THE FIRST DAY of the Cheltenham Festival was marred by the death of three horses today.
Glenfarclas Handicap Chase favourite Scotsirish and Garde Champetre were put down after what was the fifth race on the card.
Willie Mullins, trainer of Scotsirish, said: “He picked up an injury jumping the Canal Turn fence. It’s unfortunate as I thought he’d have gone very close. I’d been delighted with the way he’d taken to the discipline, but I’ve got no complaints about the ground whatsoever.”
Educated Evans, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, fell in the final outing, the Novices’ Handicap Chase.
“We try to minimise the risk as much as we can, but sadly these things happen,” a course spokesman said afterwards.