ELLIOTT'S IN LOVE
4/1 shot Shattered Love made full use of the seven-pound mares' weight allowance when winning the G1 JLT Novices' Chase by a comfortable seven lengths from Terrefort.
The Yeats mare hit the final fence hard, but recovered well under Jack Kennedy to record her trainer Gordon Elliott's fourth success of The Festival 2018.
Elliott said: "She gallops, she jumps, she stays. She's like a big gelding. She was great today and we're lucky to have her. I closed my eyes when she made that mistake at the last but luckily enough she got away with it.
"She'd won a Grade One already [at Leopardstown on December 29] and I think she will stay further. We will try to avoid Presenting Percy [winner of yesterday's RSA Insurance Chase] wherever he goes, but she's a good mare. She'll probably go to Punchestown now.
"She is the type of horse Gigginstown buy - big, staying chasers. All credit to Jack Kennedy, at 18 years of age he's come here and nothing's fazing him.
"Yesterday was amazing [with three winners] and to get one on the board already today is great."
Shattered Love is owned by Gigginstown House Stud, whose owner Michael O'Leary commented: "She's terrific. She's built like a gelding; she's a huge big mare and a great jumper, but Jack gave her a peach of a ride. A hairy jump there at the last but the mares' allowance, which I don't always agree with, was very helpful there.
"Her form over fences has been very good - she beat Presenting Percy over fences earlier in the season [at Punchestown in November]. She's won over further - three miles at Leopardstown at Christmas - and she's a very good mare. It's terrific to have good mares like her and Apple's Jade."
LOVE SHATTERS BOOKMAKERS' HEARTS
Bookmakers were dealt another blow in the opening race on day three of The Festival following the victory of the well-supported 4/1 second favourite Shattered Love in the G1 JLT Novices' Chase.
Trained by Gordon Elliott, registering his fourth victory of the week, the seven-year-old daughter of Yeats, becoming the first mare to win the two-mile and four furlong event, survived a blunder at the final fence before staying on well up the Cheltenham hill to score by seven lengths.
Nicky Henderson's Terrefort, the 3/1 favourite, was second with Gary Moore's Benatar (10/1) a further five lengths behind in third.
Kennedy, registering his third victory of the week and fourth at The Festival overall, was pleased to make his only ride of the day a winning one. He said: "I was confident coming here today with the one ride that Shattered Love would have a fair chance.
"Gordon is a genius - he has all these horses spot on for the week and it's just a privilege to ride these horses. He leaves no stone unturned and he is the best around.
"I was jumping and travelling - I was happy the whole way round and she did it well.
"She's not slow and she stays well. The way she jumps is unreal - she's a lovely mare.
"Shattered Love has kept improving and who knows when she will stop. She does everything so easily and I am just delighted.
"A big thanks to the O'Learys, Gordon and all the team at home. They are very good to me and it is all down to them."
Kennedy was 7/4 with BetVictor to win the Holland Cooper Leading Jockey Award this morning, but is now just 10/11 with the same firm to be crowned top jockey at The Festival 2018 following Shattered Love's victory.
1.30pm JLT Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
1 SHATTERED LOVE (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 7-10-11 Jack Kennedy 4/1
2 TERREFORT (Simon Munir & Isaac Souede) Nicky Henderson 5-11-03 Daryl Jacob 3/1 fav
3 BENATAR (Ashley Head) Gary Moore 6-11-04 Jamie Moore 10/1
Distances: 7, 5
Tote Win: £4.60 Places: £1.50, £1.50, £2.60 Exacta: £14.50
Gordon Elliott - 18th winner at The Festival
Jack Kennedy - 4th winner at The Festival
BetBright Cup - standings after 15 races
Great Britain 5
HOLIDAY FOR TERREFORT
The Nicky Henderson-trained Terrefort is set for some time off after finishing an excellent second to Shattered Love in the opening JLT Novices' Chase.
Sent off 3/1 favourite, the five-year-old eventually finished seven lengths behind the winner, who was in receipt of a 7lb mares' allowance.
"He ran a fantastic race and, although I've only had him a short while, he's been on the go for a long time as he'd been racing in France beforehand," said Henderson. "We'll give him a good break now."
Jockey Daryl Jacob added: "He jumped brilliantly all the way. I have got the maximum out of him and thought he ran a great race on ground that was ideal. Unfortunately, when you are trying to give 6lb in a Grade 1 to a good mare like her is very, very difficult.
"I think we were eight or nine lengths clear of the third horse at the last and I have looked after my horse once we were beaten. I think the winner is very good and it's just unfortunate that we have bumped into her on the day.
"Terrefort has a massive future and is a horse that I like a lot."
Trainer Gary Moore also holds third-placed Benatar (10/1) in high regard and he believes there could still be better to come.
"He was a bit too free early on but ran a very good race. I think the lack of a recent run allowed him not to run to his very best. He blew up a bit two out," said Moore. "We'll go to Liverpool now and this will have put him spot on. I hope he's a really good horse."
GOING AFTER THE FIRST
Daryl Jacob, rider of the second-placed, 3/1 favourite, Terrefort, said: "Soft."
Jamie Moore, rider of the 10/1 third Benatar, said: "Soft."
David Mullins, partner of Kemboy, said: "Soft to heavy."
Harry Bannister, partner of Bigmartre, said: "Soft."
Robbie Power, Finian's Oscar, said: "Soft, soft to heavy in a few places."
Paul Townend, on board Invitation Only, said: "Heavy, but it is loose on top."
Barry Geraghty, jockey of Modus, said: "Soft."
Tom Scudamore, on board West Approach, said: "Soft."