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  • 13:30 William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2m 110y

  • (Grade 1) £120,000 added 4yo+ 12 ran
  • Winner £68,340 2nd £25,644 3rd £12,840 4th £6,396
  • Going: Soft (Good to Soft in places; Cross Country: Soft)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 55.60s
  • Off time: 14:06:08

Champagne Fever wins Supreme Novices' at Cheltenham Festival

Last Updated: 12/03/13 3:05pm

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Champagne Fever: Supreme winner

Champagne Fever: Supreme winner

Champagne Fever (5/1) led from start to finish in the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The Willie Mullins-trained horse had to fend off My Tent Or Yours up the hill but he battled on gamely under the Ruby Walsh drive to hold off Tony McCoy and the hot 15/8 favourite by half a length.

My Tent Or Yours looked to be going best of all rounding the home turn but he just couldn't get by the game front-runner who was winning at the Festival for the second year running after landing the Champion Bumper last season.

Mullins told Racing UK: "Ruby was very good, I didn't give him any instructions. He controlled it beautifully from the front."

Owner JP McManus had to settle for second and third as Jezki (5/1) finished a further two-and-a-quarter lengths behind the front two.

As expected, Champagne Fever took the field along from his stablemate Un Atout, with My Tent Or Yours third.

There was little change in the order as the 12-strong line-up bunched up at the top of the hill.

My Tent Or Yours looked as though he could take the leader whenever McCoy wanted, but Walsh and Champagne Fever had other ideas and ran out worthy winners.

Walsh said: "It's magic - he just came alive the last fortnight. I didn't ride him work last week but I was watching him work at the Curragh with Willie and we both kind of looked at each other. It was scintillating.

"Patrick (Mullins, trainer's son) has always maintained he was a two-miler and an out-and-out galloper - he was dead right.

"He wasn't doing a whole lot in front, but I knew AP (McCoy) was coming to me as I could feel the crowd revving up.

"But, in fairness, when AP got to him, he stuck his head down and away he went again."

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