Cheltenham Festival 2019: City Island sees off brave Champ to land Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

Cheltenham Festival 2019: City Island sees off brave Champ to land Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

Martin Brassil's brave winner had that little bit too much speed for Nicky Henderson's contender.

It didn't look likely at one stage, as Walsh found his mount caught three wide at the top of the hill.

However, as soon as he went through the gears, one by one his rivals dropped away.

Brewin'upastorm threatened to challenge rounding the home turn, but couldn't keep tabs on either of the principles – and the contest quickly turned into a duel.

Barry Geraghty looked confident aboard Champ, but when push came to shove it was trainer Martin Brassil's stamina-laden gelding who had too much power.

Brassil said: "My heartbeat went very high.

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"It's a dream come true. When we won at Galway we said we'd aim him at the race.

"Mark did a wonderful job. I was worried early on but he came good and we are thrilled."

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