Buckets of rain – but a silver lining for some at Cheltenham

Tue 12 Mar 2019

Espoir D’Allen’s Unibet Champion Hurdle victory ensured smiles after all for owner JP McManus, despite the early fall of his two-time title-holder Buveur D’Air, and a memorable first Grade One success for trainer Gavin Cromwell. Here, Press Association Sport charts the drama in pictures:

Trainer Gavin Cromwell (left), owner JPMcManus and jockey Mark Walsh after Espoir D’Allen's Champion Hurdle win
Trainer Gavin Cromwell (left), owner JPMcManus and jockey Mark Walsh after Espoir D’Allen's Champion Hurdle win
Rain, rain: It was a wet start to the Festival for everyone
Rain, rain: It was a wet start to the Festival for everyone
Celebrity Nick Knowles just about managed to keep dry on arrival
Celebrity Nick Knowles just about managed to keep dry on arrival
Take two: There was a false start to proceedings in the opening Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Take two: There was a false start to proceedings in the opening Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Klassical Dream and Ruby Walsh got it right in the Supreme, the jockey's 59th Festival winner
Klassical Dream and Ruby Walsh got it right in the Supreme, the jockey's 59th Festival winner
Duc Des Genievres and Paul Townend made it two out of two for trainer Willie Mullins with their victory in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy
Duc Des Genievres and Paul Townend made it two out of two for trainer Willie Mullins with their victory in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy
It was a day of ups and downs for Willie Mullins, as Benie Des Dieux fell at the last to hand victory instead to Roksana in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
It was a day of ups and downs for Willie Mullins, as Benie Des Dieux fell at the last to hand victory instead to Roksana in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
Rising star Rachael Blackmore bagged a Festival aboard A Plus Tard and is presented with her trophy after the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase by AP McCoy - sporting a black eye after being injured in a charity football match
Rising star Rachael Blackmore bagged a Festival aboard A Plus Tard and is presented with her trophy after the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase by AP McCoy - sporting a black eye after being injured in a charity football match

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