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Baden comes to the fore to deny Disney a golden double

 

By Keith Hamer

Baden outpointed Rathlin Rose to deny Captain Guy Disney back-to-back victories in the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown.

Disney was seeking a remarkable four-timer in races for military amateur riders on Rathlin Rose, having won this race last year as well as the last two Royal Artillery Gold Cups.

Disney lost his right leg below the knee after being injured when his vehicle was hit by an RPG while he was serving in Afghanistan in July 2009, and made headlines in February 2017 as he became the first jockey to ride a winner under rules in Britain with a prosthetic leg.

He again gave his all on Rathlin Rose but the David Pipe-trained 12-year-old just found one better in Baden (4/1), ridden by Lieutenant Billy Aprahamian.

Nicky Henderson's charge took a clear lead from four out and was too strong for Rathlin Rose in the closing stages, winning by a length and three-quarters.

Aprahamian said: "Any day you ride for Mr Henderson is a special day.

"He jumped and travelled so nicely - for a novice on only his fourth time over fences, I could put so much faith in him.

"I've only been in the army for three years and it is my second time riding in military races - to get a winner and ride a horse for Mr Henderson is just phenomenal."

Henderson heaped praise on the jockey, saying: "He gave him a great ride. The cheekpieces have sharpened him (Baden) up a bit, too."

• Daniel McMenamin from Downpatrick had a dream start to his race riding career when winning the finale at Ayr in a photo finish.

The teenager, a graduate from the pony racing circuit, moved to England and joined trainer Nicky Richards.

It was for his boss he rode his first ever winner when Western Rules beat the former Irish-trained Dedigout by a short head - much to the delight of his family and friends back home in Downpatrick.

The young rider presently remains an amateur but it is understood he hopes to become a conditional professional jockey in the future.

Belfast Telegraph

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