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Press Release 14th November 2023 Cheltenham

By Graham Clark

Rising star of the weighing room Freddie Gingell hopes he can reward the faith shown in him by trainer Paul Nicholls aboard Il Ridoto, who he believes has ‘massive chance’ of securing him another big pay day in the saddle in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday (November 18th).

The 17-year-old will bid to continue riding the crest of a wave by following up his Grade Two success in the Betway Haldon Gold Cup aboard Elixir De Nutz at Exeter on Friday on the six-year-old gelding in the £160,000 two and a half mile contest which 17 runners remain in contention for. 

Having finished fourth in the race 12 months ago the son of Kapgarde, who is one of two entries in the race for Ditcheat handler Nicholls, was last sighted pulling up over the Grand National fences in the Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Handicap Chase at Aintree in April. 

However, having run well in four of his last five outings at the Home of Jump Racing, including securing a win on the new course on Festival Trials Day back in January, the teenage rider is optimistic of Il Ridoto’s chances back over conventional fences. 

Gingell said: “Paul said to me after the Haldon Gold Cup that I’ve got a nice one for you on Saturday. It gave me a right buzz being told that I was going to ride Il Ridoto just after winning the Haldon Gold Cup. The day just got better and better. 

“He is a good honest horse and he will give me a real good spin around Cheltenham. He was pulled up over the Grand National fences on his last start, but this will be much more to his liking.

“Paul has got Stage Star in the race as well so he has a couple of big chances in it. He was fourth in the race last year when Harry (Cobden) rode him but with that weight I can claim off his back hopefully he will go even closer this year. 

“I sat on him once last week and hopefully I will get to school him once or twice this week just to get to know him a bit more and go from there. 

“He is quite low in the handicap and with my claim off his back I think he has a massive chance.

“The Haldon Gold Cup was big but the Paddy Power Gold Cup is even bigger again. Thanks go to the owners and Paul for letting me have the ride and hopefully I can reward them.”

Sponsor Paddy Power make Il Ridoto a 12-1 chance for glory on Saturday.

Since tasting victory aboard Elixir De Nutz, who is trained by his uncle Joe Tizzard, the Mere-based rider has been inundated with messages of support and admits it was only on the drive back from the Devon track that he realised what he had achieved. 

Gingell said: “It has been amazing since Exeter. I was getting loads of messages on the phone with people saying well done. I can’t thank everyone enough.  

“The season has only really just got going, but crossing the line I couldn’t believe I had won until Brendan (Powell, on stablemate War Lord) came and patted me on the back and said ‘well done’ and ‘enjoy it’. 

“Driving back home that night is the time it really hit me that I just won a big race. Dad was with me in the car and we had a good chat about it. 

“Winning in front of the ITV cameras in the conditional jockeys’ race at Wincanton on Saturday was another nice prize to win so it is all going very well. 

“I’m very thankful for the owners and trainers in giving me these chances and thankfully it is paying off.”

It has been a tough three years for Gingell, who lost his mum Kim Gingell to cancer in May 2020, but having recently celebrated his biggest winner on the track together with passing his driving test he feels things are starting to move in the right direction. 

He added: “The last few years haven’t been the easiest, but things are now starting to go right.  

“It is a lot better having my own set of wheels as I can go racing by myself now. A big thanks goes to my dad though who has been driving me around. 

“I’m excited at the moment as everything is going so well and I’m on a real high so I can’t wait, but I’d say by Friday the nerves will be slowly kicking in. 

“It was nice to win a race like the Haldon Gold Cup with my uncle Joe (Tizzard) and grandad Colin (Tizzard), but it would be nice to get a big one for Paul now.”


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