moment or two I couldn't believe it happened. I looked around and thought did I just win it sort of thing then Brendan (Powell) came and patted me on the back and it then really started to hit me.
"It is a big day and the last three years haven't been easy. I can't thank them enough for supporting me as it has been a really tough time. I passed my driving test last Tuesday and I have ridden a few winners, so it is all going well."