Racing

Yorkhill wins at Cheltenham for Enda McGinley's chosen charity, Down's & Proud

Jockey Ruby Walsh on Yorkhill wins the first race during St Patrick's Thursday of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham today

Former Tyrone GAA star Enda McGinley knows a thing or two about gaelic football .... but, as he readily admits, not much about horseracing.

That's why Enda wisely called upon the help of an ''expert'' in the field to decide his Cheltenham Chartity bet for today.

And boy, did it pay off for his chosen charity, Down's & Proud.

"I decided it was best to phone a friend and my bet was courtesy of work colleague Ciaran 'Tipp' McCann," said Enda.

And Tipp certainly lived up to his nickname.

Yorkhill gave trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh a belated first winner of this year's Cheltenham Festival when winning a dramatic race for the JLT Novices' Chase.

Walsh had Graham Wylie's seven-year-old switched off at the back of the field as Balko Des Flos made the running.

Baily Cloud fell six out and badly hampered Flying Angel, and the complexion of the race changed even more when Balko Des Flos came down at the fourth-last with Yorkhill doing well to avoid him.

His exit saw Disko go on but Top Notch, Kilcrea Vale and Yorkhill were also bang there and it was the latter who showed his class.

Leading before the final fence, the 6-4 favourite had to be driven out to hold Top Notch by a length, with Disko three lengths away in third.

Walsh said: "There's been a lot of toing and froing about whether to go chasing or stay hurdling, but he's got Gold Cup horse written all over him and always had.

"People crab him because of his jumping, but he has a huge kink in him - people never realised the job Paul Nicholls did with Denman, because he was the same.

"Both are chestnuts by Presenting, the best ones all have a kink, he has a massive engine. He's brilliant.

"He slipped taking off at the first down the back and when he landed I thought 'your luck could be in today'.

"Everything can't go your way all the time and you have to prepare for that."

Enda had laid, courtesy of Sean Graham Bookmakers, a £50 straight wager on Yorkhill and the winnings will go to his chosen charity, Down's & Proud, based in Lurgan and formed in 2007.

"The group was set up to help local children with Down's syndrome overcome obstacles that may be in their way and to act as a support to their families," added Enda.

 

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