sport

Present joy for Snowden

Present View survived a lengthy stewards' inquiry to give trainer Jamie Snowden a first Cheltenham Festival winner in Tuesday's finale.

Brendan Powell, who opened his account at this meeting 12 months ago, brought the 8-1 shot with a well-timed challenge to lead after the third-last.

Malclom Jefferson's Attaglance put in a strong challenge and his rider Brian Hughes made a daring bid to try to get up the inside on the run-in.

When the door closed, Attaglance was switched to the outside and closed the gap to half a length at the line. Pendra was three lengths away in third and Ahyaknowyerself

was fourth.

Before the result was confirmed, Snowden was in no doubt Hughes was the man in the wrong.

Snowden said: "I think the second jockey should never have been there, without a shadow of a doubt.

"If I was the trainer of the second horse, I would be having serious words with my jockey. He should never have been there and I've ridden in plenty of races. It was a ludicrous ride from the second jockey.

"Our horse won on merit. He jumped from fence to fence, he's run an absolute cracker and he's a lovely horse.

"We're very lucky to have him and it's a massive team effort."

After the stewards announced the placings would remain unaltered, Snowden was moved to tears.

He said: "My heart rate is 170 and I'm told if you jump out of a plane your heart rate is 175.

"He's a lovely horse and the soft ground through the winter hasn't helped him.

"He probably wants this better ground for three miles.

"Brendan said he was beat after two fences as he couldn't go the gallop - but he's jumped and stayed and kept on galloping.

"Hopefully he's on an upward curve, but we'll take today."

Speaking before the stewards had made their decision, Jefferson said: "I think it (the interference) has cost him the race. It's very rare you get them now in the stewards' room, but it has definitely cost him. He had a clear passage and was stopped.

"He definitely would have won. Brian said it stooped him, but that's racing.

"The horse has run a blinder. I thought he would and he has.

"This is a hard place to win, it's harder to finish second and when you think you you should have won, it's harder still."