There was a Cheltenham Festival victory for Soldier Of Fortune on Wednesday when Richard Johnson steered Flying Tiger (4g Soldier Of Fortune-Ma Preference, by American Post) to victory in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
The exciting four-year-old was bringing a first Festival success for trainer Nick Williams as he got up to beat a big field in a fantastic finish.
“Today’s race was the perfect race for him because they went a strong gallop, he jumped really well and the race unfolded for him so look he is obviously a very good horse and if they can continue with his progression, hopefully there will be more to come,” said Johnson.
“There’s no such feeling as a winner here. I didn’t have a winner at Cheltenham last year so it’s nice to get off the mark this year.”
Williams added: “We’ve had lots of near-misses here with the likes of Maljimar [second in the 2009 Ultima Handicap Chase] and Reve De Sivola [second in the 2010 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle], so it was due to come sooner or later. I thought if we were ever going to do it, it might be with a juvenile.
“The Adonis made us decide to come here for the Fred Winter rather than the Triumph Hurdle. I think he was just switched off a little bit too much at Kempton.”