'It's really special but I wish my partner could be here - she couldn't get a babysitter!'
- 1st18Premier Magic66/1
- 2nd12Its On The Line28/1
- 3rd21Shantou Flyer50/1
There was an outpouring of emotion after Premier Magic won the Hunters' Chase at 66-1 for his trainer-rider Bradley Gibbs, who punched the air in delight passing the line but had other things on his mind in the winning interview.
Premier Magic raced wide and prominently throughout as the eventual fourth Rocky's Howya led the field. Gibbs guided his mount to the lead around the final turn and successfully negotiated the last two fences and several loose horses to secure the prize by a length and three-quarters.
He said: "It was unbelievable. The worst part about it is my partner and my eight-month old son haven't come today as she couldn't get a babysitter for him and my dad's in hospital having a heart operation. It's really special but I wish they could have been here."
Gibbs, who is originally from Wales but is based in Lemsford in Hertfordshire, was quietly confident last year but his mount was pulled up and he was eager to employ different tactics this time around.
He said: "My fiancee's father owns him and last year I thought we had a chance but I brought him down the inside and everything got a bit tight for him, he got stage fright. I rode him wide today and he was a completely different horse."
Premier Magic had won all three of his point-to-point starts since last year's disappointment, including an Edgcote mixed open over three miles and five furlongs.
Gibbs added: "With the way he's been winning his point-to-points we always thought he was good enough to win a big race like this and thank God he's paid us off today."
It was a second win from just four starts under rules for the ten-year-old, who took his point-to-point record to nine wins from 16 starts when winning at Garthorpe in February.
The race was tough to decipher for punters, with the next two home 28-1 and 50-1. It's On The Line was second under Derek O'Connor, while Olive Nicholls, daughter of trainer Paul, enjoyed a wonderful ride aboard the third-placed Shantou Flyer.
Last year's winner Billaway fell at the tenth, while the 9-4 favourite Vaucelet was under pressure from a long way out and could finish only seventh under Barry O'Neill.
Read these next:
'A dream come true' - 33-1 Faivoir and Bridget Andrews give Dan Skelton a fourth County Hurdle success
Harry Cobden's confidence pays off as Stay Away Fay springs an Albert Bartlett surprise
Injured Mark Walsh stood down at Cheltenham after Albert Bartlett favourite runs out at the last
It's festival time – get 50% off for three months! Now is the perfect time to subscribe and lock in 50% off your first three months, so you can take advantage of all the great content we've got coming up. To redeem this offer, head to the checkout and enter the code FESTIVAL23 at the payment screen to unlock your discount*. Subscribe now.
*Available to new subscribers purchasing Members' Club Ultimate Monthly using code FESTIVAL23.
First three payments will be charged at £19.98, subscription renews at full monthly price thereafter.
Customers wishing to cancel will need to contact us at least seven days before their subscription is due to renew.