What a third day at the Cheltenham Festival. A day of explosive finishes, brilliant horsemanship, top notch training feats and two huge shocks that put the smile back on the faces of the Bookmakers.
The first shock was the defeat of odds on favourite, Voy Por Ustedes in the Ryanair Chase. He came second after making a serious error two from which cost him the chance of getting a blow into the impressive winner, Imperial Commander. The win by Imperial Commander provided trainer, Nigel Twiston-Davies with his second Festival winner
If that shock was not enough then the defeat of Kasbah Bliss in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle most certainly was. Having been touted as the best banker of the 2009 Cheltenham Festival, he failed to live up to the form he showed in his recent Haydock run and was soundly beaten by Big Bucks who won in a thrilling finish from a very courageous Punchestowns. It was possibly the best finish of the Festival so far. Big Bucks was the second winner of the day for trainer, Paul Nicholls, who had earlier saddled Chapoturgeon in the days opener.
Venetia Williams also saddled two winners on what was a great day for her and for UK trainers. She won the Freddie Williams Festival Plate with Something Wells, who fought off a game challenge from stablemate Ping Pong Sivola. She had earlier saddled Kayf Aramis to victory in the Pertemps Final.
The final race of the day, the Kim Muir Chase was won by Character Building who has since been installed as co favourite for the Aintre Grand National. Roll on Day Four and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.