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Cheltenham: Templepatrick family joy after Storyteller victory

By Adam McKendry

Ulster horses dominated day three of the Cheltenham Festival as The Storyteller won the Stable Plate Handicap Chase and Co Down rider Noel McParlan won the Kim Muir Challenge Cup on Missed Approach.

The Storyteller came from behind to hand Templepatrick’s Joe and Pat Sloan their second winner this week. Joe said: “We’re absolutely thrilled. I wasn’t sure we won until I saw it replayed on the big screen!”

The Storyteller, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Davy Russell, held off closest rival Splash Of Ginge to win by a length and three quarters.

Owner Joe Sloan continued: "Davy gave the horse a superb ride despite him drifting in the closing stages - we always thought a lot of this horse. Davy and Gordon make a great team and we need to thank them and the staff for today's victory."

Jockey Russell added: "I'm over the moon for the Sloans - they're great supporters of mine and Gordon's.

"It is so important to me to be able to repay the owners with a Cheltenham Festival winner."

Trainer Elliott also said: "I'm delighted for Joe and Pat as they have supported me since I started training. They put a lot into racing and are brilliant people."

Meanwhile, Cabra jockey McParlan was delighted after riding the Warren Greatrex-trained Missed Approach to Kim Muir Challenge Cup glory.

The horse was able to deny the close attentions of Irish Champion rider Patrick Mullins on Mall Dini, who came second, and Tom McIlhagga's Double Ross to cross the line first.

"I'm thrilled, this is special," McParlan commented. "I've been placed several times in the Foxhunters but winning is something else."

Meanwhile, there will be inspections at both Down Royal and Wexford this morning to determine whether their scheduled St Patrick's Day fixtures tomorrow will go ahead.

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