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RACE NIGHT: Cheltenham’s season comes to a close | Race Report

The curtain drew on Cheltenham’s season until October after Friday evening’s Hunter Chase fixture

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WPG583 A view of Cheltenham Racecourse and Cheltenham Spa from Cleeve Hill, England Arkle

Race action for the 2020/21 campaign ceased at Cheltenham on Friday evening following the conclusion of Race Night, in an emotional evening that paid tribute to the late Lorna Brooke who sadly passed away in April.

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Tom Ellis landed the opener with Fumet D’oudairies, while Bradley Gibbs secured a double with his only two runners on the card as Captain Mcginley and Highway Jewel were both victorious.

Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, UK
Cheltenham, the Home of Jumps Racing, next hosts National Hunt racing in October

In the Lorna Brooke Open Hunters’ Chase, Fergal O’Brien’s Captain Cattistock made almost every yard of the four-mile trip under Albi Tufnell.

WATCH: THE GAME CAPTAIN CATTISTOCK ISN’T TO BE DENIED AT CHELTENHAM ON RACE NIGHT [CREDIT: RACING TV]

Marcle Ridge, once sixth behind the likes of Billaway, Minella Rocco and Shantou Flyer in the St James’s Place at the Festival, exacted that level of form with a win in the curtain closer under Thomas O’Brien for Lucy Smith.

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Monbeg Chit Chat, formerly of Gigginstown House Stud and Henry De Bromhead, also registered success on the night, as did Trio For Rio for Clive Boultbee-Brooks.

Friday’s card brought a conclusion to a campaign like no other at Prestbury Park, with the only crowds seen on-site in December for the International Meeting.

Captain Tom Cat and jockey Cillin Leonard lead over the last fence on the way to winning the squareintheair.com Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Apart from December’s International Meeting, every other fixture at Cheltenham this season has been hosted without crowds

2,000 racegoers were welcomed to the track on both days, but every other day across the season which hosted race action has been behind-closed-doors.

Crowds are set to return in October for The Showcase, however, with coronavirus restrictions, including social distancing and wearing of face coverings, set to be lifted in June.

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.

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