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Monday, January 26, 2004


The National Hunt Festival’s two novice chase championships, The Irish Independent Arkle Chase and the Royal & SunAlliance Chase, have respectively drawn entries of 42 and 64, with a whole array of young talent set to be on show.

The Irish Independent Arkle Chase, run on Tuesday, March 16, promises to be an ultra-competitive affair with the big stables all well represented. Nicky Henderson, who has won the two-mile contest three times before, has six contenders - Carracciola, Chauvinist, Lilium De Cotte, Nas Na Riogh, No Shenanigans and Non So. Paul Nicholls, successful in 2003 with Azertyuiop and in 1999 with Flagship Uberalles, has five entries, all with good winning form this season. They are Bal De Nuit, Ladalko, Le Duc, Santenay and Thisthatantother.

Champion trainer Martin Pipe’s six entries include the highly-regarded Our Vic, who has yet to make his chasing debut, last season’s Smurfit Champion Hurdle second Westender and Elite Hurdle victor Well Chief while other domestically-trained challengers with good credentials include recent Kempton winner Palua, Richard Guest’s Our Armageddon and Keltic Bard from Charlie Mann’s stable.

There is a particularly strong entry of 12 from Ireland including Tom Taaffe’s Kicking King, the Willie Mullins’ trio of Boneyarrow, a winner at Gowran Park on Thursday, Joueur D’Estruval and Mossy Green, Central House, trained by Dessie Hughes, Michael O’Brien’s Commonchero, and Direct Bearing, who made an impressive debut over fences at Leopardstown after Christmas.

The Royal & SunAlliance Chase, run on Wednesday, March 17, has an even bigger entry with Martin Pipe accounting for no less than 11 of those engaged. Therealbandit, who was due to have run in Saturday’s Pillar Property Chase at Cheltenham, heads the Pond House team, which also include the likes of Guard Duty, Janus Du Cochet, Our Vic, Mondial Jack, Irish bumper winner Tanterari and Killers Fury and Run Of Kings, a pair who won Irish point-to-points in November.

Other in-form entries include Victor Dartnall’s stable star Lord Sam, Alan King’s Warwick winner D’Argent, Supreme Prince, representing Philip Hobbs who won the race in 2003 with One Knight, Calling Brave, who is unbeaten in three starts for Nicky Henderson this season, and a trio trained in France by Guillaume Macaire, Golden Flight, Look Collonges and Massac.

Again there is a formidable 19-strong challenge from Ireland. While Nil Desperandum has met with a setback and is not a certain starter, the possible raiders include 2002 Weatherbys Champion Bumper hero Pizarro, Direct Bearing and the promising Emotional Moment.

Edward Gillespie, Cheltenham’s Managing Director, commented: “It is is encouraging to see so many high class novices entered for both The Irish Independent Arkle Chase and Royal &SunAlliance Chase and we look forward to welcoming them to Cheltenham in years to come.”





2004 - 42
2003 - 47
2002 - 57
2001 - 51
2000 - 47
1999 - 58
1998 - 51
1997 - 46
1996 - 30
1995 - 30
1994 - 28
1993 - 29
1992 - 42


2004 - 64
2003 - 72
2002 - 82
2001 - 61
2000 - 84
1999 - 88
1998 - 75
1997 - 81
1996 - 61
1995 - 54
1994 - 65
1993 - 43
1992 - 77



2004 - 12
2003 - 17
2002 - 15
2001 - 12
2000 - 9
1999 - 17
1998 - 11
1997 - 6
1996 - 8
1995 - 7
1994 - 4
1993 - 5
1992 - 7


2004 - 19
2003 - 20
2002 - 24
2001 - 11
2000 - 12
1999 - 16
1998 - 13
1997 - 7
1996 - 10
1995 - 8
1994 - 14
1993 - 6
1992 - 8

Irish-trained successes at the Cheltenham Festival

(*Joint-highest number at the Festival in its present format - all-time record 8 in 1958)

Martin Pipe’s Entries


2004 - 6
2003 - 4
2002 - 8
2001 - 7
2000 - 7
1999 - 6
1998 - 5
1997 - 4
1996 - 1
1994 - 1
1993 - 1
1992 - 3
1991 - 2


2004 - 11
2003 - 7
2002 - 7
2001 - 8
2000 - 13
1999 - 10
1998 - 10
1997 - 6
1996 - 3
1995 - 4
1994 - 4
1993 - 3
1992 - 6


Class A, Grade One, Total Prize Fund £140,000, Cheltenham, Tuesday, March 16, 2004, two miles. For novice 5yo & upwards. Weights: 5yo 11st 3lb; 6yo & upwards 11st 7lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Entries closed January 21, entries revealed January 26 (42 entries), forfeit stage February 24, five-day confirmation stage March 11, final declaration stage 10.15am March 15. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Friday, January 23, 2004. May not include some overseas form.

Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
2B1323 ATUM RE (IRE) 7 Paul Green Paul Webber
1F1-211 BAL DE NUIT (FR) 5 Monica Hackett Paul Nicholls
253-343 BALLYAMBER (IRE) 9 Sean Mulryan Willie Mullins IRE
134/2F-1 BONEYARROW (IRE) 8 Joseph Comerford Willie Mullins IRE
P-12112 CARACCIOLA (GER) 7 Piers Pottinger Nicky Henderson
32-6211 CENTRAL HOUSE 7 John Kenny Dessie Hughes IRE
11303-3 CHAUVINIST (IRE) 9 Bunny & Nick Roberts Nicky Henderson
1121U2 COLCA CANYON (IRE) 7 Philip Myerscough Jessica Harrington IRE
3-22141 COMMONCHERO (IRE) 7 Kieran Grainger Michael O'Brien IRE
2006-11 DIRECT BEARING (IRE) 7 Dr Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld IRE
12B0-33 DON FERNANDO 5 Lucayan Stud Martin Pipe
0-1U225 EMPERORS GUEST 6 Mrs P Duffin Paddy Mullins IRE
1P00-1U GIOCOMO (IRE) 6 Mugsrus Richard Fahey
21125F GOSS 7 J P McManus Michael O'Brien IRE
31-0313 JAHASH 6 J Hawkins Alan King
560-0FF JOHN JAMES (IRE) 8 Mrs M Cogan Homer Scott IRE
0-0F0F1 JOUEUR D'ESTRUVAL (FR) 7 Violet O'Leary Willie Mullins IRE
1F4-251 KELTIC BARD 7 M Rowland, M Collins & P Cox Charlie Mann
112-5F1 KICKING KING (IRE) 6 Conor Clarkson Tom Taaffe IRE
2-1 LADALKO (FR) 5 Paul Barber & Margaret Findlay Paul Nicholls
61-14F2 LE DUC (FR) 5 Judy Stewart Paul Nicholls
2414-1P LILIUM DE COTTE (FR) 5 J P McManus Nicky Henderson
25F-224 LIRTA (FR) 5 P A Newey Philip Hobbs
13511/-P MASTER REX 9 Louise Challis Ben De Haan
4-1F631 MISTER MCGOLDRICK 7 Richard Longley Sue Smith
2120-11 MOSSY GREEN (IRE) 10 Greenstar Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
211F-03 NAS NA RIOGH (IRE) 5 Brian Twojohns Partnership Nicky Henderson
14/- NO SHENANIGANS (IRE) 7 Bridget Hanbury Nicky Henderson
240-112 NON SO (FR) 6 ROA Dawn Run Partnership Nicky Henderson
111121 OUR ARMAGEDDON (NZ) 7 Leslie Garrett Richard Guest
111-2 OUR VIC (IRE) 6 David Johnson Martin Pipe
20-1561 PALUA 7 Mark Barrett and Partners Emma Lavelle
P000-21 POLAR RED 7 Lady Clarke Martin Pipe
P-12114 PUNTAL (FR) 8 Terry Neill Martin Pipe
011510 ROYALEETY (FR) 5 Mr & Mrs John Poynton Ian Williams
4P-222P RYDERS STORM (USA) 5 Ryder Racing Ltd Tom George
2111F1 SANTENAY (FR) 6 The Hon Mrs Townshend Paul Nicholls
52-1112 THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 8 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
0263//-12 TIDOUR (FR) 8 Mrs M Fisher Paul Webber
360-322 TIKRAM 7 Mike Charlton and Rodger Sargent Gary Moore
1123-15 WELL CHIEF (GER) 5 David Johnson Martin Pipe
22/323-P WESTENDER (FR) 8 Matt Archer & Jean Broadhurst Martin Pipe

42 entries
12 Irish-trained


There are a total of 42 entries for the 2004 renewal of the two-mile novice chase championship - the £140,000 Grade 1 Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy, run at Cheltenham on Tuesday, March 16.

Paul Nicholls has won this contest twice in the past five years with Flagship Uberalles in 1999 and Azertyuiop last season. The Ditcheat handler looks to hold a strong hand with five entries. Heading the Nicholls quartet is Thisthatandtother, winner of his first three starts over fences at Bangor, in the Grade 2 Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham and in the Grade 2 Extraman Trophy at Sandown Park. He was surprisingly beaten last time out by Caracciola in the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton on December 27, when connections believed he may well have not been suited by the track. Nicholls’ other entries are Bal De Nuit, a Grade 2 winner at Ascot last time out, French import Ladalko, the five-year-old Le Duc and Santenay, victorious in the Unicoin Starter Homes Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on December 31.

Lambourn-based Nicky Henderson has won The Irish Independent Arkle on three previous occasions and he has a good chance of adding a fourth victory this season with six horses entered. The Seven Barrows sextet is headed by Caracciola, who lowered the colours of Thisthatandtother over Christmas at Kempton before beaten by the Emma Lavelle-trained Palua last time out at Kempton. However, he was found to be slightly lame after that performance. Henderson’s other entries are former Ladbroke Hurdle winner Chauvinist, who finished third on his chasing debut behind Thisthatandtother at Sandown, Lilium De Cotte, formerly a useful juvenile hurdler with Guillaume Macaire who won on his chasing debut at Uttoxeter before disappointing at Ascot, Nas Na Riogh, No Shenanigans, last seen out when fourth in the 2002 Martell Champion Bumper at Aintree, and Non So, who won his first two starts at Plumpton in good style before being beaten by Bal De Nuit at Ascot last time out.

Martin Pipe is another trainer with an excellent record in The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy, recording a back-to-back double in 997 and 1998 courtesy of Or Royal and Champleve. The Nicholashayne handler also has half a dozen horses engaged, with the best of these at this stage looking to be Puntal, who has already landed two novice chases at Cheltenham this season. However, Pipe’s strongest challengers could emerge from the hurdlers he has entered who have yet to start over fences. These include the well-touted Our Vic, second on his seasonal debut in the competitive William Hill Handicap Hurdle at Sandown, Well Chief, runner-up in the 2003 JCB Triumph Hurdle, and also Westender, runner-up to Rooster Booster in the 2003 Smurfit Champion Hurdle. Pipe’s entries are completed by Don Fernando and Polar Red.

There is a strong Irish presence in this year’s Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy, with 12 entries hailing from across the Irish Sea.

The Tom Taaffe-trained Kicking King, runner-up to Back In Front in the 2003 Letheby & Christopher Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, was an impressive winner at Leopardstown last time out, having looked the likely winner of the Grade 1 Denny Gold Medal Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Boxing Day (won by the Dessie Hughes-trained Central House). He is currently sharing favouritism with Thisthatandtother and was due to have run on Sunday in the Baileys Arkle Perpetual Challenge Cup Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Other leading Irish contenders include the Dermot Weld-trained Direct Bearing, formerly useful both on the Flat and over hurdles, who got his chasing career off to the perfect start when winning at Leopardstown last month and the promising Joueur D’Estruval, one of four entries for Willie Mullins, who recorded a smooth victory at Navan on his most recent appearance.

Among the remaining entries, Our Armageddon takes the eye. The Richard Guest-trained seven-year-old has won five of his seven starts over fences in good style, most recently at Haydock on January 10.

Finally, something of an unknown quantity is the Ian Williams-trained Royaleety. Yet to race in Britain for current connections, the five-year-old was previously a very useful performer in France where his biggest win came in the 2002 Grade 1 Prix Cambaceres (French equivalent of the JCB Triumph Hurdle).

Breakdown of Entries per Trainer and Past Successes in The Irish Independent Arkle Chase

6 Entries
Nicky Henderson (1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev)
Martin Pipe (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve)

5 Entries
Paul Nicholls (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2003 Azertyuiop)

4 Entries
Willie Mullins IRE

2 Entries
Michael O’Brien IRE
Paul Webber

1 Entry
Ben De Haan
Richard Fahey
Tom George
Richard Guest
Jessica Harrington IRE (2002 Moscow Flyer)
Philip Hobbs
Dessie Hughes IRE
Alan King
Emma Lavelle
Charlie Mann
Gary Moore
Paddy Mullins IRE
Homer Scott IRE
Sue Smith
Tom Taaffe IRE
Dermot Weld IRE
Ian Williams


1. The Arkle Challenge Trophy was inaugurated in 1969, after Arkle's three wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1964-6). In its first year, the race was worth £1,365, and won by Chatham (10/1), trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Terry Biddlecombe. The 2004 running has total prize money of £140,000. Previously, it was known as the Cotswold Chase.

2. The Irish Independent Arkle Chase has always been a fiercely contested event, and the following have gone on to other Championship victories at the Cheltenham Festival:
2002 Moscow Flyer (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2003)
1999 Flagship Uberalles (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2002)
1995 Klairon Davis (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1996)
1991 Remittance Man (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1992)
1989 Waterloo Boy (2nd Queen Mother Champion Chase 1990, 1991 and 3rd 1992)
1978 Alverton (Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup winner 1979).
Alverton is the only horse to have won both The Irish Independent Arkle Chase and Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Azertyuiop, last year’s winner, is one of the leading contenders for the 2004 Queen Mother Champion Chase.

3. The lowest number of runners has been 8 (1982), the highest 19 (1987).

4. The Irish Independent Arkle Chase has seen several trainers and jockeys run up strings of wins. Peter Easterby won it three times - with Alverton 1978, Clayside 1981 and Ryeman 1983 - as has Nicky Henderson with Remittance Man 1991, Travado 1993 and Tiutchev in 2000. Martin Pipe notched up two successive wins with Or Royal in 1997 and Champleve in 1998. Among jockeys, only Jamie Osborne has won it three times, and that was a hat-trick between 1992 and 1994 on Young Pokey, Travado, and Nakir for three different trainers, Oliver Sherwood, Nicky Henderson and Simon Christian. Tony McCoy has won the Arkle twice on Champleve and Or Royal for Martin Pipe (1997 and 1998) and the trainer/jockey combination will be hoping for a third win this year with Pipe having six entries.Trainer Paul Nicholls has won the contest twice, with Flagship Uberalles in 1999 and Azertyuiop in 2003.

5. Irish trainers have won The Irish Independent Arkle Chase nine times, including three of the last eight runnings with Klairon Davis (1995), Ventana Canyon (1996) and Moscow Flyer (2002)

6. The longest-priced winner of The Irish Independent Arkle Chase is Gala's Image, successful in 1987 at 25/1, while Pendil (1972) and Chinrullah (1979) are the shortest-priced winners at 10/11. Six other favourites have won - Canasta Lad (1974), Clayside (1981), Bobsline (1984), Remittance Man (1991), Klairon Davis (1995) and Azertyuiop (2003).

7. The Irish Independent, which backed the Arkle Chase for the first time in 2000, is only the race’s third sponsor. Guinness sponsored from 1994 until 1999, having taken over from Waterford Castle, who had supported since the first sponsored renewal in 1991.

8. The fastest time for the two miles of The Irish Independent Arkle Chase was 3m 46.5s by Tiutchev in 2000, beating the previous best of 3m 52.5s set by Or Royal in 1997.

9. Until 1980, The Irish Independent Arkle Chase was always run on the Wednesday of the National Hunt Festival. It now takes place on the opening day, Tuesday.


(Irish Independent Arkle Chase since 2000, Guinness Arkle Chase 1994-99, Waterford Crystal Arkle Chase 1991-93, no sponsor 1969-90, Cotswold Chase before 1969)

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2003 Azertyuiop 6-11-08 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John and Lisa Hales 5/4F 9
2002 Moscow Flyer 8-11-08 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 11/2 12
2001 No race (Foot and Mouth disease)
2000 Tiutchev 7-11-08 Mick FitzGerald Nicky Henderson Liars Poker Partnership 8/1 12
1999 Flagship Uberalles 5-11-00 Joe Tizzard Paul Nicholls Elizabeth Gutner/Michael Krysztofiak 11/1 14
1998 Champleve 5-11-00 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 13/2 16
1997 Or Royal 6-11-08 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 11/2 9
1996 Ventana Canyon 7-11-08 Richard Dunwoody Edward O'Grady IRE Philip Myerscough 7/1 16
1995 Klarion Davis 6-11-08 Francis Woods Arthur Moore IRE Chris Jones 7/2F 11
1994 Nakir 6-11-08 Jamie Osborne Simon Christian Jim Lewis 9/1 10
1993 Travado 7-11-08 Jamie Osborne Nicky Henderson Mrs Michael Ennever 5/1 8
1992 Young Pokey 7-11-08 Jamie Osborne Oliver Sherwood Maurice Oberstein 4/1 11
1991 Remittance Man 7-11-08 Richard Dunwoody Nicky Henderson Jim Collins 85/40 F 14
1990 Comandante 8-11-08 Peter Hobbs Josh Gifford Maurice Pinto 9/2 14
1989 Waterloo Boy 6-11-08 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Michael Deeley 20/1 14
1988 Danish Flight 9-11-08 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald A F Budge (Equine) Ltd 11/2 12
1987 Gala’s Image 7-11-08 Richard Linley Mercy Rimell Sheikh Ali Abu Khamsin 25/1 19
1986 Oregon Trail 6-11-08 Ronnie Beggan Simon Christian Henry Ponsonby 14/1 14
1985 Boreen Prince 8-11-08 Niall Madden Andrew McNamara IRE William Lenehan 15/2 16
1984 Bobsline 8-11-08 Frank Berry Francis Flood IRE R H Kelsey 5/4F 8
1983 Ryeman 6-11-08 Alan Brown Peter Easterby D Slater 16/1 16
1982 The Brockshee 7-11-08 Tommy Carberry Arthur Moore IRE T Murray 12/1 19
1981 Clayside 7-11-08 Alan Brown Peter Easterby Mrs D Grant 5/2F 13
1980 Anaglogs Daughter 7-11-08 Tommy Carberry Bill Durkan IRE A Durkan 9/4 9
1979 Chinrullah 7-11-08 Dessie Hughes Mick O'Toole IRE Mrs R Eastwood 10/11F 8
1978 Alverton 8-11-08 Graham Thorner Peter Easterby Snailwell Stud Co Ltd 5/2 12
1977 Tip The Wink 7-11-08 Dessie Hughes Pat Taylor Michael Simmonds 15/2 10
1976 Roaring Wind 8-11-08 Reg Crank Roy Cambidge S Jones 11/1 16
1975 Broncho II 6-11-11 Colin Tinkler Tony Dickinson Frank Tyldesely 8/1 12
1974 Canasta Lad 8-11-11 Jeff King Peter Bailey Mrs R Hague 2/1F 10
1973 Denys Adventure 8-12-01 Graham Thorner Tim Forster Mrs Robert Henriques 8/1 10
1972 Pendil 7-12-01 Richard Pitman Fred Winter Mrs C Kinney 10/11F 10
1971 Alpheus 6-11-08 Eddie Wright Tom Dreaper IRE Lord Donoughmore 15/1 11
1970 Soloning 5-11-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Mrs C E Thornton 4/1 13
1969 Chatham 5-11-00 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell C Knott 10/1 10
1968 The Hustler 6-11-12 Barry Brogan Earl Jones Mrs D E Crouch 20/1 11
1967 Arctic Stream 7-12-02 Ben Hannon P Rooney IRE J A Duffy 8/1 9
1966 Arctic Sunset 6-12-06 George Milburn Ken Oliver J R McNair 3/1 9
1965 Flyingbolt 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Mrs Jean Wilkinson 4/9F 13
1964 Greektown 8-11-08 Michael Scudamore Willie Stephenson Lionel Ensten 13/2 16
1963 Ben Stack 6-12-01 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Duchess of Westminster 13/8F 17
1962 Prudent Barney 8-12-01 Johnny East Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 20/1 9
1961 Mountcashel King 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE John Glyn 2/5F 12
1960 Mazurka 6-11-12 Ron Harrison Ron Smyth Mrs Chris Barnes 10/1 25
1959 Flame Gun 8-12-04 Fred Winter Charlie Mallon Michael Sobell 7/2 14
1958 Fortria 6-12-01 Tom Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE A Craigie 7/2 17
1957 Ballyatom 5-11-04 Mr Bob McCreery George Beeby David Evans-Bevan 8/1 13
1956 Sir Ken 9-12-03 Tim Molony Willie Stephenson Maurice Kingsley 5/4F 17
1955 Manuscrit 5-11-00 Johnny Bullock Fulke Walwyn Mme Peggy Hennessy 10/1 20
1954 Armorial III 5-11-05 Rene Emery Fulke Walwyn Mrs M de Pret-Roose 7/2F 17
1953 Bramble Tudor 5-11-12 Tim Molony Stewart Wight Lord Joicey 11/4 9
1952 Nautical Print 5-11-00 Tommy Cusack Gerry Wilson Lt Col J F Harrison 6/1 15
1951 Red Steel 5-11-00 Dick Francis Frank Cundell Hugh Sumner 4/1F 15
1950 High Level 5-11-04 Johnny Bullock Fred Rimell T E Ward 9/2 14
1949 Grand Refrain 5-11-05 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Abergavenny 9/4F 12
1948 Top Cash 6-12-05 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Abergavenny 3/1 9
1947 No race (abandoned due to snow and frost)
1946 Bright Penny 6-11-12 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Penrhyn 5/1 15


Class A, Grade 1, Wednesday, March 17, 2004, total value £140,000, three miles and about half a furlong, for five-year-olds and upwards. Weights: 5-y-o: 10st 8lb, 6-y-o and up: 11st 4lb: mares allowance 7lb. Entries closed January 21, 2004 (64 entries), entries released, Monday, January 26, forfeit stage February 24. Five-day confirmation stage Friday, March 12, overnight declaration stage Tuesday, March 16. (Form supplied by Weatherbys correct up to Friday, January 23, 2004 although may not include all overseas form).

Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
6301U1 ALPHAZAR (IRE) 9 Sean J Murphy Tony Mullins IRE
132//-0 ARMEN (FR) 7 Tim Hely-Hutchinson Martin Pipe
33561-3 ATLASTABOY (IRE) 8 Timothy Chick Tom George
253-343 BALLYAMBER (IRE) 9 Sean Mulryan Willie Mullins IRE
131112 BALLYCASSIDY (IRE) 8 R Owen & P Fullagar Peter Bowen
4F-12F1 BEE AN BEE (IRE) 7 Stan Moore Tom George
P-1F315 BETTER DAYS (IRE) 8 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith
134/2F-11 BONEYARROW (IRE) 8 Joseph Comerford Willie Mullins IRE
200-111 CALLING BRAVE (IRE) 8 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
133 CELESTIAL GOLD (IRE) 6 David Johnson Martin Pipe
0-5133U CHICAGO BULLS (IRE) 6 A M Armitage Alan King
P CLIMATE CONTROL (IRE) 8 Kevin Smith John Brennan IRE
241//-U11 CRUISE LEADER (IRE) 9 Trevor Hemmings Chris Grant
0-35111 D'ARGENT (IRE) 7 Nigel Bunter Alan King
1-02231 DOUBLE HONOUR (FR) 6 The 4th Middleham Partnership Philip Hobbs
44-51F1 EMOTIONAL MOMENT (IRE) 7 Watercork Syndicate Tom Taaffe IRE
21-31U2 FORK LIGHTNING (IRE) 8 Fred & Sue Welch Alan King
3-2111U GOLDEN FLIGHT (FR) 5 John Cotton Guillaume Macaire FR
01111-1 GRATTAN LODGE (IRE) 7 W M G Black Howard Johnson
F350-21 GUARD DUTY 7 Neil Edwards and Malcolm Jones Martin Pipe
5650/-P2 HISTORIC (IRE) 8 Mrs R E R Rumboll Tom George
0/110-21 INCHING CLOSER 7 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
24/42/-21 JANUS DU COCHET (FR) 7 Terry Neill Martin Pipe
01-6011 JIM (FR) 7 Mrs P J Conway Jim Dreaper IRE
560-0FF JOHN JAMES (IRE) 8 Mrs M Cogan Homer Scott IRE
0-0F0F1 JOUEUR D'ESTRUVAL (FR) 7 Violet O'Leary Willie Mullins IRE
KILLERS FURY (IRE) 5 David Johnson Martin Pipe
FP-61PF KILLULTAGH THUNDER (IRE) 8 Rose Boyd Willie Mullins IRE
611215- LIBERTHINE (FR) 5 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
2154-12 LISCANNOR LAD (IRE) 6 C P O'Brien Dessie Hughes IRE
32-221F LOOK COLLONGES (FR) 5 Claude Cohen Guillaume Macaire FR
113-111 LORD SAM (IRE) 8 Plain Peeps Victor Dartnall
1431-51 LORDS BEST (IRE) 8 Jerry Wright, Peter Smith & Jules Sigler Alan King
3-2P12 MAJOR BENEFIT (IRE) 7 Nick Shutts Karen Marks
122122 MASSAC (FR) 5 R Fougedoire Guillaume Macaire FR
U12P//-13 MISTER BANJO (FR) 8 John Hales Paul Nicholls
15-F2P1 MONDIAL JACK (FR) 5 Chris, Basil & Rosie Batterham II Martin Pipe
3P MORELUCK (IRE) 8 Graham and Alison Jelley Kim Bailey
2120-11 MOSSY GREEN (IRE) 10 Greenstar Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
23P-221 NATIVE EMPEROR 8 J C, J R and S R Hitchins Jonjo O'Neill
1361-11 NIL DESPERANDUM (IRE) 7 Mike Shone Frances Crowley IRE
21123- NONCHALANT (IRE) 6 The Magic Look Syndicate Frances Crowley IRE
111-2 OUR VIC (IRE) 6 David Johnson Martin Pipe
310-22 PATRICKSNINETEENTH (IRE) 7 The Large G & T Partnership Paul Webber
3250F2 PAY IT FORWARD 6 Paid Thru The Nose Syndicate Jessica Harrington IRE
1221/-33 PIETRO VANNUCCI (IRE) 8 J P McManus Noel Meade IRE
2F-41P1 PIZARRO (IRE) 7 Edward Wallace Edward O'Grady IRE
P-12114 PUNTAL (FR) 8 Terry Neill Martin Pipe
230-122 ROSSLEA (IRE) 6 Jim Lewis Henrietta Knight
122-21F ROYAL EMPEROR (IRE) 8 Widdop Wanderers Sue Smith
45-1U133 RULE SUPREME (IRE) 8 John P Lynch Willie Mullins IRE
RUN OF KINGS (IRE) 6 David Johnson Martin Pipe
P4-3112 RUSSIAN GIGOLO (IRE) 7 Caroline Beresford-Wylie Nigel Twiston-Davies
3-21213 SILVER KNIGHT 6 Charlie Stevens Tim Easterby
44-2234 SIMPLY SUPREME (IRE) 7 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith
231322 STASHEDAWAY (IRE) 7 Tim Conroy Michael O'Brien IRE
103-211 SUPREME PRINCE (IRE) 7 Karola Vann Philip Hobbs
0-1 TANTERARI (IRE) 6 David Johnson Martin Pipe
5/2- TELL ME WHY (IRE) 8 Caroline Waters Paul Webber
111111 THEREALBANDIT (IRE) 7 David Johnson Martin Pipe
10/-22P2 TYNEANDTHYNEAGAIN 9 Norman Mason Richard Guest
0-11341 WHEREAREYOUNOW (IRE) 7 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
3 WINDING RIVER (IRE) 7 Elite Racing Club Charles Egerton
1/211-3F3 XENOPHON (IRE) 8 Lane Syndicate Tony Martin IRE

64 Entries
19 Irish-trained
3 French-trained

Breakdown of Entries per Trainer and Past Successes in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase

11 Entries
Martin Pipe (1992 Miinnehoma, 1991 Rolling Ball)

6 Entries
Willie Mullins IRE (1998 Florida Pearl)

4 Entries
Alan King

3 Entries
Tom George
Guillaume Macaire FR
Sue Smith

2 Entries
Frances Crowley IRE
Nicky Henderson
Philip Hobbs (2003 One Knight)
Howard Johnson
Nigel Twiston-Davies (1993 Young Hustler)
Paul Webber

1 Entry
Kim Bailey
Peter Bowen
John Brennan IRE
Victor Dartnall
Jim Dreaper IRE
Tim Easterby
Charles Egerton
Chris Grant
Richard Guest
Jessica Harrington IRE
Dessie Hughes IRE
Henrietta Knight (2000 Lord Noelie)
Karen Marks
Tony Martin IRE
Noel Meade IRE
Tony Mullins IRE
Paul Nicholls
Michael O’Brien IRE
Edward O'Grady IRE
Jonjo O'Neill
Homer Scott IRE
Tom Taaffe IRE


The 2004 renewal of the £140,000 Grade 1 Royal & SunAlliance Chase, run over three miles and half a furlong on Wednesday, March 17, has attracted 64 entries, including 19 hopefuls from Ireland and three French contenders.

Champion trainer Martin Pipe, who won this prestigious heat in 1991 courtesy of Rolling Ball and the following season with Miinnehoma, has an abundance of riches in the staying novice chaser department and of his 11 entries Therealbandit, who also holds an entry for the following day’s Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup, currently heads the ante-post market for this event. He was due to have run in Saturday’s Pillar Property Chase at Cheltenham.

His won his first two starts in novice chases at Cheltenham, in December getting the better of Rosslea by eight lengths, and he increased that margin when 20 lengths too strong for Massac on New Year’s Day.

Pipe’s possibles also include Our Vic, who has yet to make his debut over the bigger obstacles under Rules but is a fine hurdler having won three of four outings, Celestial Gold, placed on all three of his chasing starts including a victory in a novices’ event at Towcester in November, when triumphant in a tremendous tussle with Inching Closer by a short head, and Janus Du Cochet, a 20-length scorer on his last start in a beginners’ chase at Exeter on Wednesday and an entry for the Martell Cognac Grand National.

The master of Nicholashayne’s team is completed by Armen, Guard Duty, Mondial Jack, Puntal, who has won two novice chases at Cheltenham this season, Run Of Kings, Killers Fury, a duo who scored in Irish point-to-points respectively at Wexford and Boulta in November, and Tanterari, winner of a Gowran Park bumper in December for Denis Ahern.

The Frances Crowley-trained Nil Desperandum and Pizarro, trained by Edward O’Grady, were thought to be the pick of the Irish challengers, but although the former has not yet been totally ruled out, he is considered doubtful after an injury schooling on Wednesday.

Before that mishap Nil Desperandum won both his starts over fences. After beating Central House a short head in a beginners’ chase at Punchestown in November, he was stepped up in class for a Grade 1 heat at Fairyhouse later that month, when he proved up to the challenge when impressively beating his nine rivals by 14 lengths.

Pizarro won the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Festival two years ago and just failed to follow up last year when a length runner-up to Hardy Eustace in the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle. He has won two of three starts over the larger obstacles including a Grade 1 event at Leopardstown on his last start just after Christmas, when nine lengths ahead of Rosslea.

The Victor Dartnall-trained Lord Sam has only been beaten once in nine starts and that defeat came in last year’s Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle when he was third to Hardy Eustace. His unbeaten record over fences in three starts includes a length and a half defeat of Native Emperor in a Grade 2 event at Lingfield last month.

It surely cannot be long before David ‘The Duke’ Nicholson’s former assistant Alan King gains his first Cheltenham Festival victory and he has a strong hand in this heat with D’Argent, Fork Lightning, Chicago Bulls and Lords Best.

D’Argent is unbeaten in three starts over fences at Warwick, where on his last outing on January 10, he beat Tyneandthyneagain by 26 lengths, while Fork Lightning won a novices’ chase at Hereford in early December, and was a length and a quarter runner-up to Lord Sam on his last run earlier in January.

Chicago Bulls, named after the famous basketball club, had his chasing debut delayed due to a lack of rain at the beginning of the season, but when he did appear over fences in the Ian Williams Owners’ Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in November, he finished eight and three-quarter lengths adrift of Therealbandit. Lords Best has always been a three-mile chaser in the making, getting off the mark at the second attempt over fences last time at King’s ‘unlucky’ track of Folkestone.

The Peter Bowen-trained Ballycassidy has more than earned his corn this season, winning seven of 10 starts over fences and placed on two of his other three outings. His best win came when a head too strong for Native Emperor in a Grade 2 event at Newbury on the final day of November, and he put in a fine performance last time when runner-up, beaten eight lengths, by Strong Flow in the Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Philip Hobbs took last year’s renewal courtesy of One Knight and his two entries, Supreme Prince and Double Honour, are worthy of consideration.


1. The Royal & SunAlliance Chase had a slight name change again in 1998, having been run as the Royal SunAlliance Chase for the first time in 1997. But Sun Alliance, which merged with Royal Insurance in 1996, is among Cheltenham's longest-running sponsors. The Sun Alliance Chase was run for 23 years and Sun Alliance sponsored at Cheltenham for 26 years altogether. From 1971-3, the Foxhunters Chase was titled the "Sun Alliance & London Foxhunters".

2. Sun Alliance & London was the first sponsor outside racing to embrace commercial sponsorship at the National Hunt meeting. Only the Tote precedes them. Before 1974 the race was titled the Broadway Novices’ Chase and the Totalisator Champion Novices’ Chase.

3. Since 1960, five horses have won both the Royal & SunAlliance Chase and Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup. They are:
1963 Arkle (Gold Cup 1964-6)
1974 Ten Up (Gold Cup 1975)
1979 Master Smudge (Gold Cup 1980 on the disqualification of Tied Cottage)
1990 Garrison Savannah (Gold Cup 1991)
1999 Looks Like Trouble (Gold Cup 2000)
To this list might be added the name of Tied Cottage, winner of the Sun Alliance Chase in 1976 and the Tote Gold Cup in 1980, before subsequent disqualification.

4. The biggest field for the race has been 30, in 1986, and the smallest eight, in 1993.

5. The Royal & SunAlliance Chase is as difficult to win as The Irish Independent Arkle Chase. Only Fred Winter won it more than twice as a trainer with three victories; Killiney (1973), Pengrail (1975) and Brown Chamberlin (1982).

6. Irish-trained winners number seven since 1964, with the 1998 victor Florida Pearl producing the first Irish-trained success since Antarctic Bay in 1985.

7. The most successful jockey in the Royal & SunAlliance has been Peter Scudamore, who notched up a hat-trick of wins from 1991 to 1993 with Rolling Ball, Miinnehoma and Young Hustler. The latter two went on to further big-race success, with Miinnehoma winning the 1994 Martell Grand National. Richard Dunwoody won the race on Hanakham (1997) and Florida Pearl (1998).

8. The longest-priced winners since 1964 are Hussard Collonges in 2002 and Canny Danny in 1983, both at 33/1, with Killiney the shortest-priced at 8/15 in 1973.

9. The fastest running of the race was by Lord Noelie in 2000 at 6 mins 5.3s, beating the previous best of 6 mins 6.6s set by Miinnehoma in 1992.


(Royal & SunAlliance Chase since 1998, Royal Sun Alliance Chase 1997, Sun Alliance Chase 1974-96, Totalisator Champion Chase 1971-73, Totalisator Champion Novices’ Chase 1964-1970, Broadway Chase 1961-63, Broadway Novices’ Chase before 1961)

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2003 One Knight 7-11-04 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Robert Gibbs 15/2 9
2002 Husssard Collonges 7-11-04 Russ Garritty Peter Beaumont Nick Bannister 33/1 19
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Lord Noelie 7-11-04 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight Executive Racing 9/2 9
1999 Looks Like Trouble 7-11-04 Paul Carberry Noel Chance Universal Conf. & Incentive Trv Ltd 16/1 14
1998 Florida Pearl 6-11-04 Richard Dunwoody Willie Mullins IRE Violet O’Leary 11/8F 10
1997 Hanakham 8-11-04 Richard Dunwoody Ron Hodges Malcolm Brereton 13/2 14
1996 Nahthen Lad 7-11-04 Warren Marston Jenny Pitman Jim Shaw 7/1 12
1995 Brief Gale 8-10-13 Philip Hide Josh Gifford Carrie Zetter 13/2 13
1994 Monsieur Le Cure 8-11-04 Peter Niven John Edwards Hector Brown 15/2 18
1993 Young Hustler 6-11-04 Peter Scudamore Nigel Twiston-Davies Gavin MacEchern 9/4 8
1992 Miinnehoma 9-11-04 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Freddie Starr 7/2F 18
1991 Rolling Ball 8-11-04 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Hilda Clarke 7/2F 20
1990 Garrison Savannah 7-11-04 Ben de Haan Jenny Pitman Autofour Engineering 12/1 9
1989 Envopak Token 8-11-04 Peter Hobbs Josh Gifford Frank Arthur 16/1 15
1988 The West Awake7-11-04 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 11/4F 14
1987 Kildimo 7-11-04 Graham Bradley Toby Balding Lady Harris 13/2 18
1986 Cross Master 9-11-04 Reg Crank Tom Bill Harlow Bros 16/1 30
1985 Antarctic Bay 8-11-04 Frank Berry Pat Hughes IRE P Meade 6/4F 11
1984 A Kinsman 8-11-04 Geordie Dun John Brockbank Mrs John Brockbank 10/1 18
1983 Canny Danny 7-11-04 Niall Madden Jimmy FitzGerald P Norton 33/1 14
1982 Brown Chamberlin 7-11-04 John Francome Fred Winter Mrs Coral Samuel 7/1 15
1981 Lesley Ann 7-11-04 Colin Brown David Elsworth Brian Gaule 25/1 17
1980 Lacson 8-11-04 Steve Knight Bob Hawker Bob Hawker 16/1 17
1979 Master Smudge 7-11-04 Richard Hoare Arthur Barrow Arthur Barrow 16/1 17
1978 Sweet Joe 6-11-04 Steve Smith Eccles Tom Jones Milton Ritzenberg 12/1 17
1977 Gay Spartan 6-11-04 Michael Dickinson Tony Dickinson M Armstrong 13/2 15
1976 Tied Cottage 8-11-00 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Anthony Stanley Robinson 12/1 15
1975 No race
1974 Ten Up 7-11-00 Tommy Carberry Jim Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 7/2 12
1973 Killiney 7-11-03 Richard Pitman Fred Winter Enid Boucher 8/15F 9
1972 Clever Scot 7-11-07 David Mould Tom Jones Milton Ritzenberg 11/1 18
1971 Tantalum 7-11-07 David Nicholson Michael Pope Colonel S W Green 14/1 16
1970 Proud Tarquin 7-11-12 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE John Thomson 100/7 17
1969 Spanish Steps 6-11-12 John Cook Edward Courage Edward Courage 100/8 22
1968 Herring Gull 6-11-12 Joe Crowley Paddy Mullins IRE Mrs G A J Wilson 9/1 16
1967 Border Jet 7-11-00 Josh Gifford Ryan Price Lady Weir 4/1F 19
1966 Different Class 6-11-12 David Mould Peter Cazalet Gregory Peck 10/1 17
1965 Arkloin 6-11-07 Liam McLoughlin Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 100/7 17
1964 Buona notte 7-12-04 Johnnie Haine Bob Turnell Jim Joel 11/8F 16
1963 Arkle 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Duchess Of Westminster 4/9F 15
1962 Caduval 7-11-08 Laurie Morgan Bogden Lubecki Bogden Lubecki 11/2 13
1961 Grallagh Cnoc 7-12-01 Pat Taaffe Joe Osborne IRE Mrs K Harper 8/13F 17
1960 Solfen 8-11-12 Pat Taaffe Willie O'Grady IRE B Naughton 5/4F 21
1959 Mac Joy 7-11-12 Arthur Freeman Ken Bailey W C Simpson 4/1 11
1958 Just Awake 6-11-08 Arthur Freeman Peter Cazalet Bill Whitbread 100/7 19
1957 Mandarin 6-12-01 Michael Scudamore Fulke Walwyn Peggy Hennessy 8/1 14
1956 Polar Flight 6-11-08 Tommy Cusack George Spann Mrs P Pleydell-Bouverie 100/7 19
1955 Great Eliza 7-11-13 B Cooper Danny Morgan IRE Mrs N Hope Collins 7/2F 23
1954 Glenbeigh 8-11-13 Dave Dick Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget EvsF 16
1953 Coneyburrow 7-11-03 Pat Taaffe Joe Osborne IRE I E Levy 100/8 13
1952 Good And Plenty 8-11-08 Jimmy Power Jack Fawcus Lady Joicey 8/1 18
1951 On View 8-11-13 Bryan Marshall Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget 8/1 23
1950 (I) Manicou 5-11-06 Lord Mildmay Peter Cazalet Lord Mildmay 2/1F 9
1950 (II) Arctic Gold 5-10-13 Glen Kelly Gerald Balding John Hay Whitney 100/30 9
1949 (I) Glen Fire 6-11-02 Mr J Spencer Syd Mercer J G Greenaway 100/8 19
1949 (II) Comeragh 8-11-02 D Kelly Major Noel Furlong Major Noel Furlong 10/1 10
1948 (I) Blakely Grove 7-11-04 Joe Maguire Ivor Anthony Paul Mellon 5/4F 17
1948 (II) Mountain Prince 9-11-04 Bryan Marshall Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget 100/8 15
1947 No race (snow and frost)
1946 Birthlaw 11-11-07 Ted Vinall Tommy Rayson Mrs V Bruce 20/1 16

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