Crowds recently returned to the home of jumps racing for the first time at Cheltenham (11-12 December) since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, and what a couple of days of action it was.
Here are some great shots, taken by Bill Selwyn, which capture runners and riders in full flight, peppered with some winners for good measure…
Fusil Raffles (left, in green colours) and Daryl Jacob on their way to winning the Jockey Club Cheltenham And SW Syndicate Novices’ Chase for trainer Nicky Henderson and owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.
Song For Someone and Aidan Coleman walk back in after their win in the Grade 2 Unibet International Hurdle — which they clinched by just a nose over Silver Streak — for owners Sir Peter and Lady Gibbings and trainer Tom Symonds. Song For Someone is on something of a roll and an exciting prospect for his connections, as this marked his third consectutive win and third consecutive Grade 2 victory too.
Irish raiders Chatham Street Lad and up-and-coming Darragh O’Keeffe fly the last to win the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at 16/1 for trainer Michael Winters (who said he would “roll around in the mud” if his horse won — and then duly did!) and the Healymacs Pubs Syndicate.
Runners and riders cross the bank in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase. Some Neck, (the grey, jockey with red cap) was the eventual winner for Irish connections. The 18/1 shot, owned by the Some Neck Partnership, was ridden by 7lb claimer Ben Harvey, who enjoys plenty of hunting at home in Ireland, said it was a “dream” to win the race aboard the John C McConnell-trained grey.
Madiera Mist jumps the last en-route to providing jockey Alan Johns with his first Cheltenham winner. Owned by Paul and Louise Bowtell, the six-year-old Stowaway mare romped home in the CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares’ Handicap Chase for trainer Tim Vaughan. There were smiles all-round (well, underneath face masks, see second picture below) on returning to the winners’ enclosure.
Storm Control jumped like a bunny under Richard Patrick on his way to winning the Grade 3 Unibet Handicap Chase for trainer Kerry Lee and owner Will Roseff.
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Come On Teddy and Sam Twiston Davies (centre) fly away from the back of the last in the Citipost Handicap Hurdle to win for the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate and trainer Tom George.
Mister Fisher (right) jumps two out under Nico De Boinville en-route to winning the Fitzdares Peterborough Chase, which was rescheduled from the abandoned Huntingdon meeting the week previously. The eye-catching son of Jeremy clinched victory for trainer Nicky Henderson and owners James and Jean Potter.
Breffniboy and Tom Buckley (far right) win the Catesby Handicap Hurdle for trainer Johnny Farrelly and owner F A Clegg in front of the socially-distanced Cheltenham crowd.
Adagio and Tom Scudamore (left) at the last in the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle. The son of Wiener Walzer won for trainer David Pipe and owners Professor C Tisdall, Bryan Drew and friends. This victory meant that Tom Scudamore moved above Noel Fehily to ninth on the list of most successful National Hunt riders.
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