IT’S been a mixed week for the Sussex contingent at the Cheltenham Festival.
Trainer Gary Moore and his jockey son Jamie were hoping to bring the house down on day two of the grandest jump-racing festival of them all by retaining the Champion Chase crown they took amid joyous scenes last year with Sire De Grugy.
But it was not to be as the nine-year-old came in fourth, well behind the winner Dodging Bullets, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.
There was a Sussex success story on dy one when Findon trainer Nick Gifford saw Generous Ransom, ridden by Daryl Jacob, come in a creditable third in the CHAPS Restaurants Barbados Novices’ Handicap Chase at 8/1.
Another spot of local interest on the second day came when Goodwood Mirage – formerly owned by the Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Group – ran in the Coral Cup. Mirage earned big dividends for the GROG shareholders after two terrific years with them but failed to make the places in a big field at Cheltenham.
The festival has another two days to run, with the World Hurdle the Thursday highlight and the Gold Cup to come on Friday.
See our video, above, of a parade of former festival favourites at this year’s opening day plus footage of the famous Cheltenham Roar that goes up at the start of the first race each year.