Burning Victory claims dramatic Triumph Hurdle victory at the Cheltenham Festival after favourite Goshen tumbled at the final hurdle despite bursting 10 lengths clear
- 12-1 Burning Victory came through to claim victory in the Triumph Hurdle
- Favourite Goshen had edged clear but tumbled to the floor at the final hurdle
- Goshen was 10 lengths clear but unseated jockey Jamie Moore in late drama
- Burning Victory won two and three-quarter lengths after racing from well back
For 30 years Steve Packham has been dreaming of owning a winning horse at Cheltenham, only for the reality to be snatched away from him in a couple of seconds.
Packham, a construction business owner from Hove, felt his stomach lurch as Goshen tackled the final fence when 10 lengths clear and romping home in the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
It was no more than an untidy jump, but after getting his legs tangled on landing, he managed to unseat jockey Jamie Moore, son of the horse’s trainer Gary.
Burning Victory broke clear to claim a dramatic victory at the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham
Packham was remarkably phlegmatic afterwards, finding perspective in the fact that it was five years ago to the day that his father Bill died.
‘I’ve learned a lot over the years and I know horses can be fragile and that mistakes happen,’ he said afterwards. ‘It’s a massive thing for me just to have a runner at Cheltenham, because I’ve been coming here for 30 years. It’s my first one! I’ve lived and dreamed that very scenario over the past month, from falling at the first to winning, so nothing has really surprised me.
‘The horse is all right and Jamie is all right. We live to fight another day. I am sure we will be back here again.’
The favourite Goshen unseated Jamie Moore having built up a 10-length lead at the final flight
Goshen had looked so superior to the rest of the field that clearing the final hurdle would have made the result a formality. As it was, Burning Victory was able to surge through for an unlikely victory.
Even winning trainer Willie Mullins found it hard to get too excited by his unexpected bonus:
‘I just feel very sorry for Gary and Jamie,’ he said. ‘Jamie did everything right and rode the perfect race.
‘He had it in the bag and asked the horse all the right questions at the last, but the horse didn’t answer and he just got unbalanced.
‘It’s not a victory I’m going to celebrate hugely — we got the rub of the green.’
Townend admitted the filly was fortunate to seize victory after bursting clear from way back