CHELTENHAM 2014 FESTIVAL DIARY: DAY 2

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Updated: March 13, 2014

Racing fans enjoyed another lovely spring day’s weather, and the official course going was Good but Good to Soft in places.

1330 Neptune Novices Hurdle:  Distance 2m 5f:  Fences 10:  Runners 15

The declared field of 16 was reduced when Royal Boy was named a non-runnerShanahan’s Turn required re-saddling before the race took place. Cole Harden alongside Creepy took the initiative and led from the front, until the downhill section of the course. By jump seven where the course begins to go uphill, Creepy had faded and Faugheen had joined Cole Harden at the front. Jumps eight and nine were not negotiated well by Faugheen, and Red Sherlock tried to challenge but was driven wide. A superb last leap by Faugheen seen the horse accelerate seamlessly toward the tape to win by 4 ½ lengths as a 6-4F. In his wake 20-1 Ballyalton took second by ½ length over 11-2 Rathvinden. Killala Quay finished strongly just a length behind Rathvinden.

1405 RSA Chase: Distance 3m 110y: Runners 15

Corrin Wood took control of the field from the first fence. After an uneventful circuit one Corrin Wood and Annacotty remained ahead, but the second circuit saw fallers. With nine to jump Black Thunder went down followed by Don Cossack and Many Clouds with 6 to go and Le Bec with four fences left. Annacotty was hampered by Le Bec’s fall and fell behind, which enabled Ballycasey to join Corrin Wood at the front. The two greys lept the third last fence together, but as the home straight drew nearer Morning Assembly found some room to make a move, as did O’Faolains Boy and Smad Place. O’Faolains Boy having been kept back a little during the race thundered to the line to win by six lengths at 12-1. Smad Place came in second as 13-2 JF with Morning Assembly at 9-1 only 2 ¼ lengths behind.

1440 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle): Distance 2m 5f: Fences 10: Runners 28

The initial horse to go out front was Son of Flicka accompanied by Clondaw Kaempfer. By half way this remained the same although Whisper and YesYouCan had joined them. A faller at the third last fence didn’t seem to impede the leaders and Get Me Out Of Here began cutting through the pack with two to go. Safely over the last hurdle Get Me Out Of Here charged toward the tape but Whisper was chasing the leader down with every stride. It went to the line and a photo finish with Whisper at 14-1 taking victory by a short head to Get Me Out Of Here 12-1. In third place Bayan a 11-2 J2F was 2 ¼ lengths behind the photo-finishers and Smashing at 25-1 took fourth spot.                                                                                                               

1520 Queen Mother Champion Chase: Distance 2m: Fences 13: Runners 11

Special Tiara went straight to the front immediately and Sizing Europe went alongside with Somersby and Module not far behind. Special Tiara banked at the third fence and lost the advantage. Captain Conan wasn’t really in the race at all and pulled up lame around jump five. With four fences to go Somersby, Hinterland and Special Tiara were ahead. Baily Green was a faller and Hinterland as a result unseated its jockey. With two fences remaining Sizing Europe, Somersby and Special Tiara were still in the running as Sire De Grugy made a move on the inside. Sire de Grugy went for the last hurdle with gusto and romped ahead using that mighty engine to win victory with six lengths at 11-4F. Somersby at 14-1 took second place by only a neck as 20-1 Module closed down. Sire de Grugy could so easily have been impeded by the Baily Green fall four out, but the horse showed some nibble footwork to avoid disaster.

1600 Glenfarclas Handicap Chase (Cross Country): Distance 3m 7f: Fences 32: Runners 16

A somewhat gruelling race testing a horse’s jump ability, endurance and stamina, as they negotiate approximately three circuits of the course. Sire Collonges went into the early lead with Duke of Lucca and Bishopsfurze in close proximity. At the second jump Bishopsfurze lost ground with a bad footing, and Any Currency moved into its place.  The field was spread out over a distance at the completion of the first circuit. With only six hurdles to go Any Currency was just ahead of Sire Collonges, Sin Palo pulled up and Balthazar King made a move. At the third last fence Balthazar King made a great jump and in the final home straight it was an all out battle between Balthazar King and Any Currency. Another photo finish awarded Balthazar King a 4-1 2F the win by a short head over Any Currency at 10-1. Three lengths behind Big Shu was a 3-1F third place and 25-1 Duke of Lucca came fourth.                                                                  

1640 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle: Distance 2m 110y: Runners 24

At the second fence Astre De La Cour and Goodwood Mirage were fallers, and A P McCoy aboard Goodwood Mirage looked badly hurt. Thankfully he managed to get to his feet after treatment. But before the finish at least another two horses had falls and one had pulled up. Going into the last hurdle Orgilgo Bay was pressing Hawk High and Katgary was battling hard. At the line Hawk High took victory by ¾ of a length at 33-1 odds, with Katgary second at 8-1 and 1 ¾ lengths behind in third place Orgilgo Bay at 16-1. Keltus took fourth spot at 25-1. Jockey Bryan Cooper broke his leg when his mount Clarkham became a faller two out from home. His horse was relatively unscathed, but another horse involved in the incident, Akdam, fractured a foreleg and was put down as a result.

1715: Champion Bumper: Distance 2m: Fences None: Runners 22

Seven Nation Army was a non runner in this race which hasn’t been around long (2 previous runs), and this year saw Black Hercules take the lead by three lengths immediately. At the half way stage Silver Concorde was trying to make way, and Modus was going well.  With half a mile to go Black Hercules was still ahead with Shaneshill chasing and Modus with Definitly Red in the mix. The final result of the day read Winner Silver Concorde at 16-1 just 1 ½ lengths ahead of Shaneshill a 7-2F.  Joshua Lane at 33-1 came in third 1 ¾ lengths behind Shaneshill and Black Hercules came in fourth at 13-2. Stack the Deck pulled up lame during the race and was later found to have sustained a fractured left foreleg. The decision was made to put the horse down.

1. Faugheen in full flight

1. Faugheen in full flight

2.O’Faolains Boy

2. O’Faolains Boy

3. Whisper Takes It On the Line

3. Whisper Takes It On the Line

4. Sire de Grugy Charges Home

4. Sire de Grugy Charges Home

5. Balthazar King Only Just Triumphs

5. Balthazar King Only Just Triumphs

 

 

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