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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 17:20 GMT
Tuesday's Cheltenham diary
By Sophie Brown
BBC Sport at Cheltenham

Barry Cash celebrates his victory on Brave Inca
Brave Inca was a very popular winner of the opener
Brave Inca gave the Irish a winning start to the Festival for the fourth year in a row and it was a particularly sweet result for connections.

Owners (The Novices Syndicate) and trainer Colm Murphy (who at 29 is the same age as the horse's jockey) had never even had a runner at the Festival before while jockey Barry Cash's only previous ride had seen him come last.

The delighted Murphy was carried shoulder-high into the winner's enclosure by the equally-happy owners.


Wednesday, which is St Patrick's Day, will put the spotlight on the hordes of Irish who have travelled over for the Festival, just as they do every year.

But there is a continual reminder of the importance of Irish fans to the Festival in the shape of the Guinness Village, an area of the course where the sponsor's drink flows freely while the heaving but sociable crowds are entertained by a five-piece band called Murphy's Marbles.

Such has been the popularity of the band that the course has produced a CD, which is on sale during the meeting.

Its 12 songs include one called "The Festival", whose chorus runs:
Cheltenham, Cheltenham, that's the place to be
Where the Guinness flows like black water
And the craic is rare and free
.

All things considered, it seems unlikely that Westlife will be covering it in the near future.


Davenport Milenium
Davenport Milenium causes spelling heartache
It is a well-known fact that journalists can't spell but help is at hand in the shape of the two of the runners in Tuesday's big race, the Champion Hurdle.

Davenport Milenium and Self Defense will no doubt have sub-editors up and down the land tearing their hair out but what can you do when that's how the name has been registered.


Daylight robbery is something punters often accuse bookies of but in fact that particular threat to racegoers comes from elsewhere.

With many punters carrying around huge wads of notes for betting purposes, it is estimated that some pickpockets are making up to 20,000 a day from unsuspecting members of the public.

To combat the problem, Gloucestershire police and Crimestoppers have got together to promote their "Rat on a rat" campaign and have are issuing racegoers with tips on how to avoid becoming the crooks' latest victim.


Just three races at Cheltenham are named after actual people.

The big race on day two is named after the Queen Mother, who needs no introduction, while the last race of the Festival is the Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle, named after the legendary Irish trainer.

The third is the opening day's Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup - Walwyn remains the most successful trainer in Festival history but who was Muir?

Answer: He was an amateur jockey who was killed in World War II - in his memory, his parents sponsored a race in his honour, a tradition that has been maintained ever since.



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