Brighton soccer team owner enjoys win at Cheltenham Festival

CHELTENHAM, England (AP) — The owner of English soccer club Brighton enjoyed a big win on Wednesday before his team even played its Premier League game against local rival Crystal Palace.

Tony Bloom also owns racehorse Energumene, which secured back-to-back victories in the Queen Mother Champion Chase with a 10-length triumph in the marquee race of Day 2 at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival.

It was a nice boost for Bloom before Brighton played Crystal Palace in the so-called M23 derby — named after the motorway that connects Brighton to south London. It is a rivalry that has built up in recent decades.

“I will be there later on,” Bloom said ahead of the Brighton-Palace game, which finished 1-0 to Bloom’s team.

Bloom admitted to “having a few quid on” Energumene for the race at Cheltenham.

“He ran a magnificent race and totally deserved to win,” he said. “We are so fortunate to have such an amazing horse.”

Under jockey Paul Townend and setting off as the 6-5 favorite, Energumene — wearing the blue-and-white colors of Brighton — gave trainer Willie Mullins his record-extending 92nd victory at the festival.

Energumene is the first back-to-back winner of the Day 2 feature race since Altior in 2018 and 2019.

Camilla, the queen consort, was at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday despite rainy conditions.


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