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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."
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MK Dons' Samir Carruthers and Northampton Town's James Collins were pictured relieving themselves in front of a packed crowd.Read the full story ›
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 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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Victoria Pendleton will ride Pacha Du Polder at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday week.
The dual Olympic cycling champion will partner Pacha Du Polder in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase on Friday week.
Pacha Du Polder's trainer Paul Nicholls and a team of experts made the decision to allow the 35-year-old the chance to fulfil her dream of appearing at next week's Festival.
She said: "We have always had the extremely ambitious target of riding competitively in the Foxhunter as our goal, so to be announcing that I have achieved this goal is a truly amazing feeling."