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Cheltenham Festival: Champ comes from way back to land RSA Chase

Champ ridden by Barry Geraghty celebrating victory in the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase during day two of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 11, 2020. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse.
Image: Thumbs up from Barry Geraghty after Champ's unlikely win in the RSA Chase

Champ pulled victory from the jaws of defeat in beating Minella Indo in a stirring finish to the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The 4/1 shot, representing the same Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty/JP McManus team which won Tuesday's Champion Hurdle with Epatante, appeared booked for third place at the last fence.

But a mistake from leader Minella Indo, which stopped all of his momentum, and Allaho running out of petrol up the hill allowed Champ a chance to make ground as the line approached.

And, in a ride reminiscent of AP McCoy in the same colours on Wichita Lineman in 2009, Geraghty lifted his mount into the lead with 20 yards remaining and went on to win by a length.

Minella Indo (3/1) clung on for second under Rachael Blackmore with well-backed 5/2 favourite Allaho third.

It was a third winner of the week for trainer Henderson, who also won the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle on Tuesday with the exciting Shishkin.

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David Craig catches up with Sky Bet's Dale Tempest to talk about the big stories from the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Geraghty said: "I thought I had no chance jumping the last, but I knew three strides later I was starting to smell the money.

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"He was on the back foot all the way. It's very tacky, it's hard work.

"It was all about keeping a rhythm and helping him travel and not to ask him too many questions."

Henderson added: "It looked to me he was going to finish an honourable third - and that was it.

"Than all of sudden he came into my sights."

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