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2008 Cheltenham Festival


9 of 10

2008 JCB Triumph Hurdle
2008 JCB Triumph Hurdle

Celestial Halo ridden by Ruby Walsh clears the last fence to go on and win the 2008 JCB Triumph Hurdle on day four of the Cheltenham festival at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Phil Cole/Getty Images
The £120,000 JCB Triumph Hurdle (G1) featured a field of 14 horses aged 4 and up going 2 1/8 miles over 8 hurdles. 5-1 Celestial Halo took over the lead from 10-1 Beau Michael after the first jump, and then led the rest of the way. Even-money favorite Franchoek moved up to challenge with 2 jumps remaining but Celestial Halo turned him away, drawing off to win by 2 1/4 lengths at the line in a time of 4:07.83. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 16-1 Won In The Dark third.

Winning trainer Paul Nicholls said, "This will be some horse for two-and-a-half-mile hurdles next year but today was the day really. The job is complete for Andy (Stewart, owner). He jumps so much better in front and I was delighted with how Ruby rode him."

Alan King, trainer of beaten favorite and second place finisher Franchoek said, "He's run a smashing race and there are no excuses. I thought he might just win turning in, but he's given his all. We'll have to re-group now as he knows he's had a race."

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