Cheltenham Festival excitement

The Cheltenham Festival kicked off in high gear on Tuesday, 10 March 2009, and with this magnificent jumps racing event being halfway through, the festival has already delivered nail biting finishes, heart-stopping racing action and thrilling victories. The first two days have set the exciting and festive mood for the Cheltenham Festival, and jockeys such as Ruby Walsh have already enjoyed success a few times over. Many surprise victories also shook up the jumps racing industry, starting with Go Native.

On Tuesday, Go Native and jockey Paul Carberry held off Medermit in the homestretch to take the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1), with Medermit in second place and Somersby in third. Forpadydeplaster and Barry Geraghty were followed home by Kalahari King, Planet of Sound and Made In Taipan in the Grade 1 Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase. During the Grade 3 William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase, Wichita Lineman held onto the winning position, with Maljimar, Neuphar Collonges and Dear Villez finishing in the mentioned order. One of the greatest upsets of the day was caused by Punjabi in the Champion Hurdle Challenge (Grade 1), when he won the event over race favorite, Binocular, who finished in third. Celestial Halo made it home in second, while Crack Away Jack had to settle for forth position. Garde Champetre, L’Ami and Drombeag ensured a wonderful day for trainer Enda Bolger in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase, when they finished in named order, while Ruby Welsh steered Quevega to victory for trainer Willie Mullins in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle.

Day two begun with Tricky Trickster and Sam Waley-Cohen winning the National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, after which Ruby Welsh tasted victory again, during the running of the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, aboard Mikael D’Haguenet. But Ruby Walsh was on a roll, riding Cooldine to victory in the Grade 1 RSA Chase and piloting Master Minded to a spectacular win in the Grade 1 Queen Mother Champion Chase. Other winners for the day included Ninetieth Minute in the Coral Cup (Grade 3), Silk Affair in the Grade 3 Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle and Dunguib in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper Flat Race (Grade 1). With so much action taking place in the first two days, everyone is waiting in anticipation to find out what will happen next!