Best of the west as Cork's Fehily set the tone at Cheltenham

Best of the west as Cork's Fehily set the tone at Cheltenham
Noel Fehily onboard Summerville Boy comes home. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

COPPEEN jockey Noel Fehily got the Cheltenham Festival off to a flyer for his legion of fans with a brilliant victory aboard Summerville Boy. 

In a dramatic finish, West Corkman Fehily showed all his experience to overhaul Kalashnikov by a neck in a thriller.

Fehily said: "He’s a wonderful horse and what a training performance – he was cherry ripe today. 

Jockey Noel Fehily. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Jockey Noel Fehily. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

"I thought he was gone at the second-last but he’s brave and fought back well. 

"I must have lost five or six lengths and he's come back with a real show of class. 

"Winning around here means everything."

Buveur D'Air pips Melon, right, with Paul Townend up. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Buveur D'Air pips Melon, right, with Paul Townend up. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Elsewhere on the card, Buveur D’air successfully defended his Champion Hurdle crown just edging out Melon who was ridden by Cork's Paul Townend. 

Jockey Barry Geraghty had to dig deep in one of many very tight finishes on an enthralling opening day run in the beautiful sunshine.

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