Cheltenham Gold Cup 2000 – Looks Like Trouble

The Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2000 was run on unseasonably fast, good to firm, going and, unsurprising, produced a winning time of 6 minutes 30.3 seconds, which shaved 0.6 seconds off the previous record, set by 100/1 outsider Norton’s Coin. See More Business, Go Ballistic and Florida Pearl, who had filled the first three places in the 1999 renewal, were once again in opposition and were joined by Looks Like Trouble, a wide margin winner of the Pillar Property Chase on his previous start, and the talented novice, Gloria Victis, in the twelve-strong field.

Indeed, it was the six-year-old Gloria Victis, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by A.P. McCoy, who set a frenetic pace and, despite jumping right, was still in front approaching the penultimate fence. However, the 13/2 chance took a crashing, and ultimately fatal, fall, as 9/2 joint-second favourite Florida Pearl quickened into the lead, only to be outjumped by the other 9/2 joint-second favourite Looks Like Trouble at the final obstacle. Thereafter, Looks Like Trouble stayed on gamely to win by five lengths from Florida Pearl, with 20/1 chance Strong Promise – previously runner-up to Cool Dawn in the 1998 renewal – a further neck away in third place.

Defending champion, and 9/4 favourite, See More Business ran creditably. According to trainer Paul Nicholls, the fast ground ‘was too much for him’ but, having lost his place when the race began in earnest from the third-last fence, the ten-year-old rallied in the closing stages to finish fourth, just six lengths behind the winner. Looks Like Trouble was a first for Cheltenham Gold Cup winner for Richard Johnson, but a second in four years for trainer Noel Chance, who also saddled Mr. Mulligan, ridden by A.P. McCoy, to win the prestigious event in 1999.