Cheltenham 2015: Welsh trainer Rebecca Curtis wins on day one

By Aly RowellBBC Wales Sport at the Cheltenham Festival
Rebecca Curtis
Rebecca Curtis has trained four horses to victory in four years at the Cheltenham Festival

Pembrokeshire trainer Rebecca Curtis is celebrating after winning the final race on Tuesday at the Cheltenham Festival.

The 34-year-old trainer won the Novices' Handicap Chase with 11-1 shot Irish Cavalier.

The result means Curtis has now trained a winner at the Festival for the last four years.

"It's the most important four days of the season, so I feel privileged to have a winner here," said Curtis.

The win also completed an 83-1 double for Irish jockey Paul Townend, who is understudy to Ruby Walsh at Willie Mullins yard but this season has linked up with Curtis when available.

In 2012 Curtis won the 4m Amateur Riders Chase with Teaforthree, who went on to finish second in the Grand National the following year.

At Fishers Cross was victorious in 2013 for Curtis under AP McCoy and 12 months ago she won the Grade 1 RSA Chase with O'Faolains Boy.

"We fancied Irish Cavalier to go well today," said Curtis.

Sam Twiston-Davies
Sam Twiston-Davies replaced Daryl Jacob as Paul Nicholls's number one stable jockey

"He has been running on some bad ground, which he doesn't like, so I was hoping for a decent run on the good ground.

"At the halfway I didn't think he was going to win, but once Paul pulled him out wide he ran on like a train."

Five of the seven races were won by Irish trainers, including a 62-1 four timer by Willie Mullins.

He recorded a 1-2-3 in the day's feature race, the Champion Hurdle, which was won by the favourite Faugheen under Ruby Walsh.

The New One, trained by Welshman Nigel Twiston-Davies, finished a disappointing fifth.

His jockey - son Sam - said: "The horse didn't feel right so we'll take him home and hopefully get to the bottom of it.

"We are all very disheartened."

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