Ted Walsh, who won the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase as a jockey on Castleruddery in 1974 and Prolan in 1976, added a third win in the race, this time as a trainer, when Any Second Now (6/1) won Thursday’s renewal.
The seven-year-old winner, ridden by Derek O’Connor and still a maiden over fences until this afternoon, beat Kilfilum Cross by three and three quarter lengths, with Irish-born trainer Neil Mulholland’s The Young Master (22/1) a further three and a half-lengths back in third place.
Walsh, who was winning his first Cheltenham Festival race as a trainer since Commanche Court’s victory under jockey Norman Williamson in the JCB Triumph Hurdle 22 years ago, said:
“It’s over 20 years since I won here with Commanche Court and over 40 since I rode Castleruddery and Prolan, and I love everything about it here. I only rode four winners here and I thought it was great. Some places lose their charm, but everything they have done here has improved it. It’s magnificent. It’s magic. I’ve been racing all over the world, but there’s nowhere like Cheltenham. This is on a planet of its own.”
5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase
1 Any Second Now (J P McManus) Ted Walsh IRE 7-11-11 Mr Derek O’Connor 6/1
2 Kilfilum Cross (Andy Bell & Fergus Lyons) Henry Oliver 8-11-07 Mr Alex Edwards 7/1
3 Livelovelaugh (Susannah Ricci) Willie Mullins IRE 9-11-12 Mr Patrick Mullins 22/1
4 Crievehill (Highclere Thoroughbred Racing) Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-11-08 Mr Zac Baker 40/1
3/1f Measureofmydreams (8th)
Distances: 3¾, 3½, 5
Time: 6m 48.14s