Klassical Dream wins Supreme Novices Hurdle as Ruby Walsh gets 6-1 winner in opening race of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival
Klassical Dream sparked poignant scenes as he opened the Festival with a win in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh.
The 6-1 shot runs in the name of Jo Coleman. It had been the dream of her husband John to have a Festival horse but he died last summer from bone marrow cancer.
Jo made sure he was present for his greatest win by having some of his ashes in her handbag.
Ruby Walsh celebrates after securing an early win on 6-1 shot Klassical Dream on Tuesday
Klassical Dream was an impressive winner in opening race of this year’s Cheltenham Festival
The grandstand watch on as the field approach in the first race of this year’s rainy Festival
She said: ‘John bought Klassical Dream two years ago and dreamed he’d be a good horse.
‘This is mind-blowing. I’ve brought some of John’s ashes with me because he said he wanted to be here but he knew his time was limited.’
Mullins completed a double when Paul Townend-ridden Duc Des Genievres won the Novices’ Chase but Mullins and Walsh were denied a win when favourite Benie Des Dieux fell at the last in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle handing victory to Dan Skelton’s Roksana.
Princess Anne was among the punters watching the race early on Tuesday afternoon
There was a false start ahead of the first race, which delayed the famous roar of the crowd
Walsh (centre, red and yellow stripes) lines up at the start of the race, which had a false start
Walsh is one of the biggest names at the Festival and he got off to the perfect start
Bryony Frost, rider of Brandon Castle, walks to her mount ahead of the Cheltenham opener