Watch: City Island, Band Of Outlaws, Envoi Allen and Tiger Roll give Ireland something to smile about on Day Two
City Island provided jockey Mark Walsh with his second winner of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, as they scored a two-length success from the well-backed Champ in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.
The 8-1 winner, trained by Martin Brassil, was one of six horses vying for the lead as the field approached the second-last.
By the last, though, the six-year-old was in front and was driven out to stay there in the opening race on day two of the meeting as Walsh added to his Champion Hurdle victory on Tuesday.
An impressed Walsh said: "We still don't know how good he is because even when he gets to the front he doesn't do a stroke."
It was a landmark first Festival success for Grand National-winning trainer Brassil.
He said: "It's been a long time coming. You need good horses to bring here. We found one.
"The thought I had was you bring a horse here thinking he's unbeatable and you might have a chance of him doing something good then.
"It's great to have a Festival winner on your CV."
Topofthegame won a thrilling tussle to emerge victorious in the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase.
The giant chestnut just got the better of Santini to win by half a length at 4-1, with favourite Delta Work another one and three-quarter lengths back in third.
Topofthegame, ridden by Harry Cobden, was providing a first winner of this year's Festival for 10-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
Cobden said: "He travelled into the race great. He jumped and galloped up that hill. He's a beast."
Nicholls said: "That was awesome. What a fantastic ride from a young man.
"That was absolutely brilliant. He's a really smart horse. He was a maiden coming into today, but was second in Grade One and Harry probably learnt a good lesson that day. He was unlucky the first day."
William Henry produced a late charge to get up on the line and win the Coral Cup by a short head, from top weight and fellow 28-1 shot Wicklow Brave.
The winner was a timely confidence boost for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville, set to team up in the next race with Altior as the hot favourite bids for a second consecutive Queen Mother Champion Chase success - and record-equalling 18th consecutive victory over jumps.
Brio Conti, whose future may lie in chases, looked the certain winner at one point, and then the old boy Wicklow Brave came to the fore in a fascinating Coral Cup - but William Henry was delivered with perfection#CheltenhamFestival #TheFestival pic.twitter.com/kMRM2nz9nP— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 13, 2019
Altior won his second successive Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase - equalling the all-time record for 18 consecutive victories over jumps.
De Boinville had Henderson's brilliant two-miler in a prominent position throughout, chasing the pace set by Saint Calvados.
The field packed up behind Altior going to the last as Sceau Royal and eventual runner-up Politologue challenged on either side.
However, the nine-year-old - who had made an early mistake at the water jump - dug deep to prevail by one and three-quarter lengths and the same at odds of 4-11.
🏆 Altior retains his Champion Chase crown 🏆— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 13, 2019
🥇 18 wins in a row
🏇 Win sequence began October 10, 2015
🏇 Hurdles/fences jumped: 207
🏇 Miles galloped: 36
🏇 Grade 1 wins: 9
🏇 #CheltenhamFestival wins: 4
💷 Prize-money won: £1,149,326#TheFestival pic.twitter.com/sLbzJSvgj6
The remarkable Tiger Roll won for the fourth time at the Festival when he inflicted a 22-length trouncing on his Glenfarclas Chase rivals.
Gordon Elliott's Grand National winner was following up his success in this race last year, after previous Festival victories in the Triumph Hurdle and National Hunt Chase.
The nine-year-old, delivering a first win at this year's meeting for his trainer, was sent off 5-4 favourite - and the outcome was rarely in the slightest doubt, despite the marathon trip, as he and Keith Donoghue sauntered clear from Josies Orders in second and 2018 runner-up Urgent De Gregaine.
Donoghue said: "He's definitely a legend in my eyes. Some horse, some performance. He tanked up the whole way and kept going.
"He he has the heart of a lion."
Simply outstanding: Tiger Roll could end up very short in the markets to repeat last year's #GrandNational success after cruising to a fourth success at the #CheltenhamFestival pic.twitter.com/s6Y3koG0I2— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 13, 2019
Band Of Outlaws gave trainer Joseph O'Brien his first Festival winner with a convincing two-length success as the 7-2 favourite under JJ Slevin in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
Elliott's Envoi Allen got the better of an all-Irish duel for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, prevailing as 2-1 favourite by three-quarters of a length from Blue Sari.
The winner was extending his unbeaten record to five, including a point-to-point, and providing a second success of the meeting for owners Cheveley Park Stud and amateur jockey Jamie Codd.
🏆 Envoi Allen wins the Champion Bumper 🏆— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 13, 2019
🏇 One of jump racing's finest prospects
🏇 More Festival glory for Gordon Elliott and Jamie Codd pic.twitter.com/mJL1BJfaW8