JP McManus wins feature race on first day of Cheltenham festival

Limerick racehorse owner's victory in Champion Hurdle is 50th at meet

JP McManus wins feature race on first day of Cheltenham festival

Jockey Noel Fehily with trainer Nicky Henderson and owner JP McManus Picture: Sportsfile

LIMERICK racehorse owner JP McManus was the big winner on day one of the Cheltenham festival with the first two home in the day's feature - the Champion Hurdle.

Buveur D'Air, 5/1 second favourite, under jockey Noel Fehily crossed the line four and a half lengths clear of  My Tent Or Yours, who was finishing second in the race for the third time.

It was Mr McManus' 50th winner at the prestigious festival and was the sixth Champion Hurdle triumph for trainer Nicky Henderson, who also trains the runner-up.

Reflecting on the race, Mr McManus said: "It looked like he [Buveur D'Air] had his chance. He was reading the script at that stage, and I kind of had my eye on My Tent [Or Yours] because he was in behind him and it seemed to be, for him, to be going according to plan, too.

"You know, I was in a pretty comfortable position jumping the second last, and I will learn more now when I see it again."

The Martinstown man also had Yanworth start favourite for the race at 2/1 but he finished down the field.

Asked how he felt about winning his 50th Cheltenham festival race he responded: "I never really thought about it, it's just a number. Now 50 is gone we're thinking of number 51!"