CHELTENHAM: Highlights of the week

With four-days worth of sore heads littered around Cheltenham, it’s time to call an end to one of racing’s biggest festivals.

The week started off with spirits elated, and Willie Mullins’ horse Klassical Dream won the first race – the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle.

Espoir D’Allen won the main race that day and was ridden by Mark Walsh.

The main race of the second day never looked out of sight for a certain runner.

Altior was the bookies’ favourite by a long-shot and didn’t dissappoint, winning at a canter to the adulation of the adoring punters.

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The third day will go down as a great day in Cheltenham Racing history – as Bryony Frost became the first woman to win a Grade 1 race.

Frost rode on Frodon, and afterwards she made a heartfelt speech about the Gelding:

“He is Pegasus, he has got wings.

“That minute where he got overtaken two out, most horses would quit.

“But no, he grabbed me by the hands and said, ‘Don’t you dare give up. Don’t you dare not send me into the last. I want this more than you, now come on! Where are you?’

 “He’s unbelievable. I love you, mate!”

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Paisley Park won the big race of the day but was rightly overshadowed by Frost’s historic achievement.

The Gold Cup was won by Al Boum Photo.

Ridden by Paul Townend, it was Willie Mullins’ first ever Gold Cup win, as he’d come second six times previously.

The joyous occasion was tainted however, as Sir Erec and Invitation Only were put down during the day, bringing controversy and campaigners to the forefront of media attention.

With that, the Cheltenham Festival came to a close, with celebrations carrying on into the early hours of the morning, in the town centre.

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