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Swindon's Hutchinson happy with his day at Cheltenham
CORAL Cup winner Wayne Hutchinson declared himself happy with his third day’s work at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Swindon jockey most notably partnered Smad Place to third in the World Hurdle, and while it might not have lived up to his triumph of the previous day, it was nonetheless a sterling effort.
With a starting price of 9-1, Smad Place and Hutchinson charged through late on to snatch third, and the jockey revealed that both he and Barbury Castle trainer Alan King were delighted with the display.
“We were very pleased with the performance of Smad Place. He ran a really solid race to be third,” said Hutchinson.
“He travelled and jumped lovely. He’s battled on well and was trying all the way up to the line.”
Hutchinson also guided another King charge, Bakbenscher, to a seventh-placed finish in the Pertemps Final, which had a 24-strong field.
“Bakbenscher ran his race and we were very pleased with him,” said Hutchinson.
“He travelled strong, jumped very well and galloped all the way to the line.
“He could have run with the race being run at a faster gallop, it didn’t quite suit him, but he did well.”
Hutchinson was forced to pull up in the Byrne Group Plate after the Brendan Powell-piloted Matuhi suffered a fall.
Matuhi fell at the last and despite the best efforts of vets at the course, was sadly later put down.
Hutchinson had been riding another King charge, Bless the Wings, at the time of the incident.
“I pulled up for safety reasons at the last because there was a stricken horse on the other side,” continued Hutchinson.
“Wings was in top gear all the way and he jumped well.”
In addition to Matuhi’s death, the afternoon took another worrying turn when JT McNamara suffered a heavy fall while riding Galaxy Rock in the Challenge Cup Handicap Chase for amateur riders.
Irishman McNamara was put in an induced coma and airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, with the final race of the day, the Cross Country Chase, taking place within a sombre atmosphere.
“It’s very sad news and my best wishes go out to him and his family,” said Hutchinson.
The Swindon jockey will continue his busy schedule today as the curtain comes down on the Festival.
Hutchinson rides King Of Dudes in the Triumph Hurdle, Manyriverstocross in the County Hurdle and Kumbeshwar in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase.