Another day in the sun at Cheltenham and it was a bad day for the punters and jockeys, with unexpected results and injury, rife. The Jewson Novice’s Steeple Chase saw Benefficient bravely fight back to beat the favourite Dynaste. A photo result declared the 100/1 shot Changing Times third. In the Pretemps Holywell hung on from Captain Sunshine, travelling well from a long way out. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill said, ” I was a bit worried when Richie (McLernon) came to the front such a long way from home but he did well.” Captain Sunshine’s jockey Paddy Brennan was banned for nine days due to incorrect use of the whip which would appear to rule him out of his Grand National ride on Imperial Commander. Jockey Davy Russell suffered a spontaneous punctured lung and will be spending the night at Cheltenham Hospital. No decisions have been made about who will be riding his Gold Cup mount tomorrow as yet. In the Ryanair Cue Card from a long way out whilst the favourite First Lieutenant had made an error at the third last and came second but it looked as though he would have struggled to catch the leader anyway. The Ladbrokes World Hurdle was missing Big Bucks this year, who has won the last four consecutive years, due to a leg injury. Paul Carberry aboard Solwhit rode a great finish despite being very stiff from a couple of nasty falls. He was unable to move yesterday and has flown his doctor over from Ireland to prescribe painkillers. Celestial Halo ran bravely but was beaten into second. Solwhit is the first Irish winner of the World Hurdle for 18 years. Venetia Williams’ Carrickboy held on to win from Vino Griego in the fifth. Tartak ran a valiant race but is dogged by wind problems and finished third. In the Kim Muir the photo finish gave it to Same Difference on the nod, with gallant Super Duty just missing out. J T McNamara had a punishing fall when Galaxy Rock crashed into the first fence. He was airlifted to hospital and was conscious after his fall but is now in an induced coma at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol. The Cross Country race was delayed by 30 minutes due to J T McNamara’s fall and then there was a false start. When they eventually got off Wedger Pardy and Passato set off at a cracking pace clearly wanting to get home in the daylight. They tired near the finish and Big Shu stormed up to win at 14-1. Shakervilz came close but couldn’t catch him and Outlaw Pete took third. The Charity race in aid of Cancer Research UK took place in failing light and Newmill certainly wasn’t hanging around getting to around 25 lengths ahead of Shinko Moon who was 10 lengths ahead of the rest of the field before they began to close the gap. Age of Glory with Brian Bunyan were victorious.
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