Cheltenham day 1 – I was there!
I made my annual pilgrimage to the Festival yesterday and it was almost an “I was there” moment as Annie Power approached the last in the Mares hurdle.
I too had latched on to the Mullins/Walsh four timer bed as normally the individual odds would not attract someone who bets for fun not business.
I waited by the parade ring big screen ready to jail a once in a lifetime feat when poor Annie crashed into the final flight. There was stunned silence all around as I and many with a much greater financial interest consoled ourselves with a 9/1 treble.
Earlier Douvan had worn down the rest in the opener in a typical follow me ride from Ruby and Un de Sceaux had seen off a rejuvenated Gods Own in another bold front running ride.
Un De Sceaux
All eyes were now on “the machine” Faugheen who again led from the start. As they passed me approaching the second it struck me they were not going a great pace. Sure enough Runy dictated throughout and whilst Jezki and The New One flattered 2 out they never threatened when it mattered leaving Arctic Fire to storm up the hill in vain pursuit of Faugheen.
Faugheen returns a Champion
Connections vow to be back with The New One and felt there was something amiss with him. Sadly my doubts about him winning a Champion Hurdle look warranted. I still think they should have gone World Hurdle route after the Neptune in 2013.
Elsewhere The Druids Nephew guaranteed I didn’t leave the Cotswolds empty handed with a smooth success under Barry Geraghty who’s impish delight was there for all to see as he returned to the winners enclosure.
The Druids Nephew
Place money for Shaneshill, Thomas Crapper and Bitofapuzzle also ensured I stayed afloat.
The new development at the course is coming on well but though the bridge and adjacent landscaping are pleasing to the eye they just got in the way for me. You can’t please everyone!
Whilst I’m having a moan the exit from the car park was a bit of a shambles taking best part of 90 minutes to the reach main road. Some lanes were moving whilst others stood still. Room for improvement there.
None of which will deter me from visiting next year, but a stop over might be called for as it was a 9 hour drive there and back.