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Tag Archives: Cheltenham Racing Festival

Killaloe trainer celebrates first Grade 1 success

A KILLALOE horse trainer received a late Christmas present when Poetic Rhythm helped him to land his first Grade 1 winner. Fergal O’Brien was thrilled when his horse crowned what has been a terrific year for him by winning the Betfred Challow Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday. O’Brien, who used to be head lad to Nigel Twiston-Davies and now rents his old second yard, has sent out 46 winners this season, the vast majority ridden by Paddy Brennan from Ardrahan. Having broken his seasonal-best tally back in April, along with claiming a maiden Grade 2 winner at Sandown in February, the Naunton handler celebrated another landmark achievement as the six-year-old came out on top in a thrilling renewal. After chasing down long-time leader Mulcahys Hill, the 15/8 favourite forged on over the last in the hands of Paddy Brennan, before repelling the late fightback from the Warren Greatrex-trained runner by a short head. It was a close-run thing at the …

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Mullins set to raid Cheltenham Festival

WILLIE Mullins is the man to follow at the four-day Cheltenham Racing Festival, where the champion trainer holds a huge hand. Dominant on both sides of the Irish Sea all season, Mullins knows what it takes to win at the festival, having saddled a total of 41 winners since breaking his duck at Prestbury Park, when Tourist Attraction landed the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle back in 1995. With a battalion of top-class horses at his disposal, the Closutton maestro will have fancied runners in most of the 28 races and could well equal or surpass last year’s record-breaking tally of eight winners. Tuesday’s opening afternoon could well be dominated by the Mullins/Ruby Walsh alliance, with Min (Supreme Novices), Douvan in the Arkle, the supplemented Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle and Vroom Vroom Mag in the mares’ hurdle all short prices for respective races. Bookmakers were spared a huge pay-out 12 months ago when Annie Power fell at the final flight …

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