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Man United legend witnesses Nautical Haven victory

Joint-owner Sir Alex Ferguson was on hand to witness Nautical Haven break his duck at the third time of asking in the Sky Bet Making Betting Better Median Auction Maiden Stakes at York.

A promising sixth on his debut over this course and distance, he was then a little disappointing on his next outing at Chester.

But sent off at 5-1 under Tom Eaves, the Kevin Ryan-trained juvenile blasted out of the stalls and never saw another rival, holding off Storm Cry by three-quarters of a length.

"I'm not sure if he needed a run at Chester or what but we expected a bit more there," said Ferguson, who owns the Harbour Watch colt with Jack Hanson.

"His first run was very good and that's confirmed it. I'm not sure but he could go back to five furlongs looking at that as he had them all off the bridle fairly early."

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Pendleton finishes fifth in Foxhunter at Cheltenham

Pendleton came a commendable fifth. Credit: PA

Victoria Pendleton exceeded all expectations by finishing fifth on Pacha Du Polder in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham.

Pendleton gave the Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old a very patient ride and was stone last for the first mile.

As the race began to evolve, Pendleton, a double Olympic cycling champion, began to move through the field with style.

Dependable in the jumping department, Pacha Du Polder was making lengths at some fences but turning into the straight Pendleton still had plenty of horses in front of her.

As Nina Carberry brought Enda Bolger's champion hunter On The Fringe (13-8 favourite) through to beat Marito by a neck, Pendleton stayed on strongly to complete an afternoon to remember.

Pendleton, whose mount earned £936 in prize-money for fifth, said: "I can't believe how nice the crowd has been, I'd like to thank Alan and Lawney Hill, Andy Stewart (owner) and Paul Nicholls, they've made this all possible.

"I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity. I think it's one of the greatest achievements of my life, a special achievement."

Sprinter Sacre soars in Queen Mother Champion Chase

Sprinter Sacre raised the roof by regaining his crown in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Invincible when imperious in this race three years ago, Sprinter Sacre has had a succession of well-documented problems but has been brought back by his trainer Nicky Henderson to be the top two-miler again.

Sprinter Sacre (5-1) surged past a tame Un De Sceaux. Credit: PA

Sprinter Sacre (5-1) surged past a tame Un De Sceaux two out and pulled clear under Nico de Boinville to bring a packed house down at Prestbury Park.

Un De Sceaux, the 4-6 favourite, was still second best, beaten three and a half lengths behind the popular winner after being unable to dominate in his usual manner.

The pace had been set by Special Tiara (16-1), who was just a nose behind Un De Sceaux in third.

Henderson said: "It's been a long, long journey - those were two very, very grim years.

"That was unbelievable. That was about dreams, wasn't it?"

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