2016 Cheltenham Festival in pictures: Don Cossack, Thistlecrack, Sprinter Sacre, Annie Power
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | March 18, 2016
What an incredible 2016 Cheltenham Festival we’ve had. Dramatic victories, redemption and rejuvenation for elite horses who had much to prove.
To celebrate, Coral present their highlights of the Prestbury Park showpiece in images…
Champion Hurdle day belonged once again to Willie Mullins, who bagged three of the big four races including the feature. Coral and other bookies incurred heavy losses as a result, however…
Altior upsets Min to reign Supreme
Nicky Henderson drew first blood in the Festival opener, with his Altior defeating Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite Min by seven lengths. Clipping a fence proved costly for the latter.
Douvan sparkles in the Arkle
Mullins didn’t have to wait much longer to open his account at Cheltenham 2016, however, as hot odds-on favourite Douvan delivered in stunning style to scoop the Arkle Challenge Trophy, smashing Sizing John also by seven lengths.
Annie has got the Power
Last year Annie Power fell with the Mares’ Hurdle at her mercy. Connections supplemented her for the Champion Hurdle, paying £20k to enter the mare in the day one Festival feature. Annie rewarded punters that kept faith with her as she stormed to big race success, beating My Tent Or Yours by four-and-a-half lengths.
Vroum Vroum let’s shake the room!
Mullins completed a hat-trick of opening day wins with Vroum Vroum Mag’s turbo-charged home straight sprint to lead the Mares’ Hurdle field in her dust.
Queen Mother Champion Chase day proved to be an emotional roller-coaster for both those having a flutter and the bookmakers…
Yorkhill a nifty Neptune Novices winner
Yet another Mullins winner kicked off Day Two as Yorkhill upset favourite Yanworth to net the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle.
Blaklion goes under the radar for RSA win
The RSA Chase was supposed to be a head-to-head between More Of That and No More Heroes. Blaklion had other ideas, however. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ horse stormed through in the home straight to win ahead of Shaneshill and the latter heavyweight, who started as favourite.
Sacre Bleu! It’s Sprinter claiming the Champion Chase
Sprinter Sacre lived up to his name with a classic burst to deny Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite Un De Sceaux to the delight of many roaring Cheltenham punters.
World Hurdle day was one for the favourites and, like the opener, punters gave the bookies a real bashing! There were six Irish trained winners on St Patrick’s Day. Only fitting really…
Half-century Ruby completes labours of Hercules in JLT
Jockey Ruby Walsh made it 50 Festival winners with the first of three successes for Mullins on Day Three, piloting Black Hercules on the JLT Novices’ Chase.
Vautour scores in Ryanair Chase
Walsh and Mullins were soon a winning combination again, as jockey and saddler scooped the Ryanair Chase with favourite Vautour. Stablemate Valseur Lido was a six-length second.
Tizzard takes World Hurdle through favourite Thistlecrack
Colin Tizzard’s hotly tipped Thistlecrack scored in the feature race, the World Hurdle, by seven lengths over yet another Mullins horse in Alpha Des Obeaux.
Lethal Limini delivers in Dawn Run
Limini showed a lethal turn of pace to surge away from her rivals to land the inaugural running of the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. That was the Day Three hat-trick for Mullins and Walsh.
And finally, Cheltenham Gold Cup day provided further favourites with a chance to hit bookmakers with big losses. All to the good for punters, though, as a couple of notable names bounced back from disappointments to win big…
What a Triumph for Ivanovich Gorbatov!
Barry Geraghty piloted Ivanovich Gorbatov to a JCB Triumph Hurdle success, with the fancied Mullins trained Footpad in third.
Superb Story for Skelton family in County Hurdle
Coral horse racing ambassador and trainer Dan Skelton saddled Superb Story to success in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle, with brother Harry the winning jockey.
Favourite Cossack has punters dancing as Don delivers Gold Cup glory
Gordon Elliott’s Don Cossack fell in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, but those who could forgive him taking a tumble were rewarded as he scooped the Festival’s blue ribbon race, the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup ahead of Mullins duo Djakadam and Don Poli. Cue Card attracted huge betting interest, but fell at the third last.
Pendleton performs on Pacha Du Polder
Olympic Gold medal winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton finished just outside the places in fifth on board Pacha Du Polder in the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase.