Super Solwhit crowned world champion at Cheltenham
Published 14/03/2013 | 15:49
Solwhit arrived late on the scene to deny the Stewart family a fairytale victory with Celestial Halo in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham.
In the absence of Big Buck's it was left to Celestial Halo to carry the red and white silks of Andy Stewart for Paul Nicholls, but in the end he had no answer to Solwhit's surge up the hill.
So often the bridesmaid behind Hurricane Fly in his early days, Paul Carberry guided the Charles Byrnes-trained nine-year-old to success by two and a half lengths.
Bog Warrior and Bryan Cooper, replacing the injured Davy Russell, set out to make all, taking over from Reve De Sivola very early on.
As they came down the hill all the big guns were in trouble with Oscar Whisky and Peddlers Cross in particular disappointing.
Celestial Halo looked to have everything covered as the runners entered the straight but as Bog Warrior weakened it was Solwhit who found a turn of pace to put the race to bed.
Smad Place filled third spot again, just as he had done 12 months ago.
It was a stroke of luck for Carberry who only became available when his intended mount Monksland picked up an injury last week.
Carberry was also out of action on Wednesday as he recovered from a fall on the opening day.
The win took Ireland's tally to nine for the week and was the first Irish-trained success in the race since Dorans Pride in 1995.
Carberry said: "He was idling a bit, I was always afraid to take it up too early.
"Charles said to attack at the last so I timed it as well as I could. Celestial Halo made a bit of a mistake at the last, he pricked his ears a bit but kept going to the line."