Former Haberdashers’ Monmouth School student, Major Will Kellard (2004-2009), riding Farceur De Large, has won the 2024 Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown Park despite an excellent run from 80-1 outsider Captain Douglas White on Fil D’Ariane.
His perseverance while riding has finally yielded a spectacular win and he couldn’t contain his emotions after achieving his first racing career victory.
Kellard said: “That is my first winner, full stop. I’ve been riding since about 2015. I’ve finished second in this, and I’ve come third in it. I’ve come second in point-to-points. I’ve hit the cross bar that many times so it has been a long time coming. It is some feeling.
“I would have been happy to keep on riding around here and never ride a winner, but to win the Grand Military Gold Cup is something else.
“He didn’t feel like a tired horse underneath me, and as a result I kept on asking, and he kept on giving. He came a bit close into the last, but I let him pop it. He is a really clever horse.
“It has been that many years waiting I couldn’t help myself (with the big celebrations). I’ve got lots of family and friends here watching including my wife Emma and six-month-old daughter Penelope.
“I’m still serving so it is a challenge to fit it all in, but to just ride a couple of times around here each year means it is all worth it.”
Kellard, who has served on United Nations Peacekeeping tours in the past, hopes he can enjoy further success in the saddle by returning to the track next month aboard Farceur Du Large for a tilt at the Castel Royal Artillery Gold Cup.
He added: “I hope we come back here in a few weeks for the Royal Artillery Gold Cup. I don’t think he had to harder race out there, but we will see how he comes out of it. I think we have got to try and keep it going and go for the double.”
Join us in congratulating Major Will Kellard on his first win and his remarkable demonstration of determination and perseverance.