Windsor Park claims opener on Day 2 of Cheltenham

Windsor Park claims opener on Day 2 of Cheltenham

Windsor Park ran out a decisive winner of the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Dermot Weld’s six-year-old was a 9-2 shot having chased home the reopposing 7-2 favourite Nichols Canyon in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown last month, but was ridden far more positively this time by Davy Russell.

The Irish raider cut out the early running before the giant Beast Of Burden went on down the back straight and there were still plenty in with chances running down to the second flight from the finish.

Windsor Park quickened back to the front approaching the last and galloped clear up the hill for an impressive three-and-three-quarter-length success.

The patiently-ridden Parlour Games came through for second under Tony McCoy, with Nichols Canyon third.

Vyta Du Roc was still in with a chance when he made a serious blunder at the final obstacle.

Russell said: “All credit to Dermot Weld and his team – he’s a master.

“He (Weld) told me that jumping is his hobby. It’s some hobby, isn’t it? He jumped every hurdle really well and I never had any issue with stamina.”

Weld said: “It’s very enjoyable. I’ve only a few jumpers nowadays.

“He’s a dual-purpose horse and you’ll see him on the Flat as well. I thought he’d be very hard to beat. I had a lot of confidence in my own horse.

“He’s done everything right and he’s enjoyed the trip. This was lovely ground for him.

“He could be entered for a Gold Cup (at Royal Ascot).”

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