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CHELTENHAM WEDNESDAY: Quotes and photos of the day
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CHELTENHAM WEDNESDAY: Quotes and photos of the day
on 13 March 2019
A look back at who said what and the terrific action from the second day of the Cheltenham Festival where Altior was the star

"It's a dream come true. It's my first winner in Cheltenham at the Festival, and to win our own race is very special. This is a magic place, and to win any race here is fantastic. We are very happy." Sean Mulryan

"It's been a long time coming, but you need good horses. I wanted to bring the horse here unbeaten and then I thought we might have a chance of doing something good. It was a very good performance. I was hoping that he might do something like that, but you never know because a lot of dreams are shattered here and luckily ours weren't.

I liked him from the first time we did a swinging canter with him. He was weak enough and we gave him time. Martin Brassil

"He is nearly 18 hands, he is massive, and is not the easiest to train because he is a light horse. I just had to try and get the balance right - get him ready for here and not too light - and we have always believed that he would be a serious, serious horse.

"That jump at the last showed how much energy he had left in the tank. He still doesn't do a whole heap in front but he did enough."

"For Paul Barber and Chris Giles, today was the only day that we trained him for. Like Clan and those other young horses that we have got, it's really exciting to have them but Rome wasn't built in a day and we have to let them develop quietly." Paul Nicholls after the RSA

"He is not unlike Denman. He is rated pretty much the same as Denman was at this stage of his career. Denman was a grinder and this horse has plenty of boot. He travels well and jumps well - he is only going to get better." Paul Nicholls

"I wasn't quite sure. You have an inkling. Patrick Mullins, what a gentleman he is and a real sporting man." Nico De Boinville after the Coral Cup win

"Wicklow Brave has run a great race. The plan was to drop out and he jumped fantastic all the way. He really enjoyed passing horses, but I was just left in front too early at the last hurdle.

He has run a brilliant race under top-weight. Wicklow Brave has been a marvellous horse who has been successful on the flat, gone down to Melbourne and even won handicaps here - he is a remarkable horse." Patrick Mullins

Nicky Henderson equalled trainer Tom Dreaper's record, and it put him back upsides Willie Mullins on 63 wins at the head of The Festivals all-time record.

"It's nice when it's over. It's like hitting your head against a brick wall. The only nice bit is when it stops.

When you see the crowd like that around the winner's enclosure it's like going back to the Sprinter Sacre days and it was great that he was here this morning and they gave him a great welcome. How lucky are we, to retire one and then find another. You can't believe it's possible really and it makes it all worthwhile. He's some star." Nicky Henderson

"I thought 'hells bells we've got trouble here', but it's amazing how he picked up. He knew what he had to do. We'll think about where we go now, but Nico said that more than anything Altior hated the ground. The ground was against him." Nicky Henderson

"Altior is an absolutely warrior. We were just slightly coming unstuck on that ground. We had a bit of a miss-communication at the water jump, when he wanted to go long and I wanted him to come in and pop because I didn't want him to get too exuberant over those fences and waste too much energy.

"We definitely went half a length down after the last, but he just seemed to find this extra gear. I don't know where it comes from - he is just a phenomenal athlete. I think he doesn't know how to lose at the moment. Long may it continue!" Nico de Boinville on Altior

"He is some legend, definitely a legend in my eyes anyway. It was some performance on heavy ground - he just tanked around and, the further he was going, the better he was getting. He is just a legend of a horse."

Keith Donoghue

"He looks to be a freak of nature, and people forget he had stopped racing. He was sick of the game and didn't want any more of it, then Keith Donoghue took him hunting and went down the cross-country route and he got his mojo back. Now he loves racing, and it's all down to Keith, Gordon and the team at home." Eddie O'Leary

"He was a Festival winner for me last year and is probably the horse who has got my name out there. If it wasn't for Gordon, I wouldn't be in this situation and Tiger Roll wouldn't be such a good horse. He is a master of a trainer." Keith Donoghue

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