Darna digs deep to give Bailey Cheltenham Festival winner

Darna rolled back the years for trainer Kim Bailey with victory in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Cheltenham Festival.

Bailey, who saddled the winners of the Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle 20 years ago with Master Oats and Alderbrook, was back on the Festival scoresheet with his 33/1 winner Darna.

Darna, ridden by Davis Bass, who was also enjoying his first taste of a Cheltenham Festival winner as a jockey, held off the challenge of the 11/2 favourite Monetaire by one-and-a-quarter lengths.

Bailey's other runner Un Ace the mount of AP McCoy finished in 13th place.

Bailey said: "The owners have had horses with me for a long time and paid a lot of money for him, for us anyway, he cost £100,000.

"He's had a lot of problems but we gave him a wind operation and all he wanted was good ground.

"I said to David Bass, I'm sorry you're losing the ride on Un Ace (to Tony McCoy) but I do think you'll beat him.

"The last time he had good ground he won and Tom Scudamore rode him here last time and was cantering coming down the hill and said if only he could breathe he'd have won, so he had the op the following week," he explained.

 


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