Disappointing final day for local connections at Cheltenham

Story by Fergal Lynch

Friday, 15th March, 2019 5:28pm

Disappointing final day for local connections at Cheltenham

Tony Martin

The last day of the Cheltenham Festival brought little cheer for Meath connections as Willie Mullins stole the show when he captured his first Gold Cup when Al Boum Photo stormed to victory in the big race of the week.
Trimblestown trainer Tony Martin's Anibale Fly improved a place on last year's showing when he took second under Barry Geraghty, but the reality of the race was that Martin's charge never got near the hugely impressive winner.
"He ran a blinder, but the winner had all the gears, I just needed him to stop of move the posts," Geraghty told ITV Racing after weigh-in. 
Nonetheless it was a hugely impressive ride from Geraghty to bring Anibale Fly storming through into second ahead of Bristol De Moi and the Meath pair might now head to Aintree to take on Tiger Roll in what promises to be a thrilling Grand National.
In the opening race of the day Gordon Elliott went close to winner number four of the Festival when Davy Russell guided Coeur Sublime into second place just three lenghts behind 20/1 winner Pentland Hills.
Barry Geraghty was third in the County Handicap Hurdle on board Countister who was a head short of second placed We Have Dream and a lenghth and a half back from the winner Ch'tibello. 
There was more heartache for Elliott and jockey Jack Kennedy in the Albert Bartlett when their charge, 4/1 favourite, Commander Of Fleet had to settle for second place behind Rachael Blackmore's 50/1 winner Minella Indo.
In the final race of the Festival Elliott had to settle for second and third as Dallas Des Pictons and Defi Bleu finished behind Joseph O'Brien's Early Doors which tied up the Prestbury Cup at 14 winners for Ireland and 14 for Britain.

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