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Wednesday, March 5, 2003


Intersky Falcon continued to attract weighty support this afternoon for the Champion Hurdle, even after Coral had cut him from 9-2 to 4-1, and the Barking-based firm were forced to go 7-2 this evening in an attempt to stem the flow.

Having announced that from tommorrow all Cheltenham bets will be "non-runner no-bet" Coral have installed It Takes Time and Keen Leader at 14-1 for the Gold Cup, with La Landiere at 16-1.

**Champion Hurdle
7-4 Rhinestone Cowboy, 7-2 Intersky Falcon, 9-2 Rooster Booster, 8-1 Like A Butterfly, 12-1 Flame Creek, 14-1 Marble Arch, 16-1 Hors La Loi, 20-1 Landing Light, Scottish Memories, Laveron, 22-1 Santenay, 25-1 Adamant Approach, 33-1 Scolardy, In Contrast, Westender, Copeland, 50-1 Holy Orders, Bob What 66-1 Bar

**Queen Mother Champion Chase
11-4 Moscow Flyer, 6-1 Cenkos, Kadarann, 7-1 Tiutchev, Flagship Uberalles, Native Upmanship, Edredon Bleu, 9-1 Seebald, 16-1 Latalomne, 20-1 Lady Cricket, Dark n Sharp, Geos, 25-1 Wahiba Sands, 40-1 Bar

**Gold Cup
6-4 Best Mate, 7-2 Beef Or Salmon, 10-1 Hussard Collonges, Commanche Court, 12-1 Behrajan, 14-1 It Takes Time, Keen Leader, Marlborough, 16-1 La Landiere, Chives, 20-1 First Gold, Colonel Braxton, Valley Henry, Florida Pearl, See More Business, 25-1 Harbour Pilot, Truckers Tavern, 33-1 Cyfor Malta, 40-1 Bar

**Bonusprint Stayers Hurdle
7-4 Baracouda, 11-4 Limestone Lad, 7-1 Classified, 8-1 Galileo, 9-1 Iris's Gift, 12-1 Native Emperor, 16-1 Over The Bar, Laveron, Brother Joe, 25-1 Stromness, Deanos Beeno, 40-1 Bar

**Royal & Sun Alliance Chase
9-4 Keen Leader, 9-2 It Takes Time, 5-1 Jair Du Cochet, 7-1 Tarxien, 8-1 Joss Naylor, 12-1 One Knight, 14-1 Barrow Drive, 20-1 Stars Out Tonight, 25-1 Iris Royal, 33-1 Bar

**Irish Independent Arkle Trophy
7-4 Azertyuiop, 5-1 Farmer Jack, 6-1 Adamant Approach, 7-1 Impek, 9-1 Isio, 10-1 Hand In Hand, Le Roi Miguel, 16-1 Got One Too, Vol Solitaire, 33-1 Golden Alpha, One Night Out, Stage Affair, Tresor Preziniere, 40-1 Bar

**Triumph Hurdle
5-1 Don Fernando, 7-1 Golden Cross, Well Chief, 10-1 Saintsaire, Red Wine, 12-1 Mutineer, 14-1 Moneytrain, 16-1 East Tycoon, Old California, 20-1 Nas Na Riogh, Kenilworth, Lilium De Cotte, Bal De Nuit, Mughas, 25-1 Smugglers Song, Far Pavilions, Party Airs, The Last Cast, Bareme, Starzaan, Crystal d'Ainay, 33-1 Lewis Island, Fortune Island, Lowlander, Spectroscope, Andy Gin, Statim, Penny Pictures, Mistanoora, Mirant, Le Duc, Fantastic Champion, Duke Of Earl, Bellaficient, Tanikos, Fils A Papa, 40-1 Bar

**Royal & Sun Alliance Hurdle
7-2 Pizarro, 4-1 Coolnagorna, 6-1 Hardy Eustace, 10-1 Lord Sam, Foreman, 14-1 Sh Boom, Nil Desperandum, 16-1 Supreme Prince, Double Honour, Supreme Developer, 20-1 Saitensohn, 25-1 Kickham, 33-1 Hi Cloy, The Biker, Calling Brave

**Supreme Novices Hurdle
5-2 Back In Front, 5-1 Thisthatandtother, Well Chief, 8-1 Kicking King, 12-1 Joueur D'Estruval, 14-1 Puntal, Inca Trail, 16-1 Chauvinist, Lirfox, Mutakarrim, 20-1 The Biker, Mise Rafturai, 25-1 Dream With Me, 33-1 Bar

**Weatherbys Champion Bumper
4-1 Liberman, 6-1 Cornish Rebel, 7-1 Back To Ben Alder, Royal Alphabet, 10-1 McGruders Cross, 12-1 Bourbon Manhatten, Dizzy's Dream, 14-1 Zum See, 16-1 Vodka Bleu, Davenport Democrat, Govamix, 20-1 Mr Babbage, Triple Rum, 25-1 Dempsey, Millers's Bay, Amorello, Kim Fontaine, Storm Boxer, 33-1 Bar

**The Coral Cup
5-1 Korelo, 7-1 Xenophon, 12-1 Emotional Moment, Yeoman's Point, Native New Yorker, Ravenswood, Spectrometer, Sacundai, 14-1 Over The Bar, Quazar, 16-1 Safari Paradise, Spirit Leader, Palua, Chopneyev, Tucacas, Chauvinist, Camden Tanner, 20-1 Calling Brave, Tikram, Valerio, See You Sometime, 25-1 Benbyas, Shemdani, 33-1 Bar

**Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle
8-1 Xenophon, 10-1 Emotional Moment, 12-1 Direct Bearing, Native New Yorker, 14-1 Spirit Leader, Non So, 16-1 Janidou, Camden Tanner, 20-1 Never, Chauvinist, Monkerhostin, Misterthetrixster, Hawadeth, 25-1 Mister McGoldrick, Bound, Westender, Under The Sand, Miss Cool, Tardar, Detonateur, Keltic Bard, Comex Flyer, Copeland, 33-1 Bar

**The Pertemps Final
6-1 Iris's Gift, Ravenswood, 8-1 Keepatem, 10-1 Inching Closer, Chopneyev, 12-1 Rare Ouzel, 14-1 Royal Emperor, Farinel, Native Emperor, 16-1 Rapid Deployment, Jack High, Native Estates, Rostropovich, 20-1 Samasakhan, Lorenzino, Prokofiev, Proper Squire, Sudden Shock, Springfield Scally, 25-1 Moss Harvey, Guard Duty, Ballylusky, Effectual, No Discounts, Sure Future, 33-1 Bar

**Grand Annual Steeplechase
7-1 Dark'N Sharp, 8-1 Palarshan, Vol Solitaire, Shamawan, 10-1 Eskleybrook, 12-1 Strong Run, Fadoudal du Cochet, Native Scout, 14-1 Redemption, Copernicus, 16-1 Harvis, Golden Alpha, Say Again, Bleu Superbe, Turgeonev, Got One Too, 20-1 Killultagh Storm, Devon View, Wave Rock, Europa, Armaturk, Abalvino, 25-1 Exit Swinger, Davoski, Log On Intersky, Hitman, 33-1 Bar

**Mildmay Of Flete
10-1 Ross Moff, Hermes III, Go Roger Go, Claymore, 12-1 Shamawan, Europa, 14-1 Poliantas, Ballinclay King, Horus, Scots Grey, 16-1 Master Tern, 20-1 Halexy, Arctic Copper, Fadalko, 25-1 Blowing Wind, Davoski, Wahiba Sands, Avalanche, Cregg House

**Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup
8-1 Ibis Rochelais, 10-1 Moor Lane, Putsometnby, 12-1 Silver Steel, Rith Dubh, 14-1 Ceanannas Mor, Samuel Wilderspin, Spinofski, 16-1 Merchant's Friend, Shardam, Oa BaldixeDruids Glen, Royale de Vassy, Tom's Prize, Deep King, 20-1 I Can Imagine, Timbera, Tonocco, Red Guard, Lanmire Tower, Kemal's Council, Tom Costalot, Carryonharry, Lord Jack, 25-1 Be My Manager, Katarino, Akarus, Dorans Gold, Handyman, Mighty Kilcash, Pessimistic Dick, 33-1 Bar

**William Hill National Hunt Chase
10-1 Joss Naylor, Ad Hoc, 12-1 Iris Bleu, Youlneverwalkalone, Takagi, 14-1 Ryalux, Montreal, Southern Star, 16-1 Youre Agoodun, Carbury Cross, Foly Pleasant, Historg, Horus, 20-1 First Gold, Foxchapel King, Haut Cercy, Iznogoud, Exit To Wave, Bounce Back, Whitenzo, Goguenard, 25-1 Take Control, Frosty Canyon, 33-1 Bar

**Cathcart Chase
3-1 La Landiere, 4-1 Valley Henry, 5-1 Tarxien, 7-1 Fondmort, Le Coudray, 12-1 Poliantas, Royal Auclair, Barton, 14-1 Armaturk, Horus, Irish Hussar, 20-1 Chicuelo, Macs Gildoran, 25-1 Byron Lamb, First Love, Indian Scout, Iris Royal, 33-1 Silence Reigns, 40-1 Barito

**National Hunt Steeplechase
5-2 Stormez, 7-1 Ask Henry, 8-1 Lucky Bay, 10-1 Hedgehunter, Druid's Glen, 14-1 Joly Bey, Young Ottoman, Another General, Haut Cercy, 16-1 Mystic Lord, Polar Champ, Canon Barney, 20-1 Whereareyounow, 25-1 Dark Room, Just Maybe, Shardam, Sudden Shock, Super Fellow, 33-1 Bar

**Christies Foxhunter Chase
5-2 Kingscliff, 4-1 Earthmover, 5-1 Sheltering, 8-1 Quetal, 12-1 Dorans Pride, 14-1 Torduff Express, 20-1 Bright Approach, County Derry, 25-1 Last Option, Mr Dow Jones, Trade Dispute, What Odds, 33-1 Polaris Flame, Backsheesh, Belvento, Family Business, Red Brook Lad

**Cheltenham Top Jockey
2-1 McCoy, 4-1 Walsh, 9-2 Williamson, 11-2 Fitzgerald, 10-1 Geraghty, 14-1 Culloty, Cooper, Johnson, 16-1 Carberry, 25-1 Murphy, 50-1 Llewellyn, Dobbin, Tizzard, 66-1 Doumen, Swan, Ricou, A Thornton, R Thornton, Durack, Foley, 100-1 Bar

**Cheltenham Top Trainer (Number of winners)
11-8 Jonjo O'Neill, 6-4 Martin Pipe, 5-1 Paul Nicholls, 6-1 Nicky Henderson, 12-1 Edward O Grady, 20-1 Henrietta Knight, 25-1 Philip Hobbs, 33-1 Christy Roche, Willie Mullins, 40-1 Bar


Irish-based trainer Jessica Harrington will run Private Ben in the 100,000 Freephone Stanley Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday, March 22.

The five-year-old, who has been allotted 8st 7lb in the big mile handicap, is among 116 horses from the original record entry of 137 to stand their ground at Tuesday's second forfeit stage - details of which are announced today. Last year there were 84 horses going forward at this stage.

Private Ben is currently a 25/1 chance with the sponsors and last year he ran well to be the three-quarter of a length runner-up to Atlantic Rhapsody in the Irish Lincolnshire, the Irish equivalent of the Freephone Stanley Lincoln, at the Curragh in March. He returned to the same venue two months later to win a mile handicap by a head from Desert Trail.

Private Ben has been hurdling this winter, justifying favouritism to win a maiden event at Down Royal in November and he was second to King Carew in a Limerick hurdle on Boxing Day - his most recent start.

"The Lincoln at Doncaster is the target for Private Ben at the moment and I've had the race in mind for some time," said Harrington today. "He seems to be fine and grand [after his last outing]."

Private Ben's other success came when trained by Kevin Prendergast in a Fairyhouse maiden in 2000 and all three of his victories have come when there has been some cut in the ground.

"Private Ben needs soft ground and I definitely wouldn't run him on good ground," explained the County Kildare handler. "I would consider good to soft ground depending on how they call it good to soft."

Harrington's charge is unlikely to be seen again over hurdles before he attempts his overseas raid.

"I don't think he'll run again as he was second in the Irish equivalent first time out last year."

Steve Gollings is aiming King's Thought at the Freephone Stanley Lincoln, although a maximum of 24 runners may mean that the four-year-old, who is on a mark of 7st 6lb, is more likely to line up in the consolation Freephone Stanley Spring Mile, run the day before, Friday, March 21. He is currently a 33/1 chance with Stanley for the main event.

Formerly trained by Ed Dunlop, King's Thought is unbeaten in two outings for Gollings, both of which came on the all-weather track at Lingfield when ridden by top jockey Darryll Holland but he escapes a 5lb penalty because neither was class C or above.

The first was in a mile handicap on February 25 when he was a neck too strong for Cut Rate, and he returned to the Surrey venue on Tuesday (March 4) to make all again and beat African Sahara by one and a half lengths in a classified stakes.

Gollings said today: "I'm going to assume that King's Thought will miss the cut for the Lincoln but he will go for the Spring Mile and Darryll Holland is a definite rider.

"I know it's a bit of a cliche but he is absolutely 100% after Tuesday's win. He's quite amazing really because Lingfield is a fair way from us. I thought maybe we'd gone back there a bit too soon after his first win but he's bucking and kicking. He's a tough sort if nothing else!"

Last season the King's Theatre colt won once in five starts for Dunlop who ran him over at least 10 furlongs on two of his last three outings.

"We bought King's Thought as a dual-purpose horse and we did think initially that he might make a Triumph Hurdle horse. He's very, very headstrong and, although he is basically a 10-furlong horse, when he was running for Ed, they tried to hang on to him in races and my theory was that we'll just drop him back in trip and use him a little bit more," explained the Lincolnshire-based handler.

"It was basically wasting energy by restraining him all the time. He has settled from his first run at Lingfield for me when he was very, very keen but on Tuesday he was much more professional and relaxed.

"Even though he was still very, very keen, it was a definite improvement and physically there is more improvement in him. The horse had done plenty of work before his first win at Lingfield and it was obvious he was going to come on for the run. He has done so and I think, significantly, that he'll improve again."

Gollings is quite bullish about his charge's chance at Town Moor, which will be the next time that King's Thought will be seen on a racecourse.

"He will go straight to Doncaster now. If he made the cut for the Lincoln, I'd have to say, tongue in cheek, that he'd have a bit of an each-way chance," he enthused. "But in the Spring Mile I think he's got a cracking chance."

The five-day stage for the Freephone Stanley Lincoln is at noon on Monday, March 17.


There are just eight days to go before the Blue Riband of National Hunt racing takes place - the 350,000 TOTE CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP, run over three miles, two and a half furlongs at Cheltenham on Thursday, March 13.

This is the 24th year the great chase has been backed by the Tote, the biggest race sponsor in Britain. The prize money for the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup has risen by 50,000 to 350,000 this year - making it by far the most valuable non-handicap in the National Hunt programme.

The Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup is the biggest event in the Tote's very extensive sponsorship portfolio which covers some 220 races and involves the Tote contributing a record 2,665,000 this year.

The National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham, March 11, 12 & 13, are the biggest days of the whole year for the Tote's Racecourse Division - for the details see below.

This media pack also contains profiles of 10 leading Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup contenders, together with their latest odds from Tote Bookmakers.

The past winners since the Tote took over the Gold Cup sponsorship in 1980 and statistics on novices and defending champions in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup are also provided.

On-Course Tote Pool Betting Turnover At The 2002 Cheltenham Festival (not including betting shop or telephone business)

Tuesday 2,687,241
Wednesday 2,981,398
Thursday 3,311,197
Total 8,979,835

This is a record for on-course turnover at any festival meeting (including Royal Ascot). Thursday is also a record for on-course turnover on a single day at one meeting.

Of total on-course turnover throughout 2002, the Cheltenham Festival accounted for almost 9% of it.

Across the three days, there are on average over 650 Tote staff accepting bets each day.

During the three days last year, the number of transactions was 912,000.

In terms of record pool sizes, the following were broken at Cheltenham 2002 (these include money bet into the pools from off course):-
422,972 Win pool for the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup
214,742 Place pool for the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup
77,726 Exacta pool for the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup
555,937 Placepot pool on Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup day
23,400 Quadpot pool on Champion Chase day

For more information, please contact the Tote's PR Director, Andy Clifton, on 0208 875 9351 or 07770 221093.


Profiles of 10 leading contenders for the 2003 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup

7 ch g Cajetano (USA) - Farinella (IRE) (Salmon Leap (USA))
Owner: Joe Craig Trainer: Michael Hourigan IRE Probable Jockey: Timmy Murphy

He is unbeaten in his four starts over fences so far and began by taking the Grade Two Morris Oil Chase at Clonmel on November 24 before going on to success in the Grade Three Hilly Way Chase at Cork on December 15. On his last two starts, Beef Or Salmon has defeated the cream of Irish chasing talent in the Grade One Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown on December 28 and in the Grade One Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at the same course on February 9. See later in this pack for statistics on novices in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup. Latest Tote Odds - 4/1

8 b g Arazi (USA) - Behera (Mill Reef (USA))
Owner: The Behrajan Partnership Trainer: Henry Daly Probable Jockey: Richard Johnson

Formerly a very useful staying hurdler (finished third in the 2000 Bonusprint Stayers Hurdle), he has proved to be also capable of high-class form over fences and, after a disappointing reappearance in the Troytown Chase at Navan on November 17, Behrajan has developed into a leading Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup contender. At Ascot on December 21 he put up a gutsy effort to win a valuable handicap under 11st 12lb and followed that up with a near faultless display when taking the Grade Two Pillar Property Chase at Cheltenham on January 25, when he was in control from start to finish. Latest Tote Odds - 16/1

1221-11 BEST MATE (IRE)
8 b g Un Desperado (FR) - Katday (FR) (Miller's Mate)
Owner: Jim Lewis Trainer: Henrietta Knight Probable Jockey: Jim Culloty

The reigning champion, Best Mate, has had two appearances this season and appears to be as good as ever. He began the campaign with a defeat of Douze Douze in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon on November 23 and went on to record an excellent victory in the Pertemps King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, defeating Marlborough. Please refer to the section later in this pack for details of the task facing Best Mate as he bids for a second successive Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup victory. Latest Tote Odds - 11/8

F133-222 CHIVES (IRE)
8 b g Good Thyne (USA) - Chatty Actress (La Bavard (FR))
Owner: Trevor Hemmings Trainer: Henrietta Knight Probable Jockey: Richard Guest

He finished off last season with a good effort when third in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He has not yet managed to get his head in front this term but has run well when second on each of his three starts. He started the season when chasing home Kingsmark in the Edward Hanmer Chase at Haydock in November before putting up a mighty display when second under 11st 12lb in the Welsh National at Haydock on December 27 and most recently ran in the Grade Two AON Chase at Newbury on February 8, when he was two and a half lengths behind Valley Henry. Latest Tote Odds - 16/1

8 b g Buckskin (FR) - Light The Lamp (Miners Lamp)
Owner: Sue Magnier Trainer: Dessie Hughes IRE Probable Jockey: Norman Williamson

He is one of the best chasers in Ireland and has been running well this season. After beginning over hurdles at Fairyhouse on December 1, he went on to chase home Beef Or Salmon in the Grade One Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown on December 28. He then managed to get his head in front when taking a Listed Chase at Fairyhouse on January 19. Most recently he was again runner-up to Beef Or Salmon in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 9. Latest Tote Odds - 25/1

10 ch g Commanche Run - Sorceress (FR) (Fabulous Dancer (USA))
Owner: Dermot Desmond Trainer: Ted Walsh IRE Probable Jockey: Ruby Walsh

He was a fine second on his favoured good ground when chasing home Best Mate in last season's Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup, having already been victorious at the National Hunt Festival in the Triumph Hurdle back in 1997. This season he has had two runs. He began over an inadequate two miles, when third to Moscow Flyer at Punchestown on February 2, and put up a good performance last time out to defeat Kings Valley in a handicap chase at Navan on February 16. Latest Tote Odds -12/1

8 b g Video Rock (FR) - Ariane Collonges (FR) (Quart De Vin (FR))
Owner: Nick Bannister Trainer: Peter Beaumont Probable Jockey: Russ Garrity

He landed the championship event for staying novices at the 2002 National Hunt Festival with a game performance in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase and has run well on each of his three starts this season. He was runner-up in the Peterhouse Group Charlie Hall Chase on his seasonal reappearance at Wetherby in early November and then came fifth under 11st 4lb in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury on November 30. He completed his preparation for the Tote Gold Cheltenham Gold when second to Truckers Tavern in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock on January 18. Latest Tote Odds -9/1

11 br g Strong Gale - Wrekonogan (Tarqogan)
Owner: Sir Robert Ogden Trainer: Nicky Henderson Probable Jockey: Mick Fitzgerald

Fourth in the 2002 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup after an interrupted preparation, Marlborough is still capable of top-class form on his day. He began the current campaign by winning an incident-packed Peterhouse Group Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on November 2. Unplaced in the Hennessy at Newbury, he ran his best race of the season when second to Best Mate in the Pertemps King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. He disappointed last time out, falling at the last in the AON Chase at Newbury on February 8, when out of contention. Latest Tote Odds - 25/1

13 b g Seymour Hicks (FR) - Miss Redlands (Dubassof (USA))
Owner: Paul Barber & Sir Robert Ogden Trainer: Paul Nicholls Probable Jockey: Joe Tizzard

The 1999 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup winner is the oldest member of the field at 13, but by no means a back number. He was carried out in 1998 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup, finished fourth in 2000 and came third to Best Mate in the 2002. His three runs this year suggest that another good effort is on the cards. After chasing home More Than A Stroll in the Grade One Championship Chase at Down Royal on November 9, he went on to land the Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow on December 7 and completed his preparation for a fifth attempt at the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup in February when slamming Iris Bleu and First Gold in the Country Gentlemen's Association Chase at Wincanton. Latest Tote Odds - 16/1

8 b g Step Together - Pineway VII (Damsire Unregistered)
Owner: Paul Barber Trainer: Paul Nicholls Probable Jockey: Barry Geraghty

He has been a slightly in-and-out performer but there is no doubting his ability when he is on song. He began the season with easy successes, at Wincanton in the Desert Orchid Chase on October 27 and in an intermediate chase at Sandown on December 6. He then disappointed when fourth at Cheltenham on January 25 in the Pillar Property Chase before bouncing back with an authoritative victory on quicker ground in the AON Chase at Newbury on February 8. Latest Tote Odds - 14/1


Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2002 BEST MATE 7-12-00 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight Jim Lewis 7/1 18
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE 8-12-00 Richard Johnson Noel Chance Tim Collins 9/2 12
1999 SEE MORE BUSINESS 9-12-00 Mick Fitzgerald Paul Nicholls Paul Barber/John Keighley 16/1 12
1998 COOL DAWN 10-12-00 Andrew Thornton Robert Alner Hon. Miss Dido Harding 25/1 17
1997 MR MULLIGAN 9-12-00 Tony McCoy Noel Chance Michael & Gerry Worcester 20/1 14
1996 IMPERIAL CALL 7-12-00 Conor O'Dwyer Fergie Sutherland IRE Lisselan Farms Ltd 9/2 10
1995 MASTER OATS 9-12-00 Norman Williamson Kim Bailey Paul Matthews 100/30F 15
1994 THE FELLOW 9-12-00 Adam Kondrat Francois Doumen FR Marquesa De Moratalla 7/1 15
1993 JODAMI 8-12-00 Mark Dwyer Peter Beaumont John Yeadon 8/1 16
1992 COOL GROUND 10-12-00 Adrian Maguire Toby Balding Whitcombe Manor Racing Stables 25/1 8
1991 GARRISON SAVANNAH 8-12-00 Mark Pitman Jenny Pitman Autofour Engineering 16/1 14
1990 NORTON'S COIN 9-12-00 Graham McCourt Sirrell Griffiths Sirrell Griffiths 100/1 12
1989 DESERT ORCHID 10-12-00 Simon Sherwood David Elsworth Richard Burridge 5/2F 13
1988 CHARTER PARTY 10-12-00 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Claire Smith & Jenny Mould 10/1 15
1987 THE THINKER 9-12-00 Ridley Lamb Arthur Stephenson T P M McDonagh Ltd 13/2 12
1986 DAWN RUN 8-11-09 Jonjo O'Neill Paddy Mullins IRE Charmian Hill 15/8F 11
1985 FORGIVE N' FORGET 8-12-00 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald T Kilroe and Sons Ltd 7/1 15
1984 BURROUGH HILL LAD 8-12-00 Phil Tuck Jenny Pitman Stan Riley 7/2 12
1983 BREGAWN 9-12-00 Graham Bradley Michael Dickinson James Kennelly 100/30F 11
1982 SILVER BUCK 10-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Michael Dickinson Christine Feather 8/1 22
1981 LITTLE OWL 7-12-00 Mr Jim Wilson Peter Easterby Robin Wilson 6/1 15
1980 *MASTER SMUDGE 8-12-00 Richard Hoare Arthur Barrow Arthur Barrow 14/1 15
*Master Smudge finished second to Tied Cottage, who was subsequently disqualified for failing a post-race urine test


Best Mate will be attempting to become the first horse since L'Escargot in 1970 and 1971 to win back-to-back renewals of the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Henrietta Knight's stable star could not have been more impressive when taking the chasing championship a year ago and has done nothing wrong this season, with wins in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon and the Pertemps King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Below are the records of how Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup winners since L'Escargot have performed in the race the following year. As can be seen, in the 30 renewals since 1971, the winner from the previous year ran on 14 occasions and, while none have won, five were placed. The best performances came from The Dikler (1974) and Jodami (1994), who both came second.

Another horse - the veteran See More Business - is going for his second Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup success, having won for the first time back in 1999.

Year Previous Year's Winner Finishing Position SP
1972 L'Escargot 4th 4/1
1973 Glencaraig Lady DID NOT RUN
1974 The Dikler 2nd 5/1
1975 Captain Christy Pulled Up 7/4F
1976 Ten Up DID NOT RUN
1977 Royal Frolic DID NOT RUN
1978 Davy Lad DID NOT RUN
1979 Midnight Court DID NOT RUN
1980 Alverton DID NOT RUN
1981 Master Smudge DID NOT RUN
1982 Little Owl DID NOT RUN
1983 Silver Buck 4th 5/1
1984 Bregawn 6th 10/1
1985 Burrough Hill Lad DID NOT RUN
1986 Forgive 'N Forget 3rd 7/2
1987 Dawn Run DID NOT RUN
1988 The Thinker DID NOT RUN
1989 Charter Party 3rd 14/1
1990 Desert Orchid 3rd 10/11F
1991 Norton's Coin Fell 16/1
1992 Garrison Savannah DID NOT RUN
1993 Cool Ground 9th 50/1
1994 Jodami 2nd 6/4F
1995 The Fellow DID NOT RUN
1996 Master Oats DID NOT RUN
1997 Imperial Call Pulled Up 4/1F
1998 Mr Mulligan DID NOT RUN
1999 Cool Dawn DID NOT RUN
2000 See More Business 4th 9/4F
2001 No race - foot & mouth
2002 Looks Like Trouble 13th 9/2F*
2003 BEST MATE ???? ????

* Looks Like Trouble won the 2000 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup. As there was no race in 2001, he was attempting the back-to-back double in 2002.


Ireland's leading Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Beef Or Salmon has to overcome the fact that no novice has won since Captain Christy, also trained in Ireland, triumphed in 1974.

Below can be found the record of novices in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup after his victory.

As can be seen, relatively few horses (17 since 1975) have attempted to win the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup in their first season of chasing.

The best effort form a novice in recent years was Dorans Pride, who finished third to Mr Mulligan in 1997. The interesting connection is that Dorans Pride was trained by Michael Hourigan - also the trainer of Beef Or Salmon.

Year Horse Finishing Position SP
1977 Zarib Fell 12/1
Lanzarote Slipped Up 7/2
1979 Gaffer 6th 6/1
Night Nurse 7th 6/1
1980 Kas Pulled Up 100/1
Narribinni Pulled Up 100/1
1985 Drumadowney 4th 9/1
Boreen Prince 6th 20/1
1986 Von Trappe Fell 25/1
Castle Andrea Pulled Up 500/1
1989 Carvill's Hill Fell 5/1
Slalom Unseated Rider 33/1
1997 Dorans Pride 3rd 10/1
Cyborgo 8th 12/1
Danoli Fell 7/1
1999 Unsinkable Boxer Pulled Up 14/1
2000 Gloria Victis Fell 13/2
2001 No race - foot & mouth
2003 BEEF OR SALMON ???? ????


For 362 days jumping fans have been counting down to the opening race of the 2003 Cheltenham Festival. Like the British Open, F.A. Cup Final, and Wimbledon, it is an event that transcends its own sport, of which it is the undoubted pinnacle. To win at Cheltenham is the ultimate goal of every jockey, trainer and owner and three days of bliss for armchair punters everywhere.

The Festival has been home to Channel 4 since 1995 and this year the dedicated broadcast team will bring viewers even closer to the action. The initial showcase, Tuesday's 3.15pm SMURFIT CHAMPION HURDLE CHALLENGE TROPHY, sees reigning title holder Hors La Loi III defend his crown against new pretenders both younger and older. The speediest chasers on either side of the Irish Sea contest Wednesday's centrepiece -3.15pm QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE. It promises to be a classic Anglo/Irish clash with Moscow Flyer favourite to take the prize back across the water. In the presence of HRH, The Queen the glories of Cheltenham Festival reach their peak with the running of Thursday's TOTE CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP (3.15pm). Here Best Mate, victorious in 2002, bids to rise to this royal occasion for a second succession.

To ensure the finest portrayal of the greatest showcase of jump racing in the world, Channel4 attheraces will once again employ exciting innovations to its coverage. This year's technological leap consist of:

34 cameras including a digital-linked-camera for the trackside presenter and a fixed camera in the jockeys changing room, which will capture the anticipation of race riding
The revolutionary Wire-Cam will be relocated to the back straight - a Festival first. While the Blimp provides spectacular racecourse images and clean aerial overviews of each race enjoyed by race analysis's John Francome and Jim McGrath
An advanced ORAD system, which can create three-dimensional virtual images and superimpose them over live pictures, will be used to superimpose owner' s colours on the home straight
Every obstacle will carry a new sound-effects system that picks up the sounds of the horses jumping and jockeys comments, adding that unique "at the races" feeling

Denise Large, Senior Director of Channe4 attheraces, commented: "The 100-strong team are relishing the prospect of a total 12-hour plus live broadcast on Channel 4. With the latest technology and our expert team loyal viewers are guaranteed top quality Festival coverage."

Channel 4's Festival coverage will be introduced by ALASTAIR DOWN together with MIKE CATTERMOLE, JOHN FRANCOME, LESLEY GRAHAM, SIMON HOLT, LESLEY GRAHAM, JOHN McCRIRICK, JIM McGRATH, RISHI PERSAD, TANYA STEVENSON, DEREK THOMPSON and TED WALSH. To whet punter's appetites, coverage will commence with a CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL PREVIEW (Sunday 9 March at midnight). Here, ALASTAIR DOWN garners the opinions of the major players and cast judgement on the likely outcome of the principal races, together with a special focus on last year's Gold Cup winning team.

Festival coverage will start with a half-hour MORNING LINE (9.00am) with the latest and essential information on the day's runners, riders and conditions from Cheltenham. Racing from CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL starts at 1.00pm daily with attheraces channel 418 taking us to the end of the day. Highlights will be screened each night granting racing enthusiasts the opportunity to celebrate victories one more time, or see where your money went!

Tuesday 11 March
Race Details: 2.00 Gerrard Wealth Management Supreme Novices' Hurdle (2m f)
2.35 Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (2m)
3.15 Smurfit Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (2m f)
4.00 William Hill National Hunt H'cap Chase (3m f)

Wednesday 12 March
Race Details: 2.00 Royal & Sunalliance Novices' Hurdle (2m 5f)
2.35 Royal & Sunalliance Chase (3m f)
3.15 Queen Mother Champion Chase (2m)
4.00 Coral Cup (H'cap Hurdle) (2m 5f)

Thursday 13 March
Race Details:
2.00 JCB Triumph Hurdle (2m 1f)
2.35 Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle (3m)
3.15 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (3m 2f)
4.00 Christie's Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup (3m 2f)

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

Racenews 2002
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