The Shunter lands huge gamble in Paddy Power Plate at Cheltenham Festival
  • Farclas ew tip second
  • Rachael Blackmore wins Mares Novice Hurdle on Tellmesomethinggirl in fifth Festival win!

By Andrew Atkinson

Emmet Mullins trained eight-year-old The Shunter ridden by Claimer Jordan Gainsford landed a huge gamble when winning the Grade Three Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase over 2m 4f at the Cheltenham Festival on the 9-4 favourite.

“Everything fell into place,” said Mullins, who won a £100,000 bonus for owner Paul Byrne.

“It’s unbelievable and I can’t believe it,” said Gainsford after recording his first Cheltenham win.

“It was a battle at the last. It’s a big day for me and I thank connections for the opportunity,” said 7lbs claimer Gainsford, who gained a 3 lengths victory over Farclas.

The Shunter was priced at 12-1 ante-post leading up to the Festival with a huge plunge of cash knocking odds down to the 9-4 favourite.

Farclas (5-1) tipped each-way by in the 21 runners field was a gallant second, underlined by getting into difficulties amongst the pack, with no room to push through under Jack Kennedy. Nicky Henderson trained 10-year-old veteran Top Notch (50-1) finished third, with Coole Cody (22-1) fourth.

Rachael Blackmore continued her flurry of winners at the Festival when landing the Grade 2 Mares Novice Hurdle over 2m on Henry de Bromhead trained Tellmesomethinggirl, to return her fifth winner.

“Its unbelievable. Henry has done an unbelievable job. She’s got speed and settled well.

“To have winners at the Cheltenham Festival I am so overwhelmed – but it’s all about the horses,” said Blackmore.

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