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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 15:33 GMT
Baracouda treble hopes are dashed
Graham Lee pushes Inglis Drever on to victory
Inglis Drever finished strongly up the Cheltenham hill to win
Inglis Drever won the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham to deny Baracouda a record third triumph in four years.

Graham Lee's 5-1 mount surged clear at the final hurdle, with Tony McCoy's 6-5 favourite struggling against his younger rival up the Cheltenham hill.

Irish runner Rule Supreme, one of the other main pre-race favourites (4-1), came home third.

Knife Edge and Westender disputed the lead for much of the race before being caught by the field.

The win gave trainer Howard Johnson, owner Graham Wylie and jockey Lee a 1197-1 treble after the victories of Arcalis and No Refuge earlier in the week.

But Lee admitted that the victory certainly hadn't been plain sailing for him.

"He didn't travel great, he didn't jump great but he's got a big heart and in the end I think I got there a bit too soon - but I wasn't going to stop when I got him going," he said.

"I was forced to track Baracouda for a while because I wasn't travelling well, but I'm so happy for the horse. To be narrowly beaten in the SunAlliance last year and now this, I'm so chuffed for him. He's tough."

Johnson was also overjoyed with the success as his charge tackled three miles for the first time.

"I never usually shake, but watching that race made me shake a little bit because I love this horse. He's a proper little Jack Russell terrier," he said.

"I knew he'd come up the hill. We've got one that's high and steep at home. When he's on form he goes up our hill great.

"That's the secret about training our horses - going up steep hills. It seems to get their wind right and helps them be fit and healthy."

Baracouda's trainer Francois Doumen was gracious in defeat.

Thisthatandtother and Fondmort fight it out at Cheltenham
Thisthatandtother and Fondmort fought out an exciting finish

"He was really a splendid second," he said. "Tony McCoy was impeccable and he gave him the perfect ride. We were just beaten by a better horse and we have to respect that.

"He may go to Aintree. We will certainly enter him, but it is too early to say whether he will go over fences or not.

"Maybe as he is getting older he does not have the speed he had in the past, but he has run a good race."

Thisthatandtother got the better of Fondmort in a thrilling finish up the hill to win the inaugural Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy.

It was a sweet success for the Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old, ridden by Ruby Walsh, who had finished second in three races at the course earlier in the season.

I can't believe it - it's like a dream come true
Jockey Mattie Batchelor after the victory of King Harald

Fondmort, ridden by Mick FitzGerald and trained by Nicky Henderson, went for home two fences out but Walsh kept his mount in touch and emerged strongest in a thrilling finish.

Henderson did make it three wins at the 2005 Festival after the 25-1 chance Liberthine, ridden by amateur Sam Waley-Cohen, won the Mildmay of Flete Handicap Chase.

It was an emotional win for the jockey, whose horse is owned by his father Robert, a director at the Cheltenham course.

Mattie Bachelor claimed his first Festival win when King Harald won the Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase despite a bad mistake at the last fence.

"He pecked a little bit at the last and I lost my stirrup. I knew I wasn't going to get it back, so I kicked the other one out.

"I can't believe it - it's like a dream come true," said Batchelor

On St Patrick's Day, there were two wins for the Irish in the final two races with successes for Another Rum, ridden by amateur Mark O'Hare and the well-fancied Oulart in the Pertemps Final.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Inglis Drever's jockey Graham Lee


Interview: Inglis Drever's trainer Howard Johnson



SEE ALSO
Farmer Jack takes Chase success
26 Feb 05 |  Horse Racing
Baracouda wins Long Walk Hurdle
18 Dec 04 |  Horse Racing
McCoy picked to partner Baracouda
09 Nov 04 |  Horse Racing
Second best for Baracouda
18 Mar 04 |  Horse Racing


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