Angels Dawn WINS the Challenge Cup by a nose at Cheltenham

Angels Dawn WINS the Challenge Cup by a nose as Stumptown is pipped on the post in the enthralling final race of day three at Cheltenham… while Mr Incredible finishes third

  • Angels Dawn beat Stumptown by a nose to win the Challenge Cup on Thursday
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Sam Curling’s Angels Dawn ensured a clean sweep of the St Patrick’s Thursday handicaps went to Ireland when holding off Stumptown to claim the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase by a neck.

The eight-year-old unseated her rider when sent off favourite for Punchestown’s Grand National Trial last month, but bounced back in style here, travelling with real menace in the hands of Patrick King and showing plenty of guts when challenged by Gavin Cromwell’s 7-2 favourite in the closing stages.

Curling said: ‘That was brilliant – I’m delighted.

‘She was unlucky the last day in Punchestown and she’s always promised a lot.

‘We’re only a small team and only have about six horses for the track. We have maybe 70 point-to-pointers and mainly buy and sell horses. We sold Marine Nationale, so it was special to see him here earlier in the week. That’s our game.

Angels Dawn won the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase by a nose on Thursday

‘This mare jumps well and loves the bit of extra distance and Pat gave her a very cool ride.

‘When the rain came I was very hopeful. If she’d won the last day she would have gone up in the weights, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

‘She’s in the Irish National, but she probably wouldn’t get into that. I hadn’t really looked beyond today, to be honest.’

King said: ‘It’s unbelievable, I didn’t think I’d ever have this feeling, it’s surreal, it’s my first ride at the Festival. I’ve had a winner at the October meeting but to ride this for Sam, who has been a big part of my career, I’m delighted.

‘I was nearly at the end of riding as things had gone very quiet for me but I joined Sam and since then I’m back, he’s been a big part.

‘I’ve known Sam a long time and he told me if I joined him there’d be chances for him and I’ve never looked back.

‘I was in front far too soon, I wasn’t supposed to be in front before the last but I thought from a long way out I was going very well and thankfully it worked out.’

Jockey Jack Andrews pictured aboard Anightinlambourn after the Kim Muir Challenge Cup

Thursday’s final showpiece provided an enthralling end to day three of Cheltenham Festival


Cheltenham 5.30 

1. Angels Dawn -10/1

2. Stumptown – 7/2

3. Mr Incredible – 4/1

4. Dunboyne – 8/1

5. Defi Bleu – 40/1

23 ran 

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