Cheltenham Festival: The Ultimate Guide - 2021-03-05


The road to the winner’s enclosure


Anthony Ive

BURNING VICTORY’S success in the 2020 Triumph Hurdle went into the record books as Willie Mullins’ second win in the race, but it could have been very different. The filly began her career on the Flat in France, running in five races, including in a Group 3 at three. After joining the Closutton stable, she made her hurdles debut at Fairyhouse where she won a Grade 3 against several stablemates and the dual winner Bajan Excell. Her inexperience was clear that day as on several occasions she was unsure at her hurdles. Even so, she was allowed to take her chance in the Triumph Hurdle. After being waited with at the back of the field headed by Allmankind, Goshen and Aspire Tower, her inexperience showed at halfway as she made a mistake and was pushed to the back of the pack as a result. As the three market leaders took each other on at the front, Burning Victory sat last and seemingly out of the race jumping the third-last. As Allmankind and Goshen jumped the penultimate flight, Burning Victory was making significant progress and was suddenly in midfield but still detached from the leaders. Goshen hit the front with the race seemingly at his mercy coming to the last with a good ten-length lead, before the biggest twist in any race of the 2020 festival as he and Jamie Moore parted company. As Burning Victory jumped the last, she found herself leading the race. Allmankind tried to rally but it was not to be as the filly stayed on strongly to win one of the most dramatic runnings of the race in history at odds of 12-1.



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