When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Flame burns brightly in Triumph
Countrywide Flame sprang a 33-1 surprise for North Yorkshire-based trainer John Quinn and jockey Dougie Costello in a dramatic race for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.
There were several in with chances at the final flight, but it was Countrywide Flame who jumped it best to hit the front and gallop all of the way to the line.
Irish raider Hisaabaat (20-1) was beaten three lengths in second, with 5-1 favourite Grumeti another three-quarters of a length away in third. Dodging Bullets was just behind in fourth.
Quinn said: "I'm surprised he won, but I expected him to run a good race as he's never run a poor race over hurdles yet."The one thing I was slightly worried about was whether he would jump round here at this speed, but he jumped brilliantly.
"I'm delighted to have another winner for the north, I was delighted for Malcolm (Jefferson) on Thursday and I'm delighted for myself today. He'll go to Aintree now."
Costello said: "He's not very big, but he's tough. Horses like this are brilliant."
Dermot Weld was pleased to claim second with Hisaabaat, adding: "I was delighted with his performance. He got an excellent ride and has been a very consistent horse.
"We might go to Punchestown for the four-year-old Grade One now."