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Tuesday 22 August 2017

Cheltenham 2015: Paul Townend's Cavalier double delight

Paul Townend on Irish Cavalier celebrates winning the 17:15 CHAPS
Paul Townend on Irish Cavalier celebrates winning the 17:15 CHAPS

Irish Cavalier capped a fine day for jockey Paul Townend when lifting he CHAPS Restaurants Barbados Novices' Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

Successful on Glens Melody in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle, Townend delivered the Rebecca Curtis-trained grey to lead on the run-in after Horizontal Speed had taken the field to the last, to complete a big-day double.

There were several in with chances at the final fence, but Irish Cavalier (11-1) came out on top as he strode gamely up the hill to win by two and a half lengths from 6-1 favourite Thomas Crapper.

Generous Ransom (8-1) was half a length away in third and Horizontal Speed (12-1) was fourth.

Curtis said: "I always fancied him for this, but it didn't look like he was going to win halfway through the race. I knew if he got a bit of light he would stay on up the hill.

"He's crying our for three miles and I could have put him in the chase earlier in the day, but we would have been taking on seasoned handicappers so I decided to stick to the shorter trip against novices.

"I don't think the cheekpieces made a huge difference as he stayed on here the last time without them.

"He had been running on heavy ground all winter and I think he wanted better ground even though he handles soft, as he's a better horse on good ground."

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