Racegoers dressed in fancy dress arrive at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham England on St Patrick's Thursday March 17, 2016. Cheltenham always attracts a large number Irish people to the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival.(Joe Giddens/PA via AP) UNITED
AP Photo
March 17, 2016

CHELTENHAM, England (AP) Irish jockey Ruby Walsh passed a half-century of wins at Cheltenham with three victories on Thursday as the favorites dominated the third day of the prestigious festival.

Walsh won aboard Black Hercules in the Novices Chase, Vautour in the Ryanair Chase, and Limini in the Novices Hurdle to move to 52 career victories at Cheltenham and seven for this week, all on Willie Mullins-trained horses. All three of Walsh's wins on Thursday were on favorites.

In the feature race, the three-mile World Hurdle, Thistlecrack justified his tag as even-money favorite by winning by seven lengths.

Thistlecrack's jockey, Tom Scudamore, said ''what a racehorse - it's fair to say he's the best I've sat on'' after landing his ninth win at a Cheltenham Festival.

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