By Andrew Atkinson
Nicky Henderson trained Champ – a winning 4-1 tip – won the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase on day two of the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday, under a breathtaking driving ride by jockey Barry Geraghty.
“We were on the back foot all the way, in very tacky ground. It was all about keeping a rhythm,” said Geraghty.
Champ, which was flagged-up at 399-1 in running, unexpectedly rallied on the run-in, to thwart Minella Indo (3-1) and Allaho (5-2f).
Approaching the last Allaho and Minella Indo went head to head up the hill, as Champ rallied-on.
“”It was a great race – I thought I’d no chance going to the last,” said Geraghty.
“It looked like he was going to finish a creditable third – until all of a sudden he came into sight,” said surprised Henderson.