Eglantine Du Seuil claims narrow victory in Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham as Noel Fehily rides 50-1 shot to slender win over Concertista
FULL RACE RESULT
1st Eglantine Du Seuil (N D Fehily) 50-1
2nd Concertista (D E Mullins) 66-1
3rd Tintangle (J W Kennedy) 40-1
Eglantine Du Seuil led home a memorable one-two for Willie Mullins in the National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Sent off a 50-1 shot, Eglantine Du Seuil and Noel Fehily just got the better of the Danny Mullins-ridden Concertista in a photo finish to the Grade Two event.
The winner had been off the track since last September, and it was an equally special effort from the 66-1 runner-up who was making her hurdling debut having previously been trained on the level in France.
Eglantine Du Seuil led home a memorable one-two for Willie Mullins in the Novices’ Hurdle
Eglantine Du Seuil and Noel Fehily just got the better of the Danny Mullins-ridden Concertista
Mullins ran seven in the race, with Ruby Walsh on My Sister Sarah, who never got involved.
Favourite Epatante made several mistakes and flattened out as Concertista – remarkably making her hurdling debut – made her bid for home.
Fehily got a great tune out of Eglantine Du Seuil, though, and despite having 10 in front of him approaching the final flight, she got there in the dying strides.
After the race, Fehily announced this would be his final Festival as he intends to retire in the coming weeks.
He told Racing TV: ‘I wasn’t well for a while earlier in the year and I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks. It’s time to let the young lads get on with it.
‘I’ve spoken to my agent Chris Broad, who has been great about it, and I think I’ll carry on riding for a couple of weeks.
‘This will definitely be my last Festival and I was hoping for a winner so I’d be able to announce it.’
Fehily riding Eglantine Du Seuil (red) clear the last to put themselves in position to race clear
Fehily celebrates on Eglantine Du Seuil after winning on St Patrick’s Thursday at Cheltenham
Mullins said: ‘I thought this mare (Eglantine Du Seuil) was probably the slowest one I had in the race, but she’s a good jumper and I told Noel she’d be staying on best of anything at the finish.
‘It was a fantastic performance from Noel. It’s great to see him having a winner here (before retiring).
‘The other mare (Concertista), having her first run over hurdles, will be back next year, hopefully.
‘I couldn’t run her this year in the ground.’