Oscar starred on day two of the Cheltenham Festival when Lord Windermere (7g Oscar-Satellite Dancer, by Satco) stormed to an impressive success in the G1 RSA Chase under Davy Russell.
The seven-year-old was giving Best Mate’s one-time jockey Jim Culloty a first Cheltenham Festival success as a trainer when recording a length and three quarters victory.
“It was a peach of a ride by Davy (Russell). He wasn’t getting any light and the horse jumped brilliantly – he actually tripped over the road and I thought that it might have cost us,” said Culloty. “He is a good horse. We took the chance of not running over three miles all season because I didn’t want to tire him out – I wanted a horse with experience but hadn’t been bottomed – and it has worked.
“I knew that he would like Cheltenham. I could have brought him here last year and he would have run a big race in a hurdle but we minded him because we wanted a big chaser, which is what he is now.
“(Owner) Dr Lambe has been waiting a long time for this and, from my point of view, it’s unbelievable. This is what it’s all about.
“I fancied this horse like mad and thought he would love it around here. I thought they would go a right gallop and I told Davy to hang on to him and ride him to get the trip, and if he got it I thought he would take all the beating.
“We’ll celebrate tonight and then we’ll think about the future. Where he’ll start in the autumn I don’t know, I suppose he could go for something like the Hennessy.”
Owner Dr Ronan Lambe added: “It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s my first ever winner here and I am delighted. Jim struggled a little bit to begin with but he has been doing fantastic recently with a small string.
“It was a beautiful ride by Davy – the horse was cantering the whole way – and although he got tightened up rounding the bend, he kept calm and it was a wonderful ride.
“I asked Davy if he was a Gold Cup horse for next year but he didn’t answer. I would think that will be his target next year and Jim has always maintained he is a three-miler.”
Lord Windermere was quoted at 16/1 for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Russell continued: “I only sat on him for the first time last week and he schooled excellently. I didn’t know his ability but Jim kept building me with confidence. Even this morning we had a little chat and he gave me free rein – he just felt that the horse was spot on.”
Lord Windermere was bred by Edmond Coleman and bought by Culloty for £75,000 at the 2010 Brightwells December Sale at Cheltenham.