• Racing/
  • Newland Gold Rush With Witness

bet365 Gold Cup Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) 3m 5f 110y

  • (5yo+, 3m 5f 110y, Class 1, 19 runners)
  • Winner £85,425 2nd £32,055 3rd £16,050 4th £7,995 5th £4,020 6th £2,010
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 7m 35.80s
  • Off time: 15:51:55
Full result
Result 15:50 Sandown Park
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 7 Hadrian's Approach 10/1
2nd 11 Burton Port ¾ 8/1c
3rd 8 Godsmejudge 10/1
4th 6 Restless Harry hd 20/1
  • Last Updated: April 25 2014, 12:46 BST

Grand National-winning trainer Dr Richard Newland is looking to take another major staying prize this weekend as Ardkilly Witness goes for glory in the prestigious bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

Bury Parade: One of two Paul Nicholls representatives
Bury Parade: One of two Paul Nicholls representatives

Newland was thrust into the limelight on Merseyside earlier this month as 25-1 shot Pineau De Re galloped into the history books with a brilliant display in the world's most famous steeplechase.

Less than 24 hours later, Ardkilly Witness justified odds-on favouritism in a novice chase at Market Rasen and Newland is looking forward to seeing his charge tackle three miles and five furlongs for the first time in the traditional highlight on the final day of the National Hunt season.

"We've had this race in mind for a while and his preparation has gone pretty smoothly," said the Worcestershire-based trainer.

"We're very happy with the horse, he seems in good form and we're looking forward to running him.

"They've had a bit of rain and anything that takes the sting out of the ground is good news as far as I'm concerned.

"We've always thought going this distance would suit him, but you never really know until you try."

A field of 20 runners is headed by the Venetia Williams-trained top-weight Houblon Des Obeaux, while on the afternoon he will regain his champion trainer crown, Paul Nicholls is represented by Bury Parade and Poungach.

Bury Parade, who carries the colours of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, makes his first appearance since finishing second in the BetBright Chase at Kempton towards the end of February.

Highclere racing manager Harry Herbert said: "It was always the plan after Kempton to either come to this race or go to Punchestown.

"Paul decided to go for this race and it's very exciting for the owners to have a runner in such a prestigious race over jumps.

"We don't know if he'll stay the trip but he's a decent horse who is still on the upgrade so we're hopeful he'll run well."

Another trainer who has enjoyed a season he will never forget no matter what happens this weekend is Jim Culloty.

The Irishman saddled Lord Windermere to win last month's Cheltenham Gold Cup and Spring Heeled, who lines up on Saturday, gave him a Festival double by clinching the Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

Culloty said: "The horse is in good form. He's travelled over well and I couldn't be happier with him.

"We didn't want the rain and would have preferred the ground a bit quicker, but he's fit and well and ready to take his chance.

"To win on Saturday would be an incredible end to an unbelievable season."

Heading the betting for the race formerly and affectionately known as the 'Whitbread' is the last year's runner-up Same Difference.

The eight-year-old has been largely disappointing this season, although he did look a little more like his old self when fifth behind Spring Heeled at Cheltenham.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: "He was second last year and he's lower in the weights now, so hopefully he goes there with a very good chance.

"He seems in good shape, we wouldn't be running him otherwise.

"It would be a lovely way to end the season."

Burton Port was among the leading hopes for the Grand National at Aintree, but only made it as far as the second fence before parting company with Brian Harding.

Tony McCoy gets back aboard the Jonjo O'Neill-trained runner this weekend and Mick Meagher, racing manager for owner Trevor Hemmings, hopes he can make the most of his falling handicap mark.

He said: "He didn't get high enough at the second at Aintree and that was that.

"He had a superficial injury on his knee, but other than that he was fine and obviously he still looks well handicapped on his old form.

"The run at Newbury before Aintree was encouraging and if he comes back to somewhere near his old form he'd have a right chance, so we'll see.

"The rain that has come won't bother him. He wouldn't want fast ground anyway."

Restless Harry has been a fine servant for trainer Robin Dickin and was not disgraced when finishing in midfield behind subsequent Grade One winner Holywell at the Cheltenham Festival.

Dickin said: "He's in very good order and the bit of rain they've had won't do his chances any harm, so we're very much looking forward to it.

"He didn't run a bad race at Cheltenham and I don't think the race on Saturday is as hot as that race was. I don't think Saturday's race is as hot as the race he won at Ascot, beating Teaforthree.

"There is a bit of a question mark over the trip, but he has always seemed like an out-and-out stayer and he has had his wind done since he last tackled this sort of distance.

"He's fresh and well and hasn't had a hard season. I know he had a few runs close together, but that's because he kept coming back without Charlie (Poste)!

"I think he has a big chance and it would be a major victory in my career if he could go and win a race like this.

"We'd have a great night on Saturday, that's for sure. It would either be a night we'd never forget or one we wouldn't remember!"

Philip Hobbs turns out Roalco De Farges just a fortnight after he was pulled up in the Scottish Grand National.

He said: "He was disappointing at Ayr and we've no idea why.

"He seems absolutely fine since, so we'll let him take his chance on Saturday and we just have to hope he can bounce back."

Also lining up having run at Ayr are the Alan King-trained pair of Godsmejudge and Midnight Appeal.

Godsmejudge ran a fantastic race to fill the runner-up spot when attempting to defend his Scottish National crown, but Midnight Appeal fell at the 18th fence.

"Godsmejudge showed all his old fire when trying to win a second Scottish National at Ayr two weeks ago and, having looked destined for fourth place jumping the second last, he kept on battling and was a fast-finishing second at the line," the trainer told his website www.alankingracing.co.uk.

"He has come out of the race fine, so, while it is the other way round, we are giving it another roll of the dice.

"We also run Midnight Appeal, who tipped up at Ayr, but has also come back A1 and he won the Alanbrooke (Challenge Cup) over the course two years ago."