Henry De Bromhead-trained Maskada wins Grand Annual Handicap Chase by six-and-half lengths to become the highest-priced winner at Cheltenham Festival so far… after favourite Dinoblue faltered at the last
- Maskada beat out favourites including last year’s winner Global Citizen
- Andy Dufresne flattered to deceive with lacklustre eighth-place finish
- Dinoblue faltered at the last to squander long-running lead and finish second
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Maskada came from behind to beat Dinoblue and last year’s winner Global Citizen in the penultimate race on day two of Cheltenham Festival after the favourite ran into trouble at the final jump.
Gordon Elliott-trained Andy Dufresne flattered to deceive in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase, finishing well behind the pack leaders in eighth.
Henry De Bromhead’s winning mare became the longest-priced horse to win at this year’s festival, with pre-race odds of 22-1.
Maskada, ridden by Darragh O’Keefe, stayed on well to capitalise on Dinoblue’s last-minute mistake, which squandered the horse’s long-running position, and won by a clear distance.
Maskada (right) beat the favourites by some distance in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase
At 22-1, Maskada’s victory went some way to recover an expensive day for the bookies
Dinoblue was going well, holding second for much of the race, before a costly error at the last
The victory for the De Bromhead yard win puts Ireland further ahead in the Prestbury Cup, with the Emerald Isle leading British trainers 9-4.
The Irish trainer had a terrific start to Cheltenham week on day one as Honeysuckle ended a storied career with a fairytale win in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle.
Both De Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore paid emotional tributes to the trainer’s late son, Jack, who died aged 13 six months ago in a riding accident, after the victory.
Maskada’s jockey O’Keefe nabbed his first winner of the festival on the seven-year-old, who will likely be considered for Punchestown in the wake of the afternoon’s victory.
Darragh O’Keefe took his chances with the seven-year-old and the approach paid dividends
GRAND ANNUAL HANDICAP CHASE RESULTS
Cheltenham Festival 4.50
1. Maskada (D J O’Keeffe) 22-1
2. Dinoblue (L P Dempsey) 7-2 Fav
3. Global Citizen (Luca Morgan) 12-1
4. Third Time Lucki (Harry Skelton) 8-1
NR: Dancing On My Own
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