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Cheltenham

  • 16:40 Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle 2m 110y

  • (grade 3) £75,000 added 4yo 24 ran
  • Winner: £
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 55.60s
  • Off time: 16:40:41

Sanctuaire Sparkles For Ruby Walsh

By Tom Peacock, Press Association Sport.   Last Updated: 17/03/10 6:04pm

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Ruby Walsh en route to victory on Sanctuaire.

Ruby Walsh en route to victory on Sanctuaire.

Ruby Walsh became the winning-most jockey in the history of the Cheltenham Festival when Sanctuaire sprinted clear to win the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

Walsh had his mount in midfield in the early stages but the well-backed 4-1 favourite moved through the field with ease and was on the tails of the leaders rounding the final turn.

Notus De La Tour nipped up the inside to take up the running before Walsh joined him at the last, after which he streaked away to score by nine lengths.

Walsh moves on to 26 Festival winners, one more than the previous best set by Pat Taaffe, rider of the legendary Arkle.

The consistent Orsippus ran through beaten horses for third, with the strong-travelling Son Amix fading up the hill into fourth.Walsh said: "He's a bit free so we thought the Fred Winter could be a good race in which to get him to settle.

"I did think the mark they gave him after his Taunton win was a great one."

Winning trainer Paul Nicholls said: "We had some problems with him when he first came over (from France) and at first we couldn't get him on to the gallop.

"But he clearly has a lot of ability and he'll be even more the finished product after a summer out.

"Obviously he can't run in a handicap again and so I'll probably run him in the juvenile hurdle at Aintree."

The runner-up's trainer, David Pipe, said: "He ran a blinder and he's finished the closest of those carrying the most weight."

Michael Smith, trainer of Orsippus, added: "I had a good horse a few years ago that I should have run at Cheltenham, but took him to Aintree instead.

"I vowed that when I got another good one we'd get a top jockey and come to Cheltenham.

"It was an excellent run and it's my first Cheltenham Festival runner, so I'm thrilled.

"When the National Hunt season ends, then he'll go on holiday."

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