Cheltenham Day Two: Douvan misses out and all the rest of today's results

There was plenty of drama on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Today’s winners:

  • 1.30pm: Neptune Investments Management Novices’ Hurdle: Willoughby Court 14-
  • 2.10pm: RSA Novices Chase: Might Bite 4-1
  • 2.50pm: Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle: Supasundae 16-1
  • 3.30pm: Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase: Special Tiara 11-1
  • 4.10pm: Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase): Cause of Causes 4-1
  • 4.50pm: Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle: Flying Tiger 33-1
  • 5.30pm: Weatherbys Champion Bumper: Fayonagh 7-1

Update: 5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper

Fayonagh came from the clouds to land the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

Gordon Elliott's mare was a 7-1 shot to add to her previous victories at Naas and Fairyhouse and though she badly missed the start, the six-year-old fairly flew home under star amateur Jamie Codd and was ultimately well on top at the line.

The victory completed doubles on the day for Elliott and Codd following the earlier success of Cause Of Causes in the Glenfarclas Chase and takes the trainer's tally to the week to five with two days to go.

Elliott said: "Five winners in two days? I can't believe it."

The Mags Mullins-trained Debuchet filled the runner-up spot, a length and a quarter away, with Nicky Henderson's Claimantakinforgan best of the British in third.

    1st Fayonagh 7-1

    2nd Debuchet 10-1

    3rd Claimantakinforgan 22-1

Update: 4.50pm Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Nick Williams gained his first Cheltenham Festival winner as Flying Tiger ran out a 33-1 victor in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle.

The well-fancied Divin Bere moved smoothly towards the front end rounding the home turn before being joined by Nietzsche at the final flight.

Flying Tiger ridden by Richard Johnson on the way to winning the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

However, it was Flying Tiger who finished best, getting up to beat Divin Bere and provide champion jockey Richard Johnson with his first winner of this year's Festival.

Nietzsche was third ahead of Project Bluebook in fourth.

Johnson said: "It's fantastic. Lizzie Kelly was riding another horse (Diable De Sivola, fifth) but has done a lot of work to get him settled.

"He's always been talented in France but he got it right on the day.

"I'm slightly speechless."

    1st Flying Tiger 33-1

    2nd Divin Bere 9-2f

    3rd Nietzsche 12-1

Update: 4.10pm Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase)

Cause Of Causes claimed the third Festival success of his career with a tremendous display in the Glenfarclas Chase.

Having won the National Hunt Chase in 2015 and the Kim Muir 12 months ago under Jamie Codd, the combination were among the market leaders for this cross-country event at 4-1.

Cause of Causes ridden by Jamie Codd on the way to winning the Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

French raider Amazing Comedy led to the second-last, but was soon swamped by a trio of JP McManus-owned runners and Bless The Wings.

Gordon Elliott's Cause Of Causes picked up to lead at the final obstacle and galloped up the hill for a nine-length success over stablemate Bless The Wings.

Cantlow, the 9-4 favourite, was third ahead of Auvergnat in fourth.

Elliott said: "He seems to come well at Cheltenham every year.

"He's an absolute superstar and we love him to bits. Jamie also gave him a great ride.

"It was a great result as we also had the second.

"If you have a plan, you have to try and do it right.

"We've had an unbelievable week. It's been a dream come true. "

    1st Cause of Causes 4-1

    2nd Bless The Wings 10-1

    3rd Cantlow 9-4f

Update: 3.30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

Douvan's winning run came to a shuddering halt as Special Tiara claimed victory in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the feature race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

All eyes were on the Willie Mullins-trained Douvan, the brilliant seven-year-old who had won 14 races on the spin and was sent off the 2-9 favourite.

Special Tiara ridden by Noel Fehily (right) and God's Own ridden by Adrian Heskin (centre) lead the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

But after having jumped a little too exuberantly in places, he looked in serious trouble two fences from home - and so it proved.

Whereas Douvan retreated, eventually finishing down the field, the front-running Special Tiara (11-1) kept up an honest gallop under Noel Fehily and gamely fended off Fox Norton by a head.

Fehily, who won the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday, said: "Unbelievable. He's such a great ride, he's everything a two-mile chaser should be. He's a very good horse.

"I thought I had a great chance of being second. I got over the last and was surprised something hadn't come to me, but I knew he wasn't stopping.

"He has one way of running and that's flat to the mat and jump - I just let him get on with it.

"I've always loved two-mile chasers, the Champion Chase is the one you want to win. To win it is fantastic."

Special Tiara ridden by Noel Fehily (right) celebrates beating Fox Norton ridden by Aidan Coleman to win the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Winning trainer Henry de Bromhead said: "It's an amazing day, I'm just so pleased for everyone involved.

"He seemed in great form coming into it, but it was hard to believe (could win) with Douvan and everything else - Douvan had looked so good.

"For our lad, he just tries his heart out and no-one deserves it more.

"I thought he jumped the slickest he's ever jumped. Often he jumps a bit high. Incredible.

"Any day you win a Grade One at Cheltenham is just an amazing day."

    1st Special Tiara 11-1

    2nd Fox Norton 7-1

    3rd Sir Valentino 33-1

Update: 2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

Supasundae took charge of the Coral Cup for trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Robbie Power.

Supasundae ridden by Robbie Power lead the field over the final flight before going on to win The Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle Race at Cheltenham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Owned by Alan and Ann Potts, the 16-1 chance came into his own approaching the final flight and was much too good for Taquin Du Seuil, who succumbed by two lengths.

Who Dares Wins and Monksland finished third and fourth respectively.

Power said: "He's galloped all the way to the line.

"He was a very, very good bumper horse and beat Yanworth in the (Aintree) Bumper.

Harrington said: "I only inherited him this year from Henry de Bromhead so it's absolutely fantastic.

Runners and Riders in action during The Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

"Good ground was the real making of him. We knew he'd improve a real lot on that ground."

Tombstone, the 7-2 favourite, was most disappointing.

Power added: "The main priority going out was to get a good position and to find a bit of room.

"I had a lovely run the whole way. I was confident when we got better ground that he'd be a better horse.

"I said he'd be competitive in this race and thankfully he was."

    1st Supersundae 16-1

    2nd Taquin Du Seuil 12-1

    3rd Who Dares Wins 33-1

    4th Monksland 66-1

Update 2.45: Consul De Thaix jockey Mark Walsh stood down for rest of the day

Jockey Mark Walsh was stood down on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival after he suffered a fall in the opening race on the card.

Walsh was partnering Consul De Thaix in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle when the horse sustained a fatal fall at the sixth-last flight.

Consul De Thaix is trained by Nicky Henderson and owned by JP McManus, for whom Walsh is a retained jockey.

Walsh was due to partner Hargam in the Coral Cup and Cantlow in the Glenfarclas Chase.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said of Walsh: "The last information I received was that he was being assessed for a concussive head injury."

Update 2.10pm: RSA Novices Chase 

Might Bite defeated stablemate Whisper in the RSA Chase in one of the most dramatic finishes in recent Cheltenham Festival history.

Mite Bite ridden by Nico de Boinville on their way to winning the RSA Novices’ Chase. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

The former was a mile clear under Nico de Boinville, but a less-than-fluent leap at the last gave Whisper just a squeak.

Whisper then suddenly grew inspired along the run-in, whereas Might Bite - who fell at the final fence at Kempton on Boxing Day with a Grade One prize at his mercy - faltered as he hung badly to his right and was even headed.

De Boinville managed to correct his path with the aid of a loose horse and the Nicky Henderson-trained pair eventually flashed past the post in unison, but Might Bite (7-2 favourite) was announced the winner by a nose.

De Boinville said: "He did exactly the same in his hurdles run around here, the same thing happened. Without the loose horse I wouldn't have won.

"He's a thinker but he's so talented, he jumped for fun - he should have five or 10 lengths.

"It's great for the owners and great for guv'nor, he's having a great time of it. I kept faith with this horse, I can see why others might not!

"We'll see (if he is a Gold Cup horse), we might have to iron out a few issues, but he's definitely got the ability."

Henderson said: "What to make of it all? It just goes to show why you run two horses in a race."

Mite Bite ridden by Nico de Boinville on their way to winning the RSA Novices’ Chase. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

    1st Might Bite 7-2F

    2nd Whisper 9-2

    3rd Bellshill 5-1

1.30pm: Neptune Investments Management Novices’ Hurdle

Willoughby Court showed stunning bravery to land the Neptune Investment Management Novice’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Willoughby Court ridden by David Bass (right) beats Neon Wolf ridden by Noel Fehily. Pic: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

The 14-1 chance, trained by Ben Pauling and ridden by David Bass, had looked a sitting duck once Neon Wolf made his move.

But try as he might along the run-in, the 2-1 favourite could not get on level terms with the front-running Willoughby Court, who was announced the winner after a photo-finish, getting the nod by a head.

"My horse drifted right and drifted left again," said Bass. "It’s brilliant for Ben and his team.

"I’m so grateful to him and his owners to ride a nice horse like this."

Bass continued: "I thought I was always holding him (Neon Wolf).

"This lad stays well and it’s fantastic for Ben, who is a really good trainer."

Messire Des Obeaux finished third at odds of 8-1.

    1st Willoughby Court 14-1

    2nd Neon Wolf 2-1f

    3rd Messire Des Obeaux 8-1


By Steve Neville

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