On Thursday 12 March, Day Three of The Festival™ saw over 65,000 racegoers celebrate in style with our friends from the Emerald Isle.
Min took the top spot in the Ryanair Chase under Gold Cup-winning jockey Paul Townend and Irish Champion trainer, Willie Mullins. The nine-year-old jumped brilliantly throughout, and held off a strong challenge from 16/1 shot, Saint Calvados.
The opening race of the day, provided plenty of excitement as three of the top names in the game, Samcro, Faugheen and Melon all battled it out up the Cheltenham hill in the Marsh Novices’ Chase. Samcro and Melon could only be split by the judge with Faugheen finishing back in third under Paul Townend. Samcro and Davy Russell took the honours by a nose as the pair returned to a rapturous cheer in the Winners’ Enclosure in the sunshine. A 1-2-3 for the Irish, on a day so synonymous with the nation.
It was a surprise winner in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle, as last year’s winner Paisley Park couldn’t put up a repeat performance to compete with 50/1 winner, Lisnagar Oscar under first time Cheltenham Festival winning jockey, Adam Wedge for trainer Rebecca Curtis.