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Pigeon Island doubles tally for British-breds

PIGEON ISLAND'S last-gasp victory in the Grade 3 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup doubled the number of British-bred winners at the Cheltenham Festival – from one to two.

The victory equals the number of British-bred winners at last year's Festival, when Punjabi took the Champion Hurdle and Kayf Aramis the Pertemps Final.

But while last year's British-bred heroes provided boosts for British-based sires (Punjabi was by deceased Komaite; Kayf Armis, Kayf Tara), this time around both British-bred winners were by Irish-based stallions.

While Champion Bumper winner Cue Card is a son of Ballylinch Stud stalwart King's Theatre, Pigeon Island is by former Aga Khan Studs resident Daylami, who after a spell in South Africa has returned to Ireland this year to stand at Coolagown Stud.

Pigeon Island was bred by Sir Eric Parker out of the Lyphard mare Morina, making him a half-brother to Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes winner Mons.

He was bought as a yearling by Highflyer Bloodstock at the Tattersalls October sales for 75,000gns.

The final tally at the end of the Cheltenham Festival is 15 wins for Irish-breds, nine for French-breds and two for British-breds.

The score is uncannily similar to last year, when the score wasIreland 14, France 10, Great Britain 2.





King's Theatre £911,455
Presenting £845,161
Beneficial £702,808
Milan £659,876
Oscar £640,045
Westerner £541,350
Flemensfirth £459,709
Kayf Tara £420,404
Midnight Legend £358,793
Stowaway £354,737