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Chanelle McCoy leads the Cheltenham Festival fashion stakes

By staff reporter

Published 16/03/2016

Chanelle McCoy, wife of Sir Tony McCoy, arrives at Cheltenham during Champion Day yesterday
Chanelle McCoy, wife of Sir Tony McCoy, arrives at Cheltenham during Champion Day yesterday
A race-goer dressed for the occasion
Zara Phillips enjoys a laugh

The great and the good led the fashion stakes at the first day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Tony McCoy's wife Chanelle looked relaxed as her husband was not riding for the first time in two decades, while royal and horse fanatic Zara Phillips was also done up to the nines for the day.

It was a great start to the festival for the Irish contingent who travel over in force as favourite Annie Power, ridden by Ruby Walsh, powered to victory in the Champion Hurdle.

The eight-year-old fell in the Mares' Hurdle last year, but led from start to finish. It was the second of three wins for Walsh (36) on a remarkable opening day.

Nichols Canyon was a head back in third, which meant Irish trainer Willie Mullins claimed first and third.

It was also a bad day for the bookies in Belfast as staff at the Sean Graham firm went out on strike for the first of two days, picketing betting shops.

They are campaigning for better pay and security conditions.

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