My Tent Or Yours rolls back the years to see off The New One in Unibet International Hurdle – Guitar Pete takes Caspian Caviar Gold Cup for the north

Today was day two of The International at Cheltenham, the final action at the Home of Jump Racing in 2017.
There was a crowd of 14,979 today, bringing the annual attendance at Cheltenham in 2017 to a record 477,826.
 
The official going today was Soft, Good to Soft in places.
Racing returns to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day – Monday, January 1, 2018.
Below is a race-by-race account of all the action from day two of The International. Replays of all races can be viewed by visiting:
3.05pm £130,000 Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 179y
 
A thrilling renewal of the £130,000 Unibet International Hurdle, the richest race of the day, saw 10-year-old My Tent Or Yours (Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty, 5/1) gain a deserved success at the Home of Jump Racing. Owned by J P McManus, My Tent Or Yours was amazingly winning for the first time at Cheltenham, having finished runner-up three times in the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle at The Festival (2014, 2016 & 2017).
The New One (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies, 5/2) was attempting to win the Unibet International for a record fourth time and took the field along. He continued at the head of the affairs until headed by My Tent Or Yours approaching the last but battled on gamely, eventually going down by a length and a quarter.
Melon (Willie Mullins IRE/David Mullins) was the 7/4 favourite but was unable to reel in My Tent Or Yours and The New One after the last and had to settle for third place, another length adrift.
It was a 5.6/1 double on the day for owner J P McManus, trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty following the success of Apple’s Shakira in the opening JCB Triumph Trial Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson said: “I have thought the world of My Tent Or Yours ever since he got his name and he was a bumper horse.
“You don’t see horses that can come back and do battles like that at his age. That was a true race and he deserved that after three seconds in the Champion Hurdle.”
Barry Geraghty said: “My Tent Or Yours has had some great runs here and that was brilliant. He deserved it – he has knocked on the door plenty – and he battled really well against an ultra-tough horse.
“It was teed up for a big finish and everyone was there. You never want to take on The New One too early and you wouldn’t want to go two lengths clear because you know he will keep coming.
“If any of us missed the last, we were out of it. It took real professionals – horses that were really up for and knew what they were doing – and it was a great finish. It’s always brilliant when you are on the right side of a result but it was as good a buzz as you can get in racing.
“It was his first time winning here and, if ever a horse deserved a big day at Cheltenham, it was him. Nicky said beforehand that he was in better form now than he was in the first part of last season so we were fairly hopeful.
“He is knocking on the door and, if you take one horse out of those three Champion Hurdles, then he is a triple winner who has beaten some very good horses. If he gets there in good shape again in March, then he will be involved.”
J P McManus said: “Full marks to Nicky and the team. Nicky never lost faith in My Tent Or Yours – he always believed in him. Even as a 10-year-old, he said that the old spark was still there and he wouldn’t be surprised if he won today.”
Runner-up The New One was trying for a seventh win at Cheltenham and his jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: “The New One has run a cracker. It was always going to be tough – My Tent Or Yours is a very good horse and, with the ground not being quite as hard work as last year’s race, the 6lb has made all the difference. Even so, it was a very brave run all the same.
“His jumping was fantastic. It was as fast as I have gone over an obstacle in a very long time, even in this ground. The buzz you get from riding a special horse like him is magical. I know it’s not always ideal to finish second but I’m not sure I could feel happier after finishing second.”
  
Left to Right: My Tent Or Yours, The New One & Melon in today’s Unibet International Hurdle
 
Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images
 
1.55pm £120,000 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 4f 166y
The feature handicap of the day was the £120,000 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, which went to northern raider Guitar Pete (Nicky Richards/Ryan Day (3), 10st 2lb, 9/1). It was a first success in the contest for Cumbria-based trainer Nicky Richards, although his late father Gordon won the prestigious contest three times with Titus Oates (1969), Clever Folly (1989) and Addington Boy (1996).
Starchitect (David Pipe/Tom Scudamore, 11st 5lb, 13/2) looked to have the race in bag entering the home straight but tragically broke down approaching the second last, suffering a fatal leg injury.
This left the race wide open and Guitar Pete took the lead after the last, going on to score by two and three-quarter lengths from 3/1 favourite Clan Des Obeaux (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden, 11st 12lb) with King’s Odyssey (Evan Williams/Adam Wedge, 10st 11lb, 9/1) another five lengths away in third.
Harry Haynes, assistant trainer to Nicky Richards, said: “We were disappointed when Guitar Pete was nearly brought down at the first in the BetVictor Gold Cup. Obviously, we couldn’t have foreseen what would happen to Starchitect today, so it’s very sad and condolences go to all connected.
“Guitar Pete did well to stand up last time out and we gave him a bit of time afterwards. It was always the plan to come back here and try and win a big race.
“There were a few more runners in the BetVictor Gold Cup and it was a bit a cavalry charge down to the first. It was always the plan today to go with them over the first couple and then tuck in. He ended up down on the inside and had a lovely run round.
“He jumped very well – he maybe got a bit close to the third last but, apart from that, he was foot perfect.
“We will see how he comes out of this race before deciding where to go next. He has been with us for getting on a year now and has had a few runs. If he comes back in good form, we will probably look for something in the middle or end of January.
Ryan Day, a 3lb claimer celebrating his 10th winner of the season, said: “I had seen Tom getting away on Starchitect and thought I might run well and get close to him. It looked as if he broke a hind leg and all I can do is say condolences to Mr and Mrs Rooney and everyone connected.
“Guitar Pete has always been a high-class horse. He won a G1 as a juvenile and maybe lost his way a bit. He just takes a little bit of kidding along – he hit a flat spot in the middle part of the race the day he won at Wetherby and then came there travelling turning in.
“They have gone a good gallop today and things have started to fall apart in front of me. I kept squeezing him through the flat spots and he has seen it out well in the end.
“We did think that he would run a good race in the BetVictor Gold Cup but we had no chance after the first fence. All we could do was take it on the chin and try again – it has paid off.
“We will have to speak to Nicky and the owners to see where we go from here but I am very grateful to them for letting me ride him. He is a good horse and I am grateful for the opportunity on a big day like this.
“You need days like this to keep you moving forward. I have had a good run lately but a day like this will help move things along.”
David Pipe said of Starchitect: “Starchitect was cruising, running the race of his life, when suddenly he lost his action and the rest is history, I’m afraid. Our thoughts are with Paul and Clare Rooney (owners of Starchietect), who love all their horses.
“He was a real character and no horse deserves that, especially him because he has run in all the big races at the Festivals over hurdles and fences. He was one of our best horses and there was more to come.
“It can happen anywhere – out in the field, on the racecourse, training back at home – and I’m afraid you get freak accidents. We never want it to happen but it does occasionally.”
Guitar Pete (left) and Clan Des Obeaux upsides in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
 
Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images
Rest of the card
 
12.10pm £20,000 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle 2m 179y
The 1/10 favourite Apple’s Shakira (Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty) had little difficulty in maintaining her unbeaten record when landing the opening JCB Triumph Trial Hurdle.
Knight Destroyer (Jonjo O’Neill/Aidan Coleman, 20/1) took the field along with Apple’s Shakira settling in second. The three-year-old filly made smooth headway to take the lead turning for home. She faced a challenge from Nube Negra (Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton, 11/1) approaching the last but had little difficulty in seeing off that rival, extending well to score by a very comfortable three and a half lengths.
Nicky Henderson said: “Apple’s Shakira was a bit keener today. She has woken up quite a bit at home since her first run and was quite keen. There wasn’t a lot of pace or cover but she has enjoyed herself. I liked the way she came away nicely and she jumped very well – she is very slick.
“I think you have to like everything that she has done. She had to do that and you rather expect it when they are that price but you are pleased when it is over.
“She is going the right way and there is a long time until March. You would certainly want to run her again beforehand – she has only had three races in her whole life – and I would like to see her in a bigger field, where you could put her to sleep a little bit more.
“It’s all very nice winning races like that but it is going to be more competitive come March and she will need to be learning to race in a bigger field. We will what we can find for her. The Finale at Chepstow might come a bit quick and it’s not my favourite place, but we will see.”
Barry Geraghty added: “Apple’s Shakira was in my hands and wanting to get on with the job today. There was only one horse in front, so you probably don’t have as much cover as you would normally get in a more competitive race, but she did everything that I wanted – she jumped brilliantly, travelled well and did as much as she had to do.
“I thought Aidan Coleman brought us along at a good gallop. I was happy to let him go from the back of three out and give my filly a chance – it was a nice, even race.
“She travelled way better today but her work at home has been that way as well, so she is going the right way. She is plucky – she winged the last three and knuckled away on the outside.”
Apple’s Shakira on her to winning the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle
 
Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images
12.45pm £25,000 Ryman Novices’ Chase 2m 4f 166y
 
A fine ride from Noel Fehily saw Kalondra take the Ryman Novices’ Chase. The Neil Mulholland-trained six-year-old was returned at 10/1, the outsider of the four runners.
Jameson (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Davy Russell, 7/4) took the field, followed by Coo Star Sivola (Nick Williams/Lizzie Kelly, 4/1) and Movewiththetimes (Paul Nicholls/Barry Geraghty, 11/8 Fav), with Kalondra settled at the rear.
Kalondra made significant progress to take the lead approaching the last and stayed on strongly for an ultimately comfortable three and three-quarter length success over Coo Star Sivola.
Neil Mulholland said: “I am really happy with Kalondra. He won nicely at Sedgefield first time out and then it was probably a bit of a muddling race at Wincanton last time, although we still have a lot of respect for the winner that day. He needs a good, strong gallop and thankfully he had something to aim at today.
“We were hoping that he was going to be a nicer chaser than a hurdler because he jumps so well. Wincanton left us scratching our heads a bit but he has put us right back on track today.
“If he didn’t perform today, we had the novices’ handicap chase at The Festival if he went down a couple of pounds but I would think that he will go up a couple instead. That probably leaves us with races like the JLT Novices’ Chase but we will enjoy today, which was all about seeing how he handled the track. “
Noel Fehily commented: “I thought Kalondra jumped a bit carefully early on but, once he warmed up, he jumped brilliantly for the second half of the race. He has always been a horse with a fair bit of ability – he is rated 147 for a reason – and has put it all together today, which was good.
“The ground has maybe dried out a fraction since yesterday and he was fine on it. Neil had him spot on today and he is definitely on the up. Hopefully, we can target some of the better races in the spring. You would think on ratings, he would be in with in a squeak in something like the JLT Novices’ Chase at The Festival.
“It has taken a while to get him to settle properly and I think that sort of trip suits if they go a nice gallop. You still need to stay a little bit, so I don’t think that he will be going up in distance.”
Kalondra during the Ryman Novices’ Chase
 
Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images
1.20pm £30,000 Junior Jumpers Handicap Chase 2m 62y
Gino Trail (10st 12lb), trained by Kerry Lee, produced a bold round of jumping as he gamely made all of the running under Harry Skelton to take the Junior Jumpers Handicap Chase.
Sent off a 7/2 chance, the 10-year-old made all running and saw off all comers to score by a length and a quarter from Bun Doran (Tom George/ Ciaran Gethings (3), 10st 3lb, 3/1 Fav) with Bentelimar (Charlie Longsdon/Jonathan Burke, 10st 4lb, 11/2) a further length and a half back in third.
Kerry Lee said: “I’m sorry that Jamie Moore wasn’t able to ride Gino Trail – he has put a lot of work in with the horse – but what a fantastic ride from Harry and all credit to him today.
“We have had a horrendous week at home – we have been under a foot of snow for most of it – and I wasn’t able to put the piece of work into him on Tuesday that I really wanted to. I told Harry that I thought the horse was fit enough to come here and we couldn’t pass up a Saturday like this.
“The horse was so well, happy and sweet. He has been going up around the woods and really enjoying life at home, so it wasn’t like he has been doing nothing, and you have to take this opportunity.
“The guys at home have moved heaven and earth to get all the horses out. Not a single person has missed a beat, which is fantastic.
“I think we will have to go back to drawing board now. If you look at his career, he is only really a second-season chaser, although he is rising 11. We will see how we are treated after this and see what is going on in January or February.
“I spoke to some of the jockeys yesterday about the ground and they said it was quite hard work. It’s not soft or good to soft but something in between and I thought that conditions were right for Gino Trail and we should run here instead of Ludlow or Wetherby. He has done it fantastically.”
Harry Skelton, celebrating his 102nd winner of the 2017/18 campaign and his first for an outside stable this season, said: “Jamie Moore told me everything I needed to know about Gino Trail and unfortunately he was on his beloved Sire De Grugy. He was brilliant – I just got in a bit of a pickle at the fourth last, when I had to get him back on his hocks and made sure he stood up, which he did.
“He came out of my hands at the second-last – I thought that I might be beaten turning in – but I knew it would take a good one to get by me now but he had plenty left. He goes one speed and keeps galloping. They came at him up the hill but he fought them all off.
“That was my first outside winner this season. People get frustrated with their agents but it is a hard game – there are a lot of lads in the weighing room and everyone is scrapping for rides – but Dave Roberts got me on Gino Trail today, so he is not a bad man!”
Gino Trail out in front in the Junior Jumpers Handicap Chase
Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images
2.30pm £30,000 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 7f 213y
 
Kilbricken Storm (Colin Tizzard/Harry Cobden, 3/1) came with a strong late run after the final flight to land the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Long-time leader and 7/4 favourite Count Meribel (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Mark Grant) looked to have the race for the taking but Kibricken Stor, despite drifting left, came with a strong run to score by two and three-quarter lengths.
Colin Tizzard said: “Kilbricken Storm is six, so it is not like he is a baby, and if he got beat today, we could have stepped him back down to two miles. He’s not bad for a £21,000 horse from Doncaster last year and I wish we could find a few like him.
“He hangs a bit left but Harry always saves a bit for later on – he is never one to get into a battle a mile out. He looked beat to me after jumping the last but he got there easily in the end.
“He just surprised us from day one. He was a very good third first time out and then won when one of Paul Nicholls’ horses fell, and he went and subsequently won, so it’s all good form.
“We thought originally that we would give him three runs over two miles to get a handicap mark then step him up. It looks like we won’t be running in handicaps for a while now.
“All roads lead to Cheltenham in March, which is why are here today. We will probably run him twice and come back for The Festival.”
Harry Cobden added: “It took Kilbricken Storm a bit of time to warm up today and he hangs a little bit left. I had to come around horses turning in and managed to get him running down the hill.
“I knew that he would stay because that is all he does – he is a relentless galloper – but he has done it well. He was hanging left but hopefully that is something that they can sort out at home – apart from that, he is a lovely, straightforward horse.
“I would say that he would go on any ground. I am not sure whether he is good enough to win the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival but he is a lovely, smart prospect for the team.”
3.40pm £30,000 OLBG Mares’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 56y
Jockey Harry Skelton brought up a 19.25/1 double on the day when partneringMomella (11st 7lb, 7/2 Jt Fav), trained by his brother Dan, to success in the concluding OLBG Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
Taking up the running turning for home, the five-year-old kept on well to repel the challenge of River Arrow (Tom Symonds/Jamie Moore, 10st 10lb, 20/1) by half a length with Graceful Legend (Ben Case/Max Kendrick (7), 11st 3lb, 20/1) another five lengths back in third.
Harry Skelton said: “Momella was really tough. She was giving a lot of weight to the second and has galloped all the way up the hill.
“She had a hell of a good race here the last day and I think that was one of the best novice hurdles that I have ridden in this year. Whatever the Irish have will need to be good to beat On The Blind Side at The Festival and it looks good form.
“We were thinking about this race or the three-mile novice hurdle but that distance for a five-year-old mare is just too much to ask, so that is why we went down the handicap route over two miles and five furlongs. She looks to be a nice, progressive mare.
“She was a bit slow over the first couple of hurdles and I thought that I needed to get her out because she might not like being in behind too much. She started jumping well then, came on the bridle coming down the hill and finished really well. I think three miles in time will suit her well.”
  
Momella on her way to winning the OLBG Mares’ Handicap Hurdle
 
David Davies/EMPICS Sport
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