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Watch: Denman the Destroyer's greatest moment

Paul Nicholls announced on Friday that his majestic Denman was being retired. We look back at the 11-year-old’s finest hour in racing…

Image: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire/Press Association Images

AMID MANY SUCCESSES, Denman’s greatest triumph came at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival and the Gold Cup.

Paul Nicholls’ 9-4 second favourite went into the race after an unbeaten eight starts and his face-off with stablemate Kauto Star was billed as the most exciting Gold Cup encounter since Arkle defeated Mill House in 1964.

Having trailed Neptune Collonges for the entire first circuit, Denman – under jockey Sam Thomas – never looked back once he took the lead while Kauto Star struggled through the fences behind him.

Denman eventually won by seven lengths to complete one of the finest performances the great race had ever seen.

“Denman was awesome. He jumped and galloped and put Kauto on the back foot really,” said Nicholls afterwards.

“The moment I first saw the horse with Paul Barber (joint-owner) we said ‘wow’.

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“Neptune Collonges (who finished third) has been improving all the time and Kauto ran a good race too, but they were beaten on the day by a better horse.

“It was a great performance, good for the whole team. Just brilliant.”

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