Bellvano - Cheltenham - 16/03/2012

Bellvano (nearside) gets up to give Nicky Henderson another winner

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Bellvano leads home Nicky Henderson 1-2

Report: Cheltenham, Friday

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup (Handicap) (Grade 3) (Class 1) 2m ½f New, 5yo+

BELLVANO led home a 1-2 for Nicky Henderson in the concluding race named in honour of his father to complete a memorable week for the record-breaking trainer. 

The eight-year-old was one of six runners Henderson saddled in the race and the winner came from way back to fly up the home straight under Paul Carberry and beat stablemate Tanks For That by two and a quarter lengths at odds of 20-1.

Long-time leader Kumbeshwar finished in third position for Alan King and Robert Thornton while another Henderson runner, Anquetta, filled fourth spot.  

The winning trainer said: "We fielded quite a few of them and three of them have finished in the first four. It was wonderful.

"I said to Paul ‘you can do whatever you like with this horse as long as you don't get there to the line'.

"This horse has run here plenty of times before and he is a very good horse but he has never got up the hill before.

"It has been an amazing week and it has finished with an emotional win."

Carberry added: "It's brilliant. Nicky said to me this fella would win but I'd need to ride him with balls of steel. I just kept waiting and waiting and he was going so well, he quickened when I asked him and it's great to win."

Belvano was the second winner in the race for Henderson in the eight times it has been run in memory of his father.

The win, a seventh at the meeting, wrapped up the top trainers' award for Henderson while Barry Geraghty was top jockey with five winners.

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