Cheltenham Festival 2019: Espoir D’Allen takes shock Champion Hurdle win and day one action – live | Sport


















Novice Handicap Chase (Four.50) 2m 4f





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Preview: Novice Handicap Chase (Four.50)

A difficult race to goal your horse at, on condition that he’ll should be rated at the least 138 to make the lower however no increased than 145, or he received’t qualify. Perhaps that’s one purpose Irish trainers have a modest report, with simply one success within the 14 years of this race, and that over a decade in the past. But
the raiders have the highest three within the betting this time, together with Riders Onthe Storm from the Tom Taaffe yard that offered that sole Irish victory.

This one has proven regular enchancment with out suggesting he’s a star within the making and it’s not clear he’ll be suited by this distance. A Plus Tard is extra convincing and presents Rachael Blackmore a good likelihood of Festival glory. He bumped into a high quality rival when crushed final time however has expertise himself and ought to have lots extra to supply.

Tower Bridge was a Grade One winner over hurdles who has been stealthily campaigned over fences and may very well be on a beneficial score. Good Man Pat may be the decide of the house defence and did sufficient in a small area final time to recommend he may very well be pretty weighted.









Mares’ Hurdle (Four.10) outcome

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Mares’ Hurdle (Four.10) 2m 4f









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Mare’s Hurdle (Four.10) preview

Benie Des Dieux received this final 12 months and connections have indicated she’s their greatest likelihood of a winner all week, however that’s simply stated when the horse is odds-on. She scrambled residence final 12 months after a few prep-runs
and it’s a supply of concern that she hasn’t run for 11 months this time.

Roksana is an apparent different, having run second in a Grade One in opposition to males as a novice final spring. She fared respectably behind Buveur D’Air on her reappearance final month. Stormy Ireland set a powerful tempo in final 12 months’s Triumph and was once more on pace-setting element when final seen, for Laurina. The odds are that one thing will go previous her within the straight.

Lady Buttons has had a really productive season, largely over fences, however this seems to be formidable for her. Mia’s Storm might have performed with out the rain. Cap Soleil chased residence Laurina within the Dawn Run when final seen, 18 lengths
behind the winner. She’ll be sharper for a racecourse gallop at Newbury.





Champion Hurdle (Three.30) outcome





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Champion Hurdle (Three.30) 2m





Cheltenham might lengthen assembly …

The Cheltenham Festival will plan to increase the assembly till Saturday if the course is compelled to cancel Wednesday’s card on account of excessive winds, a spokesperson for the observe stated on Tuesday afternoon.

Sophia Dale, Cheltenham’s communications supervisor, stated that she might “confirm [that] Saturday would be the plan if we had to reschedule the whole card”. Seven races are scheduled for Wednesday on the observe’s Old course, together with the Queen Mother Champion Chase, one of the characteristic occasions of the assembly.

The second day on the Festival was cancelled for a similar purpose of excessive winds in 2008, however the assembly nonetheless concluded as deliberate on Friday night with not one of the races on the programme misplaced. The playing cards on Thursday and Friday each began at 12.30, quite than the present begin time of 1.30, with 10 and 9 races respectively.

There had been simply 19 races scheduled for the ultimate three days of the assembly 11 years in the past, nonetheless, whereas the present Festival has 21. As a outcome, the course is conscious that welfare considerations might come up if it decides to stage so many races over the course of simply two days, as an illustration in making certain that every one horses are totally checked by a vet previous to competing as is necessary for the primary time this 12 months.

Racing on Saturday would additionally pose vital logistical issues, for instance to find enough informal employees for bars and eating places – and would additionally require the co-operation and approval of emergency companies.





Champion Hurdle (Three.30)









Champion Hurdle (Three.30) preview

Is this the coronation for Apple’s Jade? Her connections needed to run her within the race after this, till she bolted up within the Irish equal final month. The winner of 10 Grade Ones, together with a memorable one at Aintree
when she hosed up by 41 lengths, she is all class and it will be no shock had been she to win this handily. Still, she is one from three at Cheltenham, underperforming final 12 months as a result of she was in season; can she present her greatest right here ultimately?

Buveur D’Air seeks to change into the primary since Istabraq to win three Champion Hurdles and it’s probably stunning that such a dependable horse doesn’t have a much bigger fan base. He pulverised Samcro at Newcastle in December however that rival has been disappointing all winter and might have had a lung an infection on the time. Laurina is a second Irish mare standing in the best way of Buveur D’Air. It’s laborious to know the way good she is and it is a massive step up at school however she couldn’t have been extra spectacular within the Dawn Run final 12 months. Chasing may very well be her future.

Sharjah has the expertise to run above his odds and has received Grade Ones at this distance in his most up-to-date two races, although the rain is a doable drawback for him. That additionally applies to Verdana Blue, who mugged Buveur D’Air on the road at Christmas.

Cheltenham Festival 2019

A racegoer holds a programme on the Cheltenham Festival. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images by way of Reuters

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Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50) outcome

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Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50) 3m 1f





Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50) 3m 1f





Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50) betting





Mullins notches quick-fire double

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Preview: Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50)





Arkle Trophy (2.10) outcome

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Arkle Trophy (2.10) 2m





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Preview: Arkle Trophy (2.10)

This novice chase has a positive previous however a modest current, immediately’s area missing a runner with apparent star potential, except it’s Lalor, who might have performed with out the rain.

A Grade One winner over hurdles, he impressed on his chasing debut right here in November and had excuses for his defeat the subsequent month however has not been seen since. Glen Forsa may go off favorite by default and I’m reluctant to imagine that he’s ok, on condition that he was in a handicap on a score of 125 simply two begins in the past.

Kalashnikov didn’t run his race when stuffed by Glen Forsa final month however returning to a left-handed observe might assist and he was second in final 12 months’s Supreme. Hardline was a bit fortunate to win a Grade One at Limerick over Christmas, when his predominant rival made a late mistake, however these circumstances ought to go well with.He’ll respect it if Ornua and/or Knocknanuss take them alongside at a brisk tempo. Duc Des Genievres received tidily final time however it was solely a novices chase and that is a lot harder.

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Supreme Novice’s Hurdle (1.30) outcome

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