Cheltenham: Tiger Roll wins Cross Country Chase; Altior equals record

Altior ridden by Nico de Boinville (left) on their way to victory in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase during Ladies Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture: Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse.

The remarkable Tiger Roll won for the fourth time at the Festival when he inflicted a 22-length trouncing on his Glenfarclas Chase rivals.

Gordon Elliott’s Grand National winner was following up his success in this race last year, after previous Festival victories in the Triumph Hurdle and National Hunt Chase.

The nine-year-old, delivering a first win at this year’s meeting for his trainer, was sent off 5-4 favourite – and the outcome was rarely in the slightest doubt, despite the marathon trip, as he and Keith Donoghue sauntered clear from Josies Orders in second and 2018 runner-up Urgent De Gregaine.

Donoghue said: “He’s definitely a legend in my eyes. Some horse, some performance. He tanked up the whole way and kept going.

“He he has the heart of a lion.”

Elliott said: “Unbelievable. Tiger is something else and it’s great for Keith.

“He got us out of trouble. We’re having a rough week. He’s class.”

Altior wins Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham

Altior won his second successive Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – equalling the all-time record for 18 consecutive victories over jumps.

De Boinville had Henderson’s brilliant two-miler in a prominent position throughout, chasing the pace set by Saint Calvados.

The field packed up behind Altior going to the last as Sceau Royal and eventual runner-up Politologue challenged on either side.

However, the nine-year-old – who had made an early mistake at the water jump – dug deep to prevail by one and three-quarter lengths and the same at odds of 4-11.

De Boinville said: “What an absolute monster and aren’t we lucky to be in an age where he’s here. We should just celebrate him.

“He’s a phenomenal athlete – he doesn’t know how to lose.”

Altior was joining mighty staying hurdler Big Buck’s on 18 wins, and Henderson said: “I was forgetting it was his 18th straight win. I was thinking about Winx and I thought that’s totally irrelevant, 18.

“The whole team is what it’s all about. They have been brilliant.”

William Henry wins Coral Cup

William Henry produced a late charge to get up on the line and win the Coral Cup by a short head, from top weight and fellow 28-1 shot Wicklow Brave.

William Henry ridden by jockey Nico de Boinville (centre) wins the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle during Ladies Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. (Paul Harding/PA Wire)

The winner was a timely confidence boost for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville, set to team up in the next race with Altior as the hot favourite bids for a second consecutive Queen Mother Champion Chase success – and record-equalling 18th consecutive victory over jumps.

Topofthegame wins the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase

Topofthegame, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Harry Cobden, took the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.

Topofthegame ridden by jockey Harry Cobden (right) wins the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Paul Harding/PA).

The giant chestnut just got the better of Santini to win by half a length at 4-1, with favourite Delta Work another one and three-quarter lengths back in third.

Topofthegame, ridden by Harry Cobden, was providing a first winner of this year’s Festival for 10-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

Cobden said: “He travelled into the race great. He jumped and galloped up that hill. He’s a beast.”

Nicholls said: “That was awesome. What a fantastic ride from a young man.

“That was absolutely brilliant. He’s a really smart horse. He was a maiden coming into today, but was second in Grade One and Harry probably learnt a good lesson that day. He was unlucky the first day.”

City Island wins Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

City Island, trained by Martin Brassil and ridden by Mark Walsh, wins the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, the opening race on day two of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

City Island provided jockey Mark Walsh with his second winner of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, as they scored a two-length success from the well-backed Champ in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

The 8-1 winner, trained by Martin Brassil, was one of six horses vying for the lead as the field approached the second-last.

By the last, though, the six-year-old was in front and was driven out to stay there in the opening race on day two of the meeting as Walsh added to his Champion Hurdle victory on Tuesday.

An impressed Walsh said: “We still don’t know how good he is because even when he gets to the front he doesn’t do a stroke.”

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