Tea For Two bounces back from Cheltenham Gold Cup nightmare to win big at Aintree

Ed Malyon
Tea for Two got the better of last year's winner Cue Card: Getty

Tea For Two bounced back from a nightmare in the Cheltenham Gold Cup to pip favourite Cue Card in the big race at Aintree on Thursday.

Lizzie Kelly had made history when she became the first female rider to win a Grade One in Britain, steering Tea For Two to victory in the 2015 Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton.

She then became first woman in 33 years to ride in the Gold Cup at Prestbury Park last month, but the dream ended in disaster as Kelly was unseated at the second.

Kelly falls from her horse during the Gold Cup (AFP/Getty )

Tea For Two was a 10-1 shot to gain redemption on Merseyside and was given plenty of time to find his feet, eventually holding off 2-1 favourite Cue Card by a neck after digging deep in the final furlong.

Kelly said: "That was fantastic. We were quietly confident going into the Gold Cup when our dreams were taken away from us.

"This means more than winning the Grade One at Kempton on him, I didn't really appreciate that at the time, but this is special.

"Next year's Gold Cup dream is still alive."

Defi Du Seuil (2) won the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle Race (Getty)

Other big winners on Thursday were Defi Du Seuil, who claimed his third top-level success in the four-year-olds Juvenile Hurdle, and Buveur D’Air, who rewarded Nicky Henderson’s decision to switch him to hurdles.

After confirming the yard’s suspicions that he still had plenty to give over smaller obstacles in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, the six-year-old took a step up in trip to two and a half miles in his stride to claim the third Grade One of his career.

While The New One attempted to expose any stamina limitations of the prohibitively-priced 4-9 favourite by setting a good pace to make it a true test, his tactics failed to work with Barry Geraghty - despite having to ask a question or two of the odds-on favourite - passing the 2014 winner over two out.

Punters arriving at Aintree on Thursday morning (Getty)

Once in command there was only ever going to be one outcome and although luckless stablemate My Tent Or Yours stayed on well from the back, he was forced to settle for the runner-up spot just as he did at Prestbury Park, with five lengths splitting the pair at the line.

Buveur D'Air - who matched the feat of Annie Power 12 months ago in completing the same Cheltenham and Aintree double - was left unchanged at 9-2 to defend his Champion Hurdle title in March by Paddy Power.

Henderson said: "It seems so unfair doing this to My Tent as if any horse deserved to win here or at Cheltenham it's him but all we are doing is beating him ourselves which seems so ridiculous!

"Where else can you go, you have to come here and the Cheltenham form has been confirmed.