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HomeFootballCheltenham Festival: Impervious battles past Allegorie De Vassy in Mares' Chase thriller...

Cheltenham Festival: Impervious battles past Allegorie De Vassy in Mares’ Chase thriller | Racing News

Impervious battled to a well-earned success in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase, as Colm Murphy returned to the Cheltenham winner’s circle.

The JP McManus-owned seven-year-old found herself locked in a race for the line with Willie Mullins’ Allegorie De Vassy.

Under Brian Hayes it was Impervious who got her head in front, triumphing to maintain her unbeaten record over fences.

It was a fifth Festival success for Murphy, but the first since Empire Of Dirt in 2016 for the man who saddled Brave Inca to land the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2004 and the Champion Hurdle two years later.

Dan Skelton took the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle for a fourth time in eight years as 33-1 shot Faivoir downed Pied Piper in a thrilling finish.

Both horses came from out of the pack after Highway One O Two had kicked clear turning for home and there were plenty in with chances approaching the last.

Faivoir and Bridget Andrews battle it out with Pied Piper and Davy Russell in the County Hurdle
Faivoir and Bridget Andrews battle it out with Pied Piper and Davy Russell in the County Hurdle

However, Bridget Andrews’ mount, who had been pulled up on quicker ground in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on his previous start, kept responding in these easier conditions and got the verdict in a head-bobber.

Pied Piper, who had finished third in the Triumph Hurdle last year, was making his handicap debut mark off a mark of 154 and only just failed to reel in the winner, having nodded slightly on landing at the last.

The well-supported Filey Bay held every chance but could only finish third, while Sharjah stuck on for fourth, followed by Ballyadam.

66/1 shock as Premier is Magic in Hunters’ Chase

Premier Magic and Bradley Gibbs
Premier Magic and Bradley Gibbs

Prolific point-to-point winner Premier Magic, trained and ridden by Bradley Gibbs, sprang a 66-1 shock in the St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase.

Rocky’s Howya had made much of the running and was still upsides jumping the second last as Gibbs made his move.

Though looking booked for minor honours, he was hampered by a loose horse and as Premier Magic started to empty, Its On The Line (28-1) stayed on late under Derek O’Connor.

Yet the winner just had enough in reserve to fend off the challenge and win by a length and three-quarters, with Shantou Flyer (50-1) finishing third.

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