1Long Run's triumph on Friday completed an unusual double for Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson, who had teamed up to score with Bobs Worth earlier. It means that Henderson has landed the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup in successive years without the assistance of his stable jockey. Neither horse was in line to be ridden by Geraghty for obvious reasons, but it is a rare occurrence all the same.
2Speaking of notable misses, Dermot Weld must be wondering what he has to do to catch a break at the Festival. Relative greenhorns such as Gordon Elliott, Henry de Bromhead, Paul Nolan and Ian Ferguson can all now number more than one victory there. Weld, however, is 21 years and counting since Rare Holiday got him off the mark in the Triumph Hurdle. He has conquered the world with his exploits on the Flat, but Unaccompanied's defeat was the latest in a long line of frustrations for him in the Cotswolds.
Tentative plans at a glance for jumping stars
Big Buck's -- Aintree
Hurricane Fly -- Punchestown
Binocular -- Punchestown or Aintree
Kauto Star -- Punchestown or Sandown
Captain Chris -- Punchestown
Long Run -- Aintree or Auteuil
Denman -- Aintree
Menorah -- Punchestown
Peddlers Cross -- Aintree
Grands Crus -- Punchestown or Aintree
Quevega -- Punchestown
Ride of the weekend
Timmy Murphy on Bellflower Boy at Ffos Las on Saturday
This one was returning to fences after a prolific stint over flights, and had never won in 11 starts over the bigger obstacles before, although he was awarded a race at Limerick in 2008. Murphy has long been a master at conserving a horse's energy, and he was at his serene best on Bellflower Boy, sitting well off a strong pace before coming with a storming run.
Training feat of the weekend
JD Moore winning with Temlett at Cork
The seven-year-old hadn't run since finishing down the field at Punchestown for Willie Mullins in 2008 -- 1,061 days ago. He was 25/1 yesterday morning, before being backed into 11/2 joint favouritism. Paul Townend rode him as though defeat was out of the question, making all to land the gamble by two lengths.
An eye on the title
Willie Mullins' declaration that Paul Townend has his full support in his quest for the riders' title has changed the landscape of that contest. Ruby Walsh had been expected to take over stable jockey duties from Townend on his return from injury, which would have given Davy Russell a serious shot at the championship. With Mullins' intentions confirmed, Townend nine clear (75 to 66) and Russell two days worse off of the two after their respective Cheltenham bans, Townend is now in the driving seat.