The sun shone for day two of The International as we looked ahead to another fantastic seven racecard. The Unibet International Hurdle is a race that is considered to be a step on the road to The Unibet Champion Hurdle at The Fesitval™ presented by Magners in March.
The International concludes racing at Cheltenham for 2019, and what a year it’s been, including Willie Mullins gaining his first victory in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup courtesy of Al Boum Photo and Paul Townend.
As it is the festive season, our racegoers showcased their best Christmas jumpers and finished some last minute Christmas shopping with a visit to the 19 tradestands in The Shopping Village.
The first race of the day was the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Novices' Championship Hurdle Series Qualifier) (Class 2) with a total race value of £25,000. Owner Mr John Stone won the first race with Botox Has, ridden by Joshua Moore. In second place was Langer Dan, a winner for the Skelton family, Owner Dan and jockey Harry. Third place was Elysian Flame, ridden by Paddy Brennan.
The second race of the day, the Ryman Novices’ Steeple Chase, was won by favourite Mister Fisher, an Irish gelding ridden by Nico de Boinville, trained by Nicky Henderson. Second place went to Good Boy Bobby, for the Twiston-Davies family.
The 1.20 Cheltenham Club Handicap Steeple Chase was won by 12/1 Northern Beau under Brendan Powell. The six year old gelding came back from wind surgery earlier in the year to claim the win comfortably for Michael Scudamore.
The 1.55pm was the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3), where Warthog (7/1) battled back to win by a head from Spiritofthegames. Jockey David Noonan has had an International meeting to smile about with this being his second winner of the weekend, this time for trainer David Pipe. Warthog went two places better than his last run in Cheltenham where he finished 3rd in the Betvictor Gold Cup in November.
Redford Road took the fifth race of the day, the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race (Grade 2) for local trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and jockey Jamie Bargary. The five year old bay gelding held on by half a length from Champagne Well for Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennan.
The feature race of the day was the Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2), Pentland Hills was tipped hot favourite to win but it was stable mate Call Me Lord who came home in front under James Bowen for trainer Nicky Henderson and owners Mr. Simon Munir & Mr. Isaac Suede. Second place went to Ballyandy for Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies who ran on strongly but couldn’t get to the winner who held on by a neck.
The last race of 2019 at Cheltenham Racecourse was The Park Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) the race went the way of Dame De Compagnie who provided trainer Nicky Henderson with a treble on the day. The French bred bay mare was ridden to victory by Barry Geraghty and owned by J.P. McManus. Back in second was Indefatigable for Gavin Sheehan and Paul Webber.
Would you like to do it all over again in the New Year?
We kick start the new year in style with seven quality races, including two Grade Two's with trainers, jockeys and racegoers all hoping to get their year off to a flyer on New Year's Day.
With a range of complimentary kids entertainment in the Family Fun Zone for Club/Tatts ticket holders and under 18s go racing for free, New Year's Day is a day for all of the family.
There will appearances at intervals throughout the day from Alex the Lion and Skipper the Penguin, star's of hit film franchise, Madagascar.
Purchase your tickets in advance for the best price here.