Martin Pipe, speaking at a media visit to his Pond House stables organised by Cheltenham Racecourse and Paddy Power, today named Old Vic as his most likely winner of the £110,000 Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday (November 12).
The record-breaking trainer said: “We have to wait for Timmy Murphy to have the choice but probably Our Vic would be my best chance. We also have Celestial Gold and Threalbandit plus a few others still in the race.
“Our Vic is seriously back to himself. He and Monkerhostin jumped the last together in last season’s bonusprint.com Gold Cup (at Cheltenham in December) and our horse took a terrible fall which was very worrying.
“He lay there for a long time but eventually got up. He had pulled ligaments and lots of other things. We brought him back - it took plenty of time -but mentally he was not right and we should not have run him again last season.
“Our Vic had a summer break and has been schooling very well - he is in good form. Confidence is important for any horse and hopefully he has plenty again.”
At today’s five-day stage 27 horses went forward for the Paddy Power Gold Cup, feature of The Open, three days of great jumping action which starts on Friday, November 11.
Pipe has left five horses in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the five-day conformation stage today.
The champion trainer's quintet of possible starters for Saturday's contest are last year's winner Celestial Gold (11st 12lb), It Takes Time (11st 4lb), Therealbandit (11st 4lb), Our Vic (11st 1lb) and Windsor Boy (9st 1lb).
Martin is chasing his eighth success in the extended two and a half mile contest following wins for Beau Ranger (1987), Challenger Du Luc (1996), Cyfor Malta (1998 & 2002), Lady Cricket (2000), Shooting Light (2001) and Celestial Gold (2004).
The going at Cheltenham on the Chase & Hurdle courses is good to soft after rain yesterday.
For further information, please contact Peter McNeile, Cheltenham's Commercial Manager, on 01242 537600
THE PADDY POWER GOLD CUP FIVE DAYS
Class A, Grade Three, Order of Merit Race No 7, £110,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.15pm, Cheltenham, Saturday, November 12. For five-year-olds and upwards, two miles, four and a half furlongs. Penalties: after October 29, a winner of a Class C chase 3lb; of a Class A or B chase 6lb; no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed October 26, entries revealed October 27 (59 entries), weights revealed November 2, five-day confirmation stage November 7 (27 remain), final declaration stage, 10.00am November 11. Form figures suppiled by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Sunday, November 6.
Weights raised by 3lb
Form Horse Age/Weight Owner Trainer
21/1130- CELESTIAL GOLD (IRE) 7-11-12 David Johnson Martin Pipe
03036-1 ARMATURK (FR) 8-11-07 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
F/0002P- FONDMORT (FR) 9-11-06 Bill Brown Nicky Henderson
11212-1 FORGET THE PAST 7-11-05 Sean Mulryan Michael O'Brien IRE
431042- IT TAKES TIME (IRE) 11-11-04 David Johnson Martin Pipe
020330- THEREALBANDIT (IRE) 8-11-04 David Johnson Martin Pipe
6/13213-1 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) 8-11-03 (inc 6lb Ex) Martin St Quinton Philip Hobbs
11521-2 MY WILL (FR) 5-11-01 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
113/FPP- OUR VIC (IRE) 7-11-01 David Johnson Martin Pipe
11/1F3P- LORD SAM (IRE) 9-10-13 Plain Peeps Victor Dartnall
13224-1 LACDOUDAL (FR) 6-10-12 Carol Skan Philip Hobbs
00341-1 BROOKLYN BREEZE (IRE) 8-10-09 Ashleybank Investments Ltd Len Lungo
12553-4 LE PASSING (FR) 6-10-08 The Hon Mrs & J R Townshend Paul Nicholls
0-4111F EURO LEADER (IRE) 7-10-08 John Cox Willie Mullins IRE
5-F5411 ALWAYS 6-10-05 Des Sharkey Noel Meade IRE
230410- LIBERTHINE (FR) 6-10-04 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
P3F1-F1 FULL HOUSE (IRE) 6-10-04 The Chamberlain Addiscott Partnership Paul Webber
1216-F3 MARIAH ROLLINS (IRE) 7-10-03 Gone West Racing Syndicate Pat Fahy IRE
U2000-2 REDEMPTION 10-10-02 John Duggan & Michael Purtill Nigel Twiston-Davies
00/1132- KANDJAR D'ALLIER (FR) 7-10-01 Let's Live Racing Alan King
11325-3 BANKER COUNT 13-10-00 Mrs Hector Brown Venetia Williams
065500- ROYALEETY (FR) 6-9-11 Mr & Mrs John Poynton Ian Williams
F0B0-0P EUROPA 9-9-11 Trevor Hemmings Ferdy Murphy
2-10044 EAST TYCOON (IRE) 6-9-10 Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
6004-6P TURGEONEV (FR) 10-9-10 David Sills Tim Easterby
331012 WET LIPS (AUS) 7-9-05 Concertina Racing Three Richard Guest
01511F-3 WINDSOR BOY (IRE) 8-9-01 Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited Martin Pipe
27 remain at five-day confirmation stage
The Paddy Power Gold Cup
2m 4 1/2f H'cap Chase, Cheltenham, 12th November
Paddy Power latest odds
4 Our Vic
9 Brooklyn Breeze
12 Forget The Past
12 My Will
14 Celestial Gold
16 Kandjar d'Allier
16 Le Passing
25 Lord Sam
25 Mariah Rollins
28 Euro Leader
28 Full House
28 It Takes Time
33 Windsor Boy
40 Banker Count
40 East Tycoon
66 Wet Lips
Each Way 1/4 Odds 1, 2, 3, 4
All 27 Quoted
7/2 Martin Pipe to train the winner
THE GREATWOOD HANDICAP HURDLE FIVE DAYS
Class A, Grade Three, Order of Merit Race No 8, £50,000 Total Prize Fund. For 4yo+, two miles and half a furlong. 2.40pm Sunday, November 13, 2005. Penalties: after October 29, a winner of a Class A to C hurdle race 6lb - no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed October 26, entries revealed October 31 (54 entries), weights revealed November 2, five-day confirmation stage November 7 (31 entries remain), final declaration stage, 10.00am, November 11. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Sunday, November 6.
Form Horse Age/Weight Owner Trainer
2051-41 ROOSTER BOOSTER 11-11-12 Terry Warner Philip Hobbs
3134R-4 WESTENDER (FR) 9-11-09 Matt Archer & The Late Jean Broadhurst Martin Pipe
4302F-P1 ROYAL SHAKESPEARE (FR) 6-11-08 (inc 6lb ex) John Webb Steve Gollings
1-311106 YES SIR (IRE) 6-11-05 Ms Y M Hill Peter Bowen
2/42102- SELF DEFENSE 8-11-05 Fraser Miller Racing Emma Lavelle
0U13-43 HASTY PRINCE 7-11-02 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
1111-62 GENGHIS (IRE) 6-10-11 Khan Partners Peter Bowen
51011-1 ADMIRAL (IRE) 4-10-11 Willie McKay Richard Guest
3113/05- POWER ELITE (IRE) 5-10-06 Des Sharkey Noel Meade IRE
121/- LINGO (IRE) 6-10-06 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
22321-1 DON'T BE SHY (FR) 4-10-06 David Johnson Martin Pipe
134046- MADE IN JAPAN (JPN) 5-10-05 Terry Evans Philip Hobbs
1111- MIGHTY MAN (FR) 5-10-05 Joss Hanbury Henry Daly
03330-2 HOWLE HILL (IRE) 5-10-05 Mrs J Brown, R Benton, R Devereux, R Lucas Alan King
01303-4 DALARAM (IRE) 5-10-04 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
116252- PHAR BLEU (FR) 4-10-02 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
FF1105 FONTANESI (IRE) 5-10-02 David Johnson Martin Pipe
1-31113 FAIT LE JOJO (FR) 8-10-01 M Ephgrave Liam Corcoran
440/521/- TRAMANTANO 6-10-00 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
1234113 DARRIAS (GER) 4-9-12 Peter Hart Paul Nicholls
33-3234 BORORA 6-9-12 Mrs E M Clarke Richard Lee
P4440-4 ADAMANT APPROACH (IRE) 11-9-12 Greenstar Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
10/115-0 HANDY MONEY 8-9-09 William Dixon Alan King
F6026-P FENIX (GER) 6-9-09 P Aphilipps, T S Redman & J S Redman Lucy Wadham
1210- DIEGO CAO (IRE) 4-9-09 Vetlab Supplies Ltd Gary Moore
0021-41 EYE CANDY (IRE) 4-9-05 Sandra McCarthy Sandra McCarthy IRE
3r1230 BLUE CORRIG (IRE) 5-9-04 Exors Of The Late R Forristal Joe Crowley IRE
405-211 FRENCH ACCORDION (IRE) 5-9-03 Padraig Brady Paul Nolan IRE
4-316012 MASRAHI (IRE) 4-9-01 Mirage Racing Syndicate Noel Meade IRE
011/5/1-2 GURU 7-8-11 Will Bennett Gary Moore
66-412F MOUNTAIN SNOW (IRE) 5-8-05 Austin Fanning Willie Mullins IRE
31 remain at five-day confirmation stage
LIKELY RUNNERS AT THE OPEN FROM MARTIN PIPE’S STABLE
CELESTIAL GOLD (IRE)
7 br g Persian Mews - What A Queen (King’s Ride)
Owner: David Johnson
Last season saw Celestial Gold develop into one of the country’s leading chasers.
The former point-to-pointer had finished second in the National Hunt Chase over four miles at The Festival in 2004 and ended the 2003/04 season with a win at Cheltenham in a novice chase over an extended three miles and a furlong.
On his seasonal reappearance last year, Celestial Gold won the Paddy Power Gold Cup in good style by a length and three quarters from Thisthatandtother on his first attempt over atrip as short as the extended two and a half miles.
He followed up next time by defeating 13 rivals in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury, in so doing becoming the first horse since Bright Highway in 1980 to complete this big-race double.
An excellent third place in the AON Chase back at Newbury behind Farmer Jack and Strong Flow in February confirmed Celestial Gold’s status as a horse on the upgrade.
That effort put Celestial Gold in line for a crack at the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 17 when he occupied seventh place behind Kicking King.
Martin Pipe said: “His Gold Cup run came at the end of the season and he did not show his best form.
“Celestial Gold is fit and well. Timmy Murphy has schooled him and was pleased. We have not decided definitely on our runners for the Paddy Power Gold Cup yet.”
Entered in Paddy Power Gold Cup, Cheltenham, Saturday, November 12
OUR VIC (IRE)
7 b g Old Vic - Shabra Princess (Buckskin FR)
Owner: David Johnson
Former Irish pointer Our Vic was one of the leading novice chasers in the 2003/04 season, when he enjoyed victories at Exeter and in the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot. He also finished third to Royal Supreme in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival that same season.
Making his seasonal debut in last year’s bonusprint.com Gold Cup at Cheltenham in December, Our Vic moved liked a winner approaching the last but suffered an unlucky fall to hand the race to Monkerhostin.
On his next two starts, in the Daily Telegraph Festival Chase at the 2005 Festival in March and the Betfair Bowl Chase at Aintree in April, Our Vic was pulled up on both occasions.
See above for Martin Pipe quotes.
Entered in Paddy Power Gold Cup, Cheltenham, Saturday, November 12
8 b g Torus - Sunrise Highway VII (Damsire Unregistered)
Owner: David Johnson
Another graduate from the Irish point-to-point scene, Therealbandit has won four times at Cheltenham. After winning twice at Cheltenham in novice company in versions of the Ian Williams’ Owners Novices’ Chase in the 2003/04 season, he ran in the Pillar Property Chase at the same track, holding every chance when falling four from home, the race being won by Jair Du Cochet. He went on to run in the totesport Gold Cup at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival, finishing seventh behind Best Mate.
His comeback run last season was over hurdles in the Lombard Properties Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on November 13, when he finished ninth. He followed up on that effort with a victory in the Mears Group Chase on the same course on December 10, defeating Royal Auclair by three lengths.
In the King George VI Chase at Kempton 16 days later, he came home in seventh behind Kicking King before he returned to Cheltenham for the Pillar Property Chase at on January 29. In the Pillar he ran a respectably in second behind Grey Abbey and put himself in line for a second attempt at the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. His second attempt at chasing’s Blue Riband saw him take ninth place behind Kicking King.
For his next race, Therealbandit was dropped back in trip to two and a half miles in the John Smith’s Melling Chase at Aintree on April 8, when he came third to Moscow Flyer and Le Roi Miguel.
A decent effort followed in the Faucets for Mira Showers Silver Trophy Chase at Cheltenham on April 13, when third to Quazar. His final effort of the 2004/05 season saw him finish 11th behind Jack High in the Betfred Gold Cup Chase at Sandown on April 23.
Martin Pipe said: “He combines stamina and speed so he can run over virtually any distance. He could run in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.”
Entered in Paddy Power Gold Cup, Cheltenham, Saturday, November 12.
BUENA VISTA (IRE)
4 b g In The Wings - Park Special (Relkino)
Owner: Matt Archer & The Late Jean Broadhurst
Buena Vista is undefeated in four starts so far this season, most recently in a handicap hurdle at Market Rasen on July 16, over an extended two miles and a furlong,
The four-year-old began his career in the National Hunt Flat sphere where he had four races, culminating with sixth place behind Missed That in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the 2005 Cheltenham Festival, going down by just over six lengths.
Buena Vista then won his next three starts in novice hurdles, all easily on good to firm ground.
The first of those successes came at Hereford over two miles and a furlong on May 22, followed by victory over an extended two miles at Stratford on June 5. The hat-trick was achieved at Newton Abbot over two miles and a furlong on June 21.
Martin Pipe said: “He’s in great form and will probably run in the Anglo Irish Bank Novices’ Hurdle on Friday.”
Set for the £30,000 Anglo Irish Bank Novices’ Hurdle, Cheltenham, Friday, November 11.
DON’T BE SHY (FR)
4 b g Trempolino - Be Claimed (Al Nasr FR)
Owner: David Johnson
Don’t Be Shy ran 12 times over hurdles in France, where he was trained by Thomas Trapenard.
He won three times on the continent, including a Grade Two race at Auteuil in May over an extended two miles and three furlongs on very soft ground.
He also won a Grade Three hurdle race over two miles and two furlongs at Auteuil on heavy ground in April and was third to Kiko in a Grade One hurdle race over the same course and distance in November last year.
Martin Pipe said: “He is a big strong sort and jumps really well. He was bought for chasing but seems to handle the British hurdles and we will start him off in the Greatwood Hurdle which is a tough race. We will see whether the handicapper has assessed Don’t Be Shy’s weight right.”
Entered in Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, Cheltenham, Sunday, November 13
LOUGH DERG (FR)
5 b g Apple Tree - Asturias (Pistolet Bleu)
Owner: W Frewen
Lough Derg developed into a useful staying hurdler last season, winning twice and running good races in defeat.
Starting off with a decent comeback effort at Newbury over an extended two miles on November 27, when he finished fifth of the 10 runners, he then won the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on December 11, when stepped up to an extended two miles and five furlongs. He beat a decent field on that occasion, including Exotic Dancer and Monet’s Garden and scored by eight lengths.
After a respectable effort to finish fourth in a two mile and six furlong handicap hurdle at Wincanton 15 days later, he ran in the Grade Two Byrne Bros Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on January 29, coming home in sixth behind Patriarch Express and stablemate Korelo, beaten around 16 lengths.
After finishing in midfield under top-weight in the Coral Cup over two miles and five furlongs at The Festival, he ended last season on a winning note when taking the MITIE Group Handicap Hurdle over an extended two miles and five furlongs at Cheltenham on April 13, when he defied 11st 12lb to defeat Unleash by two and a half lengths.
Martin Pipe said: “He loves his work and jumping. He been happy schooling over fences though it is tough first time out at Cheltenham. He will run in the Jim Brown Memorial Novices’ Chase on Saturday or the Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase on Sunday.”
STANDIN OBLIGATION (IRE)
6 ch g Pierre - Clonroche Floods (Pauper)
Owner: David Johnson
A three-time winner in Irish point-to-points, Standin Obligation is unbeaten in four starts over hurdles.
His career under rules started off with a neck victory at Exeter on April 12 over an extended two miles and six furlongs on good ground. He followed up a week later by winning by two lengths over two miles on good to soft ground at Towcester.
Standin Obligation went on to make it three from three in novice company when he was stepped back up to an extended two miles and six furlongs at Uttoxeter on soft ground on the last day of April.
After a break over the summer, he then made a winning debut in handicap company a qualifier for the Pertemps Handicap hurdle over three miles on soft ground at Chepstow on October 22.
Martin Pipe said: “He is unbeaten in seven races but it gets harder every time. He runs in the Lombard Properties Handicap Hurdle on Saturday.”
5 b g Epervier Bleu - Tamainia (Lashkari)
Owner: The Arthur White Partnership
During the 2004/05 season, Tamarinbleu featured in some of the top handicap hurdles. He had started the season well, winning the valuable Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle at Sandown on January 8 by four lengths from Self Defense on his first venture out of novice company.
This was followed by eighth place in the totesport Trophy Hurdle at Newbury the next month, beaten around seven and half lengths behind Essex, and a good second under top-weight on heavy going at Warwick in a two-mile handicap hurdle on February 25.
After finishing down the field behind stablemate Fontanesi in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, he bounced back to form when a gallant second to Genghis in the John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles at Aintree in April.
He ran another good race on his latest start on April 22, finishing fourth to the 2003 Smurfit Champion Hurdle winner Rooster Booster in the Concept Hurdle at Sandown.
Martin Pipe said: “He has been schooling well over fences and has a range of options at Cheltenham over the weekend.”
MARTIN PIPE’S RECORD IN THE
PADDY POWER GOLD CUP AT CHELTENHAM
Year/Position Horse Jockey SP 2004-1 CELESTIAL GOLD Timmy Murphy 12/1
2004-5 It Takes Time Jamie Moore 25/1
2003-5 Cyfor Malta Rodi Greene 10/1
2003-F It Takes Time Tony McCoy 4/1
2002-1 CYFOR MALTA Barry Geraghty 16/1
2002-UR Exit Swinger Rodi Greene 12/1
2002-PU Chicuelo Tony McCoy 2/1 Fav
2001-1 SHOOTING LIGHT Tony McCoy 9/4 Fav
2001-3 Exit Swinger Rodi Greene 10/1
2001-4 Cadougold Tom Scudamore 25/1
2000-1 LADY CRICKET Tony McCoy 5/1 Fav
2000-2 Exit Swinger Richard Johnson 8/1
2000-5 Majadou Tom Scudamore 33/1
1999-4 Northern Starlight Barry Fenton 11/1
1999-8 Majadou Tony McCoy 9/2
1999-F Tresor de Mai David Casey 11/1
1998-1 CYFOR MALTA Tony McCoy 3/1 Fav
1998-4 Challenger Du Luc Richard Dunwoody 11/1
1997-2 Challenger Du Luc Tony McCoy 100/30
1997-PU Terao Chris Maude 33/1
1996-1 CHALLENGER DU LUC Richard Dunwoody 7/1
1994-10 Errant Knight Richard Dunwoody 9/1
1992-F Milford Quay Peter Scudamore 12/1
1991-6 Anti Matter Peter Scudamore 6/1
1990-6 Fu's Lady Simon Earle 15/2
1990-8 Wingspan Mark Perrett 14/1
1989-7 Beau Ranger Peter Scudamore 5/1 Fav
1987-1 BEAU RANGER Mark Perrett 13/2
Martin Pipe CBE
Born on May 29, 1945, Britain's record-breaking 15-time champion jump trainer began his working life alongside his bookmaker father, David.
From humble training origins as a permit holder, Martin has built a phenomenally-successful traing operation at Nicholashayne in Somerset, pioneering techniques such as interval training and a scientific approach to his horses' well-being.
He re-wrote the record book for the numbers of winners trained in a jump season, growing from single-figure successes after being granted a licence in 1977 to an incredible 230 in the 1990/91 season. He then beat his own record in the 1999/2000 season with 243 successes.
Martin secured 193 victories and £2,827,074 in prize money last season, finishing just ahead of Paul Nicholls to take his latest training championship in what was a thrilling final few weeks of the season, culminating on Betfred Gold Cup Day at Sandown on April 23, when Well Chief’s victory in the Betfred Celebration Chase helped seal matters.
Martin won the Grand National with Freddie Starr’s Miinnehoma in 1994 and also trained the brilliant Carvill's Hill, who captured the Welsh National in 1991 and Ireland’s Hennessy Gold Cup in 1992.
He is the most successful current trainer at the Cheltenham Festival with 34 successes, including the Smurfit Champion Hurdle with Granville Again (1993) and Make A Stand four years later.
There are very few races in the calender to have eluded Martin. He has won the Paddy Power Gold Cup (seven times), Welsh National (five times), Hennessy Gold Cup (three times), the Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup (twice), betfred Gold Cup and the Scottish Grand National to name but a few.
Martin is married to Carol with one son, David, now his father’s assistant. He was awarded a CBE in the 2000 Queen's New Year's Honours List.
He has trained 46 winners at The Open since 1990 and has been leading trainer at the meeting for four of the past five years, gaining seven winners in each of 2004, 2002 and 2001.
Cheltenham Festival wins: (34)
JCB Triumph Hurdle (1981 Baron Blakeney, 1995 Kissair)
Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1994 Balasani, 1996 Cyborgo)
Smurfit Champion Hurdle (1993 Granville Again, 1997 Make A Stand)
Coral Cup (1993 Olympian, 1997 Big Strand, 2002 Ilnamar)
Royal & SunAlliance Chase (1991 Rolling Ball, 1992 Miinnehoma)
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (1991 Omerta, 2003 Royal Predica, 2004 Maximize)
Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle (1989 Sayfar's Lad, 1990 Regal Ambition)
Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1989 Sondrio, 1999 Hors La Loi III)
Cathcart Chase (1991 Chatam, 1996 Challenger Du Luc, 1998 Cyfor Malta, 2002 Royal Auclair)
Irish Independent Arkle Trophy Chase (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve, 2004 Well Chief, 2005 Contraband)
Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup Chase (1997 Terao, 1999 Majadou, 2000 Dark Stranger, 2002 Blowing Wind)
Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (1998 Blowing Wind, 2005 Fontanesi)
Pertemps Handicap hurdle Final (1998 Unsinkable Boxer)
Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2003 Liberman)
PADDY POWER GOLD CUP HISTORY
The Paddy Power Gold Cup is a great race with an illustrious history. The 2m 4.5f contest was first run in 1960 and the race has seen many well-known chasers in action.
Last year Celestial Gold provided Martin Pipe with his seventh Paddy Power Gold Cup success when the six-year-old, partnered by Timmy Murphy, came home one and three quarter lengths clear of Thisthatandtother.
Pipe has the most tremendous record, having previously won the Paddy Power Gold Cup with Beau Ranger (1987), Challenger Du Luc (1996), Cyfor Malta (1998), Lady Cricket (2000), Shooting Light (2001) and Cyfor Malta (2002).
In 2002 the Pipe-trained Cyfor Malta, a horse whose great potential was been dogged by injury problems, stormed back to the form he had shown in his younger days with a second win in the Paddy Power Gold Cup - four years after his initial success in the first big handicap of the season.
This made him the fifth horse to win the chase on two occasions, following Fortria (1960 and 1962), Gay Trip (1969 and 1971), Half Free (1984 and 1985) and Bradbury Star (1993 and 1994).
Shooting Light was brilliantly ridden by champion jockey Tony McCoy to defeat 13 talented chasers in 2001.
Lady Cricket was impressive when scoring by 10 lengths from stable companion Exit Swinger in 2000 with another five lengths back to third in the 15-strong field. The enigmatic Challenger Du Luc scored a cheeky head success over Strong Promise in 1996 while in 1987 Beau Ranger came home 15 lengths in front under Mark Perrett.
One of the best performances since the inaugural running came in 1965 from Dunkirk, who carried a massive 12st 7lb to victory and there have been plenty of other memorable renewals.
The Paddy Power Gold Cup has been won by Irish-trained horses on four occasions. Fortria took the initial running and was successful for a second time two years later in 1962.
The Irish had to wait for more than a decade for a further winner which came in the shape of Skymas in 1973 and Bright Highway was the last successful horse from the Emerald Isle in 1980, when winning by seven lengths.
Gay Trip's two victories formed part of Fred Rimell's extraordinary training feat when he sent out the winner four years in a row. Jupiter Boy in 1968 and Chatham in 1970 completed Rimell's quartet. Gay Trip won the Grand National in 1970, in between his Cheltenham successes
Celestial Gold proved his stamina with a subsequent one and a half length victory over Ollie Magern in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, which saw him become the fourth horse, along with Red Candle (1972), Bachelor's Hall (1977) and Bright Highway (1980), to add the Newbury prize to his Cheltenham victory.
Two and a half mile specialists like the dual-winner Half Free, handled by Fred Winter who trained three winners of the race, and Dublin Flyer (1995) have triumphed, while Skymas (1973) won the Queen Mother Champion Chase twice.
Tony McCoy is the most successful current jockey in the Paddy Power Gold Cup with three victories. The record-breaking rider triumphed on Cyfor Malta in 1998 and followed up two years later aboard Lady Cricket. He went on to secure a third success in 2001 on Shooting Light.
Following Shooting Light’s victory, McCoy joined Richard Linley and Richard Dunwoody who both achieved three victories in the race during their riding careers, as the most successful jockey in the history of the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Linley was victorious on Fifty Dollars More in 1982 and Half Free in 1984 and 1985, while Dunwoody gained his wins on Very Promising in 1986, Another Coral in 1991 and Challenger Du Luc in 1996.
The popularity of Cheltenham's Open Meeting increases each year with the Irish. One of the great strengths of the three days is the relationship which draws Irish-trained horses and racegoers.
Both Cheltenham and Paddy Power are keen to continue this tradition. Last year there were 31 Irish runners over the three days, including three winners.
What they now want is an Irish victory in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, with the last one having been achieved 25 years ago. In the 1990s Toranfield (1991) and Second Schedual (1994) came second and Anabatic was fourth in 1996 while Feathered Leader finished third in 2000.
THE PADDY POWER GOLD CUP CHASE
(Grade 3 Handicap) (2m 4f 110yds), £110,000 total prize fund, Saturday, November 12
Year Name Age/Wgt Jockey Trainer Owner Ran SP
2004 CELESTIAL GOLD 6-10-02 Timmy Murphy Martin Pipe David Johnson 14 12-1
2003 FONDMORT 7-10-13 Mick Fitzgerald Nicky Henderson Bill Brown 9 3-1F
2002 CYFOR MALTA 9-11-09 Barry Geraghty Martin Pipe David Johnson 15 16-1
2001 SHOOTING LIGHT 8-11-03 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe John Brown/Michael Blackburn 14 9-4F
2000 LADY CRICKET 6-10-13 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 15 5-1F
1999 THE OUTBACK WAY 9-10-00 Norman Williamson Venetia Williams Seasons Holidays 14 9-1
1998 CYFOR MALTA 5-11-03 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 12 3-1F
1997 SENOR EL BETRUTTI 8-10-00 Jamie Osborne Susan Nock Gerard Nock 9 33-1
1996 CHALLENGER DU LUC 6-10-02 Richard Dunwoody Martin Pipe David Johnson 12 7-1
1995 DUBLIN FLYER 9-11-08 Brendan Powell Tim Forster John Sumner 12 4-1JF
1994 BRADBURY STAR 9-11-11 Philip Hide Josh Gifford J Campbell 14 5-1
1993 BRADBURY STAR 8-11-08 Declan Murphy Josh Gifford J Campbell 15 13-2
1992 TIPPING TIM 7-10-10 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Jenny Mould 16 11-2F
1991 ANOTHER CORAL 8-10-01 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Michael Deeley 15 15-2
1990 MULTUM IN PARVO 7-10-02 Norman Williamson John Edwards Alan Parker 13 12-1
1989 JOINT SOVEREIGNTY 9-10-04 Graham McCourt Philip Hobbs G J Giddy 15 10-1
1988 PEGWELL BAY 7-11-02 Peter Scudamore Tim Forster A K Barlow 13 6-1
1987 BEAU RANGER 9-10-02 Mark Perrett Martin Pipe White Bros Ltd 14 13-2
1986 VERY PROMISING 8-11-13 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Paul & Jenny Green 11 7-1
1985 HALF FREE 9-11-10 Richard Linley Fred Winter Ali Abu Khamsin 10 9-2
1984 HALF FREE 8-11-10 Richard Linley Fred Winter Ali Abu Khamsin 10 5-2F
1983 POUNENTES 6-10-06 Neale Doughty Billy McGhie Billy McGhie 9 7-1
1982 FIFTY DOLLARS MORE 7-11-00 Richard Linley Fred Winter Ali Abu Khamsin 11 11-1
1981 HENRY KISSINGER 7-10-13 Paul Barton David Gandolfo J J Mansworth 11 5-1
1980 BRIGHT HIGHWAY 6-11-01 Gerry Newman Michael O’Brien IRE George Strawbridge 15 5-1F
1979 MAN ALIVE 8-10-09 Ron Barry Gordon Richards J Ennis 11 6-1
1978 BAWNOGUES 7-10-07 Craig Smith Martin Tate Mrs H Lawler 11 5-1
1977 BACHELOR’S HALL 7-10-06 Martin O’Halloran Peter Cundell Peter & Karyl Harris 16 11-2F
+1976 CANCELLO 7-11-01 Dennis Atkins Neville Crump W V Burdon 13 4-1
1975 CLEAR CUT 11-10-09 David Greaves Maurice Camacho J W Hemingway 13 13-2
1974 BRUSLEE 8-10-07 Andy Turnell Michael Scudamore Mrs D Rees-Davies 11 2-1F
1973 SKYMAS 8-10-05 Stan Murphy Brian Lusk IRE Matt Magee 15 7-1
1972 RED CANDLE 8-10-00 Jimmy Fox Ricky Vallance Mrs C O’Shea 11 20-1
1971 GAY TRIP 9-11-03 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell A J Chambers 10 8-1
1970 CHATHAM 6-10-03 Ken White Fred Rimell C Knott 17 33-1
1969 GAY TRIP 7-11-05 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell A J Chambers 14 8-1
1968 JUPITER BOY 7-10-03 Eddie Harty Fred Rimell J E Liley 13 9-1
1967 CHARLIE WORCESTER 10-10-11 Josh Gifford Ryan Price Dorothy Price 13 7-1
1966 PAWNBROKER 8-11-09 Paddy Broderick Arthur Stephenson E W Cliff-McCulloch 5 7-2
1965 DUNKIRK 8-12-07 Bill Rees Peter Cazalet Bill Whitbread 8 11-10F
1964 SUPER FLASH 9-10-05 Stan Mellor Frank Cundell A H Wood 9 8-1
1963 RICHARD OF BORDEAUX 8-10-05 Bobby Beasley Fulke Walwyn J Schilizzi 20 20-1
1962 FORTRIA 10-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE G Ansley 25 5-1F
1961 SCOTTISH MEMORIES 7-10-12 C Finnegan Arthur Thomas G B Sanderson 17 9-2
1960 FORTRIA 8-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE G Ansley 19 8-1
+ Held at Haydock Park
FACTS ABOUT PADDY POWER GOLD CUP AND THE OPEN
This year sees the 46th renewal of the first major contest of the National Hunt season, the Paddy Power Gold Cup. The race, run under its present title for the first time in 2003, was known as the Thomas Pink Gold Cup from 2000-2002 while Whitbread under their Mackeson brand and then subsequently Murphys, backed the first 40 runnings.
Since the inaugural running in 1960, the contest has been won by Irish-trained horses on four occasions. Fortria won the first running and was successful for a second time two years later in 1962. The Irish had to wait for more than a decade for a further winner which came in the shape of Skymas in 1973 and Bright Highway was the last successful horse from the Emerald Isle in 1980.
Over the course of three days of The Open last season, there were three Irish-trained winners from 31 runners, including Accordion Etoile, who subsequently finished fourth in the Smurfit Champion Hurdle.
Five horses have won the Paddy Power Gold Cup twice. Fortria was the first, then Gay Trip completed the double in 1969 and 1971, with his victory in the 1970 Grand National sandwiched in between. Half Free was successful in 1984 and the following year, while Bradbury Star achieved this magnificent feat for Findon-based handler Josh Gifford in 1993 and 1994. Cyfor Malta, the 1998 winner, triumphed four years later in 2002.
Martin Pipe is the leading current trainer in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, having saddled seven winners - Beau Ranger (1987), Challenger Du Luc (1996), Cyfor Malta (1998 & 2002), Lady Cricket (2000) , Shooting Light (2001) and Celestial Gold (2004).
Despite the competitiveness of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, it is not a race for outsiders. 27 of the 45 runnings of the contest have been won by horses returned at odds of 15/2 or less. However, the overall record of favourites is not that great, with only 12 having been successful during the history of the race, though three of the last five runnings have gone to the market leaders, with the latest being Fondmort in 2003. The shortest-priced winner in the history of this prestigious contest was Dunkirk who went off the 11/10 favourite in 1965, while the two longest-priced horses were Chatham (1970) and Senor El Betrutti (1997), both returned at 33/1.
Perhaps the greatest performance in the history of the contest was achieved by Dunkirk. The Domaha gelding carried a staggering 12st 7lb to victory when he gained his 1965 success.
The incomparable Arkle made his British racecourse bow in the Honeybourne Chase on the Saturday of The Open meeting 42 years ago. It was a fantastic day for Arkle’s trainer and jockey, Tom Dreaper and Pat Taaffe, who following Arkle’s impressive destruction of the opposition by 20 lengths, went on to land what is now the Paddy Power Gold Cup with Fortria.
Best Mate, the latest horse to win three totesport Cheltenham Gold Cups, won the second chase of his career at The Open 2000, while the 2003 Smurfit Champion Hurdle victor Rooster Booster defied top weight to win the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle in 2002. The 2001 Greatwood Hurdle winner Westender was second to Rooster Booster in the 2003 Smurfit Champion Hurdle.
The Open has only once been held at an alternative venue to Prestbury Park. In 1976 a new drainage system was being installed at Cheltenham, so the then two-day meeting was switched to Haydock Park where Cancello became the only horse to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup anywhere but Cheltenham.
Josh Gifford is the only man to have both ridden and trained a winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, partnering Charlie Worcester to victory in 1967 and training Bradbury Star for his brace of successes in 1993 and 1994.
RECORD OF TRAINERS WITH ENTRIES IN THE
PADDY POWER GOLD CUP
Victor Dartnall (Lord Sam)
No previous runners
Tim Easterby (Turgeonev)
1998-2 Simply Dashing
Pat Fahy IRE (Mariah Rollins)
No previous runners
Richard Guest (Wet Lips)
No previous runners
Nicky Henderson (Fondmort, Liberthine, Chauvinist, Scots Grey)
1998-U Philip's Woody
1996-6 Big Matt
1995-3 Big Matt
1995-5 Amtrak Express
1985-7 The Tsarevich
Philip Hobbs (Monkerhostin, Lacdoudal)
2004-F Farmer Jack
2002-3 Wave Rock
2000-10 Village King
1999-2 Stormy Passage
1998-3 Dr Leunt
1993-U Guiburn's Nephew
1991-F Guiburn's Nephew
1989-1 JOINT SOVEREIGNTY
1989-9 Prize Asset
1988-6 Warner For Leisure
Alan King (Kandjar D’Allier)
No previous runners
Len Lungo (Brooklyn Breeze)
No previous runners
Willie Mullins IRE (Euro Leader)
2002-5 Killultagh Storm
2002-F Its Time For A Win
Ferdy Murphy (Europa)
2001-P Stan's Your Man
1999-10 Addington Boy
1995-11 Postage Stamp
1991-P Cuddy Dale
1990-P Cuddy Dale
Paul Nicholls (Armaturk, My Will, Le Passing)
2004-9 Le Duc
2003-6 Exit Swinger
2001-P Dorans Gold
2000-9 Norski Lad
1999-P Call Equiname
Michael O’Brien IRE (Forget The Past)
1980-1 BRIGHT HIGHWAY
Jonjo O’Neill(East Tycoon)
1989-P Raise An Argument
Martin Pipe (Celestial Gold, It Takes Time, Therealbandit, Our Vic, Windsor Boy)
2004-1 CELESTIAL GOLD
2004-5 It Takes Time
2003-5 Cyfor Malta
2003-F It Takes Time
2002-1 CYFOR MALTA
2002-U Exit Swinger
2001-1 SHOOTING LIGHT
2001-3 Exit Swinger
2000-1 LADY CRICKET
2000-2 Exit Swinger
1999-4 Northern Starlight
1999-F Tresor de Mai
1998-1 CYFOR MALTA
1998-4 Challenger Du Luc
1997-2 Challenger Du Luc
1997-P Terao Martin Pipe
1996-1 CHALLENGER DU LUC
1994-10 Errant Knight
1992-F Milford Quay
1991-6 Anti Matter
1990-6 Fu's Lady
1989-7 Beau Ranger
1987-1 BEAU RANGER
Nigel Twiston-Davies (Redemption)
2004-4 Ollie Magern
1999-F Mister Morose
1998-P Queen Of Spades
1998-R Pimberley Place
1994-7 Tipping Tim
1993-P Tipping Tim
1992-1 TIPPING TIM
Paul Webber (Full House)
No previous runners
Ian Williams (Royaleety)
Venetia Williams (Banker Count)
2002-6 Mr Baxter Basics
1999-1 THE OUTBACK WAY
RECORD OF SELECTED CURRENT JOCKEYS IN THE PADDY POWER GOLD CUP