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Third Grade 1 Festival winner for Flemensfirth

Report: Cheltenham Festival, Thursday
Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)

Imperial Commander (Flemensfirth-Ballinlovane (Le Moss))

FLEMENSFIRTH  enhanced his record as a sire for the big days with Imperial Commander's galloping success in Thursday's Grade 1 Ryanair Chase.

The 17-year-old Coolmore stallion, who stands for €10,000 this season, is now the sire of three Grade 1 Festival winners with Imperial Commander joining the Arkle winner Tidal Bay and Total Enjoyment, who won the Champion Bumper in 2007. He is also sire of fellow Grade 1 winners Joe Lively and Muirhead.

Imperial Commander was bred by Laurence J Flynn and sold as a yearling at the Goffs December Salesfor €4,000 before being reconsigned at the Goffs Land Rover Sale as a three-year-old for €19,000.

He is a half-brother to one other runner and is his dam's only winner so far. Black Lassie, a six-year-old filly byDr Massini, has run once over hurdles, while there is also a three-year-old half-sister by Brian Boru. The family traces to Persian War Hurdle (G2) winner Brown Trix and Grade 1 Sefton Hurdle runner-up Money Trix. Some way back in the family can be foundHidebound and Cousin Vinny.

Winning jockey Paddy Brennan said: "I opened my mouth after he won the Paddy Power when I said how good he was, and I'm just so glad he's proved me right.

"It's been a frustrating year but, I promise you, this is worth 40 winners.

"Choc (Robert Thornton) came along side me turning in and I could see he wasn't travelling great.

"But I was really happy because I felt he would stayup the hill.

"He's very, very good and I'm so happy. To win at Cheltenham is so exciting - you just take it all in. It's the best feeling in the world."





King's Theatre £1,208,300
Presenting £1,095,372
Beneficial £1,002,099
Oscar £951,910
Westerner £882,168
Milan £881,688
Flemensfirth £831,322
Kayf Tara £690,079
Midnight Legend £607,151
Stowaway £509,224