Jockey Richie McLernon sang the praises of new Coolmore National Hunt sire Gold Well after landing a Cheltenham Festival success on Thursday aboard Holywell (6g Gold Well-Hillcrest, by Thatching).
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained six-year-old showed great resilience to land the Pertemps Final in the colours of Gay Smith.
“I wasn’t worried that I would get there too son, I was worried that they would do him for speed. I know that he does stay and he tries his heart out. He is by a proper stallion in Gold Well. They are tough and they try for you and he battled all the way to the line.
“I was privileged to ride a winner here last year, but this is even better. I thought we went steady so when I kicked for home I was afraid something might do us for toe – when he heard them coming he went again.”
Holywell, a winning point-to-pointer bred by Patrick Doyle, was bought by O’Neill for £70,000 at the 2011 Brightwells Cheltenham November Sale.
The trainer added: “It was brilliant and I thought we were in front a bit too early but Richie (McLernon) gave Holywell a great ride and it all worked out for us. The blinkers obviously helped because he travelled well and jumped well.
“I thought the ground had dried out a bit too much for him to be honest but it didn’t seem to be the case anyway. It’s not easy winning at Cheltenham but it’s lovely when you do win.”