Monkfish edges narrow victory in thrilling Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham as Latest Exhibition and Fury Road are pipped on the line
- Monkfish won the third race of day four after squeezing through on the line
- Latest Exhibition and Fury Road finished in second and third place
- House Island and Oscar Academy made the early running in a packed field
- Thyme Hill, Latest Exhibition, Monkfish and Fury Road were pre-race favourites
Monkfish was victorious in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham after squeezing through on the line in a thrilling race.
In a congested race, House Island and Oscar Academy made much of the early running before Monkfish emerged to take victory.
Latest Exhibition and Fury Road took second and third spot but will be disappointed to have missed out on victory by such a narrow margin.
Paul Townend rode Monkfish to a narrow victory in a thrilling Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham
Monkfish recovered from a mid-race error to hold off Latest Exhibition and Fury Road
Monkfish’s victory gave Irish trainer Willie Mullins his third victory from the first three races on Gold Cup day but the six-year-old had to work hard for the win.
After making a poor mistake mid-race, jockey Paul Townend guided Monkfish back into a challenging position heading into the final stages.
In the run to the last, Monkfish had Latest Exhibition and Fury Road for company but was able to hold on and rally after being briefly overtaken to win by a neck.
After the race, owner Rich Ricci said: ‘It was unbelievable, and I thought he was quite keen going round. Wow.
‘He kept finding, I thought we were definitely beat in the last 100 yards. He has got a bit of class about him.
‘He made a howler, but that was magic. He is definitely a chaser. We bought him as a Gold Cup horse.
‘Hopefully fingers crossed he stays healthy and he can grow into one.’