That was Cheltenham 2017
As usual the Irish proved far too strong for the English in the Prestbury Cup as they closed out another memorable day on Thursday.
Defi de Seuil retained unbeaten status and looks like one for the little black book as he won the JCB Triumph Hurdle by 5 lengths from Mega Fortune, with Bapaume a short head away in third.
The Albert Bartlett went the way of Willie Mullins but not with the stable favourite - Penhill, given a great ride by Paul Townend won by 3 1/2 lengths to Monaleen and Wholestone 4 lengths away in third. The winner will be transferred to the flat and possibly go to the Ascot Gold Cup and a possibility of coming to the Melbourne Cup. Wholestone will go to Aintree and then go chasing.
Then the thrill of the Gold Cup - first time in for both trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Robbie Power and the did it with Sizing John. Minella Rocco came from nowhere to run second at 18/1 for Jonjo O'Neill and is now favourite for the Grand National. Native River was very genuine and tried his best finishing a short head back in third and Djakadam didn't get the trip and was fourth.
Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power combined again to win the last race with Rock The World, which they certainly did.
News came through that Douvain suffered a broken pelvis which explained the disappointing run on Tuesday.
Gordon Elliott won the trainers championship on a count back from Willie Mullins which is a bit ironic as Michael O'Leary had transferred a big number of his horses from Mullins to Elliott. However that's racing.
On the down side there were 3 horses that had to be put down after bad falls but many more got up and walked away.
Perhaps the lasting memory would be Un Des Sceaux flying over the obstacles in the Ryanair - did not seem to put in a bad one at any stage.
- ● Godolphin silence on O'Shea departure
- ● Chris Munce after another stakes win
- ● Rebel Dane primed for Brisbane farewell
- ● Payne with chances in Warrnambool features