Appreciate It has won the Sky Bet Supreme Novice’ Hurdle by a wide margin.
The second race of the day saw Shiskin claim victory with a dominant lead in the Arkle Challenge Trophy.
15:40: Mares Hurdle
Black Tears pipped Concertista right on the finish line after a late surge on the straight.
The win was a festival first for Denise Foster who took over Gordon Elliot’s yard only last week following his suspension.
Roksana came in third who had been in front before being overtaken.
Jockey Jack Kennedy had this to say: “It’s unbelievable. I’m absolutely delighted for the owners. She jumped and travelled unbelievably well.”
“She came out of my hands at the last but luckily she was more tuned in than I was, and that was probably the difference between winning and losing.”
15:05 Champion Hurdle
Honeysuckle (11-1 ) has won the Unibet Champion Hurdle by five lengths.
Trained by Henry De Bromhead and the victory means Rachel Blackmore becomes the first female jockey to win a championship race at the festival.
Silver Streak led for most of the race but after the final hurdle Honeysuckle ramped up the pace and powered through for an emphatic finish.
Speaking after the race Rachel Blackmore said: “It’s absolutely incredible, I’m speechless. I cant believe we just won a champion hurdle it’s incredible.”
“It’s unbelievable for everyone in the yard, they all work so hard.”
Sharjah finished second with Epatante coming third. Goshen had been pushing Silver Streak for most of the race but went wide halfway through and was overtaken during the final few hurdles.
Abacadabras and jockey Jack Kennedy fell but both horse and rider were up on their feet and look okay.
14:30 Ultima Handicap
Vintage Clouds (28/1) has won the Ultima Handicap by 2 lengths in what was a hotly contested handicap
Ryan Mania made all on the 11-year-old with the Kim Bailey trained Happygolucky in second with Aye Right back in third.
It looked as if Vintage Clouds may have lost his position coming round the final bend but jumped the last well and won comfortably on his fifth run in the race.
It was former Grand National winner Mania’s first win at the Cheltenham Festival and trainer Sue Smith’s second.
The jockey told ITV after the race that he was surprised as any that he won.
“He has been a real stalwart in the yard. Unreal. He was loving it all the way round. Never did I think he would storm up the hill like he did.”
13:55 Arkle Challenge Trophy
Shiskin (4-9) has won the Arkle Challenge Trophy by a massive margin in the second race of the first day at Cheltenham Festival.
Allmankind and Captain Guinness took the lead early on and kept the pace over the first six fences with Shiskin just behind, but Nico de Boinville rode Shiskin over the last three fences and into a dominant lead to claim victory.
Eldorado Allen at 33/1 was far behind but made a late comeback to second.
Captain Guinness at 10/1 claimed the third spot after leading at the beginning.
Franco De Port (9/1) never recovered from a poor start and remained at the back of the back, whilst Allmankind claimed the fourth spot.
It was the seventh victory in the Arkle Challenge Trophy for N J Henderson.
Speaking to ITV after the race, jockey De Boinville was delighted with his horses run.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. I’m just delighted to be on a horse such as Shiskin, his profile is just amazing and he’s a fantastic horse.”
13:20 Sky Bet Surpeme Novices’ Hurdle
In the first race of a Cheltenham festival like no other, Willie Mullins trained Appreciate It (8/11) finished well clear of the field in a dominant performance.
Ballyadam finished a way behind in second place and 40/1 For Pleasure finished in third place.
Appreciate It’s jockey Paul Townend told ITV Racing: “He was more workmanlike last time but that was more like it from this lad. Proper performance, wasn’t it?
“It was very different but we’re so lucky to be here and able to take part in the sport that we all love. It was different but I could hear the Irish boys in the corner so it was okay,” said Townend.
Blue Lord fell at the last hurdle, and Metier fell off the pace as Appreciate it pulled towards the finish.
Willie Mullins has the most winners in the Festivals history, and has a squad of horses ready to compete in more races for the rest of the week.
|13:20||8||Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race)||Appreciate It|
|13:55||5||Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race)||Shiskin|
|14:30||16||Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race)||–|
|15:05||10||Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (GBB Race)||–|
|15:40||10||Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Registered As The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle) (Grade 1) (GBB Race)||–|
|16:15||22||oodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Registered As The Fred Winter) (Grade 3) (GBB Race)||–|
|16:50||12||Sam Vestey National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race)||–|
The next race of the day starts at 13.55 and it’s the Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase.