Yeats among four sires to record first festival winner on day three
Siblings of previous Cheltenham Festival winners so very nearly completed a remarkable hat-trick in the first three races at Prestbury Park on Thursday.
Shattered Love - a Yeats half-sister to Irish Cavalier, winner of the equivalent of the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase in 2015 - landed the opening JLT Novices' Chase, and Balko Des Flos - a Balko half-brother to Salut Flo, winner of the Byrme Group Plate in 2012 - was successful in the Ryanair Chase two races later.
In between those two contests, Glenloe, a Kayf Tara brother to another festival scorer in Alfie Sherrin, was edged out by the narrowest of margins by Delta Work in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle.
Shattered Love and Balko Des Flos both gifted their sires with a first festival winner, while Delta Work appears to be a new talent for Network, who also supplied the Arkle and dual Champion Chase hero Sprinter Sacre.
Laurina took the spoils in the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle to grant Haras du Thenney stallion Spanish Moon his maiden festival winner, as did Missed Approach for his sire Golan, after landing the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase, having been runner-up in last year's National Hunt Chase.
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LEADING SIRES AT THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2018
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Boardsmill Stud's roster has enjoyed a fine run this week with Court Cave supplying Mister Whitaker and Kalanisi responsible for Kalashnikov and Brain Power, both second in Grade 1s on Tuesday, and now Penhill, last year's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle winner who struck on Thursday in the Sun Bet Stayers' Hurdle.
Five of the first six home in the Stayers' Hurdle were British-breds, including the winner Penhill, who became a second winner at the meeting to carry the GB suffix after Presenting Percy struck in the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase on Wednesday.
Shantou has previously been responsible for Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill and last year's Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase scorer Tully East - as well as the 2014 Byrne Group Plate winner Ballynagour.
The same contest, now run as the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase, was won by The Storyteller, another son of Shantou, on Thursday.
The winner is out of Bally Bolshoi, a daughter of Bob Back, also the sire of Back In Front, Bobs Worth and Cousin Vinny and damsire of Briar Hill, Special Tiara and Synchronised - all of whom have won elite races at the festival.