Dream double for Dougie

Dougie Costello enjoyed a red-letter day at Cheltenham with a 28-1 double at the home of National Hunt racing today.

Dougie Costello enjoyed a red-letter day at Cheltenham with a 28-1 double at the home of National Hunt racing today.

Irishman Costello has been plying his trade on the northern scene for some years now, but only notched his first winner at the highest level in April when Wayward Prince took the Sefton Novices' Hurdle.

He was reunited with Ian Williams' six-year-old in the Ultima Frontrunner In IT Solutions Novices' Chase and connections are now dreaming of further Grade One glory.

Chicago Grey loomed large turning into the straight but crashed out at the re-sited second-last fence, bringing down Beshabar.

Beshabar's rider, Christian Williams, was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital with a suspected fracture to his left arm.

Wayward Prince (9-4 favourite) carried on regardless, and battled on well for a four-and-a-quarter-length win from Balthazar King.

"I said to Richard (Johnson, rider of Balthazar King) when we were trotting back in that I felt I was only going half-speed and in second gear - that's because he has such a high cruising speed and he idles," said Costello.

"I still felt I had the beating of the horse who fell at the second-last because I was only getting into third gear."

Williams added: "He's done what he needed to do, but there may be a bit of improvement needed from him.

"We'll possibly bring him back here for the December meeting, but there's load of options."

Wayward Prince was left unchanged by Paddy Power at 16-1 for the RSA Chase.

Costello was arguably seen to better effect on Neil Mulholland's Midnight Chase (8-1), who made all the running in the stamina-sapping Morson Group Handicap Chase.

Raised 9lb for an easy win at the course last month, the tough eight-year-old jumped from fence to fence at the head of affairs.

The well-backed Any Currency stayed on for second, eight lengths away.

"He's a specialist around here - he hits the hill here and finds an extra gear," said Costello.

"Neil is a serious trainer and has done marvellous with this horse."

Mulholland said: "We were due to come back here in December, but there's a possibility we might have to go out of handicaps now.

"We were hoping he could improve and he has done."

Sam Winner (4-1) emerged as the early favourite for the Triumph Hurdle after a laughably easy success in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial.

Paddy Power installed him as their 7-1 jolly after his 15-length stroll.

Winning trainer Paul Nicholls said of the Noel Fehily-ridden winner: "He's been an awesome jumper from day one and he's a sort we like because he'll make a chaser one day.

"With horses like this you don't really know how good they are until they run, so I hadn't thought about anything after this.

"It's quite possible he could come back here again, he wouldn't be the sort to run in a bog at Chepstow."

Jennie Candlish was beaming from ear to ear after Cross Kennon stayed on dourly to land the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Handicap Hurdle.

Backed from 9-1 into 9-2 joint-favouritism, Alan O'Keeffe brought his mount with a steady late run to collar Viking Blond for a three-length win.

"He just keeps surprising us all the time. It's just great to come to places like this and hopefully he'll keep putting us on the map," said Candlish.

Alan King's Devil To Pay (7-1) came up trumps following a protracted tussle with Crystal Rock to land the concluding Ultima Business Solutions Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

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