Man Utd legend, Sir Alex Ferguson, finished second in the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Protektorat, coached by Dan Skelton, was England’s leading contender, with a 9-1 score in the bet.
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From FA and League cup to Cheltenham’s version – Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping to win big at the Festival.
Legend of Man Utd is one of the owners of Protektorat, Britain’s leading contender in the Boodles Gold Cup. The first prize for the winning horse’s connections is £351,688 – and Ferguson’s horse will have to see off nine opponents to the check.
Six of them trained in Ireland, where the winners of the last three renewals have been settled. The other four, from the home team, form the field of 11 athletes racing for the coveted trophy on the National Hunt calendar.
The pundits have raved about Protektorat’s chances, after he scored home 25 lengths from the former Gold Cup hero at Aintree. And coach Dan Skelton was delighted with how the race build went with the 9-1 shot, part of a 62-1 treble for Ferguson last spring.
“He looks amazing,” he said recently.
“He has his head down and his knees up, which gives me positive thoughts about the Gold Cup.”
Skelton admitted: “He wouldn’t mind getting dirty when he saw it. If it turns into one of those grim Gold Cups, I wouldn’t be afraid to have him there. “
Skelton, training since 2013, has had four three-time Festival winners land the County Hurdle and Mares’ Hurdle with Roksana in 2019. He worked for Paul Nicholls at a time when the previous Gold Cup winners were Kauto Star and Denman are in the barn.
Around the same time, Ferguson enjoyed having a runner-up in the What A Friend race and Clan Des Obeaux also contested it.
Protektorat’s groom, Hannah Haywood, felt the young improved horse, also owned by Ged Mason and John Hales, was a real contender. Ferguson will add the Gold Cup to a stretch of 13 Premier League trophies, five FA Cups and four League Cups.
Haywood said: “I have been waiting a long time to return to the Cheltenham Gold Cup and hope Protektorat can do well.
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“Unfortunately, Exotic Dancer (whom she also looks after, twice placed there) is in the same era as superstars like Kauto Star and Denman but he is still a class horse.
“Exotic Dancer is a bit like Protektorat in that he is very cold but he is quite excited in the races and he will go jogging.
“Protektorat is a bit like that in that he will point his toes and turn his head to show off that he is a gorgeous horse.
“I am a very lucky girl to be now paired with two Gold Cup horses.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/cheltenham-gold-cup-alex-ferguson-26496145 Cheltenham Gold Cup 2022: Sir Alex Ferguson presents £350k win with Protektorat