Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
CHELTENHAM LIVE: Day two
Updated 5:30pm Wednesday 13th March 2013 in Sport
This live event has finished
- REPORTING BY SAM MORSHEAD
- Local trainer and jockey duo Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson win Coral Cup with Medinas
- Sprinter Sacre claims Queen Mother Champion Chase by astonishing 19 lengths over Sizing Europe
- Back In Focus claims victory in John Oaksey National Hunt Chase, Alan King's Godsmejudge third
- Nigel Twiston-Davies' The New One winner in the Neptune Novices' Hurdle
- Lord Windemere takes RSA Chase crown; Flaxen Flare takes Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle
- Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
That concludes our live coverage from Cheltenham on day two, which has been a special afternoon for Swindon jockey Wayne Hutchinson and trainer Alan King.
We will be back tomorrow for all the thrills and spills of day three, and make sure to pick up your copy of the Adver tomorrow for reaction to today's events.
Thanks for spending the afternoon with us.
5.15pm - CHELTENHAM CHAMPION BUMPER
1, Briar Hill 25/1; 2, Regal Encore 7-1; 3, Golantilla 9/1; 4, Le Vent D'Antan/The Liquidator (photo).
Briar Hill storms through to win it with Regel Encore second. Waiting for an official third place but it could be either Golantilla or the Liquidator.
This is anyone's race here, with a pack of eight or 10 horses in there.
Sgt Reckless, Union Dues and Regal Encore all there, but here comes Ruby Walsh on Briar Hill.
Vieux Lion Rouge is up there as well, as is Regal Encore.
Kayf Moss takes the early lead
AND THEY'RE OFF
Here we go with the Champion Bumper
Nearly ready for the off in the Bumper
Golantilla has thundered in to become the new 8/1 second favourite.
A huge field for this final race, the Champion Bumper.
Joint favourites currently for this one at 5.15pm, with Regal Encore ridden by AP McCoy and Richard Hughes on Sgt Reckless going currently 15/8 shots. But that market is ever changing.
One more race remaining on today's card, that's the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
4.40PM - FRED WINTER JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE
1, Flaxen Flare 25-1; 2, Caid Du Berlais 20-1; 3, Ptit Zig 22-1; Milord 14/1
Flaxen Flare wins the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle. Destroyed the field down the home straight.
Flaxen Flare is flying home.
Field is starting to thin out.
Angelot Du Berlais leads at halfway.
Habesh is all over the place at the start, Paddy Kennedy is struggling to keep charge of this raw horse.
Fatcatinthehat and Habesh are the early frontrunners.
AND THEY'RE OFF...
The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle is off and running.
The runners and riders for the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle are down at the start.
Alan King has McVicar running - here's what he had to say before the race.
"We run McVicar in the Fred Winter Hurdle. He would be a better horse on quicker ground, but he had a nice spin around Lingfield recently and will go there in good nick."
We've got some more words now from Paul Nicholls on the failure of Unioniste in the RSA Chase.
The hotly-fancied favourite slipped down to fourth in the final push.
Nicholls said: "He was always struggling a bit and didn't jump as well as we know he can.
"Things were happening all a bit quick for him today. Maybe he's not quick enough, maybe he's an out-and-out stayer. He could be the type to take to the Hennessy because he will get stronger."
A little under 10 minutes to go until the start of the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Who are you plumping for? Tough field to pick out a winner - Paul Nicholls' Saphir Du Rheu is the 6/1 favourite.
Having lost Salden Licht and Bobbyjack to illness and injury respectively earlier this season, that Coral Cup win will be huge for the Alan King yard.
Next up for us here at Cheltenham is the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. We've got local interest in Alan King's McVicar - Wayne Hutchinson will be back onboard just a few minutes after winning the Coral Cup with Medinas.
Alan King was delighted with victory in the Coral Cup with Medinas after a difficult year at his stables.
He said: “It was amazing. I just felt the handicapper had him but he keeps coming back for more. He’s an incredibly tough horse.
“We’ve had a tough season, it’s not been going great, and they’ve been working so hard – from my head lads to my assistants – huge credit to them.”
Wayne Hutchinson brands Medinas a "warrior and a terrier" after claiming the Coral Cup at day two of the Cheltenham Festival.outstanding field.
Hutchinson led Alan King's horse home ahead of stablemate Meister Eckhart and Willie Mullins' Fiveforthree to take the £45,560 prize after outrunning an outstanding field.
He said: “He’s been a great pony. He won off 1.40, he went up eight pound after the Welsh Champion Hurdle and I thought it might have been too much.
"He’s such a warrior and a terrier. He probably only stands at 15.1 he has plenty of ability and the heart to go with it.
“It’s horrible for Choc. Fortunately I was going to ride this lad anyway. It’s horrible but it’s part of the sport. I hope my dad had a pound each way on it.”
4PM - CORAL CUP
1, Medinas 33-1; 2, Meister Eckhart 14-1; 3, Fiveforthree 20-1
Jockey Andrew Thornton is delighted for Wayne Hutchinson.
He said: "He works very hard, he's second jockey at Alan King's. He's ridden this a few times before. Wayne was thinking the horse might have gone up too far in the handicap but he's delivered his challenge late and he's strode away."
It's a huge win for Swindon's Wayne Hutchinson and Marlborough's Alan King - they team up to lead Medinas to victory. What a run, what a result.
Black Thunder falls.
Pace picking up as they race for home.
Pedra starting to make a move on the outside.
Steady pace in the Coral Cup. Whole field bunching.
Timesawastin takes over at the front, Meister Eckhart - for Alan King - is third.
Loose Chips into an early lead. Pendra drops right to the back of the field early on.
AND THEY'RE OFF...
A big field get going in the two-mile, five-furlong Coral Cup. Good luck to everyone. Picking a winner in this one is some task. Pendra, ridden by AP McCoy for Charlie Longsdon, starts as a 6-1 favourite.
The horses in the Coral Cup are now heading towards the start. Twenty-seven runners in this fifth race of the day.
More now from Jim Culloty, the jockey-turned-trainer who with victory with Lord Windemere in the RSA Chase has now one in each capacity at Cheltenham.
He said: "It was a peach of a ride by Davy Russell. He wasn't getting any light and the horse jumped brilliantly - he actually tripped over the road and I thought that it might have cost us.
JIM CULLOTY IN HIS JOCKEY DAYS
"He is a good horse. We took the chance of not running over three miles all season because I didn't want to tire him out - I wanted a horse with experience but hadn't been bottomed - and it has worked."
Ten minutes til the off for the Coral Cup at Cheltenham Our local interested exists in the form of Alan King-trained duo Medinas, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, and Meister Eckhart.
Swindon jockey Wayne Hutchinson is onboard Medinas in the Coral Cup, which is set to go off in around 15 minutes time.
Alan King is hoping for more success in the Coral Cup. Here's what he had to say about his chances.
He said: "We have two in the Coral Cup, Meister Eckhart and Medinas. Meister Eckhart was fifth in the Albert Bartlett here last year, and he ran a very encouraging first race for us when second to Prospect Wells at levels in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell.
"He worked well on the grass on Saturday and I am very happy with him.
"Medinas won the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las last time and is now 8lb higher. His rating has soared from 125 to 148 this season, so he will find this tougher, but he also seems in good form at home."
So, while the crowd deal out their adulation for Sprinter Sacre - and believe me, they are - let's look forward to the next race.
The Coral Cup is off at 4pm. It's a big field, and plenty of local interest.
Sprinter Sacre went off as the shortest-priced favourite at the Cheltenham Festival since Arkle 50 years ago, and he didn't disappoint.
Barry Geraghty, the jockey onboard Sprinter Sacre, couldn't hand his horse enough praise after winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
"He's an unbelievable horse. He made one mistake on the far side, which is a bit unusual for him, but to beat Sizing Europe the way he did was an amazing performance. He's a class act.
"He's top class. Hopefully he stays and we can have a lot of years and a lot of fun with him. He's a bit of a showman.
Nicky Henderson described watching his star horse Sprinter Sacre win the Queen Mother Champion Chase as the "worst five minutes" of his life.
"That was probably the worst five minutes of my life, but there you go, it's over and it was what we all hoped we'd see," he said.
"It does make you speechless because, as everyone saw beforehand, what he does out there is one thing but his whole aura is totally and utterly unique. It's scary.
"It was hell. He's a two-miler, there's no doubt about that. We said we may well go to Punchestown but there are only limited races over two miles."
The official margin of victory for Sprinter Sacre was 19 lengths. Nineteen lengths! Absurd.
3.20PM - QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE
1, Sprinter Sacre 1-4f; 2, Sizing Europe 6-1; 3, Wishful Thinking 25-1
Sizing Europe comes home second, but was never getting anywhere near Sprinter Sacre.
Sprinter Sacre wins by an country mile. What a run this is.
Sprinter Sacre is flying clear.
It's now a two-horse race. It's Sprinter Sacre versus Sizing Europe.
Now Sizing Europe hits the front with eight fences down.
Mail De Bievre leads at the sixth.
Somersby falls at the third. Sprinter Sacre avoids getting taken out.
Terrible start for Sanctuaire.
Mick Channon's horse, Somersby, goes over the first in second place.
AND THEY'RE OFF...
So, can anyone beat Sprinter Sacre? Let's find out. The Queen Mother Champion Chase is under way at Cheltenham.
Sprinter Sacre has impressed everyone in the paddock.
The runners in the Queen Mother Champion Chase are being led to the starting line.
Willy Mullins has spoken of his disappointment at seeing Pont Alexandre flop in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.
He said: "Ruby (Walsh, jockey) said he wasn't traveling from a long way out. Maybe soft ground is the key, but I'm disappointed. We'll probably go to Punchestown."
Nina Carberry, the jockey onboard Tofino Bay who came second in the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase, has been given a seven-day ban after using her whip above the permitted level.
The days when the whip ban apply have yet to be decided.
Just under 20 minutes to go, then, until the big race of the day. Who's your money on?
Ruby Walsh rides Sanctuaire for Paul Nicholls in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
He'll be desperate to start a personal recovery after riding favourites Pont Alexandre and Unioniste well out of contention.
Just in case you aren't aware of Sprinter Sacre's devastating abilities, take a look at this...
It's the big one up next - the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Is Sprinter Sacre unbeatable? If he's going to slip up, surely Sizing Europe is the horse to do it.
Plenty of disappointed faces around the course when Boston Bob fell. He was running well and seemed to be a shoe-in for Willy Mullins' fifth win of the Festival.
Boston Bob, who fell when leading at the last, trotted away from the fence. Jockey Paul Townend is also back up.
2.40PM - RSA CHASE
1, Lord Windermere 8-1; 2, Lyreen Legend 10-1; 3, Hadrian's Approach 6-1
Jim Culloty has now ridden and trained a Cheltenham Festival winner.
"Doc Lambe (owner of Lord Windemere) has been waiting a long time for this," he said. "For me it's unbelievable."
Lord Windemere wins the RSA Chase.
Boston Bob falls when leading at the last.
Goulanes increasing the pace at the front.
Theatrical Star backing away and beaten. Unioniste getting a reminder from Ruby Walsh a long way from home.
One circuit left of the RSA Chase. Goulanes leads, Real Milan making ground up the outside. Lord Windemere looks good.
It's not a quick speed so far in the RSA Chase, seems to be a very tactical race.
Goulanes and Houblon Des Obeaux looking good in the early stages.
The entire field have successfully negotiated the first four fences.
Nineteen jumps to negotiate in this one, and Theatrical Star has the early lead.
AND THEY'RE OFF...
The RSA Chase is under way at Cheltenham. It's a classic Nicholls vs Henderson vs Mullins but look our for Lord Windemere, who's being ridden by Jim Culloty - the man who coached Best Mate to his famous Gold Cup wins.
The horses for the RSA Chase are heading down towards the start.
Ladbrokes have introduced The New One at 8-1 for the 2014 Champion Hurdle after his victory in the Neptune Novices Hurdle today.
Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies praised The New One's handler, Wayne Jones, following his victory in the second.
“He was very, very good and showed a good turn of foot," he sai. "A lot of credit goes to Wayne Jones, he looks after him every day. Luckily everything worked out well today."
So, now we build up to the 2.40pm RSA Chase - and there are top contenders from Willy Mullins and Nicky Henderson once again.
Mullins enters Boston Bob, who's hovering around 11-2 at present, while Henderson has Hadrian's Approach at 6-1.
But the favourite is Paul Nicholls' Unioniste. It's three-and-a-half-miles, and it should be a cracker.
Nigel Twiston-Davies only caught the last hurdle of The New One's victory in the Neptune, as he was in the toilets.
"I'm chuffed to bits. We've done the job right. It's what racing is all about, it's what we're waiting for and it worked," he said.
"I didn't see the race, I was in the loo. I only saw the last hurdle. We knew he was right."
The New One's owner, Sarah Such, was practically giddy at the end of the race.
She said: "I can't speak. We knew he was going to do that. To all the doubters, we did it. I had all the faith in Nige (Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer)."
2.05PM - NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES' HURDLE
1, The New One 7-2; 2, Rule The World 5-1; 3, Pont Alexandre 6-4f
The New One flies beyond Pont Alexandre to claim victory.
Chatterbox flying up the inside.
Exciting finish to come, with the whole field bunched coming into the final stages.
Pont Alexandre still leads from the front. The New One and Rule The World both looking good.
The field remains relatively close as they go over the fourth flight.
Pont Alexandre goes quickly from the off and leads the pack having gone over two flights.
AND THEY'RE OFF...
The Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle is off and running at the Cheltenham Festival.
Pont Alexandre drifting in slightly on the markets as the horses make their way down to the start for the Neptune.
Tofino Bay evidently made an impression in being ridden to second by Nina Carberry in the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase earlier today.
Ladbrokes have cut his odds from 33-1 to 66-1 for the John Smiths Grand National after his performance today.
More local interest in the Neptune, with Alan King's Two Rockers going off at around 14-1 with most bookies.
Swindon jockey Wayne Hutchinson is onboard, and King thinks his horse has a decent each-way chance.
"Two Rockers is a very promising horse, but he faces a stiff task in the Neptune," he said.
"However, he is unbeaten in three races, which included a Grade 2 at Haydock, where he looked impressive.
"He never excites us on the gallops, but he comes alive on the track and we don't really know how good he is. He, too, has a definite each-way chance."
The course today is in good condition and caused Clerk of the Course, Simon Claisse, very few headaches overnight - unlike the sleepless night he had on Monday.
He said: "There were no problems under the covers this morning despite the temperatures getting down to -5 degrees overnight. It is a sunny morning and we started lifting the covers at 8.30am.
"The ground probably rode a bit faster than the official going description, because of racing on fresh ground, at the start of yesterday's racing but, as the ground opened up during the afternoon, times became a bit slower."
Next up is the 2.05pm Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.
Another Willy Mullins horse is favourite - Pont Alexandre - but watch out for Nicky Henderson's Chatterbox. He's slid in from 14-1 to 9-1 on the course.
Remember, Puffin Billy and Sizing Gold are non-runners.
Back In Focus owner Graham Wylie was almost speechless with the ride Patrick Mullins gave his horse to win the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase.
"I cheered him on from the second last to the end but I thought he was cooked two out. He came up the hill really well, he said. "It just shows how good his stamina is, his first time over four miles.
BACK IN FOCUS
"Willy places the horses really well and he gets it right on the big day.
"It's great to have a horse that's good enough to get here, great to have one that places, brilliant to have one that wins."
Willy Mullins claims his fourth win of this year's Cheltenham Festival, closing in quickly on Nicky Henderson's seven victories in 2012.
Patrick Mullins, jockey on board Back In Focus, was delighted with his win.
"This is very special. Over the last I thought I might catch him. He's tough and brave and he's made my job a lot easier.
"It (the going) is perfect for me."
1.30PM - JOHN OAKSEY NATIONAL HUNT CHASE
1, Back In Focus 9-4f; 2, Tofino Bay 8-1; 3, Godsmejudge 7-1
Back In Focus outsprints Tofino Bay to come home the winner.
Rival D'Estreval falls in second.
Highland Lodge leads going into the final stages. Back In Focus and Godsmejudge looking good.
Rose of the Moon has been pulled up. Top Smart is a faller.
Godsmejudge is moving excellently.
Scampi Boy falls. Nasty looking fall for Jack Sherwood.
One lap of the course to go. Back In Focus looking very, very good in third.
The field is starting to get strung out with a little under two circuits of the course remaining.
Drawn N Drank is struggling to keep up early on, with two circuits of the course still to go.
Tofino Bay, with Nina Carberry on board, is coasting nicely at the front.
The 16 runners all clear the first five fences. Gentle pace, as expected, for the four-mile race.
A sluggish start for favourite Back in Focus, but you wouldn't want to write off a Willy Mullins horse at this year's Festival.
ANDY THEY'RE OFF...
The 1.30pm John Oaksey National Hunt Chase - the longest race of this year's Cheltenham Festival - is under way.
Good luck everyone.
The field is approaching the start for the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase - the 1.30pm first at day two of the Cheltenham Festival.
Alan King believes Godsmejudge has a good chance of victory in the first race, the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase.
He said: "The National Hunt Chase looks the perfect race for Godsmejudge. He has done nothing but improve this season and should relish this four miles as stamina is his strong suit.
"He won't mind the soft ground either, and I am delighted that we have been able to snap up Nico de Boinville, who has impressed me with his riding and came down last week to pop the horse over a few fences.
"There are a couple rated higher than us, but Godsmejudge has a good each-way chance."
We've got big local interest in the first here at Cheltenham. Marlborough trainer Alan King has Godsmejudge, currently hovering around 7/1 at most outlets, in with a chance.
Nick de Boinville is onboard.
#racingadver @SamMorshead_SA Todays bet - £1 E/W Lucky 15 - The New One,Lyreen Legend,Pendra & Megalypos #belucky— @SwindonOldie 13 March 2013
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is reported to be present at the Cheltenham Festival today.
SIR ALEX FERGUSON
The 71-year-old is said to have arrived at the racecourse earlier onboard a helicopter.
Ferguson has one runner competing today, with Im Fraam Govan going in the 5.15pm Champion Bumper.
Nicky Hendersen's Seven Barrows stable is expected to have a bif Festival, and the trainer got off to a terrific start on day one with two victories.
Today his star horse, Sprinter Sacre, is expected to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase - with bookies offering prices as short as 1-5 in places.
Henderson said: “Today’s going to be the tester. I think he’s coming to the point where anything bar a spectacular performance isn’t going to suffice. There are pitfalls everywhere.
Some non-runners for you to start with.
In the 2.05pm Neptune Investment Management Novice Hurdle, there are two non-starters.
Number four, Puffin Billy, and number six, Sizing Gold, fail to make the start line.
In the 5.15pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper, Johnny Og - number 20 - misses out.
The big race of the day comes at 3.20pm, when Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson's star horse Sprinter Sacre looks to add the Queen Mother Champion Chase to his seven race wins.
But there are another six high-calibre races to look forward to as well, starting at 1.30pm with the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase.
Good afternoon ladies and gents and welcome to day two of the Cheltenham Festival.
Stick with us throughout the day as we bring you all the latest from the world's most famous jump racing jamboree.