Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Cheltenham Festival 2016: Vautour and Thistle just far too sharp

By Richard Forristal

Published 18/03/2016

World first: Tom Scudamore after riding Thistlecrack to victory in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham yesterday
World first: Tom Scudamore after riding Thistlecrack to victory in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham yesterday

Willie Mullins felt vindicated in his shock decision to swerve today's Gold Cup with Vautour after his stunning young chaser defied stable concerns about his well-being to soar to Ryanair Chase glory in stunning fashion.

The Cheltenham Festival's newest championship event had never been won by an Irish-trained horse in its 11-year history. Michael O'Leary has been trying desperately to win the race that his airline sponsors and ran Valseur Lido and Road To Riches here.

Had Mullins not had that contentious late change of heart, O'Leary would have got his wish.

Instead, on a sun-kissed St Patrick's Day in the Cotswolds when the raiders plundered six of the seven races to lead 11-10 overall, he was reduced to the runner-up berth for a third time.

His Mullins-trained Valseur Lido nabbed Noel Meade's Road To Riches late to ensure that he at least hoovered up the place money, a consolation he also endured when Alpha Des Obeaux chased home Thistlecrack in similarly futile style in the Ryanair World Hurdle in which Ulster-bred veteran Bobs Worth was third.

Nothing could cope with Vautour's unadulterated superiority under the ever sublime Ruby Walsh who had a hat-trick on the day, extending his record Cheltenham tally to 52.

We should probably be glad that Vautour at least graced this grandest of equine arenas with his presence at all and, if this is him at 90 per cent, how good could he yet be?

"I think he is a Gold Cup horse but he wasn't working like one," Mullins explained of what was the second leg of his second hat-trick of the week.

Asked if, having witnessed such a demolition, he regretted in any way not charging Vautour with securing him that hitherto elusive Gold Cup success, Mullins was unequivocal.

"No," he said with a straight bat, "because he has won."

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Racegoers arrive at the course during Ladies Day of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Racegoers arrive at the course during Ladies Day of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Owners cheer home Any Currency in The Glenfarclas Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Owners cheer home Any Currency in The Glenfarclas Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Partner of Lee Westwood, Helen Storey during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Former footballer and tv pundit Alan Shearer during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Zara Phillips and husband Mike Tindall during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Barry Geraghty falls from Campeador at the last in The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race, before both getting up unhurt, at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
A female racegoer during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Campeador ridden by Jockey Barry Geraghty falls in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Zara Phillips (second from left) during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Any Currency ridden by Aidan Coleman jumps the last fence on the way to winning the Glenfarclas Chase during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Jockey Richard Johnson ends up in the hedge after falling during his ride on Balthazar King in the Glenfarclas Chase during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Balthazar King ridden by jockey Richard Johnson falls during the Glenfarclas Chase during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Balthazar King ridden by jockey Richard Johnson falls during the Glenfarclas Chase during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
The Princess Royal (right) and Zara Phillips (left) watch the Queen Mother Champion Chase during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Mike Tindall (left) and Zara Phillips(right) during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Wales rugby players Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies and Rhys Priestland watch the Queen Mother Champion Chase during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Nico de Boinville celebrates after winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase with Sprinter Sacre during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Nico de Boinville celebrates after winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase with Sprinter Sacre during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Gordon Elliott (R) celebrates at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: iphones at the ready as Sprinter Sacre returns after winning The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Nico de Boinville riding Sprinter Sacre sprint up the hill to win The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Nico de Boinville celebrates after winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase with Sprinter Sacre during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Roi Des Francs ridden by Ruby Walsh (L) and Le Mercurey ridden by Sam Twiston-Davie clear the water jump in the RSA Chase on Ladies Day of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
A racegoer drinks from a bottle of Moet during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A racegoer drinks from a bottle of Moet during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A racegoer drinks from a bottle of Moet during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A racegoer drinks from a bottle of Moet during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A racegoer drinks from a bottle of Moet during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A general view of bottles of Moet during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
The Princess Royal (right) and Zara Tindall (centre) watch the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle Race during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Yorkhill (r) ridden by Ruby Walsh clears a flight on way to winning the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle on Ladies Day of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Golfer Lee Westwood (right) during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A female racegoer during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Ladies hat fashion during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers take a selfie during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Ladies hat fashion during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Sophie Lydia Smith during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Ladies hat fashion during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A female racegoer wears a colour hat during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Ladies hat fashion during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Racegoer Michelle Foley with son Freddy from Nottingham during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Zara Phillips during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers in fancy hats during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers arrive for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A female racegoer in a fancy hat during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A racegoer arrives for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers arrive for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers arrive for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A female racegoer in a fancy hat during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A female racegoer in a fancy hat during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A racegoer reads the Racing Post during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Ladies hat fashion during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
AP McCoy's wife Chanelle McCoy (left) and friend arrive for during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Ladies hat fashion during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers take a selfie as they arrive for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Sophie Lydia-Smith (right) during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers arrive for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Sophie Lydia-Smith takes a selfie during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Sophie Lydia Smith during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A racegoer arrives in a pink suit during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A female racegoer arrives for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A silhouette of Ladies Hats during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A female racegoer arrives for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers arrive for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
John Motson arrives for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A group of female racegoers including Wife of Jockey Chris Johnson, Fiona (second from left) arriving for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
A female racegoer arrives for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Female racegoers arrive for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Racegoers arrive at the course during Ladies Day of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Racegoers on Ladies Day at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
A racegoer wearing a purple suit arriving for Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: BJ Cooper on The Game Changer and Noel Fehily on Baltimore Rock during the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeplechase during the Champion Day at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Ruby Walsh celebrates after riding Annie Power to victory in the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Race on day one, Champion Day, of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Golfer and racehorse owner Lee Westwood celebrates with Ballyalton after victory in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase with jockey Brian Hughes (not pictured) during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Close. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Racegoers enjoy the atmosphere on day one, Champion Day, of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Racegoers in vibrant dress during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PA
Ruby Walsh celebrates after riding Annie Power to victory in the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Race on day one, Champion Day, of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
A racegoer enjoying a small bottle of Moet champagne during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Golfer and racehorse owner Lee Westwood celebrates with Ballyalton after victory in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase with jockey Brian Hughes (not pictured) during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Ballyalton (right) ridden by Brian Hughes jumps the fence ahead of Aloomomo ridden by Gavin Sheehan (left) on his way to winning the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Golfer and racehorse owner Lee Westwood celebrates with Ballyalton after victory in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase with jockey Brian Hughes (not pictured) during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Close. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Golfer and racehorse owner Lee Westwood and his father John (left) celebrate with the trophy during the presentation ceremony for the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase after Ballyalton wins with jockey Brian Hughes (not pictured) during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Close. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Racegoers enjoy the atmosphere on day one, Champion Day, of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
A racegoer reacts during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Owner Rich Ricci and Susannah Ricci with Vroum Vroum Mag after winning the OLBG Mares' Hurdle during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh after Vroum Vroum Mag wins the OLBG Mares' Hurdle during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Spectators show their support for jockey Ruby Walsh on day one, Champion Day, of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Trainer Willie Mullins during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Racegoers watch the action during the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Race on day one, Champion Day, of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Bookmakers boards at Cheltenham racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: A racegoer cheers home Annie Power at Cheltenham racecourse on March 15, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Racegoers enjoying a small bottle of Moet champagne during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Douvan ridden by Ruby Walsh after winning the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Winning jockey Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins (right) celebrate with the trophy after victory on board Annie Power in the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Chanelle McCoy (right), wife of Sir Tony McCoy arriving at the course with a friend (name not known) during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Tony McCoy during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Zara Phillips (centre) during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Former Champion Hurdle winner Punjabi ridden by Rachael Kempster in the parade ring during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Jo (left) and Laura Mason from Malton in Yorkshire during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Jamie Redknapp during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Winning trainer Nicky Henderson (right) talks to Rich Ricci after the Sky Bet Supreme NovicesÄô Hurdle during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Zara Phillips (centre) during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Racegoers in the stands during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Jockey Nico de Boinville and Altior in the winners enclosure after victory in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Racegoers cheer on their horse during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Jockey Aiden Coleman after falling during the Ultima Handicap Chase during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Ultima. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Zara Phillips (2nd left) watches the Ultima Handicap Steeple chase on a gaint Tv screen alongside Owner Trevor Hemmings (left) and Sophie, Countess of Wessex (second right) during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Jockey Aiden Coleman falls during the Ultima Handicap Chase during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Out Sam ridden by Gavin Sheehan (front, right) in action in the Ultima Handicap Chase during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Jockey Tom Scudamore celebrates with Un Temps Pour Tout in the winners enclosure after victory in the Ultima Handicap Chase during Champion Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2016. See PA story RACING Ultima. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

"That was breathtaking considering what he had been doing at home."

The champion trainer went on to say that he wouldn't rule out a trip to Aintree for one of the marquee Grade Ones, but suggested a direct route to Punchestown might be more likely.

Mullins and Walsh had taken the JLT Chase when the dogged Black Hercules rallied to see off its 4/1 joint-favourite Bristol De Mai.

Limini then brought their running tally to seven with a bloodless odds-on rout in the inaugural Dawn Run Mares Novices Hurdle, in which Ulster's 66-1 outsider Danielle's Journey - trained near Larne by Stuart Crawford and ridden by Armagh's Brian Hughes - finished in 12th place.

The superb 16/1 treble ensured that Walsh has equalled his 2009 record of seven Festival wins, and leaves Mullins one shy of last year's eight with a day to spare.

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph