Hell's Bay (right) leads Medermit over the fence on his way to victoryPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Hell's Bay holds on for bittersweet Tizzard win
Report: Cheltenham, Saturday
Tigmi Travel Dipper Novices' Chase (Grade 2) 2m5f, 5yo+
HELL'S BAY made the day a little less gloomy for trainer Colin and jockey Joe Tizzard after running out the determined winner of the feature raceat Cheltenham on Saturday.
The father-son team had suffered the loss of stable favourite Joe Lively in the previous race after he broke a leg when hampered.
Mr Thriller and the keen-going Have You Seen Me made the running while Sang Bleu was an early faller.
As the runners began to turn for home the race became a four-horse contest with Have You Seen Me still holding a narrow lead, but Medermit, Master Of The Hall and, notably, Hell's Bay were all travelling strongly.
Hell's Bay took up the lead on the run to the last as Have You Seen Me and Master Of The Hall dropped away, and it was left to Medermit to offer up a final challenge.
Hell's Bay led at the final fence but crashed through it and Robert Thornton, who had suffered a serious knee injury when Hell's Bay ducked out at a fence when he was riding him in the summer, seized the moment on Medermit.
But it was not to be, as the grey failed to reel in the leader, who had three-quarters of a length to spare at the line. Reve De Sivola was 22 lengths back in third after jumping indifferently throughout.
Colin Tizzard said: "He's done nothing wrong for us. He ran so well behind Time For Rupert [two runs ago] and he's been in at the deep end. This is his trip."
Colin Tizzard and son Joe discuss the victory of Hell's Bay in the DipperPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Stan James introduced Hell's Bay into the betting for the new Jewson Chase at the Cheltenham Festival at 14-1 while also cutting Medermit to 9-1 (from 10).
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