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Breeze blows away Bob in Bartlett

Irish banker Boston Bob came unstuck in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle as Brindisi Breeze secured a memorable Cheltenham Festival victory for Scotland.

Boston Bob was the 6-5 favourite for the Grade One over three miles, but could not peg back the determined winner.

Victorious Jockey Campbell Gillies was always up with the pace on the Lucinda Russell-trained six-year-old and cut out most of the running along with Big Occasion.

Willie Mullins' Boston Bob fleetingly looked as though he might haul back the leader, but Brindisi Breeze (7-1) kept up the gallop to beat the favourite by two lengths.

Grand Vision (25-1) was another length and a quarter away in third.

Gillies said: "It's great for Scotland and all of the team.

"We came here confident but he's blown us away again.

"He just pricked his ears the whole of the time.

"He's very genuine and he just keeps galloping - he's got the lot.

"All credit to him, he's a real athlete."

Big Occasion and Brindisi Breeze took no prisoners as they ensured a good pace from the start, while Ruby Walsh held a slightly wayward Boston Bob towards the back of the field.

Big Occasion lost his pitch after three out, where Brindisi Breeze kicked for home.

Gillies' mount kept finding more every time as Meister Eckhart, Grand Vision and then Boston Bob tried to overhaul him.

But there was no stopping the raider from the north of the border as he swept to a clear-cut victory the hard way.

Russell said: "It's just fantastic as his owner, Sandy Seymour, only has one horse.

"It's what you work for. You spend all winter trying to put them in the right races and it's just amazing that the right race happens to be at Cheltenham.

"He's very tough - he doesn't like horses passing him.

"He's not the fastest in the world - he doesn't burn up the gallops - but he's so brave and he jumps quickly.

"He'll be a fantastic chaser and that's what he'll be doing next season."

Graham Wylie, owner of Boston Bob, said: "It's always disappointing to finish so close and not win, but you've got to be happy with a second at Cheltenham.

"He just took a while to get going but he was making good ground at the finish.

"I'd imagine he'll go to Punchestown."

Colin Tizzard, trainer of the third home, Grand Vision, said: "You'd have to be happy with that, he's run a blinder.

"It's just such a shame he didn't get into the Pertemps as he'd have looked a good thing in that.

"We actually had the chance to buy the winner but we were too late.

"We've still got a good horse and we'll go to Aintree now."