Cheltenham: Gold Cup day

Cheltenham: Gold Cup day

On an afternoon when Irish trainers won six races for the first time in Festival history, the favourite Un De Sceaux took matters into his own hands to give Walsh an armchair ride to victory with a spectacular display of jumping in the Ryanair Chase before Nichols Canyon came back gamely after being headed on the run-in to win the Stayers' Hurdle.

Walsh had drifted to a best price of 10/1 after firing blanks on the first two days. "It is a first runner in the race for me".

CHELTENHAM: 1.30 Charli Parcs, 2.10 North Hill Harvey, 2.50 Augusta Kate, 3.30 NATIVE RIVER (NAP), 4.10 Wonderful Charm, 4.50 Dadsintrouble, 5.30 Velvet Maker.

"It's 10 years ago I won the National, I'm 35 now and appreciate it a bit more".

Willie Mullins has trained 52 Festival winners, but never the victor of the Gold Cup.

It looks very much like it could be third time lucky for the eight-year-old who looks to be the ideal age and candidate to win a Gold Cup which is obviously missing a few high-profile stars.

If he can sort out his jumping then Cue Card should go close.

As for the Gold Cup itself, it appears to come down to three main runners, Djakadam, Cue Card and Native River, who all head the markets this morning.

More news: Stade Francais and Racing 92 to merge

Deeply impressive handicap victor at the last Festival and appears to have taken a step forward since joining Gordon Elliott this season. But it wasn't the end of the run of success for trainer and jockey, who also won the final race of the Festival, the G3 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup, with Rock The World (Ire) (Orpen).

After yesterday's return to form, it's no real surprise that the Ruby Walsh/Willie Mullins combination has been backed into favouritism overnight, with Djakadam now a general 3/1 shot.

Jessica Harrington-trained horse Sizing John took the top spot with Minella Rocco and Native River taking second and third respectively.

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained star was running on strongly at the finish, suggesting the extra distance of next month's Aintree marathon would suit.

She said the industry had been saved by an "astronomical pay-out" by Sizing John's Gold Cup win with those above him in the Gold Cup betting, including favourite Djakadam who finished fourth, all well backed.

Two fences in, it was all over for the 23-year-old. "He will definitely run again this season, but first let's get him home and see how he is".

"I always said when this horse stepped up in trip he'd win".

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