Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Veteran King Still Reigning Supreme; IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Veteran King Still Reigning Supreme; IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Article excerpt

GRAND National runner-up Balthazar King struck for the eighth time at Cheltenham on an opening afternoon of the Open Meeting which belonged to Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson.

There had already been a one-two for the Minehead combination among three in total, but the performance of the cross-country champion stood above the others.

Twice a winner at the Festival itself, 10-year-old Balthazar King knows his way so well around the unusual track's twists and turns, he only really needed Johnson to sit tight during a couple of over-enthusiastic jumps and to weigh in afterwards.

After justifying 4-7 favouritism in the Glenfarclassponsored feature by a length and a half from his old adversary Uncle Junior, the gelding moved closer to the record number of Cheltenham victories - 10 - held by Silver Fame since the early 1950s.

"The other two wins were nice but he's just phenomenal the way he keeps going," said Hobbs. "He's not far from the record but I suppose he'll only be running here once a year now. …

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