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Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival began Tuesday, but was abandoned Wednesday due to high winds, leaving 50,000 sporting types from around the United Kingdom and Ireland sorely disappointed. Today the meeting is racing forward under calmer skies.

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Patrick Mullins on Cousin Vinnie

Patrick Mullins and Cousin Vinny made a nice father-son-horse victory at Cheltenham –

"Cousin Vinny gave Irish trainer Willie Mullins his sixth victory in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. The handler's amateur son Patrick took the once-raced five-year-old to the front on the home turn and the 12-1 shot stayed on strongly despite showing his greenness by drifting over to the far rail."

Observing his growing son’s looming size, his father doubted he had many more races to ride.

The victories of horses pulling long shots of 12 -1 or 66 - 1 were almost too exciting for the bookies. Plus, Inglis Drever became the unheard-of third-time World Hurdle champion, eating up the hill and the horse ahead of him after bounding over his last fence.

The triumphant pride and affection of riders and owners for their horses was palpable.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup, a Grade 1 National Hunt chase for horses five years or older with 22 fences over 3 miles 21⁄2 furlongs, will be run today.

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