Ten To Follow Update (22.03.2018)
Cheltenham has been and gone and it most certainly was the festival we were all hoping for. The official going on the first day was Heavy, Soft in places. This was the first time Heavy had featured in the going description at the Festival since 1982.
Tuesday started off with a bang. as Footpad lived up to expectations and made a mockery of the Arkle field. Saint Calvados and Petit Mouchoir took each other on early and went off a blistering pace, which they were unable to sustain. This set the race up for Footpad and despite a potentially race ending blunder at the sixth, he cruised home under a masterful ride from Ruby Walsh. Then all the attention turned to Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle. Many players would have had their hearts in their mouths as Melon pushed Buveur D'Air all the way up the home straight but the Nicky Henderson trained 7-y-o came out on top and will go for the hat trick next year.
As Wednesday came, it was the time for the monster Samcro to see if he could be the 'second coming' for Gordon Elliot and Gigginstown in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle and he duly obliged. He was held up in midfield before making steady headway four out. Travelling strongly, he took up the lead on the bend between the last two hurdles, before readily asserting. Players did not have much time to rest before another dazzling performance from Presenting Percy 40 minutes later in the RSA. It was a typical Davy Russell Cheltenham ride as he settled Presenting Percy in rear before making steady headway four out. He took up the lead before the penultimate fence and drew clear before the last with a very easy win. Finally it was the turn of Altior to blow away the crowed as he won his third Cheltenham Festival race in as many years. It was not all plain sailing as he was niggled along approaching three out. Before the second last he was switched right to make his challenge between the last two. He led straight after the last and forged clear to win by seven lengths.
Thursday was tougher to find the winners as Mervyn Broom picked out Penhill, the only winner of the day. The feature race, The Stayers Hurdle, saw Penhill make a winning return after 323 days absence. If anyone was going to have a horse primed after such a long time off the track it was going to be Willie Mullins. The 7-y-o was held up in last place, and made steady headway approaching two out. There were lots in contention turning the bend but Penhill took it up just before the second last before staying on well up the hill.
The final day produced the race of the Festival - The Gold Cup. The two British horses at the fore of the market, Native River and Might Bite, set a steady gallop throughout. Native River was the early leader and made virtually all. Might Bite made his challenge two from the finish and briefly took the lead. Native River then fought back to lead at the last and stayed on strongly up the hill and outstayed Might Bite in the final 160 yards to give Colin Tizzard a much deserved first Gold Cup. The final race of the day saw Le Prezien win and eventful Grand Annual Chase and draw an end to the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.
Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the scores.
The full leaderboard can be found on our website here.
|Position||Name & Team||Team Score|
|1||Graham Barton (2)||515|
|2||Peter Farley (1)||500|
|3||Mervyn Broom (8)||490|
|3||Gail Garbutt (4)||490|
|5||Terry Knight (6)||485|
|6||Penny Waddell (5)||480|
|6||Tony Wells (6)||480|
|8||Peter Farley (3)||475|
|8||Mervyn Broom (6)||475|
|8||Peter Farley (3)||475|
|8||David Marshall (3)||