So close for Nolan at Cheltenham

PAUL NOLAN

Paul Nolan came so close to winning a Grade 1 today at the Cheltenham festival, only to be denied by a late surge from the Rich Ricci owned Monkfish.

The winner of the Albert Bartlett, Monkfish, trained by Willie Mullins is a point-to-point winner for Cormac Doyle. Ridden today by Paul Townend, Monkfish got the better of Paul Nolan’s stable star Latest Exhibition in the hands of jockey Bryan Cooper. The race culminated in a pulsating finish with the top 4 horses in the betting fighting right until the line.

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Having hit the bar with Discorama in the last three festivals, Nolan’s placed form continued with Latest Exhibition, as his wait continues for a 3rd Cheltenham festival winner. His previous two Cheltenham festival winners were the Nina Carberry-ridden Dabiroun in 2005 when taking the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle, with a second Cheltenham victory coming in 2011 when AP McCoy robe Noble Prince to win the JLT Novices’ Chase.

Al Boum Photo ensured his name would be forever associated with the Cheltenham Gold Cup as only the seventh horse in history to win the race back-to-back. Lostintranslation trained by Colin Tizzard, who finished a close third in a tight finish, began his career in Wexford trained by the late Willie Codd.

Elsewhere on today’s card, there was place success for JJ Slevin, who finished 3rd in the County Hurdle aboard Embittered and 3rd in the Grand Annual on Us and Them, both for his cousin Joseph O’Brien.

Sean O’Keeffe was also in the places in the Grand Annual as he partnered the Gordon Elliott trained Eclair De Beaufeu into 2nd place.

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