Cheltenham Festival: Tuesday - as it happens

Cheltenham Festival: Tuesday - as it happens

From Irish Post reporter Robert Mulhern at Cheltenham

RUBY WALSH has hailed the record breaking performance of Cheltenham wonder horse Quevega.

Walsh rode the 10-year-old Willie Mullins trained star who surpassed the legendary Golden Miller to win the Mare’s Hurdle for a record sixth year in a row.

“Last year she nearly had a bit of bad luck and overcame it. This year, she didn’t have any bad luck but she was just gutsy enough to win. It was a tidy performance out of her,” Walsh told The Irish Post.

“For a jump horse the amount of jump work, the amount of schooling, the amount of risk. It’s an unbelievable performance from Willie [Mullins] really.”

When asked how special the victory was for him, Walsh humbly relied: “It’s more special for the trainer and the staff at home. I’m the lucky guy who gets to ride her here. What goes into a horse to get her back to Cheltenham six years in a row, spot on  - the jockey plays a very small part in that.

"It’s a massive training performance an a great performance from the lads who look after her at home. I get to steer her around here and enjoy the fun but it’s a massive performance from a great team of people.”

Reflecting on what was another seminal afternoon in his career, despite the defeat of Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle, Walsh said: “That’s sport, but then it’s been a great day. You come to Cheltenham with hope more than expectation and the day you come and expect is the day you are going to leave a sorry guy.

"We had a great day to have two winners from four rides is brilliant. Obviously I’m a bit disappointed with Hurricane Fly but that’s horse racing, that’s life you take the good with the bad.”

1640 Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase (Listed) - Result
1 Midnight Prayer 8-1
2 Shotgun Paddy 7-2
3 Suntiep 9-1

Quevega is a record-breaker after landing her sixth Mares' Hurdle for Willie Mullins. Ruby Walsh was in the saddle for his second win of the day.

Quevega's sixth successive Festival win is a Cheltenham record, although many will put Golden Miller's feat of five consecutive victories as more impressive given that they came in the Gold Cup.

1600 OLBG Mares' Hurdle (Grade 2) - Result  
1 Quevega 8-11F
2 Glens Melody 14-1
3 L'unique 25-1

From Irish Post reporter Robert Mulhern at Cheltenham

 JEZKI stole Hurricane Fly’s thunder to win the most hotly anticipated Champion Hurdle in years.

The Willie Mullins trained Ruby Walsh partnered Hurricane Fly went off the 11-4 favourite with punters buoyed by the yard’s winning performance of Vantour in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Champagne Fever’s narrow defeat to Western Warhorse in the Arkle.

The Mullins stable appeared to be in rude health, but Willie Mullins admitted afterwards that he knew the game was up at the second last. The race was somewhat overshadowed by a horrible fall by Our Conor down the back straight, which hampered The New One but Jezki  was not to be outdone.

“We went a nice gallop early and we quickened,” said jockey Barry Geraghty. “He jumped well apart from the forth last. It all unfolded nicely. I’d say we weren’t gone past the line and I got a genuine well done from AP, which was great.”

Speaking about Hurricane Fly, Willie Mullins said: “One disappointing run in a career is not the end of the road in my book. I think he still retains enthusiasm and everything.

"I thought after the second last the game was up. I was hoping he’d produce something special, but it didn’t happen. I think he got tired but then the winner was up there with him the whole way. But they’ve always said Jezki was a stayer and that they needed to ride him more positively and they did today and it worked for them. What more can I say.”

Barry Geraghty gives Jezki a brilliant ride as it romps home in a dramatic  Champion Hurdle, beating JP McManus' My Tent Or Yours to second. The New One finished in third.

There was no fairytale ending for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh as the much-fancied  Hurricane Fly came in fourth

1520 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) - Result 

1 Jezki 9-1
2 My Tent Or Yours 3-1
3 The New One 10-3

Jonjo O’Neill's horse, Hollywell, takes the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase.

Hollywell was rode by jockey Richie McLernon from Cork.

1440 Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (Grade 3) - Result
1 Holywell 10-1
2 Ma Filleule 33-1
3 The Package 16-1
4 Green Flag 16-1

Audio:Ruby Walsh reacting to Vautor's win in the days opening race - The Supreme Novice Hurdle

From Irish Post reporter Robert Mulhern at Cheltenham

THREE races in and already Cheltenham is a jelly-legged affair. The Arkle was a classic with Champagne Fever’s lung busting effort just one gasp short of victory over Western Warhorse. The crowd were cowed by a margin Rizzla paper thin. The bookies gasped a long sigh of relief. That victory would have registered two favourites on the bounce and with Hurricane Fly and Quevega still to come.

Ruby Walsh was buoyant after the opening victory in the Supreme Novices hurdle when Vautor destroyed the rest of the field by six lengths.

"That's what it's all about he smiled in the Winners' Enclosure."

That performance and the narrow defeat suffered by Champagne Fever and Walsh points to the Mullins’ yard being in rude health ahead of the 3.20 historic showdown between Hurricane Fly, Our Conor, The New One, My Tent or Yours and Jezki. The sun has broken through the clouds in Prestbury Park but the bookies have survived an early burning.

The 2014 Cheltenham Festival is now underway with Willie Mullins marking a great start to the festival and seeing Vautour taking the opening race, the Supreme Novice Hurdle.

Vautour, ridden by Ruby Walsh broke the course record set by Istabraq in the Champion Hurdle in 2000 as the 7-2 joint-favourite made nearly all the running as he swept to a convincing victory.

The first race results were: 1330 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) - Result 
1 Vautour
2 Josses Hill
3 Vaniteux

The second race results were: 1405 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade 1) - Result
1 Western Warhorse
2 Champagne Fever
3 Trifolium

The win for Ruby Walsh marked one from one for our tipster Karl Hedley. Read his tips for today here.