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CHELTENHAM 2019: TUESDAY - Pictures and quotes of the day
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CHELTENHAM 2019: TUESDAY - Pictures and quotes of the day
on 12 March 2019
Cheers and tears for the victors on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

"John was a real racegoer and a lovely man. His wife and kids are here today, but I am sorry for him. I am sure he is looking down on us. This is what he dreamt of and he is not here to see it." Ruby Walsh after winning on Klassical Dream

"It's a very poignant victory for us. John Coleman had a lot of cheaper horses with me and then he retired and sold his business two years ago and said, 'here's a few quid - go and buy me a Cheltenham horse, and this is the horse.

Jo [his wife] and his family are here today and it is fantastic; a very emotional victory. John and myself had many a good night and Jo and family will be invited over for a few tears and beer." Willie Mullins

"It seems such a shock to be here to see John's horse run, let alone win. He bought Klassical Dream two years ago and dreamed he might be a good horse, and he's proved it. He never got to see the horse run at all.

John was a Willie Mullins' fanatic, which is why he put his horses with Willie. I don't know I can put into words how I feel, but it has blown our minds. It's mind-blowing. I've bought some of John's ashes with me because he said he wanted to be here, but he knew his time was limited. I wanted to make sure he got here." Owner Joanne Coleman

"It looked like a schooling session for Paul, to be honest. He just held his position from the top of the hill, kept jumping and motored away up the hill." Willie Mullins after the Arkle win of Duc Des Genievres

"It feels very good, considering where I thought I was two or three weeks ago, looking at the string and going round our ground and horses we had tried to get runs into and couldn't.

It looks like we've got two nice horses there anyway, and a few to come - and some nice ones at home that we never got out." Willie Mullins

"I don't have the vocabulary to describe Willie Mullins but year on year, he produces them here in some order and fair play to him. It is a privilege to work for him." Paul Townend

"I've had a runner at the November meeting, but I'm thrilled with this. Willie Mullins' horses are running out of their skins at the moment and the winner was so good there was no second, but that won't stop us enjoying the moment." Terence O'Brien

"I was robbed in 1973 when I had a permit and Bear's Slipper, ridden by Billy Foulkes. had the Foxhunter taken off him in the stewards' room." Owner George Barlow, proudly holding up a lucky tiny teddy bear for the cameras

"I am lost for words. Espoir D'Allen is French-bred and they do mature earlier. He has been winning G3s this season, so to go and do that is fantastic. He wouldn't stand out in the string on his work, but he's a gorgeous-looking horse." Gavin Cromwell

For a five-year-old to do that against what we thought was one of the best Champion Hurdles run in the past few years, he is a right little horse. It is unbelievable.

"He is the first five-year-old since Katchit to win the race and hopefully there will be a few more Champion Hurdles in him yet.

"He travelled very strongly and he gave me a dream ride. Espoir D'Allen very uncomplicated and we were delighted when we saw the rain come this morning as he travels a lot better in this slower ground.

Me and Gavin spoke before the race and the plan was to ride him for a place - we got a place, it was first place!" Mark Walsh after his Champion Hurdle win

“Benie Des Dieux’s final flight fall has saved the bookies a fortune and we head into day two with the wind in our sails.” Betway’s Alan Alger

“Today I was on the right side of it. I do it for days like this. We’ve had a bit of luck today and come out on top. I hope Ruby and Benie Des Dieux are OK.” Harry Skelton

"I don't want the trolls to attack Ruby. He is the best jockey in the world and it happens. I just hope he is protected from the same nonsense he got the last day. Benie Des Dieux was going very well and she is a very good mare. We will mind her, bring her back and she will win again, but I am just so sorry and it's just difficult." Rich Ricci

I never thought I would be coming up that hill like that. It's unbelievable. The race went perfectly. Henry de Bromhead has put a lot of faith in me this week, considering I had never ridden a Festival winner; he's put me up on a lot of them, including in Grade 1s, and I'm very grateful to him. It's phenomenal." Rachael Blackmore

What a tough little horse to jump and gallop in that ground. It was a fair slog and I'm delighted he's won for Ben and the team. I got a great run around and kept him very wide. Going to the last, it was nip and tuck, and my lad has really battled and pulled it out. I was very fortunate that Ben had no one to ride the horse - two days later he might have found someone else and I'd be sitting in the weighing room. They say that what's meant for you won't go past you." Jamie Codd

"If you had told me before that we were going to be second at Cheltenham I would have been delighted but it is a devil when you think you're going to win and you don't." Paul Nolan on Discorama

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