Sidbury couple enjoy Gold Cup success at Cheltenham

Splash Of Ginge and Tom Bellamy lead the field over the last fence before going on to win The BetVic

Splash Of Ginge and Tom Bellamy lead the field over the last fence before going on to win The BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Steeple Chase Race run during day two of the November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture: Julian Herbert - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Cheltenham’s big-race winner bred by Pikes, Splash Of Ginge’s victory in Saturday’s BetVictor Gold Cup was celebrated wildly on the course by owner John Neild and friends, and with a sense of pride at a house in Sidbury, writes Carl Evans.

The nine-year-old Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained winner was bred by Stewart Pike and his wife Monique, who live at Synderborough Farm, Sidbury, a couple well known on the West Country point-to-point circuit.

The best horse they owned and trained under permit was Proud Sun, who in 1996 finished runner-up to Life Of A Lord in Sandown’s Whitbread (now bet365) Gold Cup – the winner was trained by Aidan O’Brien. Five weeks later Proud Sun was ridden to victory in Stratford’s Champion Hunters’ Chase by then amateur Jim Culloty.

After 18 months on the sidelines, Proud Sun returned to action at Larkhill under Seamus Durack and, in a hot men’s open race, dead-heated with dual Cheltenham Foxhunter winner Fantus, but next time out, in a hunters’ chase at Wetherby won by Teeton Mill, he fell while leading the field and died.

Other good horses owned, trained and bred by Pike included Synderborough Lad, whose victories included hunters’ chases at Newbury and Ascot.

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The Pikes bred Splash Of Ginge out of the mare Land Of Honour, a half-sister to another former pointer who went on to great achievements, See More Business. In 2008, following Splash Of Ginge’s foaling, they sold his dam at public auction for €65,000.

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