Rathlin Rose a gallant sixth as Theophilos strikes in Velka Pardubicka

There was no joy for British connections in the 129th running of the Velka Pardubicka on Sunday as Theophilos got up to land the spoils, with Rathlin Rose finishing a gallant sixth after tiring late on up the home straight.

Partnered by James Best, the David Pipe-trained Rathlin Rose, a previous winner of the Grand Military Gold Cup and Royal Artillery Cup, made progress throughout the 4m2½f race, despite facing traffic problems, but ultimately found the marathon trip too far. 

Best said: "It was great fun and I loved every second of it. It was a step into the unknown as Rathlin Rose had never experienced anything like that before but he enjoyed it and jumped well.

"I tried to follow one or two that were fancied beforehand but going across the last ploughed field probably sapped a bit of energy out of him, jumping from the third to second last I thought we had a chance but he just tired late on up the straight. It was a fantastic experience and hopefully we'll be back next year."

It was even more a case of so near yet so far for Tom Garner, who finished a close second on Stretton.

The Josef Vana-trained Theophilos provided his trainer with an 11th success in the historic race, first run in 1874, and his second in three runnings following No Time To Lose's triumph in 2017.