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Belfast owners in big Cheltenham win as Ravenhill romps in at 12/1

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Syndicate celebrates after jockey Jamie Codd wins on Ravenhill

Syndicate celebrates after jockey Jamie Codd wins on Ravenhill

PA

Jamie Codd wins on Ravenhill

Jamie Codd wins on Ravenhill

PA

Syndicate celebrates after jockey Jamie Codd wins on Ravenhill

Northern Ireland was on winning form on the opening day of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival as Ravenhill - owned by a syndicate of lawyers from Belfast and ridden by leading amateur jockey Jamie Codd - took top spot in yesterday's National Hunt Chase finale.

Sent off at 12/1, Ravenhill did the business for Meath trainer Gordon Elliott and cruised over the line off the final bend despite having to dig deep to repel front-running Lord Du Mesnil (11/2).

The winner was bred locally by Aaron Metcalfe, owner of the Beechlawn Hotel at his Comber base. He is one of the syndicate members along with Ray Nicholas, a Belfast businessman and a committee member of the Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders, as well as a bookmaker at the local courses and point-to-points.

Wexford jockey Codd saluted the crowd after claiming a third win in the National Hunt Challenge Cup aboard the 10-year-old. The result also took his collection of Festival winners to 10.

"We really like this horse," he said afterwards.

"The plan was to run in the Kim Muir [for amateur riders] but Gordon rang and said he was going the run in the National Hunt Chase - he is just a genius.

"He was a handicapper running against novices.

"He was running away with me the whole of the race."

Mr Elliott (42) added: "It's brilliant, Jamie gave him a great ride.

"I was worried about him staying, so we said we'd hunt away.

"I'm very lucky to have Jamie riding for me, he's a star.

"He travelled brilliantly and I'm absolutely thrilled to have a winner after hitting the crossbar a couple of times.

"He'll go straight to the Irish Grand National now."

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