*Andrew Atkinson's Cheltenham Festival latest news and tips. First past the winning post.

By Andrew Atkinson

Imperial Aura (4-1) completed a 35-1 winning double selections on day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival, when landing the Northern Trust Company Novice Handicap Chase over 2 miles 4 furlongs.

Seven year old Imperial Aura gained a 3 1/4 length victory ahead of Galvin, with each-way  selection Hold The Note, third, in the 20 runners field under jockey David Bass.

“We were very hopeful – after putting in good preparation for the race,” said trainer Kim Bailey.

“It’s what you come here for – Cheltenham Festival is the best – and to have a winner is wonderful,” said an emotional Bailey.

Imperial Aura followed 6-1 tip Shishkin into the winner’s enclosure, to complete a 35-1 double.


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