16/1 Espoir D’Allen Stuns Cheltenham With Hurdle Glory


The 16-to-1 chance Espoir D’Allen has won the feature race of the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival – the Champion Hurdle.

The Gavin Cromwell-trained horse romped home under Kildare jockey Mark Walsh, with the Willie Mullins trained Melon 15-lengths in second, with Silver Streak third at 80-to-1.

Buveur d’Air – the Champion Hurdle winner in each of the last two years – fell at the sixth from home.

It was an eighth win in the race for the ultra successful owner JP McManus at his favourite stomping ground.