Guy Disney in fairytale Royal Artillery Gold Cup success at Sandown

Fri 17 Feb 2017

Captain Guy Disney, who rides with a prosthetic leg, steered Rathlin Rose to an emotional success in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown.

Disney lost his lower right leg after being injured when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while he was serving in Afghanistan in July 2009.

The David Pipe-trained Rathlin Rose was the 6-4 favourite to provide Disney with his first success under Rules and did so in good style, coming through to claim the extended three-mile contest confined to military amateur riders by four and a half lengths from Ardkilly Witness.

Disney, who was third in the race on Ballyallia Man in 2015, said: "To ride a winner here is very, very special. I've been phenomenally lucky, I've been amazingly well looked after since I got injured, people have had it far worse than I have. Some don't make it back.

"To get back on course and to have a ride for the Pipe stable is very special, it really is.

"It was quite frustrating when there was a lot of fuss for finishing third, anyone who is in this wants to win it and the attention then should have been on Jody (Sole) who won it, not on some one-legged bloke hobbling back in.

"It's just nice to go a few places better now."

Pipe was thrilled for the winning rider.

"It's fantastic. Guy came down and schooled him last week. He jumps well and the horse is tailor made for the race," said the Pond House handler.

"They went off quick and Guy took his time and crept into it. It's a fantastic race to win.

"Guy's father picked me up off the floor when I was a jockey numerous times and it's nice to give something back."

Pipe added: "He's inspirational to everyone. It puts things into context. We all get wrapped up in our own little world and that's me included.

"The reception he got when he came back in was superb.

"I didn't appreciate how big a thing it is. Guy was very excited about it. He was speechless afterwards and just said 'thank you'."

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