Bryan Cooper finished 10th on Outlander as Sizing John gave Jessica Harrington a first victory in jump racing’s greatest prize, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with jockey Robbie Power also winning the race for the first time.
It looked like Djakadam was going to finally go one better and give Willie Mullins victory in a race in which he has kept hitting the bar, but he faded late on to finish fourth.
Minella Rocco stayed on strongly to grab second, while Native River was third.
But the race was all about Harrington’s star who has slowly progressed through the staying ranks this season after spending most of his life bumping into Douvan over two miles.
The big question prior to the Gold Cup was whether or not Sizing John had the ability to stay the trip and he answered those questions in emphatic fashion.Sizing John was returned at odds of 7-1.
This is how the race unfolded
Winning jockey Robbie Power spoke to Lydia Hislop
Jessica Harrington has also been speaking to Lydia Hislop
Earlier Penhill completed a double on the day for Paul Townend in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
It also provided a sixth winner of the week for Willie Mullins.
Top-weight Arctic Fire came back from over a year out to win the County Handicap Hurdle Race for Townend and Mullins.
Defi Du Seuil provided trainer Philip Hobbs with his first winner of the week in the Triumph Hurdle – today’s opening race.
Jockey Richard Johnson waited until three quarters of a mile from home to make his move and the favourite eased to victory.
Rivals Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins ended with six winners each for the week.
The Irish have now completed a memorable Cheltenham Festival, breaking records on the final day, and winning the Gold Cup.
Mike Vince reports
Douvan has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his pelvis following his disappointing run in Wednesday’s Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The seven-year-old saw his 14-race unbeaten streak ended in no uncertain terms as he trailed home seventh behind Special Tiara.