HAPPY Diva gave trainer Kerry Lee victory in the feature BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham races.

Happy Diva stayed on gamely up the Cheltenham hill in the testing ground conditions to provide the Byton trainer and jockey Richard Patrick a welcome feature victory.

The win also exorcised the ghost of last year when Happy Diva and her partner were unluckily brought down at the fourth last fence in the corresponding race.

Patrick was cutting every corner on the eight-year-old Happy Diva throughout the race and as they came down the Cheltenham hill he moved his mount up to challenge the long-time leader Warthog.

However, the favourite Slate House was also travelling well and moved up threateningly until he buckled on landing and fell with every chance at the second last fence.

This left Happy Diva to be challenged by Brelan D’As at the final fence but although pressed hard Patrick kept his mount going strongly and the pair held on by a neck at odds of 14/1 for owner Will Roseff.

Lee said: “They are the most fantastic loyal owners (Will Roseff and family) and it means so much to come and win on the big day.

"When they have a good day they celebrate and when they have a bad one they say there is always another one."

Lee also paid tribute to Richard Patrick’s cool head. She added: “Richard has been with me three years now. He came on as a conditional jockey and he is a very good balanced rider and he’s excellent on the big stage.

“Nerves don’t matter to him, unlike me. We got done in the Grand Annual (at the Cheltenham Festival) by a horse owned by Mr McManus (owner of the runner-up) so I was pleased to reverse the placings, hopefully he might send me a horse now."