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CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL: Day One
This live event has finished
- Day One of the Cheltenham Festival
- Quevega makes history with sixth Mares' Hurdle win
- 33-1 Western Warhorse wins the Arkle Challenge Trophy
- Jezki wins Champion Hurdle
- My Tent Or Yours 2nd, with two-time winner Hurricane Fly out of the places in 5th.
- Get in touch using the hashtag #adverfest or leave a comment below
Join me again tomorrow at the same time, 12.30pm, for coverage of Day Two. The feature race is the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
That concludes our coverage of Cheltenham for Day One. What a day it has been, with Quevega making history, Hurricane Fly not quite making it, Jezki storming home in the Champion Hurdle...and finally two local winners, first Midnight Prayer for Alan King and then Present View for Jamie Snowden.
Just caught up with Jamie Snowden, who was in tears after the result of the Stewards Enquiry. He said winning at Cheltenham is "what dreams are made of".
Another local winner, this time it's Jamie Snowden with Present View. Brendan Powell gave that a great ride.
Last jump and Pendra is looming
Present View is in the lead
Ericht has been pulled up
Present View is running a good race for Brendan Powell
American horse Buthelezi is the early leader
They're off in the last race of the day.
Lambourn trainer Jamie Snowden has his only runner of the day, Present View, who will be ridden by the young Brendan Powell. Nicky Henderson is represented by the favourite, Ericht.
Alan King could make it a double with Manyriverstocross, who is currently 8-1.
The last race of the day goes off at 5.15, it is the Rewards4Racing Novice's Handicap. There are 20 runners, over this 2m4f110y Class 1.
Assistant Trainer to Alan King, Oliver Wardle, said of the win: "Josh has given it some ride. He ticked all the boxes to win the race, he jumps and he stays. It was an unknown trip but he matched all the criteria needed to win this race! I'm delighted for Josh, he has been riding for the boss for a good long while now, so this is spot on!"
However, King said the victory was "bittersweet" after the horse's owner-breeder John Reynolds suffered a heart attack this afternoon and was rushed to hospital.
Alan King was pleased to have had a Tuesday winner to kick things off. "They've run great and I'm thrilled with this horse."
Winner Midnight Prayer being led into the winners' enclosure
We have a local winner! Alan King wins with Midnight Prayer, well ridden by Joshua Newman
American Spin is coming up to challenge
Shotgun Paddy and Rogue Angel lead
It's hard to call as they are all bunched up
Foxrock goes off favourite in this. Alan King has Midnight Prayer.
This is the longest race of the Festival, at 4 miles, and 15 horses will line up for this.
Up next is the Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase, for amateur jockeys
Get in Quevega... heart was pounding there... but we're back in business now! Good girl! @LauraLambert8 #adverfest— @Buttsy9 11 March 2014
He's a happy man, Ruby Walsh, after Quevega makes history.
But no, she has DONE IT AGAIN! Quevega wins the Mares' Hurdle for a sixth time. Absolutely brilliant horse.
Glens Melody in the way though
Quevega makes her move as they come round the final bend
Ruby Walsh has Quevega towards the back of the field. Won't doubt his tactics, but he will need to stay out of trouble.
They're off and racing, early leader is Sirene D'Ainay
Willie Mullins has kept Quevega fresh for this race, but that means we have little to go by judging her this season. She hasn't run for 320 days, but is winning at Cheltenham now habit?
The horse likely to put up the biggest fight to Quevega is Cockney Sparrow, who will be ridden by AP McCoy.
Quevega, Quevega, Quevega, Quevega, Quevega. This is what the trophy reads for the last five years. This phenomenal mare is going for a sixth win in the race.
Next up at Cheltenham we have the Mares' Hurdle, off at 4.00
After that brilliant win from Jezki, the sad news has come that Our Conor's fall was fatal. Owner Barry Connell apparently in floods of tears.
This is the face of a man who picked the wrong horse!
Winners coming into the enclosure. Superb from Jezki. AP McCoy chose the wrong horse, second with My Tent Or Yours.
Hurricane Fly and Jezki battle it out
The favourites are tucked in just behind.
Our Conor has fallen! 13-year-old veteran Captain Cee Bee leads.
And they're off. Our Conor leads the field.
As they circle near the start the atmosphere is electric.
It's very hard to tell here at Cheltenham who the crowd are backing.
Melodic Rendezvous is now 22-1, there is still time to back him if you think he can upset the favourites.
As the horses head to the start, here is an exclusive from former Champion Jockey John Francome about the Champion Hurdle:
“If you asked me who I want to win, I’d say Hurricane Fly, because it would be his twentieth Grade One race, and he’s won two Champion Hurdles, and he’s never really got the credit he deserves. Also, now the ground has dried out, I think Our Conor has got to have a big shout, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Melodic Rendezvous, he’s been a favourite of mine for a while and maybe I’m a little greedy at 20-1, but he’s the one for me!”
My Tent Or Yours is looking to give AP McCoy another winner in the race, and make it a Lambourn victory
Our very own Sports Editor has had his say on who he wants to win:
Need Hurricane Fly and Quevega to save my day now!!! @LauraLambert8 #adverfest— @Buttsy9 11 March 2014
Who do you think will win? Will it be a third for Hurricane Fly? Or do you fancy the younger ones like My Tent Or Yours, Our Conor, The New One and Jezki? Tweet me using the hashtag #adverfest
It is normally a brilliant race, but this edition is an absolute corker, and seems impossible to call.
The tension is well and truly rising ahead of the feature race of the day, the Stan James Champion Hurdle.
Nico de Boinville seemed gutted when I caught him after the race, but credited his ride for finishing strongly. "It was a slight mistake at the third last, she's very gutsy and genuine to run up after that".
Holywell wins it for Jonjo O'Neill, from Nicky Henderson's Ma Filleule. Nico de Boinville came mighty close there, having led over the last fence, but was just beaten in the run-in.
Nico de Boinville is having a brilliant ride
Nicky Henderson's Shakalakaboomboom is tracking the leaders
Tour Des Champs currently leads from Standing Ovation
Can Hadrian's Approach bring us a local winner? Nicky Henderson will be hoping so!
Alfie Sherrin goes off favourite in the 2.40 for Jonjo O'Neill, and will be ridden by Champion Jockey AP McCoy
No win for me in the first race at Cheltenham... keeping updated in the library through @lauralambert8 #adverfest— @gboltoncarter 11 March 2014
Nico de Boinville rides Ma Filleule for Nicky Henderson in the next, and spoke to me about her chances:
"Hopefully she'll handle the ground, and stay the trip as well. She won well last time at Kempton, so I'm hoping for a good run. She jumps well and travels well."
"Our first string, Hadrian's Approach, I reckon has got a good chance."
Valdez finished back in fifth for Alan King.
And it's a win for Western Warhorse, who went off at 33-1. Tom Scudamore left it until the last moment, but just took it on the outsider.
The crowd waits nerously to hear who has won, it's between Champagne Fever and Western Warhorse.
It's a close, close finish.
Or can local trainer Alan King get a third Arkle with Valdez? The chestnut is currently in fifth.
They're off and racing. Will Ruby Walsh guide the grey Champagne Fever to a second straight win?
To the right of that shot is the Nicky Henderson-trained Grandouet, who will be ridden by Barry Geraghty. Henderson has won the race for the last two years, with Simonsig and Sprinter Sacre.
I found Alan King making the finishing touches to Valdez, who he hopes can win him a third Arkle. The team seem confident of his chances, with Assistant Trainer Oliver Wardle saying “I’m looking forward to this, God yeah.”
Henderson was unable to comment on his second and third places in that. Ruby Walsh did say that Vautour felt a “helluva good horse” in his victory.
It's a win for the Irish. Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh get the perfect start to the Festival.
2. Josses Hill
And they're off...
Runners and riders are down at the start and we're almost ready for the first race.
Irving, the favourite, looking magnificent in the Paddock.
My pick for an each way bet is The Liquidator, currently about 16/1. The David Pipe-trained gelding had looked very promising before Christmas, but his long odds are the result of a unexplained 5th place at Kempton in January.
The Irish fans in the crowd will be hoping Willie Mullins’ Vautour can fulfil the promise he has displayed in his three wins this season.
The favourite for a while has been the Paul Nicholls-trained Irving, who will be ridden by Nick Scholfield. Current odds are 7/2 in most places.
However, it is time to focus on the first race of the day, the Sky Bet Supreme Novice’s Hurdle. This is a 2 mile ½ furlong Grade 1, and 18 runners have declared. From the local contingent, Alan King has Wilde Blue Yonder and Nicky Henderson will have Josses Hill and Vaniteux.
Today’s big race is undoubtedly the Stan James Champion Hurdle. In that, local trainer Nicky Henderson will be represented by My Tent Or Yours and Jezki, but fierce competition is likely to come from Hurricane Fly, Our Conor and The New One.
Take a look at today's race card:
1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novice’s Hurdle
2.05 Racing Post Arkle Chase
2.40 Festival Handicap Chase
3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle
4.00 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
4.40 National Hunt Chase
5.15 Rewards4Racing Novices Handicap Chase
Here is the view of the course and the crowds. Forty minutes until the first race and the famous "Cheltenham Roar"! Who's excited? Tweet me using #adverfest
The sun is shining and the crowds are building. Currently in the Parade Ring we have a display of Retrained Racehorses.
The news this morning from the Clerk of the course was that the official going is Good to Soft, Good in Places. This will have pleased local trainers Nicky Henderson and Alan King, both of whom have top runners today.
It would be great to hear from you, whether you're here at Cheltenham or watching from home. Either leave a comment below, or if you're on twitter use the hashtag #adverfest or contact me directly via @lauralambert8.
Hello and welcome to the Swindon Advertiser's live text feed of the Cheltenham Festival. I am Laura Lambert and will be here to guide you through what promises to be four days of brilliant jump racing.
THIS SERVICE STARTS AT 12:30pm
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