Farceur Du Large and Kellard complete a unique double on Royal Artillery Gold Cup Day

By Peter Moore at Sandown Park  15th February 2024

Farceur Du Large completed the military double for trainer Jamie Snowden on Royal Artillery Gold Cup Day at a lovely sunny Sandown Park on Thursday afternoon.

Snowden, who won this race four times a jockey was a delighted onlooker when Major Will Kellard punched the air in sheer delight after steering the grey nine year old to victory in the Castel Royal Artillery Gold Cup.

The horse became the third horse in succession to complete the Grand Military and Royal Artillery Gold Cup double.

Kellard, who is currently serving with the Royal Lancers, had duly won the Grand Military twenty days ago and was also in a comfortable place to complete the unique double.

With two fences to jump long time leader Fil D’Ariane fell leaving the top weight clear to complete a six and a half length win over last years winner Broken Halo.

After the race a jubilant Kellard couldn’t hide his pleasure in completing the double.

“I’m over the moon,” he said. “He’s flown up the hill and to do that under all that weight is some performance – he’s a legend. He’s won me a Grand Military and a Royal Artillery, he’s going to have a place in my heart for the rest of time.”

He went on to add “I,ve been chasing this dream for nine or ten years now, it’s been a long time coming and I’m absolutely over the moon.”

A step up to Grade 1 company looks on the horizon for Etalon who made it three wins in a row and maintained his unbeaten record this season by comfortably winning the 2m handicap steeple chase by nine lengths from Gunsight Ridge.

The Dan Skelton trained seven year old made all the running with Harry Skelton on board. He will now be aimed for the Maghull Novices Chase at the Aintree Grand National meeting.

Springtime Promise battled to victory in the Jane Seymour Mares Novices Hurdle over 2m 3f to bring up her fifth win in a row.

The seven year old maintained her unbeaten run since joining Fergal O’Brien at the start of the year by getting the better of the favourite Cherie D’Am in the main race of the day.

The horse is owned by the Keeping The Dream Alive syndicate, with the owners in full voice in the winners enclosure. The next step for Springtime Promise looks to be the Mares Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

“This is the Keep The Dream Alive syndicate and we are definitely keeping the dream alive,” said assistant trainer Sally Randell.

“I’ve detested this whole winter of rain, but for this mare it’s been great, so I’ve not minded the weather all week. It’s poured down and I’m delighted to see it soft, heavy in places because she loves it. 

“The plan was always to come here after she won at Huntingdon in January, but we got a run at Sedgefield in between because she’s so well. For the ground to come up right I was just so happy, and she had a dream run.”

“Her confidence is sky high, all she wants to do is win races, and we just thought we needed that Cheltenham entry in case it came up soft. If the rain comes, she could be there.”