Five things we learnt on day two of the Cheltenham Festival

Sports Staff
Ruby Walsh's misfortune stretched into a second day: Getty

1. Douvan's demise lets in Tiara to take the crown

The hugely disappointing display of Douvan left racing fans totally deflated after the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. Hopefully something will come to light to explain the abysmal effort of the 2-9 shot, who was expected to outclass his rivals as he had done in the past. However, Special Tiara was rewarded for two placed efforts in the last two runnings of the race as he gave Henry de Bromhead a second Champion Chase success after Sizing Europe in 2011.

2. Fehily's Champion double one to savour

The modest and unassuming Noel Fehily enjoyed another moment to savour when he steered Special Tiara to victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, just 24 hours after his triumph on Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday. To win one of the championship races at the Festival is special but to win two is rare and an achievement Fehily can be duly proud of.

3. Pauling revels in first Festival victory

There's no feeling quite like a first Festival winner and Ben Pauling did not hide his emotions as Willoughby Court upstaged hot favourite Neon Wolf to take the Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle. Pauling had tasted success at the home of jumps racing when assistant to Nicky Henderson but it meant much more to have done it himself and also 12 months after Barters Hill had been beaten, when strongly fancied to win the Albert Bartlett.

4. Bite a talent that comes with a health warning

Trainer Nicky Henderson could not quite believe it and neither could anyone who watched as Might Bite almost threw away victory in the RSA Chase after running his rivals ragged before getting back up on the line, with the help of a loose horse, to thwart his stablemate Whisper. There is no doubt Might Bite has the ability to be a serious contender for next year's Gold Cup, but that particular quirk could be an issue and one that Henderson will try to iron out.

5. Walsh luck turns from bad to worse

What should have been Mark Walsh's best opportunity at the Cheltenham Festival ended prematurely when he was ruled out of the meeting through injury after a fall on the first race on day two of the four-day meeting. With Barry Geraghty sidelined, Walsh had come in for the pick of owner JP McManus' horses. Tuesday had gone badly with Yanworth disappointing in the Champion Hurdle and Jer's Girl falling in the Mares' Hurdle. Then things got worse with his tumble from the ill-fated Consul De Thaix in the Neptune.

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