Paul Nicholls rules out appeal against Enrilo demotion

Paul Nicholls has confirmed connections of Enrilo have decided against an appeal following his demotion in Saturday’s bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

The seven-year-old passed the post in front in the traditional end-of-season feature for the 12-times champion trainer and newly-crowned champion jockey Harry Skelton.

However, the stewards deemed the 7-2 favourite had interfered with the Christian Williams-trained Kitty’s Light and placed him behind that rival in third.

Kitty’s Light was promoted to the runner-up spot, while Alan King’s Potterman, who passed the post in second, was named the winner.

Immediately after the race, Nicholls said: “It’s a bit of a strange result really, but it’s just frustrating because the best horse in the race by miles didn’t win the race.

“He did cause him some interference, but would that horse he interfered with have definitely won the race?

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“I don’t know. I thought straight away after watching on my phone that he’d keep it – even though he’s caused interference – and that’s what I said to the owners.

“I’ve just said to the owners we’ll look at it and see if it’s worth an appeal.”

Potterman (left) and Kitty's Light at Sandown
Potterman (left) and Kitty’s Light at Sandown (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

However, the Ditcheat handler posted about the situation on Twitter on Sunday lunchtime.

The post read: “Just had a long discussion with the owners of Enrilo and we are as it were, going to take it on the chin, move on and not appeal the amended result in the @bet365 Gold Cup @Sandownpark yesterday and look forward to next season with him.”

Connections of Kitty’s Light also appear unlikely to challenge the result, but hope there may be a change to the rules going forward.

Williams remains adamant his charge would have won had he not been impeded on the run-in.

“We’re obviously disappointed, but I’m trying not to be too downbeat,” said the Welsh handler.

“We ran two horses in the race (Kitty’s Light and Cap Du Nord, finished fifth) and both have probably run career-bests and the jockeys were exceptional on the two of them.

“We’d love to have won a Whitbread (bet365 Gold Cup), but we’re at that stage of our career where we’re hoping we’re going the right way and we’ll be able to compete in many more. We’ll try to take the positives out of it and keep marching on.

“I just don’t think it’s right going forward. Three horses went into the stewards’ inquiry and the only horse who couldn’t win was the moral winner of the race, which doesn’t quite sit right.

“For us it’s not so much about yesterday, it’s about making sure things are right going forward for the good of racing.

“I wouldn’t have thought we’ll be appealing, but you’d like to think the BHA will act without us having to say anything – to make sure it’s fair for the next man.”

Trainer Christian Williams has high hopes for Kitty's Light
Trainer Christian Williams has high hopes for Kitty’s Light (David Davies/PA)

Williams is hoping compensation awaits for Kitty’s Light next season, adding: “He’s strengthened up all year and I’m looking forward to getting him back in next year as a bigger, stronger horse.

“He’s improving all the time and I think he’ll have learnt a lot yesterday. He’s got a great mind and we just don’t know where the ceiling is with him.

“He always finishes his races well and knows where the winning line is, which I think would have been proven again yesterday.”

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