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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 21 March, 2019
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Six from seven for the Irish on day three at Cheltenham

Gigginstown took the first two Grade Ones today.

Davy Russell celebrates winning the Ryanair Chase.
Davy Russell celebrates winning the Ryanair Chase.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MICHAEL O’LEARY AND GIGGINSTOWN enjoyed a perfect start to day three at the Cheltenham festival.

O’Leary’s horses took the first three races on Thursday, including two Grade Ones.

They opened their account with the big gamble of the day, Shattered Love, who romped to victory in the opening JLT Novices’ Chase under Jack Kennedy.

The seven-year-old mare looked a winner from two fences out and duly delivered to give Gordon Elliott his fourth winner of the festival.

He made it five just 30 minutes later when Delta Work and Davy Russell beat the favourite Glenloe by a nostril to take the Pertemps Network Final, the day’s first handicap.

Russell found himself in the winner’s enclosure again following the third race of the day as he piloted Balko Des Flos to victory in the Ryanair Chase.

It marked the first time an O’Leary horse won the race his airline sponsors and he can thank Russell who timed his challenge perfectly to claim the second Grade One on offer.

While the Gigginstown colours were not represented in the feature race of the day, the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle, it was another win for the Irish with the Willie Mullins-trained Penhill beating Supasundae up the hill.

It was five from five for the Irish in the Festival Plate with Elliott’s The Storyteller becoming the first favourite to win on the day as Russell timed his run perfectly to beat the outsider Splash of Ginge.

The Irish were celebrating again after the Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle when Mullins and Townend combined again to see 4/7 favourite Laurina hose home in what might have been the most dominant performance of the week.

The hosts finally had their first win of day three in the so-called Lucky Last with Missed Approach holding off the favourite Mall Dini to make it 6-1 to Irish trainers on the day.

Thursday’s Results

1.30pm – JLT Novices’ Chase
1. Shattered Love (4/1)
2. Terrefort (3/1F)
3. Benatar (10/1)

2.10pm - Pretempts Network Final Handicap Hurdle
1. Delta Work (6/1)
2. Glenloe (9/2F)
3. Connetable (33/1)
4. Taj Badalandabad (40/1)

2.50pm – Ryanair Chase
1. Balko Des Flos (8/1
2. Un De Sceaux (8/11F)
3. Cloudy Dream (10/1)

3.30 – Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle
1. Penhill (12/1)
2. Supasundae (6/1)
3. Wholestone (14/1)

4.10pm – The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase
1. The Storyteller (5/1F)
2. Splash of Ginge (25/1)
3. King’s Odyssey (14/1)
4. Ballyalton (16/1)

4.50pm – The Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle
1. Laurina (4/7F)
2. Cap Soleil (10/1)
3. Champayne Lady (80/1)

5.30pm -The  Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase
1. Missed Approach (8/1)
2. Mall Dini (4/1)
3. Squouateur (5/1)
4. Double Ross (40/1)

LIVE: Day 3 of Cheltenham 2018

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Steve O'Rourke

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