Royal’s jumping wins the day
A clear round of jumping helped Royal Vacation win a dramatic renewal of the Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
Royal Vacation followed up his Kempton win
The seven-year-old benefited from the last fence fall of Might Bite when winning the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton last time and saw several of the field fall by the wayside in this two mile five furlong handicap.
Leading fancy Singlefarmpayment was brought down by More Buck's when still in contention and outsider Uncle Danny suffered the same fate when Mercian Prince fell in front of him when both looked threatening.
From the time the latter pair departed, the result never looked in doubt with the free-running Burtons Well and Goohar beginning to tread water and Ibis Du Rheu struggling to pick them up.
It was left to Potters Legend to chase the winner home with Ibis Du Rheu in third.
Champers On Ice was sent off the 3/1 favourite despite dropping back to a trip that appeared short of his optimum and he stayed on through beaten horses to finish fourth having never been competitive.
Winning jockey Paddy Brennan said: "I was really impressed with him today, I always knew he was a bit short of the best and sometimes you don't give horses enough credit but he'll win a lot of races because he's all guts and determination.
"The better the ground the better he'll be, he's exciting for the rest of the season.
"He felt an RSA horse to me, he'll be up to 150 now."
Colin Tizzard added: "Watching it, there was an awful lot going on but Paddy was in the right position all the time.
"His jumping has been pretty good since day one. We got lucky last time, but he deserved to run here and he needed practice here.
"We'll be governed by what the handicapper does as to what race he runs in."
He added: "If he keeps going up that way you'd have to think he's an RSA horse. Paddy got off and said he's very gutsy and that he's an excellent jumper and a thorough stayer.
"We've raced him plenty, Wetherby, Lingfield, and that's been the making of him, going racing.
"Coming back in trip was a little bit of a concern, but he won a two-mile hurdle and ran in the Champion Bumper.
"He's going to be a proper stayer, he will stay four miles. We looked at this and thought two-five here is a similar test to three at Cheltenham."