On Cheltenham Festival Trials Day, Ahoy Senor gave Lucinda Russell a touching Cotswold Chase victory.
The Scottish trainer, whose father Peter was a partial owner of the horse and who passed away last week, won the race with the 13-2 shot over Sounds Russian.
“It evokes strong emotions. My father was a wonderful man of whom he was extremely proud “Russell stated.
Other winners included Editeur Du Gite and Gold Tweet, with favorites Energumene and Paisley Park finishing third.
Results from Cheltenham on Saturday, all
Mullins wins 4,000 games in his career.
Derek Fox’s Ahoy Senor defeated Sounds Russian by one and a half lengths after the latter made a costly error four furlongs from the finish. Grand National winner Noble Yeats finished third, and Protektorat finished fourth.
The odds for the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner have dropped to around 10-1 (from 50-1) and Russell paid tribute to her father, who passed away at the age of 95.
She advised everyone to just thank their fathers and express their gratitude to them because she had the opportunity to do so.
“Gratitude is due. My father set me up and is responsible for my desire and tenacity. I’m really going to miss not calling dad on the way home because he’d be so proud of me today.”
In an exciting finish, Energumene was edged out by Editeur Du Gite, a supplemental entry and 14-1 winner of the Clarence House Chase.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase and Arkle Chase champions from last year’s Festival, Energumene and Edwardstone, were slated to compete in the race, which was moved from Ascot a week earlier.
However, the Gary Moore-trained Editeur Du Gite took charge after a charming front-running ride by Niall Houlihan, beating Edwardstone by a head.
Energumene, who was the 4-9 favorite going into the race, could only manage third place, but Irish trainer Willie Mullins had cause to rejoice as Bronn awarded him his 4,000th career victory at Fairyhouse.
In pursuit of a record-breaking fourth victory in the Cleeve Hurdle, Paisley Park finished third.
The 11-year-old ran strongly for the majority of the race, but he weakened as the pace picked up, and Dashel Drasher lost out to French rival Gold Tweet (14-1).
Following a precautionary morning check after some of the ground became frozen earlier in the week, the meeting had passed.
Before the four-day Festival in March, it is the penultimate racetrack event.
2020 champion hurdler Epatante, trained by Nicky Henderson, triumphed admirably in the Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle at Doncaster.
And Cooper’s Cross, ridden by Sam Coltherd for his father Stuart, won the Sky Bet Chase, marking still another Scottish triumph.