Baden spoils the party for Disney and Rathlin Rose at Sandown

Fri 9 Mar 2018

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 runnings of the Royal Artillery Gold Cup.

Disney lost his right leg below the knee after being injured when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while he was serving in Helmand Province, 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. Midnight Monty was another four and a half lengths away in third.

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.

"There were people in front going left, right and centre and I just held him as close as I could. He was bowling me in and he jumped perfectly and travelled so well. I reckon on good ground, he will have a bit more toe.

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

"I thought coming down to the first fence the second time 'we are travelling really well' and I just thought if we get over the next three and get into a nice rhythm down the Railway fences, you know Mr Henderson's horses are going to be bang there."

Henderson heaped praise on the jockey, saying: "He gave him a great ride. He has been riding out for me a few times. The cheekpieces have sharpened him (Baden) up a bit, too.

"He wasn't going to get in anything (at Cheltenham) next week. The owners are quite fond of these races, so I said I've got a new plan."

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