Buveur D’Air has joined Coo Star Sivola, Summerville Boy and Footpad as today’s winners in the Cheltenham Festival.
Nicky Henderson’s horse won the Champion Hurdle last year, and he has done so again, although he took it to the wire with Melon who had a fine run.
Henderson had this to say;
“It’s wonderful, they’ve all been great horses. He had a battle on his hands today but that’s the first race he’s had this year. It’s always been in the back of my mind, it’s always worried me.
“That’s the first time he’s ever had to put his head down and have a fight.”
BREAKING: Buveur D'Air (4/6f) wins a thrilling Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson, fighting off Melon (7/1) to defend his crown in brave fashion. Mick Jazz (25/1) finished third.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 13, 2018
Coo Star Sivola won the race before, the Ultima Handicap Chase, in what seemed to be a tight contest for much of the race, before the final stretches where Coo Star Sivola pulled way ahead. Shantuo Flyer came close to pipping Coo Star Sivola in the final few metres, but the Nick Williams trained horse held strong.
Earlier, Summerville Boy won the Supreme Novice’s hurdle in the first race of the day in dramatic fashion.
Kalashnikov had looked set to seal victory after bursting beyond early front runner Get a Bird. However, a late surge from Summerville Boy saw the 9/1 Tom George trained horse pip him to the post.
— Betfred (@Betfred) March 13, 2018
Stroud-based trainer Tom George said: “We’ve had a couple of grade ones over the years but that was the first supreme so it’s incredible.”
The second race of the day saw the Willie Mullins trained Footpad take victory in the Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase.
The favourite, ridden by Ruby Walsh, produced a stirring comeback to claw his way back to win the Trophy.
Different class from Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins! pic.twitter.com/9C3iz1Ngfd
— Coral (@Coral) March 13, 2018
Mullins said after the race: “He’s got great stamina and he could be a future Gold Cup winner.”