So close, yet so far: Felix de Giles denied famous victory in Velka Pardubicka

Mon 9 Oct 2017

By staff

Jockey Felix de Giles was agonisingly denied a famous victory in the 127th Velka Pardubicka when Urgent De Gregaine was reeled in close home by No Time To Lose at Pardubice racecourse,

Urgent De Gregaine, trained in France by Emmanuel Clayeux, had led his rivals a merry dance for much of the unique race.

Taking in huge drop fences and running over ploughed fields, Urgent De Gregaine, who won on Cheltenham's cross-country course in January, was having a whale of a time.

With just two obstacles to jump it appeared that Urgent De Gregaine just needed to stay on his feet to win, such was his advantage and on Betfair more than £200 was matched on him at 1.01 in-running.

However, deep inside the final furlong he began to tread water, quite literally in places as heavy rain had left the track in Prague soaking wet, and No Time To Lose, ridden by Jan Kratochvíl and trained by the legend of the race, Josef Vana, came with a late rattle to claim victory.

Now an eight-year-old, No Time To Lose was previously trained in Britain by Jamie Osborne, winning on the Flat at Lingfield in 2012.

A philosophical De Giles said: "He was a little bit keen, and at the finish he needed a bit of help. I was fighting him. If they had gone quicker early on I could have dropped in behind.

"I'm very happy with his second and hope to come back again."

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