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Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Review: Allaho bolts up in the Ryanair Chase

Rachael Blackmore continues to dominate the top jockey race at Prestbury Park on day three of the Cheltenham Festival

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Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 12, 2019 Rachael Blackmore on A Plus Tard celebrates after winning the 4:50 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Cheveley Park Stud experienced a mixture of emotion on St Patrick’s Thursday, with contrasting fortunes coming in the Marsh and the Ryanair Chase.

Allaho asserted his favouritism in the latter, producing a dominating performance in the 2m4½f Grade 1 contest.

The seven-year-old pulled ahead of the pack with stablemate Min in the early stages, and remained in front for the remainder of the contest.

Several runners in the field attempted to pass the 4/1 shot, but Rachel Blackmore stepped on the gas and Willie Mullins’ talented chaser flew clear of the pressing few.

There was to be no Cheltenham Festival hat-trick for Envoi Allen, who fell in today’s Marsh

Fakir D’oudairies stayed on well for second, while Tornado Flyer made up some late ground to claim third.

Very few could anticipate the events that would unravel in the opener, with drama striking in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.

National Hunt’s poster boy and Envoi Allen fell for the first time in his career – leaving the race wide open.

Dan Skelton’s Shan Blue took an early advantage, with his slick jumping keeping the field at bay until the home straight – where a surge of runners took their chance.

The final fence saw Chantry House jump into the lead, fighting off the advances of stablemate Fusil Raffles in the final furlong to claim a maiden Grade 1 success for Nicky Henderson.

Chantry House and Nico De Boinville jump the last at Ascot Racecourse in November 2020
Chantry House gave Britain a small level of success on day three of the Cheltenham Festival

Flooring Porter produced a gutsy performance to crash Paisley Park’s party in the feature race, when making all in the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Gavin Cromwell’s rising star jumped into the lead from the off and kept creeping further and further away from the pack.

Sire De Berlais battled on for second, while Emma Lavelle’s popular star stayed on well to claim third.

The Pertemps Final Handicap Chase saw Paul Nolan land his first Festival success in over a decade, with 12/1 shot Mrs Milner running a cracker under Bryan Cooper.

The six-year-old travelled strongly throughout, before overtaking Champagne Platinum on the home turn.

The mare was able to shake off the pressing challenge of The Bosses Oscar and sauntered clear to win by five lengths.

The Shunter landed a hefty bonus for his connection, when landing the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase.

The eight-year-old claimed a huge pay packet for Emmet Mullins and Paul Byrne thanks to Kelso Racecourse, offering an cheque of £100k to the Morebattle Hurdle winner if they went on to land success at the Cheltenham Festival.

Reverting back to fences for the time since September, The Shunter tracked the leaders throughout before taking the lead two out.

He kept on strongly in the closing stages to win by three lengths, with Farclas settling for second after challenging late on. Nicky Henderson’s Top Notch ran a cracker to claim third at 50/1.

Henry De Bromhead claimed a 1-2 in the Mares Novices’ Hurdle, breaking Willie Mullins’ grasp on the Grade 2 contest.

Telmesomethinggirl bolted home in the closing stages, getting the best over long-time leader Magic Daze and giving Rachel Blackmore her fifth win of the Festival.

The Shunter won the Greatwood at Cheltenham earlier this season and recorded a Festival success over fences on Thursday

The Irish domination at Prestbury Park continued into the final race of the day, with Mount Ida make a near-miraculous comeback to win the Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

For the first half of the race, the 3/1 favourite was detached from the pack and her jumping looking incredibly poor.

Jack Kennedy then produced arguably the ride of the week, with the seven-year-old making her way back into the race, navigating through the group and jumping into the lead at the final fence.

It rounded off another remarkable day for Irish-trained horses at this year’s festival, who have claimed a 17-4 victory in the Prestbury Cup with a day to spare.

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