HEREFORDSHIRE trainer Kerry Lee fought back her emotions at after watching stable stalwart Magic Dancer secure what she described as an ‘incredible’ success in the Glenfarclas Veterans’ Handicap Chase to give her yard a first victory since May.  

The Byton handler was left beaming from ear-to-ear following the victory of the 10-year-old in the two and a half mile contest.

Lee has plenty of happy memories at Cheltenham’s November meeting, winning the 2019 renewal of the Paddy Power Gold Cup with Happy Diva, but you had to go back to the May 29th to find her last success of 2022, with Demachine at Uttoxeter.

Having signed off last season with victory at Ludlow the gelded son of Norse Dancer was seeking a third win at Cheltenham, which included winning a novices’ handicap hurdle at the same meeting in 2017, on what was his eighth appearance at the track. 

Travelling well into contention under Richard Patrick, the pair took command of matters courtesy of a fine jump at the last before going on to score by a length to the delight of Lee, who was quick to credit the hard work of her team for making this victory possible.

“This is incredible,” said Lee. “It has been quite a dry spell over the summer, Demachine was my last winner back in May, and the horses haven’t been firing into the autumn.

“I screamed this one home but I’m so lucky I’ve got a great team at home. It is really lovely everyone can pull together and that we can get a great result on the big stage. I have to say all credit to Richard Patrick as he gave him the very best ride.”

With winners having proven hard to come by in recent months Lee admitted afterwards that she was no more than ‘hopeful’ of yard favourite Magic Dancer breaking her recent barren spell, despite his love for Cheltenham. 

She added: “He is just such a lovely horse to have in the yard. He is just one of our favourites and he has got such a great personality. I drove him here and unloaded him and he marched into here and was so pleased to be at Cheltenham it is fantastic.

“You could be no more than hopeful given the form of the horses over the last few weeks so it was with mild trepidation as much as anything.

“You know he will love the hill but it seemed an awful long way from the last when we were in front. We have been beaten a few times coming up that hill so it was nice to see him come up in front.

“We’ve had him at least five years now. He is one of those happy horses. If he can’t put a smile on your face nothing can. He holds a huge place in our hearts just like Happy Diva and the likes.”