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    Captain Guinness and Blackmore Shine in a Thrilling Champion Chase
Captain Guinness and Blackmore Shine in a Thrilling Champion Chase
Jockey Rachael Blackmore with Captain Guinness and trainer Henry de Bromhead celebrating victory. Source: Reuters

Captain Guinness and Blackmore Shine in a Thrilling Champion Chase

Captain Guinness emerged victorious in a thrilling edition of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, where the highly-fancied El Fabiolo was withdrawn during the race.

Under the guidance of trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore, the nine-year-old defied the odds at 17-2, while Willie Mullins' El Fabiolo, the favourite at 2-9, faced an early exit after a jumping error. As the race unfolded, with Edwardstone falling two fences from the finish line, Captain Guinness seized the opportunity to claim victory, holding off a fierce challenge from El Fabiolo's stablemate, Gentleman De Mee, in a gripping showdown uphill.

Reflecting on the win, De Bromhead remarked on the open race dynamics following El Fabiolo's departure, highlighting the horse's resilience and deserving nature to secure a Grade One victory. He credited the team's meticulous care and training regimen, emphasising the importance of keeping the horse fresh and content. Blackmore, making history as the first woman jockey to win the Champion Chase, shared her tactical insights during the race, acknowledging the pivotal moment when El Fabiolo faltered and her strategic approach towards each obstacle.

Mullins expressed disappointment over El Fabiolo's performance, pinpointing concerns over the horse's jumping technique during critical moments of the race. Despite the setback, Mullins extended congratulations to De Bromhead and Blackmore for their success, particularly praising Gentleman De Mee's commendable performance. Trainer Alan King provided reassurance on Edwardstone's condition post-fall, confirming the horse's well-being and acknowledging the exceptional display by the eventual winner.

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