BLEU Berry became Willie Mullins' fourth winner at the 2018 Festival when landing the Coral Cup, under Mark Walsh.
Mullins' number one rider, Ruby Walsh, suffered a fall on the Mullins-trained Al Boum Photo in the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase and it looks as though he has broken his leg again. The trainer said: "Ruby has gone to hospital for X-rays, and it looks like the same injury again. It is very disappointing for Ruby and everyone else. It's the same leg in the same place - he is very sore at this point."
The 20-1 winner, Bleu Berry, was supposed to be ridden by Paul Townend, but he switched to Max Dynamite following Ruby Walsh's injury and Mark Walsh was called up for Bleu Berry (20/1).
Walsh came from the rear of the field to deny Sam Twiston-Davies on the giant Topofthegame (9/1)in the final few strides to win by a neck.
Gordon Elliott's Barra (16/1) was another who made late headway to claim third, while William Henry, sent off the 8-1 joint-favourite along with Max Dynamite, was fourth in the hands of teenager James Bowen.
Bleu Berry digs deep to win the Coral Cup and provides Mark Walsh with his first @CheltenhamRaces Festival winner. #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 14, 2018
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Mullins said of Bleu Berry, who is owned by Luke McMahon: "He's another winner for Lucky Luke, who won the Grade 1 at Christmas [with Whisky Sour] when everything else fell or ran out. This was the plan for this horse, a big handicap, if we could get him right.
"Paul switched to Max Dynamite, and when I heard Mark was available I snapped him up. That's Mark's first Festival winner - he said the horse travelled well all the way and when a horse does that the gaps open up. He had a dream run and the horse stayed on up the hill."
Successful owner Luke McMahon said: "Fair play to Mark Walsh, he gave him a brilliant ride. We've always liked him [Bleu Berry] but he just had a few interruptions at the start of the season. It's fantastic."