Sunday 20 January 2019

Death of Gold Cup hero

Andrew Thornton. Photo: Getty Images
Andrew Thornton. Photo: Getty Images

Jockey Andrew Thornton has paid tribute to 1998 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Cool Dawn, which has died at the age of 30.

Trained by Robert Alner and owned by Baroness Dido Harding, he caused a 25/1 shock in the big race, holding off Strong Promise and Dorans Pride.

Thornton said: "There's no doubt I wouldn't have ridden 1,000 winners if it wasn't for him. He kick-started my career and was the first big horse me and Robert had together."

Cool Dawn was a prolific winner in the point-to-point and hunter chase spheres before joining Alner where he realised his potential which he had shown when second in the 1996 Cheltenham Foxhunter.

His time with Alner was interrupted by injury, but in one golden spell he won three times at Ascot under Thornton. Cool Dawn was then pulled up at Sandown but that was rectified with victory in the Gold Cup.

Thornton said: "I remember the first time I won on him at Ascot when he was supposed to have 10st. I told Robert I could get down to 10st 2lb and he said he'd let me ride as long as I was no heavier. It was a good job I managed it."

Cool Dawn raced 17 times under rules, winning six times and earning over £210,000 in prize-money.

Irish Independent

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