Simonsig Overcomes Errors to Win Arkle Chase
Simonsig became the first odds-on favourite of the Cheltenham Festival to salute but not without some nervous moments for punters in the Arkle Chase.
The 8-15 favourite appeared agitated early in the race and didn’t appear to enjoy the steady pace set by Overturn.
Favourite punters had their hearts in their mouths when Simonsig smashed into the final fence on the far side of the track but the son of Fair Mix was able to recover.
Simonsig looked the clear winner when Overturn made an error of his own three out that virtually ended his chances of victory.
After hitting the lead Simonsig had to fight off a late effort from the valiant Baily Green but rallied to score by two and a quarter lengths.
Trainer Nicky Henderson was relieved to have won the race but wasn’t overly impressed with Simonsig’s effort.
“I think he was just too fresh,” Henderson said.
“He’s done very well to win running with the choke out all the way.
“He’s not short of pace but he’s got to learn to drop it a bit.”
In the other Grade 1 event of the day Champagne Fever upset the highly fancied My Tent Or Yours to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Champagne Fever made all the running to give Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh their first winner of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
Mullins paid credit to Walsh who convinced the trainer to allow him to lead on the son of Stowaway.
“Ruby said he wanted to be right up there and I said ‘If that’s what you want to do, do it’,” Mullins said.
My Tent Or Yours trainer Nicky Henderson was disappointed but said he had no excuses for the defeat.
“He’s travelled really well and was always in the right place,” Henderson said.
“He’s run his race and I’m very pleased with him but it was some performance by the winner and credit to him.”
The 2013 Cheltenham Festival continues today with the Queen Mother Champion Chase and you can still take advantage of the £35 free bets available at Titan Bet (Free £35).
You can find the best Cheltenham Festival odds at Titan Bet (Free £35).