Cheltenham Festival 2013: St Patricks Thursday

Solwhit wins the feature World Hurdle on day three of the Cheltenham Festival, but jockey JT McNamara is seriously injured.

14 March 2013 Last updated at 18:19

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As it happened

  1. 1817: 

    We will bring the day's coverage to an end there. Keep across the website for all the latest on JT McNamara's condition and I hope you can rejoin us tomorrow when the Festival reaches it climax with the running of the Gold Cup. Bye for now.

  2. 1814: 
    AGE OF GLORY WINS THE ST PATRICK DAY DERBY

    Brian Bunyan, returning to racing for the first time in 25 years, guides home Age of Glory in the gathering gloom.

  3. 1813: 

    The charity race, in aid of Cancer Research UK, is underway on the course. New Mill opened up an early 20-length lead but is being closed in on by the rest.

  4. 1810: 

    The Cheltenham racecourse announcer has just said that JT McNamara was conscious after his fall and confirms that he is on his way to Bristol's Frenchay hospital.

    The 37-year-old Irish rider was treated by paramedics after his mount Galaxy Rock fell at the first fence in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

  5.   
    Cornelius Lysaght, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Vets confirm despite long treatment on track Matuhi (fell, 4-00) has been put down."

  6. 1807: 

    There is further bad news from the track unfortunately.

  7.   
    Cornelius Lysaght, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Wracked with mixed emotions as Big Shu celebrated as 10th Irish win of week & an air ambulance takes off with injured JT McNamara."

  8. 1804: 
    CROSS COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    1. Big Shu (B M Cash) 14-1

    2. Shakervilz (Ms K Walsh) 20-1

    3. Outlaw Pete (Mr Josh Halley) 6-1

    4. Bostons Angel (R M Power) 9-1

  9. 1803: 

    Just as the cross-country comes to an end, the helicopter containing a seriously injured JT McNamara takes to the skies and heads off toward hospital.

  10. 1759: 
    BIG SHU WINS THE CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    It is another Irish winner as Big Shu pushes the pedal to the metal and pulls away from rest. There was not a lot of challenge coming from behind him.

  11. 1758: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    Big Shu leads into the second last and is going very strongly.

  12. 1757: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    Sizing Australia is moving up through the field but Passato has pulled up and called it a day. As has Uncle Junior.

  13. 1755: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    Passato is also up amongst the front runners, Arabella Boy is looking neat and tidy with his footwork through the obstacles.

  14.   
    Andrew Thornton, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "The horses have great eyesight. They train very early in the morning, so they are used to it.

    "The leaders are going off awful quick. I cannot envisage that they will keep this pace up."

  15. 1753: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    Wedger Pardy who was priced at 33-1 at the start has made a bit of the running. He has Double Dizzy for company.

  16. 1751: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    The Cross-Country is under way. The air ambulance, which we presume is on the site to transport JT McNamara, is still on the ground.

  17. 1747:  
    Andrew Thornton, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "People are saying very little in the weighing room. No-one has been informed of what has happened to JT.

    "It is a very serious situation. It is very eerie down there and people are going about their business very quietly. We just hope and pray."

  18. 1746: 

    The air ambulance that has been parked on the turf for more than 20 minutes is still on the ground. We are still awaiting any new news on JT McNamara.

  19. 1744: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    There will be a five-minute delay until the off. With the light fading fast it looks like the day's curtain call, the St Patrick's Derby for charity, will be postponed to the final day at best.

  20. 1741: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    Outlaw Pete and Sacree Tiepy, trained in Ireland and France respectively, will go off as second and third favourite behind Arabella Boy.

  21. 1739: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    The horses are leaving the parade ring for the start.

    The air ambulance that landed at the bottom of the course is still on the ground. Derek Thompson on BBC 5 live sports extra reports that JT McNamara will be airlifted to Frenchay hospital in Bristol which is specialist centre for head injuries.

  22.   
    Kevin Day, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Every single jockey is not looking at each other, their horses or the course. They are instead looking at the medical centre as they worry about JT McNamara.

    "I have never experienced anything like this at Cheltenham. There is no sense the jockeys want to mount their horses.

    "It has been a terrible hour."

  23. 1731: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    The cross-country contenders, who were supposed to have got under way 15 minutes ago, are still circling in the parade ring. The jockeys have trooped out to board their rides but there is a disquieting atmosphere around the circuit.

  24.   
    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "As a jockey, if you have had a bad day this type of event puts things into perspective. You do not think about the dangers as a jockey, and just pray your colleagues will be OK."

  25. 1727: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    The stewards have announced that the Cross-Country Handicap Chase will be run at 1740 GMT with the St Patricks Derby charity race to follow directly after.

  26. 1724: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    An air ambulance has landed at the racecourse while their colleagues on the ground are busy around the course with several vehicles on site.

    The riders have returned to the weighing room and it seems that there will be no action any time soon as there are more important matters to attend to.

  27.   
    Derek Thompson, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "I understand the reason for the delay is that a few doctors are currently attending to JT McNamara and there are not enough doctors to cover the course."

  28. 1720: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    The runners and riders in the Cross-Country Handicap Chase are still in the parade ring and it appears that treatment for JT McNamara, who is still being treated at the track, may have delayed the action on the track.

  29.   
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Amateur rider JT McNamara had bad fall from Galaxy Rock in Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase. Ambulance leaving track."

  30.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Simon Hawkins: "With all these outsiders today, a £1 accumulator would have returned over £20m so far!"

  31. 1716: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE

    The Glenfarclas Cross-Country Handicap Chase is the final race proper of the day, with a charity ride to close the day's action supposed to get going 1745 GMT.

    It was initially scheduled for Tuesday but has been delayed until today because of a few frozen patches on the course.

    Arabella Boy is attracting plenty of attention with two wins at Punchestown under his belt. He is also trained by Enda Bolger who has a strong record at the Festival.

    This race will be delayed, although exactly why is still not quite clear.

  32. 1707: 

    There is still no definite news on Matuhi, but we are getting reports that he has had to be put down in the wake of that fall in the Byrne Group Plate.

  33. 1658: 
    CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

    That was a second win of this year's Festival for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies after his and son Sam's triumph with The New One in the Novices' Hurdle yesterday.

  34.   
    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "You must not try and do too much when you are locked with another horse in the final straight. If you get ahead of yourself, the horse loses its stride pattern.

    "As the cliche goes, you must stay in the moment. Hopefully your head will be down at the right time."

  35.   

    Challenge Cup Handicap Chase winning jockey Ryan Hatch: "You cannot describe it, I have to pinch myself. I was not confident in the photo, this is my best day ever."

  36. 1652: 
    CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

    1. Same Difference Mr R Hatch 16-1

    2. Super Duty Mr Derek O'Connor 11-2 Fav

    3. Romanesco Ms N Carberry 8-1

    4. Alfie Sherrin Mr A J Berry 9-1

  37.   
    Andrew Thornton, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Two very polished amateur riders there. Ryan Hatch gave it a super ride and I thought Same Difference's head was down when it mattered."

  38. 1648: 
    SAME DIFFERENCE WINS CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

    It was a see-sawing showdown up the home straight as Same Difference traded blows with Super Duty. In the end it was the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained runner who out-lasted his rival and just nudged ahead to claim the victory.

  39.  
    John Hunt, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "That was the finish of the week so far!"

  40. 1647: 
    PHOTO FINISH

    A photo is needed to separate Same Difference and Super Duty. The suspicion is that it is Same Difference.

  41. 1646: 
    CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

    Super Duty and Becauseicouldntsee lead into the last fence

  42. 1645: 
    CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

    Romanesco is back at the tail of the field. The field have negotiated their way around the fence which Matuhi is being treated at sensibly. Super Duty still out in front.

  43.   
    Andrew Thornton, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Super Duty jockey Derek O'Connor is trying to stack everyone up behind him and conserve energy."

  44. 1642: 
    CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

    They are away cleanly and Super Duty is out in front. The field will face a tricky section as they avoid the fence at which Matuhi is being treated at on the second time around. A bit of pace that stretches out the field could do everyone a favour.

  45.   
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Paddy Brennan absence may mean Sam Twiston-Davies, son of trainer Nigel, rides 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander at Aintree."

  46. 1640: 
    CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

    After coming close on board Tofino Bay yesterday, Nina Carberry has a good chance to go one better with Romanesco. Super Duty, with Derek O'Connor on board, will go off favourite.

  47.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Gary Pearson: "Last three bets were Holywell, Celestial Halo e/w & Carrickboy. £2 punts don't get more productive than that."

    Matt Hull: "£5 e/w on Carrickboy for no other reason than I love Michael Carrick!"

    Gareth Walker: "There's a lad at work who's nickname is Boy. Should have backed it! Backed Arabella Boy in the 5.15 so here's hoping!"

  48. 1637: 
    CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

    The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase is one for the amateur jockeys. If you fancy anoter long priced outside then Becauseicouldntsee might give you a fair run for your money. Second in the last two festivals, including in this race last year under current pilot Robbie McNamara, he might manage to finally make it home in front.

  49.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Dave in Edinburgh on text via 81111: "I had £5 each way on Carrickboy, the wife picked it as our street address is Carrick!!! Have not told her it won yet."

  50.   
    Derek Thompson, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "I am at the final fence and the screens are being held by 20 guys. Judging by what Brendan Powell Jr said, I am hoping in a few minutes time Matuhi will get to his feet and that will get the biggest cheer of the day.

    "The clerk of the course has told me the next race will not be delayed but the last fence will be missed out if Matuhi is still receiving treatment."

  51. 1631: 

    There are still screens and a host of staff around Matuhi after his fall at the final fence in the last race. He has not got to his feet yet. The Fulke Walwyn, due off in 10 minutes, will not be delayed but they will miss that fence.

  52. 1628: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Anyone on Carrickboy? Perhaps some Manchester United fans who have been let down by the runners owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and celebrity supported James Nesbitt?

    Let's have a little count-up on where we stand with the meat of the day's action now digested.

    You can boast about your gains or salve your losses on #bbcracing or via text on 81111.

  53. 1622: 
    Cheltenham Racecourse:

    "Paddy Brennan banned for nine days: using whip above permitted level. Puts him out for Grand National meeting."

  54.   
    Cornelius Lysaght, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham
    Sir Des Champs

    "No decision on who will ride Sir Des Champs tomorrow in the Gold Cup has been made. The name AP McCoy is being linked to replacing the injured Davy Russell, but nothing has been formalised yet."

  55.   
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Byrne Group Plate winning owner Trevor Hemmings on BBC Radio 5 live: "After that win I feel like a 20-year-old.

    "When you look back on how I was at the start, I never dreamt I would have a race horse, yet alone to have since been lucky enough to get a few Grand National winners."

  56. 1619: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    Liam Treadwell makes his way to the winners' enclosure and anyone who managed to pick him out of the 24 runner field should have a pint of something refreshing waiting for him. At 50-1, there will be a few very flush, very happy spectators out there.

  57.   
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Another big Liam Treadwell win. Took 2009 Grand National on 100-1 Mon Mome, now 50-1 Carrickboy. Matuhi bad fall."

  58. 1616: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE RESULT

    1. Carrickboy; L Treadwell 50-1

    2. Vino Griego; J E Moore 11-1

    3. Tartak; R Johnson 20-1

    4. Hunt Ball; Nick Scholfield 8-1

  59.   
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Byrne Group Plate winner Liam Treadwell on BBC Radio 5 live: "That was absolutely fantastic. From a personal point of view, that was better than the Grand National as Cheltenham is the ultimate.

    "Carrickboy was as tough as you like up the hill."

  60. 1612: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    Matuhi fell heavily at the last. We'll let you know when we know his condition, but BBC 5 live sports extra's Derek Thompson has spoken with jockey Brendan Powell who believes he is just winded.

  61.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "I was at Wincanton when Carrickboy pulled over last time in a very tame effort. As you can see, if the horse is good enough, Liam Treadwell is more than good enough."

  62. 1607: 
    CARRICKBOY WINS THE BYRNE GROUP PLATE
    Carrickboy

    There was nothing subtle about that ride. It was just a rip-roaring trip from Liam Treadwell who put his trust in Carrickboy's staying power and his faith was rewarded with a superb, battery bunny run. You kept expecting him to tie up but there was no sign of it.

  63. 1607: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    Carrickboy is still leading and pins his ear back with two to jump. Can the others overhaul him from here?

  64. 1606: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    Matuhi is also well in the mix with three to jump.

  65.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "The horses are still going at a right pace, with Ballynagour the eye-catcher."

  66. 1605: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE
    Carrickboy leads

    Carrickboy and Tartak are the two leaders in the early stages. Ballynagour is handily placed just between that pair.

  67.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "I do not think Joe Tizzard is winning another race as Theatre Guide is jumping poorly. The riders are going a right old lick at the moment."

  68.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Davelee0712: "Calgary Bay looks a shout e/w for the Byrne Group Plate, watch this space!"

  69. 1603: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    They are away and this time Mad Moose refuses to budge an inch under Sam Twiston-Davies. The stubborn so and so.

  70. 1601: 
    FALSE START- BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    Mad Moose is to blame, getting a little too eager and they will have a standing start to get them going at a second attempt.

  71. 1559: 
    CANTLOW WITHDRAWS- BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    The vet team advises AP McCoy not to risk it and he dismounts and the saddle is lifted from Cantlow. He will not run in the Byrne Group Plate. There is a fair bit of blood coming from his left nostril.

  72. 1558: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    AP McCoy's ride Cantlow has had to return to the pre-parade ring momentarily after bleeding from the nose. The vet team are down there checking that it is just superficial and not a sign of anything more sinister.

  73. 1556: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    Ballynagour does not have to rely on such reassuring words to earn the punters' confidence. He was a winner by a whopping 19 lengths at Warwick. That has earned him a 21lb rise from the handicapper. How much will that hamper him?

  74. 1551: 
    BYRNE GROUP PLATE

    Four down and four to go, and the next race up is the Byrne Group Plate. Under top weight is Hunt Ball who clocked up seven wins in nine starts last term, but he has struggled to live up to that stellar season this time around.

    Trainer Kieran Burke believes that his charge is coming back to form though and might just hit the big-time pay-dirt once again.

  75.   

    Big Buck's and Celestial Halo owner Andy Stewart on BBC Radio 5 live: "Celestial Halo did us proud. Even if Big Buck's was here, Celestial Halo would have run.

    "We were cheering it along, and my eldest son could not believe it. Going forward, it is great and he will take on Big Buck's next year."

  76. 1543: 
    WORLD HURDLE
    Paul Carberry celebrates

    There were plenty of clues in Solwhit's form. A metronomically consistent performer, he was a narrow runner-up to Bog Warrior at Punchestown this term and has been improving since a long layoff. Way back when he also chalked up a win over Hurricane Fly back in Ireland as well.

  77.   
    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "The Carberry's are a very close family. Paul and his sister always turn up to cheer each other on, and I have just seen Nina rush towards him to celebrate."

  78. 1539: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    Solwhit's connections whip up an Irish contingent in the winners' enclosure as jockey Paul Carberry whirls the tricolour around his head and is rewarded with even more cheers. Solwhit himself looks a touch spooked by all the noise.

  79.   

    World Hurdle winning jockey Paul Carberry on BBC Radio 5 live: "It was touch and go whether I rode this morning. I got a jab in the arm after a bad bang on my shoulder which damaged ligaments."

  80. 1534: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    That finish was notable as much by who was absent. Oscar Whisky and Reve De Sivola, who filled the frame in the Cleeve Hurdle in January, were nowhere in sight, while Peddlers Cross might have run for the final time at Cheltenham.

  81.   
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Pope Francis must have sighed as Celestial Halo hit the last flight. Solwhit makes it 9-8 to Ireland."

  82. 1532: 
    WORLD HURDLE RESULT

    1. Solwhit P Carberry 17-2

    2. Celestial Halo D A Jacob 40-1

    3. Smad Place W Hutchinson 9-1

    4. Oscar Whisky, Reve De Sivola

  83.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "What a brilliant rider he is. All Solwhit's form is on bottomless deep ground, I was not having him.

    "Jockey Paul Carberry is brilliant. There is a thin line between stone-barking mad and brilliant, and he often crosses it.

    "He gave his horse a superb ride today.

    "For whatever reason, Cheltenham in March is not Oscar Whisky's bag."

  84. 1527: 
    SOLWHIT WINS THE WORLD HURDLE
    Paul Carberry

    Solwhit looked bright and sparky under Paul Carberry as he picked his feet up and left the others trailing, sauntering up the Cheltenham hill. Bog Warrior pressed hard from the start but was left short after making the early pace.

  85. 1527: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    Bog Warrior is joined by Celestial Halo and Solwhit at the front.

  86. 1526: 
    John Hunt, BBC Radio 5 live at CheltenhamWORLD HURDLE

    "I think the game is up for Peddlers Cross. He is trailing off at the back."

  87. 1526: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    Bog Warrior raises the tempo and asks some questions of some of those behind. Oscar Whisky has plenty to do to keep up.

  88. 1525: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    It looks like a long and lazy pace though and the field concertinas back together as they all make it cleanly over the fifth from home.

  89. 1524: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    Reve De Sivola is three lengths off leader Bog Warrior, but these two have opened up an early advantage on the rest.

  90. 1521: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    A very strange start. The tape dropped but nobody looked willing to take on the early pace before Bog Warrior eventually reluctantly headed out.

  91.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "I am surprised people are looking at Peddlers Cross. I thought he was pedestrian last time out at Musselburgh.

    "I have never seen a start like that at Cheltenham."

  92.   
    Kevin Day, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "The horses are ambling around and the jockeys are talking to each other. Before the big race yesterday, there was no chat between them and a lot more tension."

  93. 1521: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    And what chances Jonjo O'Neill doubling up after his win with Holywell in the second? He is represented by Get Me Out Of Here which is ridden by AP McCoy and has been a runner-up in the last three Festivals.

  94. 1519: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    Bryan Cooper has inherited the ride of Davy Russell - the fancied Bog Warrior. He dished out a comprehensive beating to Zaidpour at Gowran Park in January and might have enough to feature in the shake-down despite his new rider.

  95.   
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Oscar Whisky 5-2 from 6-1 this morning. Will Oscar foxtrot to victory or fail to give an Academy performance?"

  96. 1516: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    Peddlers Cross has some formidable Cheltenham form behind him with a second place in the 2011 Champion Hurdle, but has struggled to replicate that form since.

  97. 1514: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    Oscar Whisky lost out to Reve De Sivola in the Cleeve Hurdle in January, but the betting suggests that punters believe that the firmer ground will allow the Nicky Henderson-trained 5-2 favourite to reverse that result on their reunion.

  98. 1511: 
    WORLD HURDLE

    Next up is the day's big race - the World Hurdle. There is no Big Buck's, winner in the last four editions, after he was ruled out for the season with a leg injury. There is however a field packed with potential vying to take his place.

  99. 1509: 

    An award for the "best hat" has handed out yesterday to one lucky lady by the organisers.

    I'm not sure that the raft of over-sized emerald green promotional top hats that are among the headwear today would offer much competition.

    They might just do a better pint-carrying job on the way back from a packed bar ahead of the day's feature race.

    Fan at Cheltenham
  100. 1506: 

    Davy Russell was stood down from riding First Lieutenant because of a "spontaneous collapsed lung" and has been taken to Cheltenham General Hospital. It is not believed to be connected to the fall that he suffered yesterday.

  101.   
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Ryanair Chase winner Cue Card was beaten seven lengths by a certain Sprinter Sacre in Arkle Chase last year."

  102. 1502: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    Joe Tizzard almost lost his life in an accident when he attempted to clear out a baler on the family farm a few years back. That ride delivers his father's second win of the Festival after Golden Chieftain's success on the opening day.

  103.   
    Cue Card

    Ryanair Chase winning trainer Colin Tizzard: "Where would I find another one like him? It is Cue Card's fourth festival and he is a very good horse.

    "It is fantastic as a dad for Joe to win. It is not easy having your son riding all the time as when things do not go well you get accused of nepotism but he was fantastic today.

    "Cue Card is the best I have got and the best I will ever have. I am chuffed to have him."

  104. 1452: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    That is the third father-son, trainer-jockey combinations to have landed a winner at this year's Festival after success for Willie and Patrick Mullins and Sam and Nigel Twiston-Davies on Wednesday.

  105.   

    Ryanair Chase winning jockey Joe Tizzard on BBC Radio 5 live: "I was nervous before the race but Cue Card was so relaxed. It was a real professional effort and I am chuffed to bits with him.

    "At the top of the hill I was able to save energy and then go for it later."

  106. 1450: 
    RYANAIR CHASE RESULT

    1. Cue Card J Tizzard 7-2

    2. First Lieutenant B J Cooper 2-1 Fav

    3. For Non Stop N Fehily 12-1

    4. Riverside Theatre B Geraghty 7-1

  107.   
    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Jockey Joe Tizzard had a tremendous start to his career then things went wrong for him. Joe is not expected to ride a Cheltenham winner everyday but the festival still means so much for him.

    "He had the confidence to sit back, and when he straightened up the hill, they ran away with it."

  108.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "All jump jockeys by nature are brave, but this was a superb ride. I thought he had gone too quick but Joe Tizzard knew exactly what he had under the bonnet."

  109. 1445: 
    CUE CARD WINS THE RYANAIR CHASE
    Cue Card

    Cue Card has been a bit of an enigma in his career, but this was a glimpse of his huge talent that has never been in doubt. He went hard off the front and the rest could not reel him in. Joe Tizzard flung him at the fences and his ride responded with some soaring leaps. First Lieutenant by contrast was a little ragged over the barriers.

  110. 1445: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    Cue Card is upping the pace and First Lieutenant makes a mistake to lose ground on the third from home. Champion Court is leading the chase.

  111. 1444: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    First Lieutenant had a little hiccup over the tenth from home, but he has survived unscathed. Albertas Run has been pulled up, the pace proving too high for his 12-year old legs.

  112. 1442: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    First Lieutenant is set in in third place, tracking the leading two.

  113.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "I think we are going to see a very positive ride here from Cue Card."

  114. 1441: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    We are away at a brisk pace with Cue Card and Champion Court pushing on.

  115. 1439: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    You can never rule out Albertas Run and his wonderful Cheltenham record either. A winner of this race in 2010 and 2011, as well as the RSA Chase in 2008, he is making his way back after an injury lay-off.

  116. 1439: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    Cue Card, who won the Champion Bumper in 2010 and gamely chased home Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle in 2012, is set to go off as second favourite. The ground is firming up which might to be his liking.

  117. 1436: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    Michael O'Leary is not the only celebrity owner in the field. Riverside Theatre, owned by actor James Nesbitt of Cold Feet and supporting Manchester United fame, outpaced Albertas Run to win the race last year. This is his first outing since being treated for ulcers in the wake of a couple of disappointing runs.

  118. 1431: 
    RYANAIR CHASE

    Favourite First Lieutenant is the horse owned by the Gigginstown House Stud which is bankrolled by Michael O'Leary. As the boss of title sponsor Ryanair, it could be that O'Leary is taking home a large swag bag of his own cash at the end of the day.

  119. 1428: 
    DAVY RUSSELL STEPPED DOWN FOR MEDICAL REASONS- RYANAIR CHASE

    There is some big news just breaking from the course. Jockey Davy Russell has been stepped down from First Lieutenant to be replaced by Bryan Cooper.

  120. 1422: 
    PRESS ROUND-UP

    Daily Telegraph tipster Jim McGrath has picked Oscar Whisky to turn the tables on Reve De Sivola in the World Hurdle, saying he is "an admirable sort and fully equipped to go close".

    The Daily Mirror's Newsboy believes that Bog Warrior has all the attributes needed to reel in the big one though. The Irish raider's "versatility, ground-wise, is another big plus" to a record that looks tidy after his switch to hurdles.

    Meanwhile the Daily Mail reports that the security staff at Cheltenham have been nothing if not officious. After barring Zara Phillips from leaving the parade ring, Nicky Henderson needed the intervention of fellow trainer Willie Mullins to gain access as he escorted Sprinter Sacre into the winners' enclosure on Wednesday.

  121. 1422: 

    As we approach the big race of the day, let's see what the morning papers make of the credentials of the favourites and the Festival so far.

  122.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Bert McInroy on text via 81111: "Great run from Holywell, pushed all the way by Berties Dream! Nice little winner on my namesake."

  123.   
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Paul Nicholls' Cheltenham banker Sam Winner well beaten. Confidence in Gold Cup hope Silviniaco Conti being seriously tested."

  124.   

    Pertemps winning jockey Richie McLernon on BBC Radio 5 live: "Jonjo O'Neill is a great trainer and a privilege to work for. I am over the moon.

    "The horse loved it, Holywell is a proper horse. I am mad about him, he is tough and hard."

  125.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "It is easy to say, but jockey Richie McLernon is a really popular member of the weighing room. He is not an exuberant man, he is a team player who would rather finish fourth than give a horse a hard race and finish third."

  126. 1417: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL RESULT

    1. Holywell; R P McLernon 25-1

    2. Captain Sunshine; P J Brennan 11-1

    3. Jetson; R M Power 10-1

    4. Shutthefrontdoor; A P McCoy 6-1

  127. 1415:  

    Pertemps winning trainer Jonjo O'Neill on BBC Radio 5 live: "I love every race at Cheltenham but this race has been lucky for us. Everything went great, I am delighted for everyone involved.

    "I thought he was there a bit early at the top of the hill, I was thinking it was a long way home from there, but Richie McLernon kept him going.

    "They did not go mad, it was a good and sensible ride."

  128. 1412: 
    HOLYWELL WINS THE PERTEMPS FINAL
    Holywell

    He is wearing blinkers for the first time and the new bit of kit seems to be to Holywell's liking. After four successive second places, he outgunned Berties Dream and, as Captain Sunshine lead the rest's charge back towards him, the finishing post came just in time.

  129. 1412: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL

    Holywell and Berties Dream go clear ahead of the final flight.

  130.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "AP McCoy has taken his horse wide and is riding a patient race out-wide as several backmarkers start dropping out."

  131. 1411: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL

    Junior has gone backwards and American Spin takes his place at the front. Sam Winner is being given a little push by Ruby Walsh. Is there a little concern that he is struggling with the increasing pace?

  132. 1410: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL

    With one circuit done it is still Junior and Berties Dream who lead. Stonemaster and First Fandago are well placed.

  133.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jack O'Meara: "Gone for Ballybough Pat - Has my dad's name in it. That's how you do this betting lark right?"

  134.   
    Peter Scudamore, eight-time champion jockey at Cheltenham for BBC Radio 5 live

    "If you are behind a dodgy jumper in a packed field, you are worse off on the sides as they will probably fall left or right rather than backwards.

    "You are in the hands of the gods, really."

  135. 1408: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL

    Junior leads the way early on, with Berties Dream and According to Trev next.

  136. 1407: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL

    Captain Sunshine initially refused to line up with the rest, but is lead up to the start at a run and is in the field as they get away towards the first barrier.

  137.   
    Cornelius Lysaght, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Shutthefrontdoor is ridden by AP McCoy who is looking for his first win. Three miles is the distance and Close House has plenty of stamina.

    "Holywell is trained by Jonjo O'Neill, who loves to win this race."

  138. 1405: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL

    Top Of The Range, a winner at Sandown on Friday, is also attracting interest although he might be another who would prefer a little more give in the ground.

  139.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Adrian Stanley: "Berties Dream at 40s in the 2.05. You heard it here first!"

  140.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Paddy in an office in Cheltenham on text via 81111: "Had to go with Junior in Pertemps, massive price for a horse which has won course and distance."

  141. 1403: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL

    Close House has not been run since Boxing Day and the break might keep him fresh for the finish.

  142. 1401: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL

    Sam Winner was an impressive fourth in The Triumph Hurdle two years ago and Nicholls believes he has been well handicapped. He racked up an impressive win over Peddlers Cross in a jumpers' bumper.

  143. 1356: 
    PERTEMPS FINAL
    Paul Nicholls

    Next up is the Pertemps Final over three miles and this could be the one in which trainer Paul Nicholls finally winkles out a winner.

  144.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Peter Duff on text via 81111: "My tipster moniker - The Horse's Mouth."

    Nice work. We are still open to offers on what tipster moniker would be whispered in hushed tones in the betting circles when your gambling genius is finally recognised.

  145.   
    Cornelius Lysaght, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Very brave success by Benefficient to come from 'beaten' position to defeat Dynaste (1-30)."

  146.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tom Cummings: "Should probably stop picking the horse with the best name."

  147. 1349: 
    JEWSON NOVICES' CHASE

    AP McCoy does not normally have to wait too long for a winner. He is still potless though after two days of this year's Festival and Molotof, after making a lot of the early running in that opener, finished out of the places.

  148.   
    Derek Thompson, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Ruby Walsh is none the worse for that fall. He is walking back fine."

  149. 1347: 
    JEWSON NOVICES' CHASE

    There was a tumble for Ruby Walsh on board Marito as the pair went over the last. It looks like the leading jockey is up and walking.

  150.   
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Benefficient jockey Bryan Cooper after his win in the Jewson Novices' Chase: "I have been dreaming of this for so long, it is a shock. This horse has done so much for me, he has given me my first Grade One and now my first Cheltenham win.

    "I never missed a fence. He was wearing a hood for the first time and it made him settle down as he is a bit of a worrier.

    "It gives me shivers up my spine to be a winner here."

  151.   
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Victory for those who noted Leopardstown gallops other weekend when Benefficient caught the eye."

  152. 1342: 

    That is another win for the Irish to kick-start the action on St Patrick's Thursday. Benefficient hails from AJ Martin's yard in County Meath.

  153.  
    JEWSON NOVICES' CHASE RESULT

    1. Benefficient; B J Cooper 20-1

    2. Dynaste; T Scudamore 11-8 Fav

    3. Changing Times; S Twiston-Davies 100-1

    4. Module; P Brennan 16-1

  154.   
    Andrew Thornton, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "The drying conditions just did not play into Dynaste's strengths as he is a grinder."

  155.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "He is a super, super horse Benefficient. Young Bryan Cooper is a champion of the future.

    "I do not think Tom Scudamore could have done anymore on Dynaste, the horse was simply not good enough."

  156. 1336: 
    BENEFFICIENT WINS THE JEWSON NOVICES CHASE
    Bryan Cooper

    A 20-1 outsider that I haven't heard mentioned all morning, but that was a really stubborn performance from Benefficient who soaked up the pace of Dynaste and chomped back at him, gobbling up the favourite as they climbed to the finishline.

  157. 1335: 
    JEWSON NOVICES' CHASE

    Captain Conan is coming on hard...

  158. 1335: 
    JEWSON NOVICES' CHASE

    It is Benefficient and Dynaste side by side with three to jump. Tom Scudamore urges Dynaste on for home...

  159.   
    Luke Harvey, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "Fascinating tactical ride from Tom Scudamore here on Dynaste so far. He is following Molotof who does not jump so well."

  160. 1332: 
    JEWSON NOVICES' CHASE

    Benefficient sets the pace with Molotof following in his tracks. Dynaste is well placed in third.

  161.   
    Derek Thompson, BBC Radio 5 live at Cheltenham

    "We are on the inside course today and it should be perfect jumping ground."

  162. 1331: 
    JEWSON NOVICES' CHASE

    We are off and running. Captain Conan goes off as second favourite at 5-1.

  163. 1331: 
    JEWSON NOVICES' CHASE

    However the improving ground may count against Dynaste who has flopped on good ground previously. Aupcharlie finished a close second to Back In Focus and Tofino Bay in his last two starts. That form looks decent in light of those two fighting out the National Hunt Chase yesterday.

  164. 1327: 
    JEWSON NOVICE'S CHASE
    Dynaste

    The stand-out favourite in the opening race is Dynaste priced at 6-4 with Tom Scudamore on board for David Pipe. The team were initially aimed at the RSA Chase, but have opted for this shorter 2 mile four furlong trip which should suit his speed.

  165.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ajnixey: "Really can't see Oscar Whisky lasting the distance, Reve de Sivola to take it."

    Toby Elford: "13.30 Capt Conan, 14.05 ShutTheFrontDoor, 14.40 1st Lieutenant, 15.20 O. Whiskey, 16.00 H. Ball, 16.40 F. Depot, 17.15 Outlaw Pete."

  166.   
    Simon King, BBC Radio 5 live weather forecasterWEATHER UPDATE

    "After a sunny but cold start to Thursday we'll gradually see cloud increasing throughout the day making the sunshine turn rather milky. It should stay dry though and with the wind now coming from the west, it won't feel anywhere as cold as earlier in the week with a maximum temperature of 6 degrees.

    "Thursday night should be frost free with the temperature only falling to 3 degrees but Gold cup day will be a cloudy and wet day with some heavy rain expected during the afternoon and some gusty winds. The maximum temperature will reach around 7 degrees."

  167. 1321: 
    CELEB SPOT!

    Is that the parade ring bell? No, it is "the Pippa Middleton attends sporting event with well connected young man" klaxon.

    The future King's sister-in-law is in the Cheltenham house.

    Pippa Middleton
  168. 1317:  
    BBC 5 LIVE PODCAST

    The BBC Radio 5 live team have already been looking ahead to the day's action, mulling over the chances of the main contenders. Catch their thoughts on where there might be a little value for a good-hearted punter on their dedicated podcast.

  169. 1316: 
    NON-RUNNERS

    We have a couple of non-runners that you can chalk out of consideration. Cloudy Spirit is out of the World Hurdle while Domtaline will not appear in the Byrne Group Plate.

  170.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Alex Palmer at work in Welwyn Garden City on text via 81111: "Firstly can't look beyond Auntie Post as my tipster moniker and secondly, fancy Celestial Halo at 40-1 each way in The World Hurdle - I can feel it in my bones!"

    Gareth from Cardiff on text via 81111: " I fancy a pipe treble today, Dynaste, Ballynagour, No Secrets. 170-1."

    Stewart Smith on text via 81111: "I had to take an e/w piece on Desert Cry @ 66/1."

  171. 1313: 
    MARKET MOVERS

    Hayley O'Connor, from World Hurdle sponsors Ladbrokes, updates us on the latest betting news.

    "The headline race has been really busy with Oscar Whisky the most popular selection. From 6-1 this morning he is down to 7-2.

    "While Reve De Sivola initially made a move in the other direction drifting to 8-1, support has now pushed him into 5-1 (from 6). Smad Place has been backed into 8-1 from an earlier price of 10-1.

    "Elsewhere, Captain Sunshine appealed to punters on a sunny day in the 2.05 and that has edged him in from 25-1 to 16-1. Big bites for Relax in the Kim Muir has seen his price shorten to 14-1 from 25s."

  172. 1310: 
    GOING LATEST

    The going has been reassessed. I'm not quite sure who has got that job but I like to imagine Geoffrey Boycott jamming his front door key into the turf like he was testing a Headingley Test track.

    Anyway, the drying conditions have been reclassified from Good to Soft, Soft in places to Good to Soft, Good in places.

  173.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Simon Collins on text via 81111: "No Big Buck's takes the gloss off the World Hurdle a bit but leaves the door wide open for my favourite horse Peddlers Cross to storm up the famous hill to win at the festival again. Cue Card will win Ryanair too."

  174. 1301: 
    GET INVOLVED

    There is no use tweeting us after your 20-1 shot romps home. You are only going to be met with scepticism and downright suspicion. So nail your colours to the mast nice and early via 81111 from UK mobiles and #bbcracing on Twitter.

    The Racing Post has Pricewise, the Daily Telegraph has Marlborough, the Daily Mirror has Newsboy. What would your tipster moniker be? I'd be the Valuehound.

  175. 1256:  
    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    "Cheltenham picks 1 Argocat 20 EW, 2 Sam W 9-2 W, 3 Alberta 14 EW, 4 Wonderful 10 EW, 5 Divers 14, 6 Super 6 EW 7 Arabella 4 W."

  176. 1252:  
    BBC COVERAGE

    There is full coverage of the entire card on BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra with presenter John Inverdale and the team bringing you insight and information from around the course.

    There may be some snippets that fail to make it to air that you can hoover up from BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght and his colleague Frank Keogh on Twitter.

  177. 1250: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE GOES AHEAD

    As soon as I type the Cheltenham bods decide that they have seen enough to make a call on the 1715 GMT Cross-Country. It will go ahead as planned and we have a full complement of eight races.

  178. 1246: 
    CROSS-COUNTRY COURSE INSPECTION

    There is a proviso to that plan however. The Cross-Country course is not out of the woods yet, if you will. It will under go a further inspection at 1415 GMT to check whether the last few frosty bit have thawed out.

    It is looking good on that count with Cheltenham course doused in sunlight.

    Finishing post at Cheltenham
  179. 1242: 
    TODAY'S RACECARD

    1330 GMT: Jewson Novices' Chase

    Dynaste had been expected to be aimed at the Wednesday's RSA Chase, before being rerouted by trainer David Pipe to head the betting in this opening race.

    1405 GMT: Pertemps Final

    Trainer Paul Nicholls, without a victory in the first two days, will be hoping that Sam Winner lives up to his name.

    1440 GMT: Ryanair Chase

    He who pays the piper? Michael O'Leary is the boss of the race sponsor and the man behind the Gigginstown stud who own First Lieutenant.

    1520 GMT: World Hurdle

    Reve De Sivola and Oscar Whisky lead a strong cast of pretenders to Big Buck's crown.

    1600 GMT: Bryne Group Plate

    He's been heaped with an extra 20lb, but can Ballynagour still replicate his stunning 19-length win at Warwick?

    1640 GMT: Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup

    Nina Carberry is aboard Romanesco in a race exclusively for amateurs, which was won by Ballabriggs the year before his 2011 Grand National triumph.

    1715 GMT: Cross-Country Handicap Chase

    Originally slated for Tuesday before the weather forced a postponement, the race features a strong Irish contingent led by Arabella Boy.

    1745 GMT: St Patrick's Day Derby

    Sky Sports presenter Alex Hammond is among the riders in a charity race in aid of Cancer Research UK.

  180. 1239: 

    There is plenty more of interest in a stonking eight-race card today. Not least in the Ryanair Chase where First Lieutenant and Cue Card go up against each other with two-time winner Albertas Run part of a strong supporting cast.

    Here are the full details...

  181. 1234: 

    There is a bit of an elephant in the room on this third day of Cheltenham action however. Big Buck's was odds-on for a fifth World Hurdle after his fourth successive victory in the race last year.

    A leg injury means that he misses the chance to extend his dominance of the staying hurdling division.

    But with trainer Paul Nicholls backing Big Buck's to return next season, today's race will produce one half of an intriguing potential match-up for 2014.

  182. 1230: 

    Roll the calendar back to 26 January. It had been another week of cold, wet weather across the United Kingdom, but the Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham was given the nod.

    Sprinter Sacre had routed the field in the Victor Chandler Chase in his warm-up for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but the best race of the day was still to come.

    The Cleeve Hurdle, a traditional warm-up for the World Hurdle, came to a climax with Reve De Sivola and Oscar Whisky hammering down the home straight shoulder-to-shoulder and eyeball-to-eyeball.

    Neither looked prepared to budge an inch before Reve De Sivola eventually took the victory by a mere quarter of a length.

    After that slugfest in the mud, both are back for round two in today's World Hurdle. Ding-ding.

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