The third race of Day 3 in the 2012 Cheltenham Festival and it was the Ryanair Chase that had every glued to the tv. With incredible challengers such as Riverside Theatre, Rubi Light, Somersby and Noble Prince all in contention for one of the festivals largest purses, it was always going to be a tough race but ultimately it was the best backed horse of the day, Riverside Theatre, that made owner and actor James Nesbit and trainer Nicky Henderson very, very happy.

Even before the race started there was drama as blood coming from Poquelin’s mouth, assumed he bit his tongue, meant that he was withdrawn leaving only 12 runners after Realt Dubh was declared a non-runner. Half way around the race, Alberta’s Run, Great Endeavour and Little Josh were almost running in a line but when the pressure was on and there was only one fence to jump, out of nowhere came Riverside Theatre to battle it out.

Medermit looked good on the far right but Riverside Theatre just found a little bit more to inch across the finishing post ahead of Albert’a Run who was going for his third Ryanair Chase.

1. Riverside Theatre – Barry Geraghty 7/2
2. Alberta’s Run – AP McCoy 10/1
3. Medermit – Rob Thornton 8/1