Stars turn out for launch of Hal­don Gold Cup 2018

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - News - BY LUCY JOHN­SON

The Hal­don Gold Cup, to be held on Tues­day Novem­ber 6, is Devon’s rich­est and most his­toric race, and at a glit­ter­ing cham­pagne re­cep­tion held at Ar­buth­not Latham in Ex­eter city cen­tre last Thurs­day, Ex­eter Race­course pre­viewed the pres­ti­gious show­piece.

Ten times cham­pion trainer Paul Ni­cholls and Jockey Club/Ex­eter Race­course am­bas­sador Bry­ony Frost at­tended the event, where Richard Pit­man, for­mer jockey and BBC tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter, acted as master of cer­e­monies.

With £70,000 in prize money, the Hal­don Gold Cup is a sig­nif­i­cant race in the calendar, and one that train­ers plot as an early sea­son tar­get for their lead­ing chasers.

It is also one of Devon’s premier sport­ing oc­ca­sions with the na­tion’s top race­horses in ac­tion.

Ni­cholls, who has won the race a record six times since it was first run in 1987, has en­tered three horses, in­clud­ing 2017 sec­ond San Bene- detto who will be part­nered by Frost. Also run­ning for Ni­cholls could be Diego Du Charmil, Ni­cholls’ main hope for a sev­enth suc­cess in the race, and Do­los.

Ni­cholls said: “Ex­eter is a great track, its fair and gal­lop­ing, and I love send­ing horses there.

“We’ve had a lot of suc­cess over the years and we’ve run horses that be­came house­hold names, like Den­man and Kauto Star, who fin­ished sec­ond in the race in 2005 be­fore he went on to win the Tin­gle Creek.

“Fin­gers crossed we’ll add an­other win on Tues­day.”

Frost added: “I love rid­ing at Ex­eter. It’s lo­cal, there are al­ways a lot of friends there and to win a race like the Hal­don Gold Cup would be great.

“Paul had the one-two last year with Poli­to­logue win­ning – hope­fully San Benedetto will be in the top spot this year!”

Fol­low­ing the re­cep­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion, Bon­hams Fine Art Auc­tion­eers and Valuers treated guests to an in­for­ma­tive wine tast­ing ses­sion.

PHOTO: PHIL MINGO/PPAUK

Poli­to­logue, trained by Paul Ni­cholls and rid­den by Sam Twis­ton-Davies, in ac­tion at Ex­eter last year

Ten times cham­pion trainer Paul Ni­cholls and Jockey Club/ Ex­eter Race­course am­bas­sador Bry­ony Frost at the launch event

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