Joy for punters after favourites won back-to-back races at Cheltenham as 28/1 outsider Vintage Clouds stuns 16-strong field to FINALLY win Ultima Handicap Chase at the fifth attempt
- Happygolucky was the favourite going into the race but struggled to compete
- Nicky Henderson-trained Pym was the early leader but faded on final fences
- Vintage Clouds, who was valued at 28/1 pre-race, did brilliantly to take the win
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Vintage Clouds upset the odds by winning the Ultima Handicap Chase in the first big upset at the Cheltenham Festival.
There was a great deal of anticipation around the 16-strong field and while Pym was the leader out of the gate, Sue Smith-trained Vintage Clouds came through to take victory over the three-mile run.
Happygolucky, the favourite, rallied late on to take second with Aye Right in third. Cepage, trained by Venetia Williams, took fourth.
Vintage Clouds caused the first upset of Cheltenham by winning the Ultima Handicap Chase
Jockey Ryan Mania was left to toast his first winner ever at Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday
Vintage Clouds made a lot of the running before his stamina and determination kicked in to seal victory at the fifth attempt in the Ultima Handicap Chase.
There was little change in the order until the tempo increased with five fences left to jump.
Pym soon weakened, but Vintage Clouds stuck to his guns and kept finding extra to win by five and a half lengths from Happygolucky.
‘I never thought I’d hear those words mentioned,’ winning jockey Ryan Mania told ITV Racing on riding his first Cheltenham Festival winner.
The 16-strong field was expected to be dominated by Happygolucky, the runner-up
‘It’s been a long road back, five years out of the game, absolutely over the moon.
‘A hell of a training performance, it’s just unreal. He was loving it.
‘Never did I think he was going to storm up the hill like he did.’
This was Vintage Clouds’ fifth run in the Ultima Handicap Chase and it proved fifth time lucky as the 11-year-old roared to victory.
In 2019 he took second in the Handicap Chase but managed to go one better two years on with a thrilling run.
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