ELLIOTT LANDS MAJOR BLOW IN MARTIN PIPE
The Gordon Elliott-trained Blow By Blow (11/1) made every yard a winning one with a decisive five-length success in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.
Ridden by Donagh Meyler, the seven-year-old son of Robin Des Champs kept on well after the final flight to provide Elliott with his eighth victory of the week.
Registering a 119/1 double on the day following Farclas' 9/1 success in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle, Elliott was landing his 22nd Festival success overall.
Elliott, for the second year running, has won the Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award at The Festival. His eight victories just eclipsed Willie Mullins' seven wins.
He said: "In fairness to Donagh, I don't think they went much of a gallop and he got a nice, soft lead.
"Blow By Blow is a Grade One winner and looked well-handicapped, although I thought the ground had gone for him.
"What a week. We were leading trainer last year and to come here again and get eight winners is unbelievable. We will enjoy it."
4.50pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
1 BLOW BY BLOW (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 7-11-10 Donagh Meyler 11/1
2 DISCORAMA (Andrew Gemmell & Thomas Friel) Paul Nolan IRE 5-11-02 Dylan Robinson 33/1
3 EARLY DOORS (J P McManus) Joseph O'Brien IRE 5-11-08 J J Slevin 9/1
4 SIRE DU BERLAIS (J P McManus) Gordon Elliott IRE 6-11-10 Donal McInerney 10/1
13/2 fav Flawless Escape (12th)
Distances: 5, 1¼, 1¼
Tote Win: £11.10 Places: £2.80, £9.20, £3.00, £3.00 Exacta: £613.20
Gordon Elliott - 22nd winner at The Festival
Donagh Meyler - 1st winner at The Festival
BetBright Cup - standings after 27 races
Great Britain 10
MEYLER STRIKES ANOTHER BLOW FOR ELLIOTT
Blow By Blow's impressive victory in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle may have been trainer Gordon Elliott's eighth success of The Festival 2018 and owner Michael O'Leary (Gigginstown House Stud)'s seventh, but it was a first Festival win for jockey Donagh Meyler.
Seven-year-old Blow By Blow was in front all the way and won by five lengths at odds of 11/1.
The 22-year-old, who works for Elliott one day a week and for Tony Martin three days a week, said: "To be fair, the horse has a Grade One win under his belt [in a bumper at the Punchestown Festival in 2016] and proper form. He was in his comfort zone all the way today. They came to me at the second-last and he found again. It's brilliant - I'm stuck for a few words!
"I thought he would have an each-way chance, but I didn't think I would ever ride a winner round Cheltenham, and here we are. I've had a few rides here when I was claiming five and seven pounds. I grew up watching the likes of Ruby and Davy coming up the hill here and riding the back of the sofa, but to win here is brilliant.
"I grew up hunting in Kilkenny and doing a bit of pony racing - it gives Irish lads a great start."
Blow By Blow's owner Michael O'Leary commented: "This horse has gradually improved and improved, but we thought his ground had gone today. It was a remarkable ride by Donagh Meyler; the last thing you do here is go from the front all the way around! We expected him to blow up at the top of the hill."
Asked how he felt about his seven winners this week, which has won him the NetJets Leading Owner Award, he said: "It's absolutely surreal. If I had had two or three winners it would have been a fantastic week. I didn't think we'd have any today, given we had three yesterday and five for the week [before today]. There's going to be a terrible run of luck coming - we'll have a blank next year and for the next two or three years! So we are going to enjoy this. It's been a phenomenal week."
He discussed the tremendous success of trainer Gordon Elliott, saying: "It is the most remarkable story in the training ranks in either Ireland or England. He has come from nowhere. He drove his own van; he made his name by bringing bad horses over to Ayr to win races. He has come from nowhere in a remarkably short period of time.
"He learnt at the feet of the master over here, Martin Pipe, and he was well taught. Martin revolutionised training here over many years; clearly Gordon picked it up and he and Willie are doing in Ireland what Martin did here for many years - they are dominating the game in Ireland and increasingly they are dominating the game in England too. They have been fortunate - they have a lot of very good owners and staff."
FIFTY FIFTY CHANCE BEARS SILVER FRUIT
Paul Nolan, who trains in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford was in two minds to bring over his five-year-old, 33/1 chance, Discorama, for the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, having initially thought to go to Navan, only for that meeting to be abandoned.
A second place, to Blow By Blow and on fire Gordon Elliott, at The Festival was no small return for taking the chance and a delighted Nolan commented: "We were fifty fifty to get into the race and there was a race in Navan, that if it had of been on he probably wouldn't have come, because of bringing him over and only a chance of getting in to the race.
"He is a lovely young horse who has had a couple of hard races in Ireland against good horses.
"The winner is the horse we beat in a maiden hurdle, but the way Gordon's (Elliot) horses are running this week, they are all running seven or 10 pounds better.
"He is on fire. I am delighted for him - he is a very good friend of mine. There is no better fella to be seen belting in the winners at Cheltenham.
"I still would have preferred it if I had won!
"When you get into this winner's enclosure that is what it is all about.
"We will have to see how he comes out of this, he doesn't stop and he gallops all the way through line. It was a hard race on him today.
"I think he will make a lovely staying chaser next year. He would be one of the nicest horses I have in the yard with only a small string.
"We will see what ground comes up at Punchestown, but why bottom him early, I can't afford to make a bags of him.
"I would love to have a few more like him."
Dylan Robinson, who rode the Saddler Maker gelding, added: "He ran a blinder, and absolute cracker. I was nearly going to get them to him (Blow By Blow, winner). I couldn't fault him."
MORE ST. JAMES'S PLACE FOXHUNTER QUOTES
Andy Stewart, owner of the St. James's Place Foxhunter winner Pacha Du Polder, said: ""I love this, the amateur Gold Cup.
"I loved it when Bryony won it (last year) - it changed her career and she went to ride Black Corton and other horses for me.
"Paul Nicholls said that Pacha Du Polder wouldn't win - he would be pulled up like Saphir Du Rheu because he will hate the going.
"To win this race two years on the trot is fantastic.
"Everybody has got to start somewhere. I started in the City when I was 17, Harriet is 18, and you have to start somewhere and let them get on with it.
"Lester Piggott started riding when he was 14 and he's the best Flat jockey the world has ever seen. We are very keen on supporting young people."
4.10pm £45,000 St. James's Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup 3m 2f 70y
1 PACHA DU POLDER (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 11-12-00 Miss Harriet Tucker 25/1
2 TOP WOOD (J Weatherby) Miss Kelly Morgan 11-12-00 Mr Samuel Davies-Thomas 50/1
3 BAREL OF LAUGHS (Trish Andrews) Philip Rowley 12-12-00 Mr Alex Edwards 14/1
3 COUSIN PETE (Scilla Phillips) Mrs Elizabeth Brown 10-12-00 Mr Nick Phillips 66/1
4/1 fav Burning Ambition (8th)
Distances: nk, 3¼, dh
Tote Win: £27.00 Places: £6.40, £20.50, £5.30, £2.70 Exacta: £2,799.10
Paul Nicholls - 42nd winner at The Festival
Miss Harriet Tucker - 1st winner at The Festival
BetBright Cup - standings after 26 races
Great Britain 10