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Grade 1 Cheltenham double for Kayf Tara

Blaklion and Ballyandy triumph on jump racing’s biggest stage

The British-bred duo of Blaklion and Ballyandy provided a memorable day for Kayf Tara when each landing a Grade 1 race at the Cheltenham Festival. Both horses are trained in Gloucsterhsire by Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Blaklion, bred by Mary Morrison, sparked an emotional response from his trainer as he stormed the Cheltenham hill to glory in the G1 RSA Chase.

Twiston-Davies said, "He's so scopey, he can go long at a fence, he can go short - he does everything right now. I wasn't worried about the fact that he had a hard race last time out at Wetherby [when he won the G2 Towton Novices' Chase]. It's up to me as a trainer that it doesn't leave a mark.”

He added, "He's done all his winning on heavy ground but I had a nagging feeling that, because he's small, better ground might suit him and I think it has. I hope he makes up into a Gold Cup horse.”

Ballyandy, a son of the Karinga Bay mare Megalex who was bred by Pleasure Palace Racing and born and raised at Overbury Stud, brought further honour to his family when justifying favouritism to win the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. His full-brother Megastar won the G2 Aintree Bumper back in 2010.

Twiston-Davies paid him a huge compliment when comparing him to his Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, saying, “He is better than Imperial Commander was on the Flat, so maybe he will be better over jumps. He will go hurdling next season.” The pair became the seventh and eighth Grade 1 winners for Kayf Tara, who is also the sire of today’s G1 Ryanair World Hurdle favourite, Thistlecrack.