Hurricane Fly makes Cheltenham history
Published Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Co Antrim jockey Tony McCoy had a day to forget as the Cheltenham festival got underway - but it was a different story for local favourite Hurricane Fly, who made history in the feature race.
Hurricane Fly, ridden by Jockey Ruby Walsh is led into the winners enclosure. (© Getty)
The 2011 race winner became the first horse to retain the Champion Hurdle title in 38 years.
Proceedings at Cheltenham got underway a little later than planned due to icy conditions on Tuesday, but things soon warmed up as the first race of the festival got under starters orders.
It promised to be a duel between Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh for the opening honours and so it proved as the pair battled it out across the course.
Walsh kept his mount Champagne Fever just ahead of McCoy on board My Tent Or Yours, and held on for the win despite a ferocious push from the Ulsterman, who had to settle for second.
Then in the feature race the fairytale came true for Walsh and Hurricane Fly, who held off the challenge of Rock On Ruby and Countrywide Flame to regain the title.