Tina Cook lands Cheltenham charity race

16 March 2012 / 11:29

There could not have been a more fitting conclusion to day three of the Cheltenham Festival than Pascha Bere's triumph in the St Patrick's Derby for Team Gifford.

The grey is trained by Nick Gifford and was ridden by his sister Tina Cook, who is a member of Great Britain's equestrian team for the London 2012 Olympics.

The success came just under a fortnight after the memorial service for their late father, Josh.

That occasion drew around 1,000 people to pay their respects to the man who won three jump jockey titles and trained Grand National winner Aldaniti.

This time thousands stayed behind after the last race to watch Cook steer Pascha Bere to victory by four-and-a-half lengths over Wild Desert.

The winning rider said: "That was amazing, absolutely brilliant. The horse made it so much easier for me, he was so professional. When he picked up we were suddenly passing them one by one. He felt like he could have gone round again."

On the prospect of picking up a medal in the summer, she added: "That would be another dream come true, but this is all about Cheltenham today. It's been hard work but everyone has chipped in to raise a huge amount of money for cancer research. It would have been wonderful if father had been here to see it, but he's not."

Nick Gifford, who embraced his sister after she had weighed in, summed it up perfectly, saying: "We know he (Josh) loved being here. He'll be up there having a drink and shedding a tear."

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