LiveCHELTENHAM FESTIVAL: Day One

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Summary

  • 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

5:52pm

Join me again tomorrow at the same time, 12.30pm, for coverage of Day Two. The feature race is the Queen Mother Champion Chase. 

5:51pm

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.

5:50pm

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".

5:22pm

Another local winner, this time it's Jamie Snowden with Present View. Brendan Powell gave that a great ride.

5:21pm

Last jump and Pendra is looming

5:21pm

Present View is in the lead

5:21pm

Ericht has been pulled up

5:20pm

Present View is running a good race for Brendan Powell

5:18pm

American horse Buthelezi is the early leader

5:17pm

They're off in the last race of the day.

5:13pm

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.

5:12pm

Alan King could make it a double with Manyriverstocross, who is currently 8-1.

5:11pm

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.

5:10pm

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!"

5:08pm

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.

5:06pm

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."

5:03pm

Winner Midnight Prayer being led into the winners' enclosureSwindon Advertiser:

4:48pm

We have a local winner! Alan King wins with Midnight Prayer, well ridden by Joshua Newman

4:47pm

American Spin is coming up to challenge

4:46pm

Shotgun Paddy and Rogue Angel lead

4:46pm

It's hard to call as they are all bunched up

4:40pm

They're off...

4:38pm

Foxrock goes off favourite in this. Alan King has Midnight Prayer.

4:30pm

This is the longest race of the Festival, at 4 miles, and 15 horses will line up for this.

4:29pm

Up next is the Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase, for amateur jockeys

4:19pm

4:18pm

He's a happy man, Ruby Walsh, after Quevega makes history.Swindon Advertiser:

4:05pm

But no, she has DONE IT AGAIN! Quevega wins the Mares' Hurdle for a sixth time. Absolutely brilliant horse.

4:05pm

Glens Melody in the way though

4:04pm

Quevega makes her move as they come round the final bend

4:03pm

Ruby Walsh has Quevega towards the back of the field. Won't doubt his tactics, but he will need to stay out of trouble.

4:01pm

They're off and racing, early leader is Sirene D'Ainay

3:58pm

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?

3:57pm

The horse likely to put up the biggest fight to Quevega is Cockney Sparrow, who will be ridden by AP McCoy.

3:53pm

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.Swindon Advertiser:

3:52pm

Next up at Cheltenham we have the Mares' Hurdle, off at 4.00

3:51pm

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.

3:50pm

This is the face of a man who picked the wrong horse!Swindon Advertiser:

3:31pm

Winners coming into the enclosure. Superb from Jezki. AP McCoy chose the wrong horse, second with My Tent Or Yours. 

3:23pm

Hurricane Fly and Jezki battle it out

3:23pm

The favourites are tucked in just behind.

3:22pm

Our Conor has fallen! 13-year-old veteran Captain Cee Bee leads.

3:20pm

And they're off. Our Conor leads the field.

3:19pm

As they circle near the start the atmosphere is electric. 

3:18pm

It's very hard to tell here at Cheltenham who the crowd are backing.

3:17pm

Melodic Rendezvous is now 22-1, there is still time to back him if you think he can upset the favourites.

3:16pm

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!”

3:14pm

My Tent Or Yours is looking to give AP McCoy another winner in the race, and make it a Lambourn victory

 

3:12pm

Our very own Sports Editor has had his say on who he wants to win:

3:10pm

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

3:09pm

It is normally a brilliant race, but this edition is an absolute corker, and seems impossible to call.

3:08pm

The tension is well and truly rising ahead of the feature race of the day, the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

3:03pm

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".

2:49pm

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.

2:47pm

Nico de Boinville is having a brilliant ride

2:45pm

Nicky Henderson's Shakalakaboomboom is tracking the leaders

2:44pm

Tour Des Champs currently leads from Standing Ovation

2:41pm

Can Hadrian's Approach bring us a local winner? Nicky Henderson will be hoping so!

2:40pm

Alfie Sherrin goes off favourite in the 2.40 for Jonjo O'Neill, and will be ridden by Champion Jockey AP McCoy

2:38pm

YOUR SAY
 
 
Get involved using hashtag #adverfest

2:34pm

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."

2:12pm

Valdez finished back in fifth for Alan King.

2:11pm

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.

2:10pm

The crowd waits nerously to hear who has won, it's between Champagne Fever and Western Warhorse.

2:09pm

It's a close, close finish.

2:07pm

Or can local trainer Alan King get a third Arkle with Valdez? The chestnut is currently in fifth.

2:06pm

They're off and racing. Will Ruby Walsh guide the grey Champagne Fever to a second straight win?

2:04pm

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.

2:01pm

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.”Swindon Advertiser:

1:57pm

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.

1:35pm

It's a win for the Irish. Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh get the perfect start to the Festival.

1. Vautor

2. Josses Hill

3. Vaniteux

1:30pm

And they're off...

1:28pm

Runners and riders are down at the start and we're almost ready for the first race.

1:27pm

Swindon Advertiser: Irving, the favourite, looking magnificent in the Paddock. 

1:15pm

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.

1:13pm

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.

1:13pm

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.

1:05pm

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.

1:01pm

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.

12:58pm

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

12:52pm

Swindon Advertiser: 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

12:48pm

The sun is shining and the crowds are building. Currently in the Parade Ring we have a display of Retrained Racehorses. 

12:42pm

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.

12:33pm

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.

12:30pm

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.

 

10:56am

THIS SERVICE STARTS AT 12:30pm

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