Coleman gets a Cheltenham Flyer

A round-up of the rest of the New Year's Day action from Cheltenham, where Shantou Flyer won the valuable handicap chase.

Shantou Flyer gave his new connections an immediate return on their investment by winning the £60,000 BetBright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

Formerly trained in Ireland by Colin Bowe, the seven-year-old was having his first run for Rebecca Curtis and his first since the Galway Plate.

He crept into contention behind Village Vic, but did well to avoid the falling Henri Parry Morgan coming down the hill and then stayed on stoutly for Aidan Coleman.

Village Vic gave his usual bold sight but went down by three lengths behind the 20/1 shot. Top Gamble was third.

Curtis said: "That was nice, I was a bit worried as I thought he was on a high-enough mark (149) and I was a bit worried about the ground, but he handled it well enough.

"He jumped really well and came up the hill well. I'm delighted for Carl (Hinchy, owner) as he puts a lot of effort into the yard and if anyone deserves a winner here it's him, it hasn't been without trying.

"He came to us not long after the Galway Plate and we gave him a break until September.

"You look at him as a National horse as he stays so well, so maybe that's the target."

Samuel Drinkwater celebrated a moment to savour after Tour Des Champs ensured that his first runner at the track was a winning one in the Watch Live Racing On BetBright.com Handicap Chase.

The 50/1 shot scored for the first time since winning last year's Sussex National to fuel dreams of an outing in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree after he held Doctor Harper by a short head.

Drinkwater said: "He is a nice horse and I see him as a National type if he goes up enough.

"He is a horse that doesn't take his races that well and his first run is usually his best run.

"I've been training about a month and that's my sixth runner. The old heart skipped a few beats and I thought I was dreaming it.

"I wanted to go for the Welsh National but I could not get him ready in time and I hadn't got my licence in time and the syndicate was not set up."

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