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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 17:40 GMT
Cheltenham Festival day four
Cheltenham, 16 March, 2007
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Kauto Star was the star of the show with his Gold Cup success as the Cheltenham Festival reached its climax on Friday.

Trainer Paul Nicholls claimed a double as Andreas went on to win the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase.

There was also a double for Andreas' jockey Robert Thornton who had earlier partnered the Alan King-trained Katchit to victory in the JCB Triumph Hurdle.

Tony McCoy finally got off the mark when the hot favourite Wichita Lineman was a comfortable winner in the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle.

JT McNamara continued his superb Cheltenham record with victory on Drombeag in the Christie's Foxhunter Chase.

Meanwhile, Philip Carberry, who triumphed on Sublimity in Tuesday's Champion Hurdle, made it two Festival wins when Pedrobob took the final race, the Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle.

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By Elizabeth Hudson

1720 Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (2m 1f)
1. Pedrobob (P A Carberry) 12-1
2. Ouninpohja (R Walsh) 11-2
3. Premier Dane (B Harding) 100-1
4. Kawagino (W P Kavanagh) 20-1
28 ran

1640 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (2m f)
1. Andreas (Robert Thornton) 12-1
2. Hasty Prince (AP McCoy) 8-1
3. Ground Ball (David Casey) 33-1
4. Ursis (Barry Geraghty) 14-1
23 ran

Trainer Paul Nicholls followed up his Gold Cup victory with Kauto Star when Andreas lifted the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase.

Partnered by Robert Thornton, who was also completing a double after his Triumph Hurdle success, the 12-1 shot got past Hasty Prince and Tony McCoy on the run-in and went on to claim a three-length win.

Last year's winner Greenhope and Pablo Du Charmil set the early pace but Hasty Prince and Andreas looked most dangerous from three out.

1600 Christie's Foxhunter Chase (3m 2f)
1. Drombeag (Mr JT McNamara) 20-1
2. Whyso Mayo (Mr D Murphy) 2-1f
3. Ned Kelly (Mr KE Power) 20-1
24 ran. Dist: , 15

Drombeag and John Thomas McNamara denied Whyso Mayo back-to-back wins in the Christie's Foxhunter Chase with a storming run to the line.

Whyso Mayo overcame a big mistake early on to get back into contention and the pair were among the leaders from three out along with Bika and Ned Kelly.

The latter two dropped back allowing Drombeag and Whyso Mayo fight on with the latter taking over the lead on the turn for home.

But Drombeag went back into the lead at the last fence and stayed clear of his rival to give owner JP McManus another Cheltenham win.

1515 Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (3m 2f)
1. Kauto Star (Ruby Walsh) 5-4
2. Exotic Dancer (AP McCoy) 9-2
3. Turpin Green (Tony Dobbin) 40-1
18 ran. Dist: 2, 2

Ruby Walsh and Kauto Star combined beautifully for a famous Gold Cup success.

Walsh had kept his charge at the back of the field and out of trouble on the first circuit as Beef Or Salmon and Neptune Collonges set the pace.

The favourite took the lead at the second-last fence after being forced out wide because of heavy traffic and once he went ahead, there only looked like being one winner.

He got over the last safely, much to the relief of many, and second-placed Exotic Dancer, who had been hampered by a loose horse, was unable to catch up while outsider Turpin Green ran an excellent race to finish third.

The victory gives Kauto Star a 1m bonus after his wins earlier this season in the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the King George Chase at Kempton.

"We've never had any doubt about this horse. He was brilliant and the right man was on board."
Winning trainer Paul Nicholls

1515:The tension is rising as the horses make their way to the start. Can Kauto Star do it?

1500: BBC Sport's Honest Frank at Cheltenham
"There was a big cheer from the crowd when Black Harry, who suffered a horrible fall in the last race, got to his feet. Jockey Ruby Walsh also walked back to the weighing room, seemingly unscathed.

1435 Brit Insurance Novices Hurdle (3m)
1. Wichita Lineman (AP McCoy) 11-8f
2. Air Force One (Noel Fehily) 25-1
3. Itsa Legend (Robert Thornton) 100-1
20 ran

Champion jockey Tony McCoy finally got a winner at the 2007 Festival when the well-backed favourite Wichita Lineman triumphed in the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle.

McCoy got to work on the winner from about three from home to challenge along with Black Harry and Hairy Molly.

Hairy Molly dropped out of contention and it was left to Wichita Lineman and Black Harry, ridden by Ruby Walsh, to fight it out to the finish.

Wichita Lineman had just edged clear of his rival approaching the last but disaster struck for Black Harry at the final hurdle when he suffered a crashing fall.

That left Wichita Lineman comfortably ahead of the rest of the field and he went on to claim a 15-length win.

"There's not even a glimmer of a smile on the face of Tony McCoy, despite the fact he has ridden a winner. He's been disappointed with the week so far." Luke Harvey on BBC Radio Five Live.

1425: Katchit's jockey Robert Thornton on BBC Radio Five Live after his third victory of the 2007 Festival.
"It's fantastic and the week has just got better and better as it has gone on. I'm making sure I enjoy every minute."

1400 JCB Triumph Hurdle (2m 1f)
1. Katchit (Robert Thornton)11-2
2. Liberate (Richard Johnson)12-1
3. Mobaasher (Noel Fehily) 33-1
4. Punjabi (Mick FitzGerald) 9-1
23 ran. Dist: 9, 1

Katchit claimed a decisive win in the gave the in-form team of trainer Alan King and jockey Robert Thornton another Festival success.

Thornton and his mount came through to challenge leader Degas Art on the long run-in to the second-last fence.

He took the lead easily and nobody else could cope with his pace as he jumped the last safely and ran strongly up the hill for the win.

Liberate, in second, ran bravely but was unable to get close to the winner.

"This horse is like the boxer Ricky Hatton - he's so tough"
BBC Five Live summariser Luke Harvey

1350: The jockeys for the opening race are given the signal to get on board their mounts.

1345: State Of Play's trainer Evan Williams on BBC Radio Five Live.
"The horse's preparation has gone really well. It depends how good he is on the day. He's an improving horse and goes well fresh."

1332: There is still plenty of money coming in for Gold Cup favourite Kauto Star but The Listener is drifting in the betting market. He was a doubt earlier because of the fast-drying ground at Cheltenham and punters are not confident of his chances.

1305: It's another glorious day at Cheltenham and the sun is out again. A perfect spring day for what we hope will be a perfect day's racing.

1240: BBC Sport's Honest Frank at Cheltenham:
Ireland's famous punting priest Father Sean Breen has been marking our card for the day. Fr Breen, known as the Breener, is well known for giving tips from the pulpit at his church in Kildare.

He likes the look of Lounaos in the Triumph Hurdle, which is his main bet of the day, while the 70-year-old will be backing Black Harry and Hairy Molly in the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle at 1435 and he believes Forget The Past has an each-way chance in the Gold Cup.

"I hope when I get to the pearly gates they'll say 'Forget the Past'" he joked.

Fr Breen, who has not yet backed a winner at this year's Festival, but boasts plenty of seconds, also likes Whyso Mayo in the Foxhunters.



SEE ALSO
Kauto Star tops Gold Cup hopefuls
16 Mar 07 |  Horse Racing
As it happened: Cheltenham day three
15 Mar 07 |  Horse Racing
As it happened: Cheltenham day two
14 Mar 07 |  Horse Racing
As it happened: Cheltenham day one
13 Mar 07 |  Horse Racing
Cheltenham Festival 2007 schedule
28 Feb 07 |  Horse Racing


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