CHELTENHAM, England (AP) Trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh combined to win three out of four races at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday, including the Champion Hurdle, the opening day’s signature event.
Walsh rode Faugheen to victory in the prestigious race and Mullins also took a one-two-three, with runner up Arctic Fire and third placed Hurricane Fly also trained by him.
”Ruby said he was going to make it and win it,” Mullins said after landing the biggest prize of the day. ”This is beyond our wildest dreams. It is too good to be true.”
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Walsh’s other winners with Mullins came from Douvan, in the Supereme Novices’ Hurdle and Un De Sceaux in the Arkle Trophy.
But the duo were denied a fourth victory in their final race on Annie Power, who fell at the last in the Mares’ Hurdle after appearing to be set for a comfortable victory.
Glens Melody, Power’s Mullins-trained stablemate, capitalized and went on to take the win.
Mullins said that neither the horse nor Mullins were hurt by the fall.
”Annie is up all right and Ruby is up all right, so everyone is fine and we can enjoy Glens Melody now,” Mullins said. ”I thought Annie just stood off – she was probably going too well.”