In 2015’s Arkle heroine Put The Kettle On beat the young boys once again in the Betway.
Queen Mom Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
A surprise winner at the Festival 12 months earlier, Henry de Bromhead’s mare had actually stretched her unbeaten record at the track to 3 on her very first start of the current campaign in November.
Put The Kettle On was in front for much of the contest, however looked scheduled for small honours after 8-13 preferred Chacun Pour Soi struck the front approaching the final fence.
Nevertheless, Aidan Coleman’s mount battled back on the confrontation – devouring the hill when again to get up and rating by half a length, becoming the very first mare to win the two-mile showpiece.
Dan Skelton’s Nube Negra ended up highly to declare the runner-up area from the Willie Mullins-trained Chacun Pour Soi.
Coleman said: “I leapt off to get a good start and wasn’t truly sure where I ‘d sit as this was her biggest test, and I didn’t know if she ‘d fast enough to be bang there.
” She was great over the first three or 4 fences, and after I ‘d jumped four I was fairly positive that I ‘d remain there until a minimum of turning in and after that what will be will be.
” I had the partner with the attitude and ability. It’s great.
” I do not understand what has to do with Cheltenham with her as this is the only location I’ve ridden her. As long as she can come here a couple of times a year and do business we’re happy enough!
” If I could bottle what she has I would not need to ride once again – I ‘d offer it, and be a rich guy.”
He included: “These championship races – the Champ Difficulty, the Champ Chase, the Stayers’ Obstacle and the Gold Cup – are the races you mature viewing.
” If you’re fortunate enough to ride in them it’s great, and if you’re lucky enough to win one it’s even better.
” It was extremely unique – pulling up was almost emotional, because all of us like these horses and we do it day in, day out for them.
” When you ride something that loves it and wants to win as much as this, it’s just a pleasure.
” It brings you back to your roots and why you wanted to enter the game – and that’s the love of the animal.”
De Bromhead was winning the race for the 3rd time, after Sizing Europe in 2011 and Unique Tiara in 2017.
The Waterford trainer stated: “She’s an unbelievable mare, I’m thrilled for the owners, it’s simply dazzling, the things you dream about.
” She’s so difficult and Aidan was fantastic on her. He really asked her at the last three which probably won him the race.
” I don’t understand what it is about this location. A couple of weeks ago she simply wasn’t herself, but we refreshed her up as much as we could and she appeared better. When she arrived her she was what we expected. She’s a bit mad in fact.
” I have to praise everyone in the house, however specifically Andrea who cares for her and endures her antics every day, it’s special for her. She’s rather wild in your home, she’s a terrific character.
” Mid-February I was most likely leaning towards running in the Mares’ Chase, however all of us discussed it and I took a look at the stats for the previous year’s Arkle winner in this and they are ludicrous so we said we ‘d provide it a lash and see.
” Winning the Champ Obstacle and Champion Chase with mares specifically, it’s the things of dreams. I’m just pleased.”
Skelton said of runner-up Nube Negra: “It’s gutting to be put once again, however absolutely nothing went wrong, apart from standing on his heel at the back of the last, which cost us a tiny bit. He’s taken a trip round incredibly, leapt brilliantly and showed up the hill, which was never ever in doubt.”
His rider Harry Skelton added: “He ran an incredible race. The winner was great, and she’s a top-class mare, but we are extremely happy with our horse.
” He leapt actually well, travelled all of the way, and finished his race off. He simply lost his footing after the last, however that didn’t cost us anything actually. He’s still young therefore ideally he’s got a lot in front of him. He’s proved he’s top-class, if anyone had any doubts.”
Mullins stated of Chacun Pour Soi, said: “I’m a little disappointed, I just thought he ran a bit flat. It’s as basic as that.”
Jockey Paul Townend included: “It’s disappointing. We had every possibility jumping the second last and we simply weren’t good enough on the run in.”