Sky Pirate edges out Entoucas to win the Grand Annual at Cheltenham after favourite Embittered fell at the sixth
- 14-1 shot Sky Pirate emerged from the pack to win Grand Annual at Cheltenham
- Favourite Embittered fell at the sixth fence and an exciting finish followed
- Nick Scholfield on Sky Pirate was able to hold off late surge by Entoucas
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Sky Pirate just held the late thrust of Entoucas to land a blow for Britain at last on St Patrick’s Day – in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase.
Nick Scholfield was back on board, after missing Sky Pirate’s two mid-winter victories because of injury, and the partnership showed great tenacity to win by a short-head at 14-1.
Entoucas still appeared to be full of running at the last but just could not quite reel in Jonjo O’Neill’s winner in time.
Sky Pirate, with Nick Scholfield on board, won the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival
A delighted Nick Scholfield managed to hold off a late charge by Entoucas to win the race
Sky Pirate clears a jump during the penultimate race of the second day at Cheltenham
Ibleo stayed on to be almost four lengths further back in third.
Scholfield said: ‘This horse has been winning – Tom Scudamore and Jonjo (O’Neill jnr) have won on him, and I can’t thank Mr (Martin) Tedham (owner) and Jonjo (senior) enough for giving me the chance today.
‘They’re good people – I’m just grateful I got the opportunity. The horse is a star, and Jonjo was adamant that we’d go for this race. The race went perfectly for us, so I’m just grateful to them.’
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