Tiger Roll wins JT McNamara National Hunt Chase to give Gordon Elliott first day treble

Tiger Roll ridden by Lisa O'Neill goes on to win the JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup at Cheltenham Festival
Image: Tiger Roll on his way to a second Cheltenham Festival victory

Gordon Elliott completed a famous Cheltenham treble with Tiger Roll in the JT McNamara National Hunt Chase.

Winner of the Triumph Hurdle over two miles in 2014, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding was sent off at 16-1 for this four-mile test.

The seven-year-old was pulling rider Lisa O'Neill's arms out running down the hill and picked up from the home turn for a ready three-length success.

Missed Approach (50/1) was second ahead of Haymount (33/1) in third while a number of leading contenders disappointed, including Champers On Ice, who made a series of mistakes and was pulled up.

Elliott said: "I knew after three fences he was on a going day.

"He's a Triumph Hurdle winner and he's won here twice. He's never been moving so well at home.

Trainer Gordon Elliot celebrates his sixth winner on the day at Navan on November 27, 2016.
Image: Not quite six winners, but Gordon Elliott was the star of the first day at the Cheltenham Festival with a hat-trick

"I can't believe it. To train three winners on the first day of Cheltenham. I thought if I had one this year I'd be delighted. It's a credit to the staff I have at home and the owners and the horses. It's brilliant."

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Jockey Lisa O'Neill celebrates with the JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup during Champion Day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecours
Image: Jockey Lisa O'Neill celebrates her first Cheltenham Festival victory

O'Neill said: "It's surreal, to be honest. It's an overwhelming feeling. I was just hoping up the hill that there was nothing there to pass me.

"It's a good team effort and it's absolutely brilliant."

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