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The Irish Reign at The Cheltenham Festival

Day three of the Cheltenham Festival proved once again to be a great day for the Irish as they once again dominated. Irish trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott were once again on fire with multiple winners in what was a great day’s action.

It’s the Irish who are currently reigning supreme in what is one of the biggest sporting events to take place in the UK and their dominance looks set to continue into the final day too.

Looking at day three of the festival it began just as day two had with Gordon Elliott, who is in direct competition with fellow Irish trainer Willie Mullins to be named the festival’s top trainer, collecting another first place after Shattered Love beat favourite Terrefort. Elliott then followed this up with another victory in the second race of the day as Davy Russell rode Delta Work first across the winning post followed by another Elliott trained horse Glenloe who finished in second with Barry Geraghty on board.

Cheltenham Festival 2018

Willie Mullins needed to add more winners to his total to stop Elliott running away with proceedings and he did so in the Sub Bet Stayers as Paul Townend riding Penhill beat Supasundae by two lengths. Mullins’ chances of being named the festival’s best trainer had been dealt a blow as stable jockey and Cheltenham legend Ruby Walsh fell from his ride on day two, ruling him out for the rest of the weeks’ action.

The Gordon Elliott and Davy Russel winning combination wasn’t done for the day though as they grabbed yet another victory with The Storyteller winning the Brown Advisiory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap. It was a real day of Irish success with Willie Mullins and Paul Townend chalking up another first before the action finished thanks to the latter riding odds-on favourite Laurina to victory well clear of second-placed Cap Soleil.

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It once again highlights just how dominant the Irish are at the Cheltenham Festival and as things stand Willie Mullins, who now holds the record for the most ever wins as a trainer at the festival, is the trainer with the most victories to his name in 2018 with 7. Gordon Elliott is only one behind him with 6 in second place, but Nicky Henderson is well adrift in third with only 2 winners.

As you’d expect it’s the Irish jockeys who lead the way as always at Cheltenham 2018 too. Davy Russell, who always seems to do well at the festival, leads the pack with 4 victories largely due to his link up with trainer Gordon Elliott. Jack Kennedy is in second with 3 winners, while Ruby Walsh and Paul Townend, both jockeys for Willie Mullins share third. Walsh won’t be able to add to this figure though after suffering a suspected broken leg.

Heading into the final day, all eyes will be on The Gold Cup. However, it will be interesting to see if the Irish do continue to dominate as they have all week and it certainly will be intriguing to see who wins the battle of the trainers. Right now Mullins is in the driving seat but that could all change on the final day and could we even see a late resurgence by Nicky Henderson too?

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