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Last year Kelly became the first woman to ride the victor of a Grade One jumps race in Britain, and the talented jockey has already won seven races this season.

"If you think about it, if Douvan hadn't been around, we'd have stayed at two miles".

Fell three out past year whilst travelling well and looking the victor.

That is not to say that Cue Card can not win it, he is an extraordinary 11-year-old after all, but he has history to overcome and, with that in mind, his odds are short enough.

"There was never any thought that Sizing John was to join the Potts' horses who went to Colin Tizzard - this horse was already in my yard".

The only time Sizing John had tackled three miles before had been in the previous month's Irish Gold Cup: once into virgin territory, and the extra quarter mile plus of the real thing, there wasn't a shred of vulnerability. I caught the train a couple of weeks ago with him from Waterloo to Andover and I laughed the entire way.

Its been three days of exhilerating Grade One jump racing as we reach the final Friday of the Cheltenham Festival, with the pinnacle of the four day Festival, the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Given a patient ride by Robbie Power, the seven-year-old completed the English-Irish Gold Cup double in style to dispel any stamina doubts.

"The mistake cost me second place but I don't believe I would have done better than that", said the 37-year-old Irishman.

"It's beginner's luck", laughed Harrington, pointing out this was her first runner in the race.

Djakadam, bidding to give Willie Mullins his seventh Festival victor, set sail for the judge in front but had nothing left to give in the closing stages and finished fourth.

"It is out of relief as he has been favourite all year", said Hobbs.

Three French-bred horses filled the podium for Britain's top juvenile hurdle contest, with AQPS Defi Du Seuil winning by five lengths from the Niarchos Family's Mega Fortune (Fr) (Soldier of Fortune ) and Maurice Rohaut-Leger's Bapaume (Fr) (Turtle Bowl ). He's been favourite all year and it's great when it goes right.

The victor was bred in Burgundy by Catherine Boudot, whose late husband, the Lyon-based trainer Marc Boudot, died in 2008.

"His family traces back to my late husband's parents' bloodlines". Gordon Elliott's horses are red-hot and the cheekpieces improved him the last day so he'll fly the Irish flag proudly.


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