Saturday 18 January 2020

Cheltenham day four: Nicky Henderson rounds off remarkable festival with Bellvano victory

Tony McCoy celebrates ridding Synchronised to victory in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup
Tony McCoy celebrates ridding Synchronised to victory in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup
Countrywide Flame ridden by Dougie Costello (centre right) on their way to winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle

NICKY Henderson topped off an incredible week by saddling the first two home in his father's race, the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase, as Bellvano benefited from the ultimate waiting ride by Paul Carberry.

Stablemate Tanks For That appeared to have the race in the bag as he held a three-length advantage over the last, but Carberry had yet to ask his mount for everything.

Henderson, who was winning a remarkable seventh race of the week, was in the envious position of not knowing which horse to shout for in the final 100 yards as Bellvano (20-1) closed in on the leader.

Carberry asked for everything as the line approached, and his mount responded to give owner JP McManus his fifth success at the Festival on the day he won his first Gold Cup with Synchronised.

Kumbeshwar ran a game race in third, while Henderson's Anquetta claimed fourth.

Just 24 hours after Cape Tribulation struck in the Pertemps Final, the North Yorkshire-based handler was back in the winner's enclosure courtesy of this 20-1 chance.

Jefferson had gone 17 years since winning at the Festival, when Dato Star landed the Champion Bumper.

A winner at Market Rasen last time out in February, Attaglance loves top of the ground and showed a rare turn of foot to beat Toner D'Oudairies by a neck under Harry Haynes.

Oscar Nominee arguably got going too late and was a further neck away in third. Make A Track was fourth.

The runner-up was travelling awfully well turning into the straight but a bad leap at the last gave a host of pursuers a second chance, and Attaglance took full advantage.

Christie's Foxhunter Chase

Malcolm Jefferson secured a second Cheltenham Festival victory of the week when Attaglance landed the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

Salsify just held Chapoturgeon for an Irish victory in the Christie's Foxhunter Chase.

The 7-1 shot, trained by Rodger Sweeney and ridden by his son, Colman Sweeney, got home in the amateurs' Gold Cup by a length from the 3-1 favourite.

The first two pulled 11 lengths clear of the third, Oscar Delta (28-1).

It was an eventful race with Enter Paradise an early casualty and Sam Waley-Cohen taking a tumble from Roulez Cool after his disappointment in only finishing third on Long Run in the Gold Cup.

Picaroon set a blistering pace and inevitably had to give up the lead, with My Flora briefly taking a clear-cut advantage.

There was all to play for at the last, but it was Salsify who pulled out all of the stops to deny Chapoturgeon.

Betfred Gold Cup

Synchronised landed a dramatic race for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in the hands of champion jockey Tony McCoy.

The 8-1 shot, owned by JP McManus and trained by Jonjo O'Neill, only took the lead after jumping the last.

He galloped on strongly to head The Giant Bolster (50-1) and strike by two and a quarter lengths, with last year's winner Long Run, the 7-4 favourite, only third - another three-quarters of a length away.

Dual winner Kauto Star was pulled up at the ninth fence by Ruby Walsh after losing his place.

Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle

Brindisi Breeze landed a rare Scottish win at the Cheltenham Festival when Lucinda Russell's charge upset the Irish banker Boston Bob in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

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

Boston Bob looked as though he might peg back the leader, but Brindisi Breeze (7-1) kept up the gallop to beat the 6-5 favourite by two lengths.

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

Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle

Tony McCoy finally opened his account at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival when forcing Alderwood home in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle.

Alderwood's chance looked to have gone when the he was hampered coming round the final bend, but he soon recovered to put in his winning bid.

The 20-1 shot, trained in Ireland by Tom Mullins and owned by McCoy's boss, JP McManus, jumped the last in great style and battled on resolutely up the hill.

Alderwood clinched victory by three-quarters of a length from Edgardo Sol (25-1), with Sailors Warn (16-1) a head back in third and Plan A (20-1) not far away in fourth.

JCB Triumph Hurdle

Countrywide Flame sprang a 33-1 surprise for North Yorkshire-based trainer John Quinn and jockey Dougie Costello in a dramatic race for the JCB Triumph Hurdle.

There were several in with chances at the final flight, but it was Countrywide Flame who jumped it best to hit the front and gallop all of the way to the line.

Irish raider Hisaabaat (20-1) was beaten three lengths in second, with 5-1 favourite Grumeti another three-quarters of a length away in third.

Dodging Bullets was just behind in fourth.

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