A review of the rest of the action from day three of the Cheltenham Festival where Sire Du Berlais lands a gamble in the Pertemps Final.
Double delight for Geraghty and JP
Sire Du Berlais delighted favourite-backers with a last-gasp victory under an inspired Barry Geraghty in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham.
Trained by Gordon Elliott and owned by JP McManus, the seven-year-old had caught the eye when finishing sixth in a Pertemps Qualifier at Leopardstown in December and was a heavily-backed 4-1 market leader for what was his first start since.
It was not entirely straightforward for Sir Du Berlais, with Geraghty having to get to work a long way from home. But to his credit, the seven-year-old responded to his rider's urgings and charged up the hill to get up and beat 40-1 shot Debra Hamer's Tobefair by a neck. The strong-travelling Not Many Left and Cuneo were not far behind in third and fourth respectively.
It was a quick double for Geraghty in the McManus colours, after Defi Du Seuil in the JLT Novices' Chase.
He said after what was his 38th Cheltenham Festival winner: "I thought I was in trouble three out, I got tight for room but he rallied and rallied, and it was a good performance. There was plenty of traffic, but he responded and was a willing partner."
Elliott said: "I was happy the whole way through the race. He was short of room at the top of the hill, but Barry gave him a great ride and he never panicked. I knew when it opened up he would stay going which was brilliant.
"I thought until 50 yards before the line we were still under a bit of pressure. It looked the race to go for with him, so it is great. I'll speak to the owner and see what we do next, but to win the Pertemps is great. We had a very slow start, but it goes to show if you keep your head down and keep trying you will get there."
Hamer said of the runner-up: "This is the horse that we see at home, but it wasn't him when we brought him for this race two years ago. He's amazing and I'm thrilled to bits with him. I'm so excited, all the owners are here, about 10 of them, so we're going to have a glass of champagne now."
Kelly and Siruh strike again
Siruh Du Lac maintained his rapid improvement with a gutsy front-running display under Lizzie Kelly to win the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
Having enjoyed a perfect season to date with three wins to his credit, Nick Williams' charge was sent off the 9-2 second-favourite.
Despite beating Nicky Henderson's Janika last time out it was his old rival who was the choice of the punters - and when he loomed up on Siruh Du Lac's outside at the second-last it seemed he might gain his revenge.
With Eamon An Cnoic and Spiritofthegames also snapping at his heels, the Nick Williams-trained six-year-old was being challenged on all sides.
However, just as he had done on Trials Day in January, Siruh Du Lac found plenty for pressure to beat Janika by three-quarters of a length and give Kelly a second Festival winner after Coo Star Sivola 12 months ago.
Mullins one-two in Mares'
A 50-1 winner trained by Willie Mullins is a rarity - and even rarer when followed home by a 66-1 stablemate, as happened in the National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Mares' Novices' Hurdle when Eglantine Du Seuil beat Concertista.
Mullins ran seven in the race, with Ruby Walsh on My Sister Sarah, who never got involved.
Favourite Epatante made several mistakes and flattened out as Concertista - remarkably making her hurdling debut - made her bid for home.
Noel Fehily got a great tune out of Eglantine Du Seuil, though, and despite having 10 in front of him approaching the final flight, she got there in the dying strides.
Treble tops for McManus
Any Second Now posted a strong staying performance to win the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase.
Trained by Ted Walsh and ridden by Derek O'Connor, the 6-1 winner galloped all the way up the Cheltenham hill to hold off Kilfilum Cross and fast-finishing The Young Master.
Any Second Now was chalking up a third win on the day in the green and gold of McManus.