Blow By Blow confirms Elliott as the king of Prestbury Park
Blow By Blow registered a decisive strike in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle to secure Gordon Elliott the festival's leading trainer title and provide him with a second successive win in a race named after his hero.
"Martin Pipe was my hero so to win his race again is brilliant, it makes it extra special," said Elliott after Blow By Blow provided the trainer – who learned his trade under Pipe – with a remarkable eighth win at the meeting, equalling the record set by arch-rival Willie Mullins in 2015.
Elliott earned favourable comparisons with Pipe from Blow By Blow's owner Michael O'Leary, whose Gigginstown House Stud colours were also carried to victory last year by Champagne Classic.
He said: "Gordon learned at the feet of the master Martin Pipe, and he was well taught. Martin revolutionised training. Clearly Gordon picked it up and he and Willie are doing what Martin did for many years – they are dominating the game in Ireland and are increasingly dominating in Britain too."
Blow By Blow, who ran out an impressive five-length winner at 11-1, was given an accomplished front-running ride by Donagh Meyler, who is no stranger to big handicap success having steered Anibale Fly to win the valuable Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting.
A delighted Meyler, who was registering a first winner at the Cheltenham Festival, said: "I got a soft lead out in front but he had proper Grade 1-winning form in bumpers and that stood him in good stead.
"He was in his own comfort zone the whole way and that helped him get up the hill. They came to me after the second-last and to be fair to the horse he stuck his head out again."
Coming down the hill plenty appeared in with a chance, but the eye was drawn to the blinkered Blow By Blow and he comfortably held the challenge of Discorama, with Early Doors a length and a quarter back in third.
Discorama's trainer Paul Nolan said: "I'm delighted. He looks to be a lovely staying horse.
"It was his first run in a handicap so it was a worry he wouldn't have enough experience, but Dylan [Robinson] gave him a lovely ride and switched him off beautifully at the back."
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