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Can Victoria Pendleton win at Cheltenham?

Two time Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton on Pacha Du Polder Credit: PA

The olympian's journey from track cyclist to jockey is one of the most remarkable sporting stories of the year.

12 months ago Victoria Pendleton had never ridden a race horse, and now she will be competing at one of the world's most prestigious races.

She'll be riding Pacha Du Polder in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase which gets underway at 4.10pm this afternoon. It's one of the most competitive amateur races of the year with 24 runners.

Victoria Pendleton was unseated in February, riding Pacha Du Polder at Fakenham Credit: PA
Victoria Pendleton's odds

In her corner is the very experienced trainer, Paul Nicholls, who's given the 35 year-old the green light to compete. She also rides Pacha Du Polder, a strong horse which only lost last year's chase by three and three-quarter lengths.


Third day of Cheltenham races gets underway

action during the Weatherbys Champion Bumper during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. Credit: Mike Egerton / PA

In a few hours time gates will open for the third day of this year's Cheltenham Festival and it's St Patrick's Day.

They’ll be plenty of Guinness available on tap and performances from Irelands very own ‘The Dublin Legends’, as well as all the action on the course, including the two big races the World Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase.

pints of Guinness knocked back by spectators at The Festival 2015.


  • 13.30 The JLT Novices’ Chase
  • 14.10 The Pertemps Network Final
  • 14.50 The Ryanair Steeple Chase
  • 15.30 The Ryanair World Hurdle
  • 16.10 The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
  • 16.50 The Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle
  • 17.30 The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase (0-145)


Diego Du Charmil wins the Fred Winter for Somerset's Paul Nicholls

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies shakes the hand of Trainer Paul Nicholls after his winning ride on Diego Du Charmil in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle during Ladies Day. Credit: ITV West Country

Somerset trainer Paul Nicholls wins 4.50pm race, the G3 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle with Diego du Charmil risen by Gloucestershire jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.

It was a narrow victory with two contenders falling at the final hurdle.

It's the second victory of the day for the Twiston-Davies family, father Nigel trained the winner of the RSA Chase, Blaklion.

Gloucestershire trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies wins second race of the day

Ryan Hatch after winning the RSA Chase with Blaklion during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Credit: Mike Egerton / PA

There's been another West Country winner at the #CheltenhamFestival as Blaklion, trained by Gloucestershire trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies drives home in the 2.10.

They won the second race of the day the RSA Chase with Blaklion ridden by jockey Ryan Hatch.

Three horses killed on Cheltenham's opening day

Credit: PA

Three horses died on the opening day of Cheltenham Festival, an unusually high number for a single afternoon.

The Govaness died in a fall at the last in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle. Pont Alexandre broke down during the National Hunt Chase for amateur riders. Finally, Rezorbi, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, suffered a fatal fall in the Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase.

The deaths marred Cheltenham's opening day, but it is not unusual, with eight horses killed in last year's festival.

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