CHELTENHAM 2015 FESTIVAL DIARY: DAY 3

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Updated: March 13, 2015

1.30 JLT Novices’ Chase: (Grade 1, Class 1): Distance 2m 4f: Fences 16: 8R NR The Tullow Tank

Vautour a winner. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Vautour a winner. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Right from the start Vautour took to the front closely followed by Irish Saint and Valseur Lido. With ten to go Ptit Zig had joined the front three whilst Apache Stronghold and Colour Squadron were at the rear of the field. Vautour was jumping extremely well and Apache Stronghold began making up ground between six and five fences to go. Four from home Ptit Zig and Irish Saint made a mistake and Apache Stronghold had travelled up to second spot. Vautour was well clear at the last and continued the charge to the finish, winning by fifteen lengths as 6-4 favourite. Second place went to 7-1 Apache Stronghold by a short head over 9-2 2f Valseur Lido.

2.05 Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle): (Listed Class 1): Distance 3m: Fences 12: 23R NR Closing Ceremony

Call The Cops (15) takes on Unique De Cotte. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Call The Cops (15) takes on Unique De Cotte. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Bygones Sovereign took the initiative and remained in front for much of the race. With its lead reduced three from home Brother Brian put on the pressure, followed by Trustan Times, Call The Cops, Junction Fourteen and Join the Clan. Going toward the final hurdle Brother Brian was hemmed in on all sides. At the final flight the top four horses virtually jumped together and it was a sprint to the finish. 9-1 Call The Cops took victory by 1 ¾ lengths over 14-1 Unique de Cotte only ¾ of a length in front of 20-1 The Tourard Man a neck ahead of forth placed Henryville at 50-1 odds.

2.40 Ryanair Chase: (Grade 1, Class 1): Distance 2m 5f: Fences 17: 14R

Going into the race jockey A P McCoy in his final Cheltenham Festival had not managed a win so far this year. Riding Uxizandre he went straight to the front of the field pressuring the other contenders immediately. Balder Success blundered at the second fence and quickly became the back marker. Marking out a strong pace Uxizandre had a four length advantage over Hidden Cyclone followed by a dangerous looking Eduard, Ma Filleule and Don Cossack. At the second last obstacle Uxizandre’s lead was about 2 ½ lengths over Ma Filleule and Eduard. But this was the race for a determined A P McCoy and his wonder mount Uxizandre, a 16-1 team that took victory by five lengths. Ma Filleule the 5-1 second favourite took the runner-up spot and 3 ¼ lengths behind race favourite Don Cossack at 5-1 took third place.

McCoy and Uxizandre a winning combination. Image credit @sport_oliver

McCoy and Uxizandre a winning combination. Image credit @sport_oliver

3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle: (Grade 1, Class 1): Distance 3m: Fences 12: 16R NR Dedigout

Once again the winning horse made all the running from start to finish and Cole Harden was accompanied by Reve de Sivola most of the way. The four length advantage Cole Harden had reduced gradually as the field closed in with five to go. Tiger Roll began to creep up the field two from home. Zarkandar made a bad mistake at this point losing ground and did well to finish in the places. Cole Harden at 14-1 odds won by 3 ¼ lengths over 5-1f Saphir Du Rheu again 3 ¼ lengths in front of 6-1 2f Zarkandar a neck ahead of fourth place At Fishers Cross 14-1.

Cole Harden in victory. Image credit @sport_oliver

Cole Harden in victory. Image credit @sport_oliver

4.00 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate: (Handicap Chase): (Grade 3, Class 1): Distance 2m 5f: Fences 17: 23 R NR Bobcatbilly

A seemingly good start was judged to be false and so the horses had to be lined up behind the wire for a re-start! Kings Lad the initial leader went out of the race when the jockey lost the reins around the second fence. French Opera, Aupcharlie and Champion Court then spearheaded the field with Buywise and No Buts at the rear. With four to go, the heads of Make A Track, Champion Court and Aupcharlie literally just bobbed ahead of the tightly bunched field, and the race could go anywhere. At the finish it was Darna at 33-1 who secured victory by 1 ¼ lengths over Monetaire a 11-2 favourite. In third spot 1 ½ lengths behind Rawnaq at 25-1 was third just a neck in front of 15-2 Buywise.

Darna looking good. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Darna looking good. Image credit @Channel4Racing

4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateur Riders): Class 2: Distance 3m 2f: Fences : 24R

Winner: The Package at 9-1 by twelve lengths over Second: Bless The Wings 28-1, Third: Buddy Bolero 20-1, Fourth: Grand Vision 11-1.

The official ground conditions for the day were Good (good to soft in places).

Final winner of the day The Package. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Final winner of the day The Package. Image credit @Channel4Racing

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