Daily Mail



SAM Waley-Cohen admits he occasional­ly yearns to be back in the thick of the big-race action but has no regrets that he will be watching his Grand National winner Noble Yeats running in the Gold Cup this afternoon. Waley-Cohen became the first amateur jockey to win the Grand National in 32 years last April on the 50-1 shot, before promptly announcing his retirement a few minutes later. His old mount has moved up another level since but Waley-Cohen is not surprised by Noble Yeats’ progress. He said: ‘He was a novice last year which puts into perspectiv­e what he did. He gets on very well with (new jockey) Sean Bowen. ‘I will definitely be there (for the Gold Cup). It’s great seeing him do his stuff — it is still very exciting.’

FOOTBALL was the Festival winner on Wednesday when Brighton owner Tony Bloom won the Queen Mother Champion Chase with Willie Mullins-trained Energumene. There is an outside interest in today’s Gold Cup hope Protektora­t, too — the Dan Skelton-trained gelding is part-owned by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

TRAINER Paul Nicholls has his most important runner of the week with Bravemansg­ame in the Gold Cup. But his mind will also be on the following St James’s Place Hunters’ Chase, when his daughter Olive makes her Festival riding debut on Shantou Flyer.

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