Trainer Rebecca Curtis already boasts two Cheltenham Festival winners by Oscar, and she added another to her tally on Wednesday when O’Faolains Boy (7g Oscar-Lisa’s Storm, by Glacial Storm) captured the G1 RSA Chase.
O’Faolains Boy dug deep to record a neck victory from the gallant Smad Place as they crossed the line in a great finish to the top staying novice event.
“We’ve always thought a lot of him, and even last season were thinking of him as an RSA Chase horse and thankfully he has turned out to be one. He’s handled this better ground and won nicely,” said Curtis.
“It’s amazing to get another winner at the Cheltenham Festival. It’s brilliant. Before Christmas, the horses weren’t running great but hopefully they have all peaked at the right time now and we knew he was very, very well coming here. We were quite hopeful. It was a very, very good race but we have always thought a lot of this horse.
“He’s only ever run one bad race when all our horses were running poorly and he scoped badly so we were hopeful of a good performance today. When he ran badly at Haydock, Barry (Geraghty) was quick to pull him up so there was no damage done. I was impressed with his win at Ascot and he improved at home after that. It would be a dream if he turned out to be a Gold Cup horse.”
The victory of O’Faolains Boy, who was bred by Tom and P Phelan, was a dream come true for the four-man syndicate that own him. Part-owner Tony Outhart was visibly delighted and paid tribute to the winning jockey.
“That was fantastic – we all can’t believe it,” said Outhart. “Barry (Geraghty) has given him an amazing ride considering he wasn’t happy during the early part of the race. We knew he was a good horse but to win here is a dream come true.
“We’ve got a few horses in training at the moment and have had some success here in the past but we’ve not had a winner at Cheltenham for six years so we’ve had to wait awhile!”
Curtis’s two previous Festival winners were At Fishers Cross (7g Oscar-Fermoy Supreme, by Supreme Leader), in the 2013 G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, and Teaforthree (10g Oscar-Ethel´s Bay, by Strong Gale) in the 2012 National Hunt Chase.