BARON Alco galloped on resolutely to win an incident-packed race for the Grade 3 BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
The seven-year-old kept out of trouble close to the front, as several horses crashed out along the way, to lift the valuable prize for trainer Gary Moore and his son, Jamie, who was a late replacement for another son, Josh, in the saddle.
Baron Alco took his turn with pacemaking duties and only Frodon stood between the Moore runner and victory at the business end, with the 8/1 chance sticking on gamely to hold the Bryony Frost-ridden runner-up by two lengths.
Guitar Pete stayed on strongly for third, with 6/1 favourite Mister Whitaker fourth.
Whoshotwho fell at the first and that led to more as the race unfolded, with the well-fancied Kalandra coming down at the fifth-last fence, while at the fourth-last, Willie Boy, Happy Diva exited. Rather Be was another leading contender to go.
Moore said: “The horse is all heart. To be quite honest I was going to take him out, as I thought the ground was quick enough. Thank goodness the owners talked me into running him.
“They (horse and winning rider) are made for each other. I couldn’t be more pleased. He picked up a suspensory injury here in 2016, but the form stacked up and it was a brilliant run that day.
“I was nervous about running today, as this is where he picked up that injury.”