From a cross-channel perspective, after Day 1 of Cheltenham it must have been tempting to ask ‘crisis – what crisis?”
Left to lick their wounds for a year following 2021’s unprecedented 23-5 drubbing by Irish trained horses, the Anglo element to the festival’s most enduring rivalry rallied to spectacular effect on Tuesday.
It ended with the home team edging the visitors four races to three and perhaps left quite a few of those voices who’d been dismissive of such a blunt and artificial national tot suddenly changing their tune.
Certainly Irish presumptions of a similar “green-wash” to last year look shaky after the first day although suspicions persist that the full weight of the visiting team has yet to be unleashed.