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Cheltenham Festival: First Festival winner for Harry Redknapp with Shakem Up'Arry in Plate Handicap Chase

Trainer Ben Pauling continued his fine run of recent form and registered a fourth Cheltenham Festival success; it was a first victory for 24-year-old jockey Ben Jones and owner Harry Redknapp with Shakem Up'Arry

Harry Redknapp had his first Festival winner on the third day of Cheltenham
Image: Harry Redknapp had his first Festival winner on the third day of Cheltenham

Harry Redknapp enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival winner as Shakem Up’Arry found the scoresheet on a football-orientated day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

Having watched Sir Alex Ferguson notch a double earlier on the card, it was soon the turn of former West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp to return to the Prestbury Park winner's enclosure with his course specialist - who supplemented his New Year's Day triumph in great style.

Sent off at 8/1 for the TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase, the Ben Pauling-trained 10-year-old travelled supremely in the hands of Ben Jones and having jumped the last already looking like the winner, he stuck his head down and galloped all the way to the line.

Redknapp said: "Get in there. How good was that? He jumped for fun, what a performance. I'm so happy, it's unbelievable!

"My nan got me into racing, she was a bookie's runner when she was young and every week she'd get locked up in the police station in the east end of London because betting was illegal in those days. She got me into it and I love every minute, I love the people, I love the racing. To have a winner at the Festival... I can't tell you.

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"Me and Alex (Ferguson) both love it, it's great to see him have two winners today and I've had mine now, it's been a great day.

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"To have a winner at Cheltenham, I've watched it all my life and always dreamed of having a winner here, I can't tell you how great it feels."

Pauling said of his winner: "He deserved his big day. It's so important to have winners here and the last two days have been really tough. There's a lot of talk about the Irish and English and to say we don't have the hunger for this game is daft.

Shakem Up'Arry cruised home for Ben Pauling and Ben Jones
Image: Shakem Up'Arry cruised home for Ben Pauling and Ben Jones

"We've got as much hunger as anyone, Dan Skelton has proved that. I was delighted for him, but it doesn't mean that we didn't want one.

"I turned up with three horses yesterday that I thought would be in the first three and I think we beat three horses home. You have doubts and think you've done too much with them or whatever. This is where it matters and once you get one get their head in front, you can breathe.

"We've come here with a good team and the old stalwart has chucked his head in front."

He added: "I know this meant a lot to Harry who has been a supporter of mine for a long time. We speak quite a lot and he's an easy man to talk to. We've had good and bad times.

"It was a long run-in and I was shouting 'pull him left Benny'. I'm just delighted for Harry who is a competitive man."

Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates his first Cheltenham Festival winner at a massive 25/1 with Monmiral.
Image: Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates his first Cheltenham Festival winner at a massive 25/1 with Monmiral

25-1 surprise winner and a double for Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson was in the Cheltenham Festival winner's enclosure as Paul Nicholls got off the mark for the week when Monmiral hunted down Kyntara in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle.

Running in the famous yellow colours of Ferguson's co-owner John Hales, the seven-year-old has always been held in high regard by those at Ditcheat.

Despite that, he was sent off at 25-1 in the hands of Harry Cobden, sporting first-time blinkers as he was given a patient ride by his title-chasing jockey.

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Cobden edged his mount into contention heading down hill for the second time, but it seemed the bird had flown when the bold front-running Kyntara set sail in his bid to provide Mel Rowley with a first Festival success.

However, Monmiral still had plenty in reserve and emerged as Kyntara's sole challenger at the last before storming home to crush the long-time leader's dreams.

A clearly thrilled Ferguson said: "That was fantastic. Brilliant. What a jockey, deary me, he was brilliant. It's my first winner here, John is the master, he chooses the horses and we back him all the way."

This was quickly followed up by Protektorat in the Ryanair Chase for the Skelton brothers.

Golden Ace impressively won the Mares Novices' Hurdle
Image: Golden Ace impressively won the Mares Novices' Hurdle

Shock in the Mares Novices' as Golden Ace is victorious

There was also a first Festival victory for West Country handler Jeremy Scott as his high-class mare Golden Ace claimed the scalp of Irish hotpots Brighterdaysahead and Jade De Grugy in the Ryanair Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

Sent off 10-1, jockey Lorcan Williams appeared to be holding on to plenty of horse as the duo travelled into contention in supreme style.

Still to push the button jumping the last alongside the main market principals and fellow Irish challenger Birdie Or Bust, all it took was a shake of the reins for Golden Ace to scoot clear in the closing stages.

Favourite Inothewayurthinkin scores in the Kim Muir

Gavin Cromwell's Inothewayurthinkin was tasked with carrying top-weight in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase, but made light work of that burden to oblige favourite-backers who had sent the six-year-old off the heavily-backed 13-8 market leader.

It was a second winner of the week for jockey Derek O'Connor, who kept his mount hidden in rear for the first three-quarters of the contest, before sluicing his way to the front and on for victory in facile style.

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