Yeats Sires Grade 1 Cheltenham Festival Double
Chantry House (7g Yeats - The Last Bank, by Phardante) finished third in last year’s Grade 1 Supreme Novices Hurdle, but fences and a greater test of stamina saw him taste Cheltenham Festival glory in the Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase. Stablemate Fusil Raffles threw down a challenge at the second last, but Nico de Boinville’s mount refused to lie down and kept on strongly to score by three lengths, despite losing a front shoe.
Nicky Henderson later said that Chantry House would reappear at Aintree or Punchestown, with a step up to three miles possible for the JP McManus-owned seven-year-old.
The son of Yeats recorded his very first success over three miles in a four-year-old maiden for Cian Hughes, before being sold for £295,000. Bred by Michael Conaghan, he is the best produce of The Last Bank, who has a four-year-old filly by Soldier Of Fortune.
Later that afternoon, the Gavin Cromwell-trained Flooring Porter (6g Yeats - Lillymile, by Revoque) continued his meteoric rise with an all-the-way win in the Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle.
Having landed a valuable contest in December, the bay proved himself at Grade 1 level in the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle last time out, but faced some formidable opponents on Thursday. He never had cause to worry, though, jumping well throughout and quickening on the run for home. Staying on strongly to the line, he scored by three and a quarter lengths under Danny Mullins.
Syndicate-owned, Flooring Porter was bred by Sean Murphy out of his homebred winner Lillymile.
Mount Ida (7m Yeats - Jolivia, by Dernier Empereur) produced a very different, but similarly outstanding performance, to win the Kim Muir Cup under Jack Kennedy.
Sent off favourite, the Denise Foster-trained bay raced towards the back of the field for much of the three mile and two furlong contest and began to pick off her rivals from five out. Leading at the second last, she was ridden clear on the run-in to win by six and a half lengths.
Thursday’s success was made even more impressive by the fact that it marked Mount Ida’s fourth start over fences, though she had won a Grade 3 on her third attempt. Owned by KTDA Racing and bred by Philip Hore, the £70,000 purchase is also Listed-placed over hurdles.