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Cheltenham Festival 2018: Day 3 Winners

Nick Murphy | 22 January 2019

Day three at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival belonged to Ireland, as Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins ruled the roost on St Patrick’s Day at Prestbury Park.

The two Irish trainers claimed five of the seven winners on the day, while jockey Davy Russell racked up a double with successes aboard Delta Work and The Storyteller. There was also the emergence of Laurina and a huge surprise in the Ryanair Chase.

1:30 pm JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

The JLT has only been going eight years. But Irish trainer Willie Mullins has established a certain level of dominance in the event. The five-time Cheltenham leading trainer had won the race on four occasions and had two darts last year with Kemboy and Invitation Only.

However, it was another Irish trainer who took the £85,425 first prize. The Gordon Elliott-trained Shattered Love produced a sterling jumping performance before drawing clear to take the 2m 4f contest by a comfortable 7l at odds of 4/1. Progressive young jockey Jack Kennedy was on board.

2:10 pm Pertemps Network Final (Grade 3)

Recent trends point towards a Davy Russell-piloted winner of the Pertemps Final. And so it proved again last year. The three-time Irish Champion Jockey rode 6/1 shot Delta Work to victory in an Elliott-trained 1-2 ahead of favourite Glenloe in second.

The Cork-born jockey stalked the leaders before making his move one out and outstaying his stablemate to claim the 23-runner contest and the £56,950 first prize over 3m.

2:50 pm Ryanair Chase (Grade 3)

Not many odds-on hotpots get beat at Cheltenham. So 2015 Arkle and 2017 Ryanair winner Un De Sceaux’s defeat at 8/11 took plenty by surprise last year. The 10-year-old raced enthusiastically from the off and held the lead until three from home.

A better jump from Balko Des Flos saw the 8/1 shot hit the front before extending his lead and eventually running out a 4½l winner for Henry De Bromhead. Un De Sceaux made no impression in the closing stages and his rival ultimately took the £200,263 first prize over 2m 5f.

Aubusson ridden by Chester Williams and Captain Bucks ridden by Loran Williams Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase during Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Day 2018

Aubusson ridden by Chester Williams (R) and Captain Bucks ridden by Loran Williams take the last fence during the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase during Cheltenham Festival – St Patrick’s Thursday at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2018 in Cheltenham

3:30 pm Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

Brighton & Hove Albion owner Tony Bloom landed plenty of big price gambles on the flat last season. But it was Penhill who did the damage over sticks on his seasonal reappearance to upset the odds and take the 2018 Stayers’ Hurdle by 2l.

The seven-year-old beat off competition from big fancies Supasundae, Sam Spinner, Yanworth and Unowhatimeanharry to claim the 3m contest and the £192,707 pot. Jockey Townend held the raider at the back of the field before bringing him up the outside to outstay the 15-runner field for a second Cheltenham win in as many years

4:10 pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap (Grade 3)

On a day where plenty of favourites faltered, The Storyteller brought some joy for punters with a narrow win over loveable veteran Splash Of Ginge. The 5/1 shot ran down the leader before staying on to land the prize despite hanging right towards the line.

It was a third winner of the afternoon for Davy Russell and a second for Gordon Elliott, as the seven-year-old defied the joint-second top weight to claim a maiden Graded contest and the £62,645 prize.

Davy Russell riding Blako des Flos win The Ryanair Steeple Chase at Cheltenham on St Patrick's Thursday 2018

Davy Russell riding Blako des Flos win The Ryanair Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on St Patrick’s Thursday on March 15, 2018 in Cheltenham

4:50 pm Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

Big things were expected of Laurina ahead of her debut in the Trull House. It’s fair to say she delivered. The mare delivered a stunning 18l success over 2m 1f to make her 4/7 favourites tag look a steal to any punters who got on the jolly – and a mistake to those who backed anything else.

Mullins’ raider cruised into the lead two out and drew clear effortlessly from Cap Soleil, Champayne Lady and Maria’s Benefit to keep up the trainer’s 100% record in the race. The pair will be back in 2019, although they’ll have to go some to top this stunning effort.

5:30 pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup

The final race of the day went the way of Warren Greatrex and Noel McParlan aboard 8/1 shot Missed Approach. The amateur jockey made all aboard the eight-year-old before staying on gamely to hold off 4/1 favourite Mall Dini by half-a-length.

Connections pocketed the £41,872 first prize for the 3m 2f contest in the raider’s first win for over a year.

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