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Cheltenham Festival 2022 – Day 2: Tiger Roll retirement, Ireland pull away in the Prestbury Cup and more

By Brooklyn Ball, Luka Foley & Lowri Jacob


3:30: Shishkin pulls up as Energumene takes the Queen Mother Champion Chase

Favourite Shishkin pulled up halfway during the race after its very slow jumps throughout, with Energumene avenging the Ascot loss back in January.

Nico de Boinville decided to pull up Shishkin with five fences left as he was on the backfoot with some very slow jumps.

Willie Mullins’ Energumene jockeyed by Paul Townend overtook the crowd in front after another Mullins horse Chacun Pour Soi fell with four fences left.

Energumene then went head to head with Rachael Blackmore’s Envoi Allen until Townend jumped brilliantly over the final two fences before claiming an entertaining win, with Funambule Sivola finishing second and Envoi Allen coming in third.


Jockey Paul Townend on Energumene: “I was on a very good horse – it’s easy to make it look easy. The guy deserved it. He ran on very heavy ground in Ireland – so the conditions weren’t going to worry us.”

Shiskin’s trainer Nicky Henderson on his horse pulling out: “He appears to be ok, but there was no point subjecting him to any more of that. When the ground is like this you’re into the real extremes.

“You never know until you run them what they can cope with. You could honestly tell going to the first fence. I knew where he wanted to be but he couldn’t get there.”

4:10 Cross Country Chase

The race began very tight, as Potterscorner and Easyland had their names In the hat to go on to win in Tiger Roll’s final race.

Tiger Roll slowly pulled in front going into the final six fences and it was then now or never for him to end his racing career on a high.

With a length and a half to finish, Delta Work who was ever present in trying to cause an upset pulled level with Tiger Roll.

And with the crowd cheering on their old time favourite, jockey Davey Russell urged Tiger Roll on, but it wasn’t to be, as Delta Work overtook him at the last moment to clinch victory.


Davy Russell on his last race with Tiger Roll, “We always knew Delta work was going be the biggest danger, I just couldn’t shake Jack [Kennedy] off. It’s a fantastic partnership he always seemed to get me out of jail, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be”.

Jack Kennedy reflects on the competition of Tiger Roll after a brilliant finish to the race.

A legacy that will live on forever.

Michael O’Leary claims it’s hard not to be disappointed with Tiger Roll’s second place finish.

4:50 Global Citizen upsets the odds and wins the Grand Annual

Pre-race favourite Andy Dufresne was only able to finish second in the end, with only five horses eventually finishing, with Frero Banbau, Editeu Du Gite and Amarillo Sky the only finishers.

Dufresne was behind Citizen for much of the race, unable to catch the galloping leader before the end, with a lead of eight lengths.

Global Citizen was considered an outsider at 25/1 odds, the second highest winner of today, only behind the 50/1 of Commander Fleet.

The winning duo of jockey Kielan Woods alongside trainer Ben Pauling were clearly happy after the race, proud of the unlikely achievement.

“Yes we were terrified, but I mean he is a warrior, he is 10, and we couldn’t be happier with him.”

5:30 Favourite Facile Vega wins the final event of Tuesday at Cheltenham Festival

The delay of the race due to a build-up of rain where the hurdles had been removed after the previous day’s events, forcing the jockeys to take an updated route on short notice.

The race was predicted to be very close between the three favourites of Facile Vega, American Mike and Redemption Day, however Redemption Day was unable to compete in the difficult conditions.

With the pack closely bunched up at the start, an early burst saw Houlanbatordechais and jockey Rachael Blackmore take an early lead before pulling up, leaving Mike and Vega to fight for the lead.

Vega was able to wrangle control however, and eventually lead out to win from odds of 15/8, leaving jockey Patrick Mullins and trainer Willie Mullins over the moon, Mullins especially given this was his 12th win in the event.


Trainer Willie Mullins on his Facile Vega’s win, that pushes him up to a total of 12 throughout his career.

“I was really worried about the conditions here but he relished it, Patrick was cool and in control.”

2:50 Commander of Fleet wins the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

Commander of Fleet wins the Coral Cup Hanidcap Hurdle in dramatic fashion in a photo finish, getting his nose ahead of 2nd place Fastorslow.

This one was a real muddy battle, with five hurdles remaining there was two clear packs. It was tight at the front with Ashdale Bob and Comprond leading come the final three hurdles.

For a brief moment it looked like Ashdale Bob was about to steam ahead to the finish line, but from the back of the breakaway pack Commander of Fleet and Fastorslow came sprinting down the final straight to a photo finish.

It was Commander of Fleet ridden by Shane Fitzgerald who got their nose in front to take victory, the horse trained by George Elliott was a 50-1 winner.

Final confirmation of the top four were Commander of Fleet in 1st, Fastorslow 2nd, Asdale Bob in 3rd and Camprond in 4th.


Jockey Shane Fitzgerald post race on ITV: ” He’s [Commander of Fleet] so gutsy, so tough. we have a great relationship and I can’t thank Gordon [Elliot] and Mr O’Leary enough. This is unbelievable.”

2:30 L’Homme Presse wins second race of the day to hand jockey Charlie Deutsch victory

This race was a tight one, the first hurdle saw L’Homme Presse, Fury Road and Dusart battle to set the pace, before it became clear who the stronger horses were.

The next fifteen hurdles saw Ahoy Senor and Threeunderthrufive join L’Homme Presse to fight it out to pull away as a clear winner and it was hard to split them.

For a brief moment going into the final hurdles, Farouk D’Alene joined the front runners but at the last hurdle they took a fall.

This allowed L’Homme Presse to run clear and win ahead of Ahoy Senor in 2nd and Gaillard Di Mesnil in 3rd.


After the race Charlie Deutsch gave his immediate response on ITV: “Every time I’ve rode this horse, you get these big races and it makes it so easy for us, he travels easy and jumps well.

It’s just wonderful to win, I’ve had such a good season and to get a big win at Cheltenham.

“It’s perfect weather for jumping isn’t it”.

However, the weather today isn’t for everyone and Paul Nicholls pulled Bravemansgame out of the race due to the weather and didn’t understand the reasoning behind watering the course today.

Trainer Andrew Edwards on the his winning horse.

“First the tears as soon as he crossed the line, I was very calm throughout the race and then when it came to the last jump that’s when it got very stressful”.

Here’s what Veneitia Williams, owner of L’Homme Presse, had to say about the race.

1:30 Sir Gerhard races brilliantly to win the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

Favourite Sir Gerhard jockeyed by Paul Townend brilliantly took the first race of the day as Journey With Me ridden by Rachael Blackmore fell at the last hurdle.

It was a fast start for Hemlock who took an early lead in the race, however Journey With Me came back to lead for a lengthy part of the race.

Although it was Willie Mullins’ Sir Gerhard who was favourite at 8/11 before the race who waited his time under jockey Townend before sprinting and taking the lead before the last hurdle.

After Blackmore’s fall at the last hurdle it allowed Sir Gerhard to take a lengthy lead before claiming the title with Three Stripe Life finishing second and other Mullins horse Whatdewant finishing in third.


After the race, reporters got some reaction to the race from jockey Townend and trainer Willie Mullins.

Townend: “He showed his class to be as keen as he was. That’s the best he’s ever jumped on the course.”

Sir Gerhard owner Richard Thompson also gave his thoughts on his horse taking victory.

Superb, absolutely loved that it was marvellous. Always felt comfortable with him but you have to do it on the day and he’s done that. We made the right choice in the Ballymore which is fantastic.

Cheltenham is special – it is different and it’s a different ballgame to Royal Ascot and the atmosphere is different. But it’s fantastic and it’s become a massive sporting event, it’s a special place.”

One positive about the rain is that it can wash all your worries away regarding the fall taken by Journey With Me, who is up and well after the race.

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