RECORD 52 FOR ROBIN COOK MEMORIAL GOLD CUP (SPONSORED BY totesport)
Guest Plans To Run Our Armageddon
A record 52 entries have been received for the £110,000 Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup (sponsored by totesport), the highlight of two-day Cheltenham's December Meeting, on Saturday, December 10.
There were 44 horses entered last year in the handicap chase, run over two miles and five furlongs, which is the second Cheltenham classic of the season, following on from the Paddy Power Gold Cup at The Open last month.
The Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup (sponsored by totesport) is race number 17 in the British Horseracing Board's Order of Merit series and the weights are announced next week on Wednesday, November 30.
Martin Pipe, successful with Fragrant Dawn in 1993 and Northern Starlight five years later, has eight to choose from including recent Paddy Power Gold Cup hero Our Vic, who was in with a big chance in this race last year when falling at the last.
Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Pegwell Bay (1988) are the only two horses to have captured the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup in the same season.
The Nicholashayne handler could also be represented by Celestial Gold, It Takes Time, Locksmith, Polar Red, Tango Royal, Therealbandit and Whispered Secret.
The Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup (sponsored by totesport) could see the reappearance of Our Armageddon, whose finest hour came when lifting the 2004 Cathcart Chase at The Festival.
The eight-year-old last ran at Aintree in April, 2004, but trainer Richard Guest today revealed that the Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup is the target for his potential stable star.
Guest said: "As long as he stays in one piece, Our Armageddon is a definite runner.
"It's been his target for five months. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get a run into him yet but I'm hoping to give him a gallop at Newcastle on Saturday.
"It's his first run back and its going to be a tall order to win the Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup."
Philip Hobbs landed this contest, then known as the bonusprint.com Gold Cup, last year with Monkerhostin and he has entered that chaser again, along with Lacdoudal and the JCB Triumph Hurdle winner Made In Japan.
Other trainers well represented include Jonjo O'Neill and Paul Nicholls who each have seven entries to choose from.
O'Neill's septet consists of recent Cheltenham winner Bold Bishop, East Tycoon, Halexy, Hasty Prince, Quazar, Risk Accessor and Tigers Lair, while Nicholls could rely on Thisthatandtother, second to Monkerhostin last year and successful in the Ryanair Chase at The Festival in March, as well as Almost Broke, Armaturk, Ladalko, Le Passing, My Will and Red Devil Robert.
Nicky Henderson collected this prize in 2002 and 2003 with Fondmort and Iris Royal respectively and both those performers are entered again along with Chauvinist, Mambo and Scots Grey, successful last week at Wincanton.
Other interesting contenders for this year's prize include the Richard Phillips-trained Dark'N Sharp, who recently returned to action with a victory at Huntingdon, King Harald, who captured the inaugural Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase at The Festival last season, and Patricksnineteenth, the Paul Webber-trained chaser who has shown immense promise but was last seen on the racecourse 20 months ago.
The Irish-trained entry is Noel Meade's Sir Oj, fourth to King Harald in the Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase last season.
The Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup (sponsored by totesport) commemorates the late Labour MP and racing enthusiast Robin Cook, who died earlier this year.
Cheltenham's December Meeting starts on Friday, December 9, with a seven-race card and the highlight is the £50,000 Mears Group Chase (3.05pm), a handicap run over three miles, one and a half furlongs. Racing starts at 12.10pm that day.
Saturday, December 10's action gets under way at 12.20pm, with the £75,000 totesport Bula Hurdle (3.10pm) being the main supporting race.
The two-day December Meeting boasts prize money of over £440,000.
Admission prices on Friday, December 9 - Club/Tattersalls combined £20 on the day, £18 in advance by at least seven days; online at www.cheltenham.co.uk £16, group rate £16 and 16-24-year-olds £12; Best Mate Enclosure £8 on the day; online at www.cheltenham.co.uk £6.40.
Admission prices on Saturday, December 10 - Club/Tattersalls combined £20 on the day, £18 in advance by at least seven days; online at www.cheltenham.co.uk £16, group rate £16 and 16-24-year-olds £12; Best Mate Enclosure £8 on the day; online at www.cheltenham.co.uk £6.40.
Accompanied children under 16 have FREE entry while car parking is also FREE.
THE ROBIN COOK MEMORIAL GOLD CUP (SPONSORED BY totesport)
Class A, Grade Three, £110,000 Total Prize Fund. Cheltenham, Saturday, December 10. For 5yo+, two miles and five furlongs. Penalties: after November 26, a winner of a Class C chase 4lb; of a class A or B chase 6lb (no penalty to increase a horse's weight above 11st 12lb). Entries closed November 23, entries revealed November 24 (52 entries), weights published November 30, five-day confirmation stage December 5, final declaration stage 10.00am, December 9. For figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Tuesday, November 22.
Form Horse Age Owners Trainer
03/1F25- ALEXANDERTHEGREAT (IRE) 7 Six Blokes Ferdy Murphy
15161-F ALMOST BROKE 8 A G Fear Paul Nicholls
3036-15 ARMATURK (FR) 8 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
211FP-2 BACKBEAT (IRE) 8 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
6002-23 BLEU SUPERBE (FR) 10 Peter Deal, Tony Hirschfeld & J Tyndall Venetia Williams
6/2P-221 BOLD BISHOP (IRE) 8 Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
0341-10 BROOKLYN BREEZE (IRE) 8 Ashleybank Investments Limited Len Lungo
21/1130- CELESTIAL GOLD (IRE) 7 David Johnson Martin Pipe
12413P- CHAUVINIST (IRE) 10 Bunny & Nick Roberts Nicky Henderson
B5/2240- CLAYMORE (IRE) 9 Brian Stewart-Brown Oliver Sherwood
2U//0P-P1 DARK'N SHARP (GER) 10 Ascot Five Plus One Richard Phillips
10044F EAST TYCOON (IRE) 6 Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
F0B0-0P EUROPA 9 Trevor Hemmings Ferdy Murphy
0002P-4 FONDMORT (FR) 9 Bill Brown Nicky Henderson
0/5/4-23F HALEXY (FR) 10 Sir Robert Ogden Jonjo O'Neill
0U13-43 HASTY PRINCE 7 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
111P2/-6 IRIS ROYAL (FR) 9 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
31042-4 IT TAKES TIME (IRE) 11 David Johnson Martin Pipe
03/05P-0 JAKARI (FR) 8 The Earl Cadogan Henry Daly
41P00-5 JOLY BEY (FR) 8 David Dunsdon Nick Gifford
141U2-0 KADOUNT (FR) 7 Elite Racing Club Alan King
0/1132-3 KANDJAR D'ALLIER (FR) 7 Let's Live Racing Alan King
F2121-4 KING HARALD (IRE) 7 Piers Pottinger and P B-J Partnership Mark Bradstock
3224-16 LACDOUDAL (FR) 6 Carol Skan Philip Hobbs
2521-33 LADALKO (FR) 6 Paul Barber & Mrs M Findlay Paul Nicholls
12553-4 LE PASSING (FR) 6 The Hon Mrs & J R Townshend Paul Nicholls
F21PFP- LIMERICK BOY (GER) 7 Favourites Racing III Venetia Williams
3-31016 LITTLE BIG HORSE (IRE) 9 Paul Dixon Sue Smith
01F110- LOCKSMITH 5 David Johnson Martin Pipe
006-F03 LULUMAR (FR) 6 Million in Mind Partnership Oliver Sherwood
34046-3 MADE IN JAPAN (JPN) 5 Terry Evans Philip Hobbs
0/1RP2P- MAMBO (IRE) 7 Belinda Harvey Nicky Henderson
41461-2 MIXSTERTHETRIXSTER (USA) 9 Tracey Barfoot-Saunt Tracey Barfoot-Saunt
213-122 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) 8 Martin St Quinton Philip Hobbs
1521-20 MY WILL (FR) 5 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
121P14/- OUR ARMAGEDDON (NZ) 8 Leslie Garrett Richard Guest
13/FPP-1 OUR VIC (IRE) 7 David Johnson Martin Pipe
10/2214/- PATRICKSNINETEENTH (IRE) 8 The Large G & T Partnership Paul Webber
050006- POLAR RED 8 Lady Hilda Clarke Martin Pipe
1301-26 QUAZAR (IRE) 7 C D Carr Jonjo O'Neill
31112-2 RED DEVIL ROBERT (IRE) 7 Paul Barber & Mrs M Findlay Paul Nicholls
2000-2F REDEMPTION 10 John Duggan & Michael Purtill Nigel Twiston-Davies
0FU-2P6 RISK ACCESSOR (IRE) 10 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
0055-01 SCOTS GREY 10 Henry Ponsonby Nicky Henderson
U504-65 SIR OJ (IRE) 8 Brian Keenan Noel Meade IRE
62-1600 TANGO ROYAL (FR) 9 Brian Kilpatrick Martin Pipe
20330-0 THEREALBANDIT (IRE) 8 David Johnson Martin Pipe
22214-3 THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 9 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
34-1114 TIGERS LAIR (IRE) 6 Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
3P5-022 VANDAS CHOICE (IRE) 7 J Petterson Lucinda Russell
231121 WHISPERED SECRET (GER) 6 David Manasseh Daniel Evans Dan Levine Martin Pipe
2/315-P3 YOU'RE SPECIAL (USA) 8 Diane O' Rourke Ferdy Murphy
BREAKDOWN OF ENTRIES BY TRAINER WITH PAST SUCCESSES IN THE ROBIN COOK MEMORIAL HANDICAP CHASE
Martin Pipe (1993 Fragrant Dawn, 1998 Northern Starlight)
Jonjo O'Neill (1999 Legal Right)