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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 17:54 GMT
Wednesday at Cheltenham
Barry Geraghty on Moscow Flyer
Moscow Flyer justified his billing as favourite

Moscow Flyer produced a flawless race to take the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the feature race of day two at the Cheltenham Festival.

Barry Geraghty's mount was neck and neck with Seebald and Latalomne at the second last - but his two rivals both fell leaving the favourite to storm through to win by seven lengths.

Tony McCoy's miserable Festival continued, with his mount Tiutchev falling early, while last year's winner Flagship Uberalles was fifth.

But the champion jockey ensured a happy ending to an otherwise disappointing day, riding Liberman to victory in the final race of the day, the Weatherby's Champion Bumper.


1745 Weatherby's Champion Bumper NH Flat (2m 110y)

1. Liberman (T McCoy) 2/1f
2. Trabolgan (A Dobbin) 50/1
3. Widemouth Bay (R Johnson) 33/1
4. Bold Bishop (F Berry) 50/1
25 ran

Tony McCoy finally bagged his first winner of the Festival, edging the closest race of the day on Martin Pipe's Liberman.

Despite heavy pressure from Nicky Henderson's Trabolgan, Liberman held firm to give the champion jockey a silver lining to what has otherwise been a disappointing two days.

Richard Johnson was third, unable to claim his fourth win of the Festival.


1710 Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (2m 4f 110y)

1. Young Spartacus (R Johnson) 16/1
2. Fondmort (M A Fitzgerald) 11/2
3. Scots Grey (Mr A Tinkler) 16/1
4. Cregg House (R M Power) 25/1
19 ran

Richard Johnson picked up his third winner of the Festival as he took Young Spartacus to victory in another race decided by drama at the second last.

Warren Marston on Goguenard looked well-set, but was unseated as he fell, leaving Young Spartacus to take up the lead.

Johnson's horse defied an absence of 424 days and showed tremendous stamina to pull clear of Mick Fitzgerald's Fondmort after the last to take victory.


1635 NH Challenge Cup Novices Chase (4m)

1. Sudden Shock (D Cullen) 25/1
2. Stormez (J Moore) 7/4f
3. Young Ottoman (J Pritchard) 10/1
4. High Cotton (L McGrath) 25/1
24 ran

Stormez, who many tipped as the biggest favourite of the entire three days, was run out by Sudden Shock in a thrilling finish.

Martin Pipe's 7/4 favourite looked to be home and dry when his main rival Hedgehunter stumbled over the second last, leaving him clear.

But Sudden Shock gamely held on and closed the gap before moving ahead to win by a length.


1600 Coral Cup Hurdle (Handicap) 2m 5f

1. Xenophon (M Fitzgerald) 4/1f
2. Samon (D J Casey) 25/1
3 Spectrometer (R Johnson) 10/1
4 Emotional Moment (B J Geraghty) 7/1
27 ran

Mick Fitzgerald heaped misery on the bookmakers as he led the favourite Xenophon to an impressive win.

The Tony Martin-trained horse spent much of the race in the middle of the bunch, then hit the front at the last, pulling away to win by a distance.

It was the third Irish win out of four races, as Xenophon had as comfortable a win as he could have possibly expected.

Second was Martin Pipe's Samon, owned by footballers Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman, with Spectrometer (10-1) third and Emotional Moment (7-1) fourth.


1515 Queen Mother Champion Chase (2m)

1. Moscow Flyer (B Geraghty) 7/4f
2. Native Upmanship (C O'Dwyer) 12/1
3. Cenkos (R Walsh) 7/1
4. Geos (M Fitzgerald) 25/1
11 ran

Moscow Flyer gave the Irish a memorable victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Jessica Harrington's 7/4 favourite already had the 145,000 first prize in his sights when left clear by the falls of Latalomne and Seebald at the second last fence.

With his rivals out of the picture, the nine-year-old strode away up the hill to win with ease under Barry Geraghty.

Second was last year's runner-up Native Upmanship with Cenkos third.


1435 Royal & Sun Alliance Chase (3m 100y)

1. One Knight (R Johnson) 15/2
2. Jair Du Cochet ( J Ricou) 4/1
3. Barrow Drive (B Geraghty) 9/1
4. Sea Drifting ((N Fehily) 100/1
9 ran

Richard Johnson upset the odds as he led One Knight home with a dominant display in the Royal & Sun Alliance Chase.

His Philip Hobbs-trained mount led from the off and was never threatened - not even from hot favourite Keen Leader who disappointed and ultimately finished fifth.

"I have always thought a lot of him," Johnson said of his horse.

"He has always been a bit nervous on these fence, but he does gallop and the ground suited him today."


1400 Royal & Sun Alliance Novice Hurdle (2m 5f)

1. Hardy Eustace (K Kelly) 6/1
2. Pizarro (N Williamson) 2/1f
3. Lord Sam 10/1(W Marston)
4. Foreman 11/1 (T Doumen)
19 ran

Hardy Eustace produced a storming finish to win a thrilling Novice Hurdle ahead of hot favourite Pizarro.

The Larry Byrne-owned mount hit the front ahead of the final jump and despite strong pressure from Coolnagorna and Pizarro, held out for a great win by one-and-a-quarter lengths.

There was a further twist when Coolnagorna, who finished second, was disqualified following a steward's inquiry, promoting Pizarro to second place.

After the race, Hardy Eustace's jockey Kieran Kelly said he was delighted.

"It's unbelievable. I was never really worried about him, but it's an unreal feeling," he said.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Moscow Flyer's jockey Barry Geraghty
"It's been quite a good week so far"



CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2003

MEETING REVIEW
CORNELIUS LYSAGHT

BIG-RACE ACTION
DAILY REPORTS

PHOTO GALLERIES

JOCKEYS PROFILED
CHELTENHAM JOCKEYS PROFILED
 
TRAINERS PROFILED
 



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