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Dublin: 0°C Friday 16 April 2021
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Ruby and Mullins dominate Cheltenham opening day as Faugheen wins Champion Hurdle

But Annie Power’s fall was one of the biggest stories of the day.

Ruby Walsh celebrates winning on Un De Sceaux Ruby Walsh celebrates after Un De Sceaux wins. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Updated 4.10pm

IT’S WAS A dream start to Cheltenham for Ireland’s Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins as they won three races on the opening day of the 2015 festival.

The pair combined when Faugheen won the feature Champion Hurdle, Douvan took the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Un De Sceaux claimed the Arkle Chase.

But there was a big shock in the Mares’ Hurdle when huge favourite Annie Power fell at the last fence under Walsh and it was another Willie Mullins-trained horse Glens Melody that came home first.

Ruby Walsh and Annie Power fall at the final hurdle Ruby Walsh and Annie Power fall at the final hurdle at Cheltenham today. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Faugheen ridden by Ruby Walsh Faugheen ridden by Ruby Walsh on the way to winning. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Douvan went off the 2/1 favourite in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and finished strongly to see off Shaneshill (9/1) in second place while Siziing John finished third at 25/1. Barry Geraghty’s L’Ami Serge was back in fourth place at 7/2.

Then Un De Sceaux held off late pressure from God’s Own after leading all the way to come in as the 4/6 favourite. God’s Own was in second at 33/1 while Josses Hill finished third at 12/1.

Faugheen was magnificent in winning the Champion Hurdle as the 4/5 favourite saw off Arctic Fire (20/1) into second place with the great Hurricane Fly, a two-time winner of this race, back in third at 8/1.

Ruby Walsh on Douvan celebrates Ruby Walsh celebrates after Douvan wins. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

An Irish jockey also won the third race with Barry Geraghty aboard The Druids Nephew in the Festival Handicap Chase.

Barry Geraghty celebrates winning on The Druids Nephew Barry Geraghty celebrates winning. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The punters were pretty happy with Ruby Tuesday.

In contrast to the bookies.

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RESULTS

1.30pm – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
1st – Douvan (2/1)
2nd – Shaneshill (9/1)
3rd – Sizing John (25/1).

2.05pm – Arkle Chase
1st – Un De Sceaux (4/6)
2nd – God’s Own (33/1)
3rd – Josses Hill (12/1)

2.40pm – Festival Handicap Chase
1st – The Druids Nephew (8/1)
2nd – Grand Jesture (25/1)
3rd – Gallant Oscar (9/1)

3.20pm – Champion Hurdle
1st – Faugheen (4/5)
2nd – Arctic Fire (20/1)
3rd – Hurricane Fly (8/1)

4pm – Mares’ Hurdle
1st – Glens Melody (6/1)
2nd – Polly Peachum (9/1)
3rd – Bitofapuzzle (16/1)

4.40pm – National Hunt Chase
1st – Cause Of Causes (8/1)
2nd – Broadway Buffalo (12/1)
3rd – The Job Is Right (10/1)

5.15pm – Novices Handicap Chase
1st – Irish Cavalier (11/1)
2nd – Thomas Crapper (6/1)
3rd – Generous Ransom (8/1)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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