On Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham Festival, Impaire Et Passe proved to be the class act in the field with a dominant display that left the rest of the field for dead. Willie Mullins’ horse went off at 5/2 after Hermes Allen was heavily backed into favourite, but Harry Cobden couldn’t find anything in the closing stages.
Mullins recorded a wonderful 1-2-3 in the opening race on day two and has now won this race six times, after Sir Gerhard reached the post first last year. It was a disappointing showing from Hermes Allen - part owned by Sir Alex Ferguson - who was on the shoulder of the leader Champs Kiely for the majority of the race but faded away badly over the final two hurdles.
"He is a dream ride. I was hoping coming here he would be that and it worked out brilliantly," the jockey told ITV after the win.
"He shows a lot on the track but not so much at home and I was hoping I would get a response."
It marks another win for the Irish contingent who have dominated at Cheltenham so far. Credit must go to Townend who was so composed on the inside throughout the race, before it opened up late on for him to strike. Even though at times it looked as though the pace had got away from him, he was never troubled and managed to charge at the perfect moment.
The rest of the field simply couldn’t cope and it marks another popular winner for the punters, as he was the favourite right up until the minutes before the off. This marks a wonderful start to day two, with a whole host of brilliant races to come.
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🏇 Four runs
🥇 Four wins
🏆 G1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
🏆 G2 Moscow Flyer Novices' Hurdle
⭐️ Potential superstar