Cheltenham Festival 2018: Day 2 Winners
Nick Murphy | 22 January 2019
Fashion and racing partner up on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, as the best-dressed parade around Prestbury Park for Ladies Day. 2018 provided a nice mix of winning favourites and long-odds outsiders on the track, with awesome Altior the highlight in the Champion Chase.
Elsewhere, Gordon Elliott saddled a treble with Samcro, Veneer Of Charm and future Grand National winner Tiger Roll. Meanwhile, Willie Mullins chalked up a 1-2-3 in the Champion Bumper.
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
The Ballymore has provided the springboard for some decent horses. Faugheen and Simonsig have both won the 2m 5f renewal in recent times before going onto bigger and better things. Samcro will be hoping to do the same after taking the 2018 contest from Black Op by just over 2l.
Elliott’s star was given a patient ride under Jack Kennedy before quickening on the turn for home. He breezed around the outside of Scarpetta and Vision Des Flos to assert a four-length lead, and then held off a late challenge from Black Op to justify favouritism at 8/11. Punters got off to a winning start and connections pocketed the £71,188 first prize.
RSA Chase (Grade 1)
The RSA has a terrific record of producing Cheltenham Gold Cup winners. So connections will be hopeful Presenting Percy can go onto land the Festival’s famous pot. His victory in the 2018 renewal of the RSA was eye-catching, to say the least.
Pat Kelly’s charge had yet to win a Grade 1 prior to the race in which Monalee, Black Corton and Al Boum Photo provided strong opposition. No matter – the seven-year-old put in a super staying performance to leave his rivals for dust and take the 3m chase by a mammoth 7l under Davy Russell.
Fellow jockey Ruby Walsh was ruled out for the remainder of the Festival after sustaining a stress fracture to his leg following his fall on Al Boum Photo.
Coral Cup (Grade 3)
Everyone loves a big Festival handicap. And they don’t come much bigger than the £56,950 Coral Cup. Bleu Berry continued the trend of long-odds winners in 2018 as the 20/1 shot got up by a neck to scoop the prize for Willie Mullins.
Jockey Mark Walsh gave the seven-year-old a brilliant hold-up ride before producing the raider late on to beat Topofthegame by the narrowest of margins. Joint-favourite and 2018 Lanzarote Hurdle winner William Henry rolled home in fourth as Mullins picked up his first win of the afternoon.
Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)
Awesome Altior extended his unbeaten run over obstacles to 13 with a third successive Festival victory. After landing the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2016 and the Arkle in 2017, Nicky Henderson’s indomitable raider completed the hat-trick with a mesmerising performance in the Champion Chase.
The High Chaparral gelding travelled well throughout and made sure to avoid an altercation with 9/2 shot Douvan who fell four out. Nico De Boinville then made his move at the second last by switching the nine-year-old to the outside and powering past Min on the run for home to seal victory by 7l.
The raider’s trademark turn of foot sealed the victory for the even-money favourite, who had looked in trouble earlier on in the contest.
Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (Class 2)
It takes a serious engine and a sturdy set of legs to stay the 3m 6f required to win the Cross Country Chase. Tiger Roll proved he had just that in 2018 before going onto seal a second Grand National success for Gordon Elliott one month later.
The nine-year-old travelled prominently throughout under Davy Russell and hit the front with five to jump. After shaking off Beeves and The Last Samuri, Tiger Roll, the 7/1 shot defied a late challenge from the French-trained Urgent De Gregaine to win comfortably by 2l. Connections picked up the £40,235 first prize and a third Festival victory for Tiger Roll.
Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
Veneer of Charm made it a treble for Elliott on the day as Jack Kennedy showed his versatility to claim one of the longest-priced wins at the 2018 Festival aboard the 33/1 shot. The young Irish jockey held the four-year-old up superbly before unleashing him on the turn for home.
The Fast Company gelding showed a superb turn of pace to hit the front, and despite wandering, always looked comfortable to win from Style De Garde by 3l. Favourite Nube Negra could only finish third as Elliott and co. added another £45,560 to the day’s winnings.
Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1)
Katie Walsh gave 25/1 shot Relegate a sterling ride to claim her third Cheltenham Festival winner and the most prestigious flat race in the National Hunt calendar. The experienced jockey timed her run perfectly to edge out long-time leader Carefully Selected by a neck after a stalking ride out the back.
It was a ninth win in the race for Mullins, who saddled a 1-2-3 in the race, and a first since Briar Hill triumphed in 2013. Jockey Aidan Coleman continued his barren run at Cheltenham by finishing fourth aboard 9/2 favourite Acey Milan.
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