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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

Six Irish winners as favourites dominate again on day two at Cheltenham

It was three from three for the punters in the first three Grade Ones today.

Davy Russell celebrates winning on board Presenting Percy.
Davy Russell celebrates winning on board Presenting Percy.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE CONDITIONS DEFINITELY didn’t suit Altior, but it didn’t stop Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old from winning the feature race on day two of the 2018 Cheltenham festival.

The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase was a run at a pace that looked to trouble the even-money favourite in the early stages, with Douvan and Patrick Mullins doing all they could to end Altior’s run of 12 unbeaten over fences.

However, Willie Mullins’ charge fell when looking strong and it was left to stablemate Min to challenge Altior over the final obstacles with the latter having too much in the tank up the Prestbury Park hill.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

In the opener, Samcro leaves the Cotswolds with an unblemished copybook after living up to all the hype to claim the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott’s charge never looked in trouble despite the best efforts of the runner-up, Black Op, and was always going to have more than his rivals after taking up the running from Vision Des Flos as the leaders took the final bend.

He cruised home under the steady hand of Jack Kennedy with Ruby Walsh and Next Destination finishing third.

Walsh, of course, was on the second favourite Al Boum Photo in the RSA Insurance Chase, before both went down at the penultimate fence resulting in the jockey being stood down for the day.

That race, the second Grade One of the day, went to another favourite — Presenting Percy — who eased his way to the front and trotted home as Monalee and Elegant Escape battled it out for the minor places.

The final Grade One of the day, the Wheterby’s Champion Bumper, went to the Mullins’ yard with Katie Walsh flying home after Carefully Selected had made all the running.

The top three in the market, Rhinestone, Blackbow and Acey Milan, hardly figure.

1.30pm – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
1. Samcro (8/11F)
2. Black Op (8/1)
3. Next Destination (4/1)

2.10pm – RSA Insurance Chase
1. Presenting Percy (5/2F)
2. Monalee (10/3)
3. Elegant Escape (9/1)

2.50pm – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
1. Bleu Berry (20/1)
2. Topofthegame (9/1)
3. Barra (16/1)
4. William Henry (8/1F)

3.30pm – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
1. Altior (evensF)
2. Min (5/2)
3. God’s Own (40/1)

4.10pm - Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
1. Tiger Roll (7/1)
2. Urgent De Gregaine (12/1)
3. The Last Samuri (11/4F)

4.50pm - Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
1. Veneer Of Charm (33/1)
2. Style De Garde (12/1)
3. Nube Negra (15/2)
4. Padleyourowncanoe (33/1)

5.30pm – Wheterby’s Champion Bumper 
1. Relegate (25/1)
2. Carefully Selected (6/1)
3. Tornado Flyer (14/1)

LIVE: Day 2 of Cheltenham 2018

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