Rivage roars to cross-country glory
Davy Russell steered Rivage D'Or to victory over the cross-country fences at Cheltenham in an incident-packed Glenfarclas Handicap Chase.
The former Irish champion jockey is no stranger to success over the banks at Prestbury Park and was content to bide his time faced with the marathon distance of almost four miles.
Rivage D'Or slowly crept into the race and avoided a nasty spill before the home turn as French challenger and favourite Toutancarmont went left and took out Quantitativeeasing, with both crashing through the rails.
Russell guided Tony Martin's charge over the final obstacle and he galloped all the way to the line to score by two and a quarter lengths.
Any Currency, narrowly denied in this race a year ago, had to make do with the runner-up spot once again.
Willie Mullins-trained pair Uncle Junior, aged 14, and Dogora, were third and fourth respectively.
Russell said: "I enjoyed that immensely. The horse was brilliant. He (Martin) is a dangerous man around here."
Martin was quick to highlight the role Russell played in the victory.
He said: "Davy's a natural horseman and was the right man for the job.
"Throughout the race we were always happy, it was just a matter of being patient and waiting."
Winning owner Michael O'Leary, whose Gigginstown operation also claimed the RSA Chase with Don Poli, said Rivage D'Or had been up for sale earlier in the year.
"It's been a wonderful day," said the Ryanair supremo.
"I was so confident in this horse.
"This is a horse we tried to sell a couple of months ago but he failed his vet's (tests) and came back to us."