The first race of the Cheltenham Festival has concluded with Marine Nationale (9/4) taking home success under jockey Michael O’Sullivan.
Many had tipped Facile Vega at 9/2 beforehand, and it seemed likely that Vega would be coming home in first place until a late mistake allowed the impressive Marine Nationale to stride home to victory in the final stretch.
Vega would come home in second place, with Willie Mullins’ Diverge taking third in the race after being tipped at 25/1 beforehand.
Much has been made of the opening race, while many have experienced early disappointment having backed Vega to win the opener.
Park Life Sport took a look at some of the reaction on Twitter following the race.
There has been some criticism on following Vega’s second place finish, with many questioning the strength of the horse.
Someone at a preview night said Facile Vega was the worst favourite of the week and they were right !
— Jeff (@jeffnewton1) March 14, 2023
Despite the criticism for Vega, there has been an outpouring of praise for the efforts of Marine Nationale.
— Kevin Ticehurst (@Brightonfan) March 14, 2023
There were some early winners though, as many have started off their experience of Cheltenham with early success against the bookies.
— Pauly (@PaulyFPL) March 14, 2023
Much was made of the famous Cheltenham atmosphere as many soaked up the very best which the festival had to offer.
— Matt Hardy (@MattHardyJourno) March 14, 2023
Next up in the running is the second race of the festival, the 14:10 Sporting Life Arkle Challenge.