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Wednesday, March 15, 2006


THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15




RECORD 24 GOING FOR GOLD

Friday’s totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup has attracted 24 declared runners, the biggest ever field for jump racing’s most sought-after prize. Since the race was first run in 1924 there has only once ever been more than 20 runners - in 1982 when Silver Buck defeated 21 rivals.


This year’s race is a wide-open affair with the Michael Hourigan-trained Beef Or Salmon, an eight-time Grade 1 winner, bidding to make amends for three previous unsuccessful attempts at winning racing’s Blue Riband.


“I don’t think you can be confident going into a race like the Gold Cup but it’s a load of cobblers when people suggest he doesn’t like Cheltenham,” said Hourigan.

“Last year when he ran here I trained only four runners between January and June and Paul Carberry said he could have pulled the horse up after a couple of fences. But this year he has had a great preparation, nothing has gone wrong. I don’t know why people knock the horse - they say he only goes well at Leopardstown but if the Lexus and Hennessy were run at other tracks in Ireland he’d have run there. He is the best horse in Friday’s race but I can’t forget when I brought over Dorans Pride for the race and he was beaten by Cool Ground, who wasn’t even good enough to win a point-to-point in Ireland.”

There are three other Irish-trained entries - last season’s John Smith’s Grand National hero Hedgehunter, War Of Attrition, trained by Mouse Morris for Ryanair supremo Michael O’Leary, and Forget The Past, trained by Michael O’Brien and the mount of Barry Geraghty.

“He won as well as he could when beating Jim and he’s untested really. He’s on 155 and War Of Attrition is on 157 so there’s not much between them. Beef Or Salmon has the best form but he’s 10 now and there’s one or two young ones, like mine and War Of Attrition, to give him a test. Of the others I think Monkerhostin was flattered to finish so close to Kicking King in the King George VI Chase and the winner was found to be wrong afterwards,” said Geraghty.


Monkerhostin - who won the 2004 Coral Cup at The Festival - is on an upward curve as a chaser, winning the William Hill Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on November and a fast-finishing second to Kicking King in the Stan James King George VI Chase at Sandown on Boxing Day.


The Francois Doumen-trained L’Ami finished fourth at Sandown with Royal Auclair in fifth, Ollie Magern sixth and Ballycassidy was last of the seventh finishers. Kingscliff, who had previously won the Betfair Chase at Haydock, was pulled up at Sandown.

Sir Rembrandt, a stablemate of Kingscliff, has finished in the frame in the last two totesport Cheltenham Gold Cups, coming third to Kicking King last year when Take The Stand was second, Royal Auclair was fourth and Celestial Gold, who makes his seasonal reappearance in this year’s contest, came seventh. Astonville, whose stablemate Turnium has also been declared, finished a distant last of the 10 finishers in 2005.


Best Mate’s full-brother Cornish Rebel, who will wear blinkers, has not run since finishing third in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27 when One Knight fell.


The 2004 Ladbrokes World Hurdle winner Iris’s Gift won three novice chases in the autumn, Iznogoud takes a step up from handicap company, 2005 Scottish National winner Joes Edge has not run since finishing fourth in Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby on December 26 while Tikram, the 2004 Racing Post Plate winner, is another taking a step up in class as are the Venetia Williams-trained Limerick Boy and Lord Of Illusion, who finished second in the Cheltenham Racing Handicap Chase at Prestbury Park on January 1.




LOOKING FORWARD

GOLDEN CROSS (LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE)

JOHNNY MURTAGH, his jockey, said today:

“I’m really looking forward to riding Golden Cross - 22 runners is a lot of runners round Cheltenham but I’m hoping he gets a trouble-free run. He’s a horse who needs to be dropped in, he needs a bit of lucking running, and travels very well in his races.

“He didn’t win that impressively last time but I think there was a bit more left in the tank. Trainer Michael Halford is very happy with him at the moment. I gave him a little blow-out yesterday morning and he felt in top form.


“The trip is a worry but he’s a horse who stays very well and his form is rock-solid. When he ran in the A.I.G Hurdle, he finished third to Brave Inca and Macs Joy, and you saw how they ran in the Champion Hurdle yesterday. Three miles up the Cheltenham hill will take a bit of getting, but I think if he doesn’t stay I’ll be very disappointed.”


SIR REMBRANDT (TOTESPORT CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP)

ANDREW THORNTON, his jockey, said today:

“He’s had a bit of a shout the last two years and finished second and third. He’s in as good form as he’s ever been, so there’s no reason to think he’s not in with a shout again this year. He’s got a big chance and is almost the forgotten horse of the race, but I don’t mind that. Hopefully, he can come up the hill well - one thing he does do is stay, which is always a big factor in the Gold Cup.”


SEE YOU SOMETIME (RYANAIR CHASE)

ANDREW THORNTON, his jockey, said today:

“The horse has an outside chance. He’s got quite a bit to do on the ratings, but he prefers a smaller field, and rather than running in one of the big handicaps, there’s only 11 runners in the Ryanair, He’ll bounce out and enjoy himself and realistically if we can finish in the first four he’ll have run a cracker.”


GOING NEWS AT 10.00am

The going has changed to:

GOOD TO SOFT, GOOD IN PLACES

from good to soft

Simon Claisse, Cheltenham’s Clerk of the Course, reported this morning: “We changed the going to good to soft, good in places at 6.00am this morning.


“We had some light drizzle overnight and the forecast is for a generally overcast day today with the chance of some sunshine this afternoon.


“Looking ahead to further in the week, I would say that the ground will still be on the soft side of good come Friday.”


EARLY BETTING NEWS

The opening Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle has seen Refinement supported with Cashmans and Jonjo O’Neill’s mare is into 6/1 from 7/1. Favourite Denman is proving popular with Boylesports and is now 6/5 (from 11/10).


The Listener has attracted support in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase and is now 7/1 (from 9/1) with Stan James, 6/1 (from 7/1) with Cashmans and 13/2 (from 8/1) with totesport. Coral also report money for Commercial Flyer in the same races and he is into 4/1 (from 9/2), while Boylesports have seen money for Bold Bishop who is into 12/1 (from 16/1).


In the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Boylesports report support for Fota Island who is 4/1 (from 9/2) and also Moscow Flyer who is now 9/2 (from 5/1). Cashmans report some money for outsider Fundamentalist who is now 20/1 (from 25/1).


Today’s Pricewise selection is No Where To Hyde in the Coral Cup and he is now 6/1 (from 8/1) with Stan James, 11/2 (from 8/1) with Boylesports, 6/1 (from 8/1) with William Hill and 6/1 (from 13/2) with Coral. Others backed in the big handicap hurdle of the day include Mughas who is into 20/1 (from 25/1) with Stan James, 18/1 (from 25/1) with totesport and 18/1 (from 33/1) with William Hill, while Mister Quasimodo is now 22/1 (from 28/1) with William Hill, 22/1 (from 33/1) with totesport and 20/1 (from 25/1) with Boylesports. Boylesports also report money for Phar Bleu who is now 10/1 (from 12/1).


Underwriter is proving a popular selection is the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase and is now 14/1 (from 20/1) with Coral, totesport and William Hill, while Boylesports have trimmed Ferdy Murphy’s charge into 12/1 (from 20/1).


The concluding Weatherbys Champion Bumper is always a very popular betting heat and among those attracting support is Pressgang who is into 20/1 (from 33/1) with Stan James and Boylesports. Kicks For Free is now 13/2 (from 15/2) with Stan James and 7/1 (from 8/1) with Coral while totesport report support for Burnt Oak who is into 18/1 (from 25/1).



FURTHER BETTING NEWS

Paddy Power report money for Zaiyad in the opener who is into 5/1 (from 11/2) and also Refinement who is into 13/2 (from 7/1). The Irish firm have also seen support for the outsider She’s Our Native who is into 50/1 (from 66/1).


In the Royal & SunAlliance Chase, Commercial Flyer has eased fractionally to 7/2 (from 100/30) with Paddy Power, as has Our Ben who is out to 9/2 (from 4/1) with the same firm. Paddy Power report some support for The Listener who is into 7/1 (from 8/1).


In the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Kauto Star is out to 15/8 (from 7/4) with Paddy Power while Ladbrokes have laid outsider Fundamentalist to lose half a million and he is now 20/1 from 25/1.


In the Coral Cup, Phar Bleu is into 10/1 (from 12/1) with Paddy Power, who also report money for Fair Question into 16/1 (from 20/1) and Mughas into 22/1 (from 28/1). William Hill have had a £20,000 bet at 6/1 for No Where To Hyde in one of the firm’s betting shops.


Underwriter continues to attract support in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase and he is into 12/1 (from 20/1) with Paddy Power while the same firm report money for Black Apalachi at 13/2 (from 8/1), Adarma at 10/1 (from 12/1) and Parsons Legacy ay 11/1 (from 14/1).

William Hill also have seen money for Adarma who is 11/1 from 14/1 while Ladbrokes have laid a £6,000 each-way bet on Parsons Legacy, who is now 12/1 (from 14/1) with the Rayners Lane firm.


TONY McCOY - TUESDAY’S GUINNESS AWARD WINNER

Tony McCoy was the recipient of the Guinness Award for Tuesday. The Guinness Award is for the individual who has made the greatest contribution to each day of The Festival. The shortlist is drawn up by a panel of racing journalists with the final result voted on by racegoers - the others on the shortlist yesterday were Ruby Walsh and Colm Murphy.


The champion jockey was successful in yesterday’s Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle on Brave Inca.


McCoy quipped: “I let myself down by smiling so much after Brave Inca won - it’s very disappointing!

“Brave Inca is a brilliant horse. It was even more satisfying winning yesterday as he had been fancied for the race for so long and everything came right on the day.


“The horse is a real character. He kept responding for me yesterday and I knew he would win.

“He looked a real picture yesterday - it’s a great credit to Colm Murphy and all the lads. He would not have looked out of place as a stallion at Coolmore.


“I carried on smiling until Moulin Riche got beat in the next race!”

BIGGEST totesport CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP FIELDS
2006 - 24
1982 - 22 (won by Silver Buck)
2002 - 18 (won by Best Mate)
1998 - 17 (won by Cool Dawn)
1993 - 16 (won by Jodami)
1945 - 16 (won by Red Rower)

Andrew Thornton gets green light

Jockey Andrew Thornton will ride at Cheltenham today despite suffering a heavy fall at the course yesterday.


Thornton fell at the ninth fence on A Glass In Thyne, his mount in the William Hill Handicap Chase.


He said this morning: “I got a right good kicking. My left arm was trodden on and kicked, and my right boot was ripped apart, but I’m okay. I can’t say where we would have finished had he stood up - it was a long way from home.


“Last night I applied plenty of ice and I’ve been taking Arnica. I just passed the doctor and I’m delighted about that.”

Thornton is set for two rides today - outsider Legally Fast in the opening Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle, and fancied The Listener in the following Royal & SunAlliance Chase, on whom he fell at Lingfield recently.


Thornton was reluctant to tempt fate, but said of The Listener: “Fingers crossed, he should run well.”



THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

Race 1 - Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle - Winning Quotes

MEADE GAINS COMPENSATION WITH NICANOR

Noel Meade gained handsome compensation for the defeat of favourite Sweet Wake in yesterday’s Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when Nicanor lifted Wednesday’s opener, the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle.


The 17/2 shot was partnered by Paul Carberry and came home two and a half lengths clear of 11/10 favourite Denman under a typically confident Paul Carberry ride.


Meade, enjoying his second Festival success following Sausalito Bay in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle six years ago, commented: “I’ve always loved him, he’s a gorgeous horse - this makes up for yesterday’s disappointment. Six years is a long wait for your second Festival winner!

“He has lots of speed and a real change of gears but also stays well.

“Paul made up his mind about which one he was going to ride last week and decided he better not change his mind later!

“I think Aintree may come a bit soon for him but maybe he could go to Punchestown. “

The trainer also saddled Mr Nosie to finish fourth. He said: “Mr Nosie ran a good race and jumped really well.

“It wasn’t the plan for him to make the running but he’s done well anyway.”

Speaking about Sweet Wake, who finished fifth when 5/2 favourite for yesterday’s Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Meade added: “Sweet Wake didn’t run his race yesterday and came back slightly distressed.”


MORE ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE NOVICES’ HURDLE QUOTES

Paul Carberry (Jockey)
“It’s a brilliant feeling. I was a bit further back than I wanted to be, but Nicanor was always going so well, I was just able to take him back.

“At the top of the hill, he was absolutely cantering. Jumping the second last I had a bit left, so I just sat, and jumping the last he was a little bit tight but still jumped it well. He put his head down and galloped all the way to the line.”

Noel Meade (Trainer)
“He ran well and jumped great. It was a typical ride from Paul. I’ve always thought a lot of Nicanor and he could be a Gold Cup horse one day.

“He’s been in fantastic form at home and has plenty of pace. Turning in I actually thought my two would fight it out between them.”


Race 1 Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle
Placed quotes

Nicholls offers no excuses and plans fences for Denman

After the 11/10 favourite Denman lost his unbeaten record in the opening race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, his trainer, Paul Nicholls was taking a philosophical view of the defeat.


Nicholls said: “He’s run a good race, but he’s been beaten by a better horse on the day. He’s a three-mile chaser and it’s a dream to be here because when we bought him we never thought he’d be red-hot favourite for the Royal & SunAlliance.


“He wants fences and he’ll be chasing in the autumn.


“We’ve no excuses. The ground has dried up a little bit and he got caught a bit flat-footed by the other horse. Win, lose or draw we knew we had a good horse because whatever he achieved over hurdles was going to be a bonus.”


JOCKEYS’ VIEWS ON THE GROUND AFTER FIRST RACE

Most jockeys agreed that that the ground was good after the first race today.


Rodi Greene said: “It’s decent goodish ground”

Paddy Brennan said: “It’s nice ground and a very good surface to ride on.”

Andrew Thornton said: “It’s on the slow side of good”

Mick Fitzgerald described the surface as “good” while both Paddy Flood and Mattie Batchelor felt the ground was drying out all the time.


“It’s getting quicker,” said Flood while Batchelor added: “It’s good, has definitely dried up from yesterday and as the sun comes down it will continue to get quicker.”


FIRST RACE RESULT

2pm ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE NOVICES’ HURDLE
Grade 1 (Class1) 2m 5f Old Course £100,000 guaranteed For 4yo+ Weights 4yo 10st 12lb; 5yo+ 11st 7lb Allowances fillies and mares 7lb Entries 138 pay £110, First forfeit 82 pay £220 Confirmed 36 pay £110 Penalty Value 1st £57,020, 2nd £21,390, 3rd £10,710, 4th £5,340, 5th £2,680, 6th £1,340

1 NICANOR (FR) (Des Sharkey) Noel Meade IRE 5-11-07 Paul Carberry 17/2
2 DENMAN (IRE) (Paul Barber & Mrs M Findlay) Paul Nicholls 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh 11/10f
3 REFINEMENT (IRE) (Michael Tabor) Jonjo O'Neill 7-11-00 Tony McCoy 11/2
4 MR NOSIE (IRE) (Mrs P Sloan) Noel Meade IRE 5-11-07 Denis O'Regan
5 MR POINTMENT (IRE) (Stockton Heath Racing) Charles Egerton 7-11-07 Paddy Brennan
6 RIMSKY (IRE) (D & S Goodman) Nigel Twiston-Davies 5-11-07 Carl Llewellyn
7 GLASKER MILL (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Henrietta Knight 6-11-07 Timmy Murphy
8 LETTERMAN (IRE) (S Tindall) Edward O'Grady IRE 6-11-07 Paddy Flood
9 ZAIYAD (IRE) (Sean Mulryan) Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR 5-11-07 Barry Geraghty
10 LEGALLY FAST (USA) (Tania Stepney) Simon Burrough 4-10-12 Andrew Thornton
11 HELTORNIC (IRE) (Stephen Molloy) Michael Scudamore 6-11-00 Tom Scudamore
12 THE MICK WESTON (Mick Weston) Richard Phillips 7-11-07 Robert Thornton
13 SHE'S OUR NATIVE (IRE) (Ian Brice) Evan Williams 8-11-00 Christian Williams
14 LE COMTE EST BON (USA) (J Seroul) Francois Doumen FR 5-11-07 Mick Fitzgerald
15 SOMETHING GOLD (FR) (J McLeod) Mark Bradstock 6-11-07 Mattie Batchelor
P INVESTMENT WINGS (IRE) (Swanvista Limited) Martin Pipe 4-10-12 Rodi Greene
P TURNSTILE (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 5-11-07 Graham Lee
Non-runner: Eamon An Chnoic
17 ran
Time: 5m 01.00s
Distances: 2.5, 6, 2.5, 3/4, 4, nk, 3.5, nk, 18, 10, 0.5, 4, not recorded, not recorded
Breeder: Pierre Hoyeau
Breeding: Garde Royale - Uthane (FR)
Tote: Win; £10.20 Places;£2.70, £1.30, £1.70 Exacta; £23.10

Winning Trainer: NOEL MEADE Born: January 2, 1951 Based: Tu Va Castletown, Navan, County Meath, Ireland Cheltenham Festival Wins (2): Capel Cure Sharp Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Sausalito Bay), Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Nicanor) Date of First Trainer’s Licence: 1972 Big Races Won: Group 3 Greenlands Stakes (1992 Street Rebel); Drinmore Novices’ Chase (1995 Johnny Setaside, 2004 Watson Lake); Grade 3 Gain National Trial Chase (1996 Johnny Setaside); Ericsson Chase (1996 Johnny Setaside); Grade 2 Morgiana Hurdle (1996 and 1997 Cockney Lad); Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle (1997 Cockney Lad); AIG Europe Champion Hurdle (1997 Cockney Lad); Marstons Pedigree Midlands Grand National (2002 The Bunny Boiler); Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (2004 Wild Passion); Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (2005 Wild Passion); Pertemps Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2004 Harchibald); Stan James Christmas Hurdle (2004 Harchibald); John James McManus Memorial Hurdle (Harchibald 2005) totesport Bula Hurdle (2005 Harchibald); Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup (2005 Sir Oj), Deloitte Novice Hurdle (2006 Mr Nosie) Wins in Britain (2001/2-2004/05): 1; 0; 0; 3 Wins in Britain this Season: 3

Winning Jockey: Paul Alice Carberry Date of Birth: 09/02/1974 General: Son of Former Jockey Tommy Carberry who won the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup (1970 & 1971) and Grand National (1975) on L’Escargot. Ended three-year retainer with owner Robert Ogden in May, 1998, to go freelance. Now based in Ireland, riding mainly for Noel Meade. Cheltenham Festival Wins: (8) Bumper (1993 Rhythm Section), William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase (1998 Unguided Missile, 2002 Frenchmans Creek), Royal & Sunalliance Novices’ Chase (1999 Looks Like Trouble);Gerrard Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Sausalito Bay), Pertemps Final (2005 Oulart), Grand Annual (2005 Fota Island), Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Nicanor) Big Race Wins: Martell Grand National (Bobbyjo 1999), Belle Epoque Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Pleasure Shared 1996), John Hughes Memorial Chase (Joe White 1996) Sandeman Maghull Novices’ Chase (1998 Direct Route), Barton & Guestier H’cap Hurdle (2000 Ross Moff), Martell Cognac Ember Inns Handicap Chase (2004 Lord of the River), John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle (2005 Definate Spectacle), Tote Gold Trophy (1996 Squire Silk), Lexus Chase (1998 Dorans Pride, 2004 & 2005 Beef Or Salmon), the Sporting Index Cross Country Chase (1998 Linden’s Lotto); Hatton’s Grace Hurdle 2001 Limestone Lad), Gerrard Wealth Management Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Mutakarrim), Kevin Mcmanus Bookmakers Champion Stayers’ Hurdle (2002 Limestone Lad), Pertemps Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2004 Harchibald), Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (2004 Wild Passion, 2005 Iktitaf), Drinmore Novice Chase (2004 Watson Lake), Paddy Power Dial-a-bet Chase (2004 Central House), Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (2005 Wild Passion), Menolly Homes Champion Novice Hurdle (2005 Asian Maze), John Smith’s Midlands Grand National (2005 Philson Run), John James Mcmanus Memorial Hurdle (2005 Harchibald), Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup (2005 Sir Oj), Bula Hurdle (2005 Harchibald), Woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle (2005 Rosaker) Wins In Britain (2001/02-2004/05): 2; 1; 2; 6 Wins In Britain This Season: 3


THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

SECOND RACE WINNING QUOTES
ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE

NOVICE CHASE DOUBLE FOR ABSENT OGDEN

Owner Sir Robert Ogden - missing his first Festival for 20 years - landed the second leg of a rare novice chase double when Star de Mohaison captured the Royal & SunAlliance Chase 24 hours after Voy Por Ustedes won the Irish Independent Arkle Chase.


Ogden is cruising off the South American coast on his 50-metre yacht, La Masquerade, and the owner’s racing manager Barry Simpson reported: “Sir Robert has been at every Festival for the last 20 years but sadly he’s not here this time. This is only his third Festival winner - we’ve had two in two days, they are like a 57 bus - you wait for along time for one and then they all come along.


“I did not get through to him until last night because there have been dreadful storms where he is off the coast of Chile. This should help him get over his seasickness.


“It was a fantastic performance and he’s another five-year-old. He jumped superbly all the way round, did everything off the bridle and flew over the last three.


“He’s be a possible for Aintree, it all depends how he comes out of this, but Voy Por Ustedes will definitely run there because Alan (King) says he has come out of yesterday’s race well.”

Winning trainer Paul Nicholls added: “He’s only a five-year-old and my worry beforehand was whether he’d stay and fortunately he did.”

Nicholls’ father Brian continued: “We’ve always thought a lot of him and as you can see he jumps for fun. I think that’s what won the race for him. The weight advantage has to help and the drying ground would have suited him.”

Jockey Barry Geraghty said: “He’s a lovely sort of horse who will be even better next year. He travelled well on the heels of the leader all the way and I never really had a worry. It’s a tough race for young horses -he’s only a five-year-old but he gets the 10lb allowance which is a great help and probably made the difference on the day. He’s got a massive future and is a lovely sort of horse.”


Race 2 - Royal & SunAlliance Chase - Placed Quotes

GEORGE AND EGERTON PLEASED

Trainer Tom George was understandably delighted with the performance of 33/1 shot Idle Talk, who was beaten six lengths into second place.


The Slad handler commented: “I am absolutely delighted with that performance. He would have finished a bit closer but got a bit outpaced and lost five lengths going down the hill.


“I think it may have been better for him had the race been run yesterday when the ground was a fraction slower. He wants a bit of cut, but not too soft as it was last time out at Lingfield when he disappointed,

“I’m not sure where we’ll go from here, we’ve always looked after him and will continue to do so.


“He’s a good horse for the future and in time should stay extreme distances. He could be a Grand National horse in time.”

Charles Egerton, trainer of third-placed Darkness, was pleased if slightly fristrated by the gelding’s effort.


He said: “The jockey (Paddy Brennan) has given him a brilliant ride and he’s run a blinder.


“It was slightly frusstrating to see him finish third when you look at the position where he has come from.


“He has shown his talent and I think the only problem he has is in his head!

“He hasn’t travelled well and lost his position in the middle of the race which didn’t help at all.


“He hasn’t had a hard race and could now go to Aintree. He is a very good horse.”

Andrew Thornton, rider of The Listener who unseated at the second last, said: “I might have nicked fourth, had we stayed on our feet but the ground was too quick for him.”


SECOND RACE RESULT

2.35pm ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE
Grade 1 (class 1), 3m 110y, Old Course, £140,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ Weights 5yo 10st 8lb; 6yo+ 11st 4lb Allowances mares 7lb Entries 91 pay £165 First forfeit 57 pay £330 Confirmed 23 pay £165 Penalty value 1st £79,828; 2nd £29,946; 3rd £ 14,994; 4th £7,476; 5th £3,752; 6th £1,876

1 STAR DE MOHAISON (FR) (Sir Robert Ogden) Paul Nicholls 5-10-08 Barry Geraghty 14/1
2 IDLE TALK (IRE) (Mrs M George) Tom George 7-11-04 Jason Maguire 33/1
3 DARKNESS (Lady Lloyd Webber) Charles Egerton 7-11-04 Paddy Brennan 11/2
4 LORD KILLESHANRA (IRE) (G Gingell) Colin Tizzard 7-11-04 Joe Tizzard
5 ZABENZ (NZ) (Michael Watt) Philip Hobbs 9-11-04 Richard Johnson
6 BEWLEYS BERRY (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 8-11-04 Graham Lee
7 THE RAILWAY MAN (IRE) (Cathal Ryan) Arthur Moore IRE 7-11-04 Davy Russell
F THE LISTENER (IRE) (Old Moss Farm) Robert Alner 7-11-04 Andrew Thornton
P LOUGH DERG (FR) (W Frewen) Martin Pipe 6-11-04 Tom Scudamore
P COMMERCIAL FLYER (IRE) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 7-11-04 Timmy Murphy 9/2f
P CHOPNEYEV (FR) (Claire Smith) Richard Phillips 8-11-04 Tony Dobbin
U ARDAGHEY (IRE) (D & S Goodman) Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-11-04 Carl Llewellyn
U BOLD BISHOP (IRE) (Gay Smith) Jonjo O'Neill 9-11-04 Tony McCoy
U BACK IN FRONT (IRE) (Nelius Hayes) Edward O'Grady IRE 9-11-04 Paddy Flood
U OUR BEN (Trevor Hemmings) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-04 Ruby Walsh
15 ran
Time: No official time
Distances:6, 11, 4, 4, 6, 10
Breeder: J Veau
Breeding: b g Beyssac (FR) - Belle De Mohaison (FR)
Tote: Win; £19.00 Places;£4.30, £11.40, £2.29 Exacta;£723.80

Winning Trainer: PAUL NICHOLLS Date of birth: 17/05/62 Based: Heighes House, Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset Date of first trainer’s licence: 01/11/91 Previous Occupation: Professional jockey 1980-89. Rode 130 winners including Hennessy Gold Cup (1986 & 87), Irish Gold Cup (1988), Welsh Grand National (1987) Cheltenham Festival Wins: (12) Irish Independent Arkle Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2003 Azertyuiop), Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business), Christie’s Foxhunter Chase (2004 Earthmover, 2005 Sleeping Night), Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene), Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother), Aanglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2006 Star de Mohaison) Big Race Wins Include: Martell Maghull Novices’ Chase (2003 Le Roi Miguel), Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Garde Champetre), Desert Orchid H’cap Chase (2000 Fadalko, 2002 Valley Henry), Mitsubishi Shogun Ascot Chase (2000 Rockforce),Game Spirit Chase (2000 Flagship Uberalles, 2005 Azertyuiop), Aon Chase (2000 See More Business, 2001 Shotgun Willy, 2003 Valley Henry), Scottish Champion Hcap Hurdle (1999 Fadalko), Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase (1995 Captain Khedive, 1999 Fadalko, 2002 Azertyuiop, 2003 Thisthatandtother) William Hill Haldon Gold Cup Chase (1998 Lake Kariba, 1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2004 Azertyuiop), Charlie Hall Chase (1999 and 2000 See More Business), King George VI Chase (1997, 1999 See More Business), Rehearsal Chase (1996 Belmont King, 1997 and 1998 See More Business), Scottish Grand National (1997 Belmont King), Pillar Chase (1998, 2001 See More Business), Feltham Novices’ Chase (1993 See More Indians), attheraces Gold Cup (2001 & 2003 Ad Hoc), Greatwood Hurdle (2003 Rigmarole), totesport Bula Hurdle (2003 Rigmarole), Peterborough Chase (2004 Le Roi Miguel), Challow Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Cornish Rebel, 2006 Denman), Coral Welsh National (2004 Silver Birch, 2005 L’Aventure), Tingle Creek Chase (2005 Kauto Star), Tolworth Hurdle (2006 Noland), totescoop6 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Be Be King), totesport Classic Chase (2006 Eurotrek), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Neptune Collonges), Pendil Novices’ Chase (2006 Napolitain), Vodafone Gold Cup (2006 Cornish Sett) 1000th Domestic Winner: Noble Action (Bumper, Folkestone, November 15, 2004) First Trainer to Saddle Six Winners on One Card: Saturday, January 21, 2006, at Wincanton Horses in Training (1997-2005): 52; 60; 66; 65; 78; 105; 106; 121; 126 Number of Winners (1992/03-2004/05): 20; 29; 28; 53; 56; 82; 110; 71; 83; 136; 152; 127; 152 Wins this Season: 129

Winning Jockey: Barry Geraghty Born: September 16, 1979 Background: one of six children from a “horse-mad” family in Drumree. His father Tucker was a useful amateur rider and trains a few horses in addition to his riding school and livery yard while his brothers Ross and Norman are both jockeys. The former won the 2002 Irish Grand National on The Bunny Boiler, while Norman is an amateur who doubles as a farrier. Barry has a background in pony racing, riding his last winner in that arena in September, 1996, before becoming apprenticed to Noel Meade that month and having his first ride the following month. He still rides mainly for Meade, but is also frequently used by Willie Mullins, Frances Crowley and Jessica Harrington. Based: Drumree, County Meath, Ireland First Winner: Stagalier (EBF Mares’ Maiden Hurdle, Down Royal, January 29, 1997) Achievements: Champion jockey in Ireland in 1999/2000 Cheltenham Festival Wins (10): Irish Independent Arkle Chase (2002 Moscow Flyer), William Hill Trophy Chase (2003 Youlneverwalkalone), Pertemps Final (2003 Inching Closer), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2003, 2005 Moscow Flyer), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2003 Spectroscope), County Hurdle (2003 Spirit Leader), bonusprint.com Stayers’ Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2005 Kicking King), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2006 Star de Mohaison) Leading Rider at The Festival: 2003 (5). Big Race Wins include: Martell Cognac Grand National (2003 Monty’s Pass); Martell Cognac Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Sackville, 2003 Iris’s Gift), Martell Cognac Laurel Pub Company Liverpool Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), John Smith’s Melling Chase (2004 & 2005 Moscow Flyer), Midlands Grand National (1998 Miss Orchestra), Royal Bond Novices’ Hurdle (1999 Moscow Flyer), Evening Herald Champion Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Moscow Flyer); Steel Plate & Sections Novices’ Chase (2002 Super Fellow), Intervet Trophy (2002 Stormez), Thomas Pink Gold Cup (2002 Cyfor Malta), Betdaq.com Champion Chase (2004 Moscow Flyer), Vodafone Gold Cup (2004 Isio), John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (2004 Kicking King), Tingle Creek Chase (2003, 2004 Moscow Flyer), King George Vi Chase (2004, 2005 Kicking King), December Festival Hurdle (2004 Macs Joy), Aig Europe Champion Hurdle (2005 Macs Joy), Tied Cottage Chase (2005 Moscow Flyer), Pierse Hurdle (2005 Essex), Totesport Trophy Hurdle (2005 Essex), Punchestown Guiness Gold Cup (2005 Kicking King) Wins in Britain (2001/02-2004/05): 4; 26; 13; 10 Wins in Britain this Season: 6



THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

Race 3 - Queen Mother Champion Chase - Winning Quotes

QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE - PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Andrew McNamara (Winning Jockey)
“It’s a great feeling. I didn’t think he maybe had the form in the book to win today, but two miles is his trip.

“It’s really a great buzz. I had one ride at The Festival last year and two rides yesterday.

“He’s had a clear run all the way round. I heard some of the commotion behind me but he’s missed it all.

“I gave him a breather at the top of the hill and he’s stayed on really well.


“After he won at Leopardstown earlier this season, I thought he might be a good thing for the Grand Annual!

“This horse has a serious amount of speed. We could have gone faster early on but I wanted him to last home.


“The only mistake he made was at the second last but that was probably my fault as I asked him for one that was too big.


“He would be as a good a horse as I have ridden, although I have also won two Grade 1 races on Hi Cloy who runs in the Ryanair Chase tomorrow.”

John Murphy (Winning Trainer)
“I thought he would be in the first three today and was genuinely confident without being arrogant.


“I think he will stay three miles in time if we can settle him.


“There was lots of trouble in the race today, but he’s avoided it by being up there all the way.


“I knew he had speed as he galloped and held his own with some good Flat horses - both decent handicappers and Listed performers. If he ran on the Flat, he would be a very decent stayer.


“I train between 40 and 50 horses and Newmill would be the best horse I have trained.


“We had a good, clean run to get to Cheltenham and we have a great team back at home and an excellent vet.


“We backed him before he was ever the Pricewise selection and had some 100s and 66s.”

Mary Hayes (Winning Owner)
“I’m very surprised to have won the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

“I am obviously very happy but didn’t expect this.


“I would never have dreamed that I would have a winner at The Festival and was very lucky to even have a runner in a race up against the likes of Moscow Flyer.”

Race 3 Queen Mother Champion Chase
Winner’s quotes

Newmill the new champion

Praise was heaped on jockey Andrew McNamara after he rode Newmill to victory in today’s Queen Mother Champion Chase.


Having his fourth ride at The Festival, McNamara, 22, made all the running on the John Murphy-trained winner. Murphy said: “He’s a top-class jockey and a future champion. My only orders were be up there and out of trouble.”

Murphy, who has trained the horse for the past year, then said: “Thank God that’s over! Everything went right, out there in front. I was a bit frightened that Central House might buzz him up and take him on - he gets buzzy when he thinks about jumping and thinks about life, but he kept dictating and Andrew did everything top draw.


“Two weeks ago I decided we’d go for this race rather than the [Smurfit Kappa] Champion Hurdle, but I didn’t tell the owners because they had all the badges and bets.”

Newmill has been running in hurdle races and chases this season, and had chased Brave Inca vainly in two races before Christmas, but Murphy said: “If he met Brave Inca and Macs Joy now he’d be a totally different horse. We’ve been building his confidence, but I’ve no regrets about not going for the Champion - it’s not better than this. He’ll stay three miles, but he’s such a cruising speed he’s brilliant over two. He might run at Punchestown, but he’s best when he’s fresh.”

Andrew McNamara said: “This wasn’t so surprising - we were quietly confident. He galloped the whole way to the line. I heard a noise behind [when Kauto Star fell and Dempsey unseated] but I wasn’t sure what was going on.


“He took quite a blow on the far side, but when we ran down the hill I knew it was going to be a good one to beat us.”

McNamara’s father, Andrew snr, trained Boreen Prince to win the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy in 1985.



Race 3 - Queen Mother Champion Chase - Other Quotes

MOSCOW FLYER IS RETIRED

Moscow Flyer, winner of the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy in 2002 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2003 and 2005, has been retired afer finishing fifth in today’s Queen Mother Champion Chase.


Trainer Jessica Harrington said: “He was badly interfered with when Kauto Star fell and was always struggling to get into the race from then onwards, although he never stopped trying.


“The interference put him off balance and I thought for a moment he might have gone.

“He was maybe a bit unlucky but would not have beaten the winner.”

Owner Brian Kearney added: “He was the first horse I ever owned and although it’s sad it has come to an end, he’s given us some many great memories over eight years of racing.

“I would like to thank Jessica and all her team for looking after him so well over the years.


“I am not sure where he will go at this stage but I’m sure he’ll be well looked after in his retirement.”


BARRY GERAGHTY, RACING UK INTERVIEW WITH RISHI PERSAD

“I’ve haven’t spoken with Jessie (Harrington) yet to see if it’s official, but everyone’s telling me he’s retired.

“Moscow Flyer was the best horse I’ve ever ridden, the best I’m ever likely to ride, and the best I’ve ever seen.

“He did a lot for my career - to get a ride like that when I was 21 was unbelievable. He was unbeaten in three seasons over fences [when he stood up].

“As well as his Cheltenham wins, the highlight was winning the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown [in 2004] against Azertyuiop and Well Chief. There were a lot of big reputations on the line that day. That was the best race I’ve ever ridden in and I know Ruby says the same.”


KAUTO STAR IS FINE

Kauto Star, the 2/1 favourite, fell at the second fence in the Queen Mother Champion Chase but is reported to be none the worse.


Trainer Paul Nicholls reported: “He’s fine and lives to fight another day.


“Maybe his slight inexperience at this level has just caught him out.


“He seems OK and could now go Aintree. As he is only six, he has plenty more chances ahead of him.


THIRD RACE PLACED QUOTES
QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE

NO EXCUSES FOR FOTA

Trainer Mouse Morris offered no excuses after Fota Island finished nine lengths runner-up to Newmill in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.


“He probably would have been suited by faster ground but I’m not using that as an excuse - we were just beaten by a better horse,” said Morris.


Sue Smith’s stable star Mister McGoldrick belied his 50/1 starting price to finish a length and a half further back in third.


“You just couldn’t ask for anything more from this horse,” said Smith. “I thought he would run well beforehand because he just never runs a bad race - he’s an out-and-out professional.


“He was bred in Knaresborough and his owner Richard Longley has had him since he was a yearling. He was just an average horse on the Flat but he has been brilliant over jumps - I just wish I had two or three like him.


“The good thing with these two milers is that they tend to recover quite quickly and if he’s OK there’s no reason why he wouldn’t go to Aintree.”

Central House finished fourth and his trainer Dessie Hughes said: “He hit a few very hard but stayed on and they went very quickly. I’d think he’d go to Punchestown or Fairyhouse unless the ground is very fast.”



THIERRY MAJORCRYK INJURED

Thierry Majorcryk, unseated from French challenger Kario De Sormain at the first in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, has been taken to hospital with thigh, chest and pelvic injuries. Despite this, the racecourse doctors do not feel that his injuries are serious ones.


MORE QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE - NEWMILL

ANDREW McNAMARA (JOCKEY)
“That was amazing! I couldn’t believe how well he travelled the whole way. Climbing the hill, he took a blow or two and I thought we could be in trouble, but he got his breath back and coming down the hill he really started to travel with me again.

“I asked him at the second last when I shouldn’t have and he was cleverer than I was, but he jumped amazingly throughout the race.

“I took one look behind before the last and saw that we had them at that stage. I could hear the roar and feel the buzz coming up the hill!”

JOHN JOSEPH MURPHY (TRAINER)
“We made the decision to come here because of his jumping. Andrew McNamara is a top-class jockey. He’s out of the top draw.”

J P McMANUS (OWNER SECOND FOTA ISLAND)
“He was beaten by a better horse on the day. The winner won it convincingly and we’ve got no complaints. Tony said he ran a bit flat but saying that he ran his heart out and did well to get second.”

JESSICA HARRINGTON (TRAINER MOSCOW FLYER)
“He ran his heart out and is back in one piece which is the important thing. I’m absolutely delighted - it’s far better that he retires in one piece than we go on. He retires here at Cheltenham where he had his finest hours. Barry (Geraghty) said he was always under pressure and just niggling at him instead of travelling.”

BRIAN KEARNEY (OWNER MOSCOW FLYER)
“The horse will be retired. You get into a bit of a dream watching it in a way. There was a very frightening moment where it looked like he might be brought down but he got through that. Coming down the hill, you could see he wasn’t going to make it.”


THIRD RACE RESULT

3.15pm QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE
Grade 1 (Class 1) 2m, Old Course, £290,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ Weights 5yo 11st 5lb; 6yo+ 11st 10lb Allowances mares 7lb Entries 29 pay £340 First forfeit 20 pay £680 Confirmed 16 pay £340 Penalty value 1st £165,358; 2nd £62,031; 3rd £31,059; 4th £15,486; 5th £7,772; 6th £3,886

1 NEWMILL (IRE) (Mary Hayes) John Joseph Murphy IRE 8-11-10 Andrew McNamara 16/1
2 FOTA ISLAND (IRE) (J P McManus) Mouse Morris IRE 10-11-10 Tony McCoy 4/1
3 MISTER MCGOLDRICK (Richard Longley) Sue Smith 9-11-10 Dominic Elsworth 50/1
4 CENTRAL HOUSE (IRE) (John Kenny) Dessie Hughes IRE 9-11-10 Roger Loughran
5 MOSCOW FLYER (IRE) (Brian Kearney) Jessica Harrington IRE 12-11-10 Barry Geraghty
6 WATSON LAKE (IRE) (John Corr) Noel Meade IRE 8-11-10 Paul Carberry
F FUNDAMENTALIST (IRE) (Gripen) Nigel Twiston-Davies 8-11-10 Carl Llewellyn
F KAUTO STAR (FR) (Clive Smith) Paul Nicholls 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh 2/1f
U RIVER CITY (IRE) (Mrs S Rowley-Williams) Noel Chance 9-11-10 Tom Doyle
U ONEWAY (IRE) (Mark Rimell) Mark Rimell 9-11-10 Graham Lee
U KARIO DE SORMAIN (FR) (Ecurie Zingaro) Jean-Paul Gallorini FR 8-11-03 Thierry Majorcryk
B DEMPSEY (IRE) (Mrs T Brown) Mark Pitman 8-11-10 Andrew Tinkler

Non-runner: Accordion Etoile
12 ran
Time: 3m 51.14s
Distances: 9, 1.5, 0.5, 0.5, 18
Breeder: Veronica O’Farrell
Breeding: br g Norwich - Lady Kas
Tote: Win; £22.90 Places; £4.20, £2.00, £9.60 Exacta; £131.30

Winning Trainer: John Joseph Murphy Based: Highfort Stud, Upton, Innishannon, Co Cork, Ireland Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Queen Mother Champion Chase (2006 Newmill) Other Big Race Wins: Kinloch Brae Chase (2006 Newmill) Wins In BritainThis Season: 1


Winning Jockey: Andrew Joseph McNamara Based: Croom, County Limerick Background: son of Limerick trainer and namesake, and cousin of champion amateur J T McNamara. Won 2003/04 point-to-point novice riders’ championship. Rode 14 winners under Rules as an amateur in Ireland before turning professional in June 2004 Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Queen Mother Champion Chase (2006 Newmill) Big Race Wins: John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (2005 Hi Cloy); Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase (2005 Hi Cloy) First Career Win: Danesford Hall First winner as a professional: Sir Onside (Kilbeggan, June 22, 2004, T & V Novices’ Hurdle) First four-timer in Britain: Musselburgh, November 25, 2005 (Not Today Sir, How Art Thou, Lanaken, Agent Lois) Wins in Britain This Season: 9







THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

FOURTH RACE WINNING QUOTES
CORAL CUP

SKY IS LIMIT FOR O’GRADY STAR

Some long-term planning from trainer Edward O’Grady paid dividends when Sky’s The Limit defied top weight of 11st 12lb in some style to land the Coral Cup by an effortless four lengths.


The five-year-old has not run since winning a conditions hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 3 and O’Grady said: “We wanted to preserve his handicap mark so he has not run since December, we hoped he’d improve from four to five and perhaps he has! He may just be on the upgrade - he’s only five and is obviously improving.


“Nobody expects a horse to win that easily, I’d like the handicapper to not put him up too much but I suspect we might have to go for conditions hurdles now. Aintree would be a possibility.”

Jockey Barry Geraghty added: “He’s still only five and you could go wherever you want with him after that. We were concerned when the weights went up at the overnight declaration stage but it also meant the bottom weights had to carry more so I suppose that helped.”

It was owner Ray Rooney’s first Festival runner since Golden Cygnet was trained by O’Grady to win the 1978 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.



Race 4 Coral Cup (handicap hurdle)
Placed quotes

Strangely Brown does McNamara proud

Eric McNamara, who trains at Rathkeel in County Limerick, ran two horses in the Coral Cup, runner-up Strangely Brown and faller Good Thyne Jack.


McNamara, from Rathkeel in County Limerick, said of Strangely Brown, who lost a hind shoe: “He ran a blinder, jumped superb, but was beaten by a better horse on the day. I had him entered in the [Ladbrokes] World Hurdle, but just felt two miles five furlongs was the right trip. He’s only a five-year-old and the longer race and better horses would have been too much for him.


“Brian Byrnes, who rode the horse, works in my yard and is a good lad. He claims 5lb and as Strangely Brown is not a big horse it made sense to take the weight off his back. We’ll consider Aintree or Punchestown for him.


“I’ve not spoken to Paul Carberry, who rode Good Thyne Jack, but the horse ran no sort of race. I’ve been told he made a mistake at the first, but I’ve not checked that out.”


Nick Williams, whose Dom D’Orgeval finished third under joint top-weight, said: “We’re disappointed because we came to win, but I’m always happy when they run well and finish in the frame. You’ve got to fancy a horse that’s on a roll like that.


“If he comes out of the race okay he could run in a hurdle race at Auteuil in April. He handled this quicker ground, but he’s better on soft ground and we should get that in France. He’s big enough to jump fences but we’re not in a rush. He’s so quick over a hurdle that we’ll stick to this.”


CORAL CUP - SKY’S THE LIMIT

BARRY GERAGHTY (JOCKEY)
“That was a serious performance under that weight. They didn’t go that quick, which suited him, and I had a great run round the inside. He travelled and jumped brilliantly and I was always going to hack up. He could be a Ladbrokes World Hurdle horse next year.”

EDWARD O’GRADY (TRAINER HAVING HIS 18th FESTIVAL WIN)
“I don’t think anyone expected a performance like that. All I was ever hoping was that he might win.”

RAYMOND ROONEY (OWNER)
“That was my first runner here since Golden Cygnet in 1978 - it’s a long time to come back here and stand in this ring.

“Edward is a wonder trainer - he’s minded this horse at home for the last three or four months. That was a tremendous performance from a five-year-old carrying 11st 12lb - I don’t think it’s ever been done before here. He’s a serious horse.”


ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE - FROM THE STEWARDS

The stewards considered the running of Commercial Flyer, ridden by Timmy Murphy and trained by Martin Pipe, who started favourite and pulled up. The jockey reported that he pulled the gelding up after making two mistakes. The veterinary officer reported that during routine testing after the race he found that Commercial Flyer had lost a front shoe.


FOURTH RACE RESULT

4pm CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE
Grade 3 (Class 1) 2m 5f, Old Course, £75,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ Weights raised 8lb Minimum weight 10st Penalties after February 26, a winner of a hurdle 4lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Dom d’Orgeval’s handicap mark 144 Entries 150 pay £90 Confirmed 83 pay £270 Penalty value 1st £42,765; 2nd £16,042.50; 3rd £8,032.50; 4th £4,005; 5th £2,010; 6th £1,005

1 SKY'S THE LIMIT (FR) (Raymond Rooney) Edward O'Grady IRE 5-11-12 Barry Geraghty 11/1
2 STRANGELY BROWN (IRE) (We Didn’t Name Him Syndicate) Eric McNamara IRE 5-11-03 Brian Byrnes (5) 25/1
3 DOM D'ORGEVAL (FR) (Jane Williams) Nick Williams 6-11-12 Richard Johnson 20/1
4 PHAR BLEU (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 5-11-06 Ruby Walsh 10/1
5 VERASI (F Ledger, J Bateman) Gary Moore 5-11-00 Philip Hide
6 UNGARO (FR) (Sir Robert Ogden) Keith Reveley 7-11-03 Jim Crowley
7 INCH PRIDE (IRE) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 7-10-11 Timmy Murphy
8 MUGHAS (IRE) (B Winfield, C Fenton & A Longman) Alan King 7-11-10 Wayne Hutchinson
9 VALLEY RIDE (IRE) (George Ward) Colin Tinkler 6-11-06 Tom Doyle
10 MANORSON (IRE) (Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited) Oliver Sherwood 7-11-00 Leighton Aspell
11 DESERT AIR (JPN) (Belinda Harvey) Martin Pipe 7-11-09 Tom Scudamore
12 FAIT LE JOJO (FR) (M Ephgrave) Liam Corcoran 9-11-00 Howie Ephgrave (5)
13 DANCING BAY (Elite Racing Club) Nicky Henderson 9-11-11 Andrew Tinkler
14 POLE STAR (Paul Green) James Fanshawe 8-11-06 Liam Heard (5)
15 TURTLE SOUP (IRE) (M George) Tom George 10-11-04 William McCarthy (7)
16 NATHOS (GER) (J Davies, A Merritt & J Sunley) Charlie Mann 9-11-07 Paddy Brennan
17 FAIR QUESTION (IRE) (The Merseyclyde Partnership) Venetia Williams 8-10-12 Sam Thomas
18 ROYAL PARADISE (FR) (Patrick Delaney Jr) Tom Foley IRE 6-11-05 Conor O'Dwyer
19 PRINS WILLEM (IRE) (Chris Von Hoorn) James Fanshawe 7-11-08 Carl Llewellyn
20 IL DUCE (IRE) (Mrs Peter Prowting) Alan King 6-11-05 Robert Thornton
21 MISTER QUASIMODO (J Dare, T Hamlin, J Snook) Colin Tizzard 6-11-01 Joe Tizzard
22 PADDY THE PIPER (IRE) (Mr & Mrs Raymond Green) Len Lungo 9-11-03 Tony Dobbin
23 ONLY VINTAGE (USA) (Lady Bamford & Alice Bamford) Henrietta Knight 6-11-04 Paul Moloney
24 AFRAD (FR) (The Not Afraid Partnership) Nicky Henderson 5-11-06 Mick Fitzgerald
25 AKILAK (IRE) (Ada Partnership) Howard Johnson 5-11-05 Graham Lee
F NO WHERE TO HYDE (IRE) (J P McManus) Christy Roche IRE 6-11-01 Tony McCoy 5/1f - deceased
F GOOD THYNE JACK (IRE) (J Doherty) Eric McNamara IRE 8-11-02 Paul Carberry
F PENNY PICTURES (IRE) (Terry Neill) Martin Pipe 7-10-11 Andrew Glassonbury (7)
F TWO MILES WEST (IRE) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-00 David Casey
RO ALL STAR (GER) (Lynn Wilson, Nick Wilson, Martin Landau) Nicky Henderson 6-10-12 Marcus Foley

30 ran
Time: No official time
Distances:4, 3/4, nk, 3/4, 4, sh, 1 1/4, 1 3/4, 2, 3.5, 1 1/4, 3/4, 0.5, hd, 4, nk, 4, 8, 5, 10, 2, 11, 8, 1 1/4
Breeder: D Merian-Fricker & EARL Haras du Logis
Breeding: gr h Medaaly - Highness Lady (GER)
Tote: Win; £11.60 Places; £3.70, £5.00, £7.20, £3.50 Exacta; £421.10

Winning Trainer: EDWARD O’GRADY Based: Killeens, Ballynonty, Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland Riding Career: 10 wins under Rules and Point-to-Points Date of First Trainer’s Licence: 1972 Cheltenham Festival Successes (18): National Hunt Chase (1974 Mr Midland; 1983 Bit Of A Skite; 1996 Loving Around); Walwyn Muir (1976 Prolan); Cathcart (1977 Rusty Tears); Letheby & Christopher Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1978 Golden Cygnet, 2003 Back In Front); Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1978 Flame Gun; 1980 Mountrivers); Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle (1980 Drumlargan; 1982 Mister Donovan); County (1981 Staplestown); JCB Triumph Hurdle (1984 Northern Game); Coral Cup (1994 Time For A Run, 2006 Sky’s The Limit); Bumper (1994 Mucklemeg, 2002 Pizarro); Arkle Chase (1996 Ventana Canyon) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Red Rum Chase (1991 Blitzkreig), John Smith’s Champion National Hunt Flat Race (2002 Kickham); John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle (2003 Sacundai) Wins in Britain in (2001/02-2004/05): 3; 2; 0; 1 Wins In Britain This Season: 1

Winning Jockey: Barry Geraghty Born: September 16, 1979 Background: one of six children from a “horse-mad” family in Drumree. His father Tucker was a useful amateur rider and trains a few horses, while his brothers Ross and Norman are both jockeys. The former won the 2002 Irish Grand National on The Bunny Boiler, while Norman is an amateur. Barry has a background in pony racing, riding his last winner in that arena in September, 1996, before becoming apprenticed to Noel Meade that month and having his first ride the following month. He still rides for Meade, but is also frequently used by Willie Mullins, Frances Crowley and Jessica Harrington. Based: Drumree, County Meath, Ireland First Winner: Stagalier (EBF Mares’ Maiden Hurdle, Down Royal, January 29, 1997) Achievements: Champion jockey in Ireland in 1999/2000 Cheltenham Festival Wins (11): Irish Independent Arkle Chase (2002 Moscow Flyer), William Hill Trophy Chase (2003 Youlneverwalkalone), Pertemps Final (2003 Inching Closer), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2003, 2005 Moscow Flyer), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2003 Spectroscope), County Hurdle (2003 Spirit Leader), bonusprint.com Stayers’ Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2005 Kicking King), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2006 Star de Mohaison), Coral Cup (2006 Sky’s The Limit) Leading Rider at The Festival: 2003 (5). Other Big Race Wins include: Martell Cognac Grand National (2003 Monty’s Pass); Martell Cognac Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Sackville, 2003 Iris’s Gift), Martell Cognac Laurel Pub Company Liverpool Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), John Smith’s Melling Chase (2004 & 2005 Moscow Flyer), Midlands Grand National (1998 Miss Orchestra), Royal Bond Novices’ Hurdle (1999 Moscow Flyer), Evening Herald Champion Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Moscow Flyer), Thomas Pink Gold Cup (2002 Cyfor Malta), Betdaq.com Champion Chase (2004 Moscow Flyer), John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (2004 Kicking King), Tingle Creek Chase (2003, 2004 Moscow Flyer), King George Vi Chase (2004, 2005 Kicking King), December Festival Hurdle (2004 Macs Joy), Aig Europe Champion Hurdle (2005 Macs Joy), Tied Cottage Chase (2005 Moscow Flyer), Pierse Hurdle (2005 Essex), Totesport Trophy Hurdle (2005 Essex), Punchestown Guiness Gold Cup (2005 Kicking King) Wins in Britain (2001/02-2004/05): 4; 26; 13; 10 Wins in Britain this Season: 7




THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

Race 5 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challlenge Cup Handicap Chase
Winner’s quotes

Harding follows in big brother’s footsteps

Brian Harding won the 1998 Queen Mother Champion Chase on One Man, and his little brother Richard followed up with victory in today’s Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase.


Riding the Ferdy Murphy-trained You’re Special, Harding kept his horse in the front rank throughout, and a fine jump at the last fence settled the issue.


“It’s a dream come true,” said Harding, 24, who comes from County Cork in Ireland. “I’ve ridden about 55 winners in point-to-points in Ireland, and 25 or 26 under Rules, but this is my first winner at The Festival.


“I got a phone call from Ferdy Murphy a couple of weeks ago and only sat on the horse for the first time this morning when I gave him a canter.”

Murphy gave plenty of praise to Harding, and said: “I told him not to hit the horse, but to keep him up there and keep pushing away.


“After he pulled up at Fakenham on his latest start he had a little tinkering from the vet to help his breathing - it wasn’t an operation, he just cauterized something.


“In the long run he’s a National horse, and now he’s won this his rating might enable him to get in. He won’t get in this year, but he could go for the Irish National.”


Race 5 - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase - Placed Quotes

MON MOME AND UNDENIABLE PLEASE CONNECTIONS

Mon Mome and Undeniable, second and third respectively in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase, both pleased their connections.


Mon Mome was beaten three and a half lengths under Mr Will Biddick, who was enjoying his first Festival ride.


Trainer Venetia Williams said: “I’m very pleased with that effort.


“He’s kept galloping all the way to the line and jumped really well throughout.


“I’m not sure where he will go next.”

Back in third was Undeniable under Nina Carberry, who pleased trainer Sue Smith.


The Bingley handler commented: “I am delighted with that effort.


“He’s done nothing wrong at all for us this year and Nina has given him a cracking ride.


“He maybe just lacks a bit of pace but stays very well and will get further than this.


“We will try and find a nice race for him now as he deserves to win a good one. We play it by ear, but will have a look at Aintree and there is also Ayr to consider.”


FIFTH RACE RESULT

4.40pm FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP
Handicap Chase (Amateur Riders) (Class 2) 3m 110y, Old Course, £50,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ Rated 0-140 Weights raised 1lb Minimum weight 10st Penalties after Feb 26, a winner of a class 1 to 3 chase 4lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Iris Bleu’s handicap mark 139 Entries 124 pay £60 Confirmed 62 pay £190 Penalty value 1st £30,010; 2nd £9,375; 3rd £4,685; 4th £2,345; 5th £1,170; 6th £590

1 YOU'RE SPECIAL (USA) (Diane O’Rourke) Ferdy Murphy 9-10-12 Mr Richard Harding 33/1
2 MON MOME (FR) (Vida Bingham) Venetia Williams 6-10-05 Mr William Biddick (7) 11/1
3 UNDENIABLE (Keith Nicholson) Sue Smith 8-10-09 Miss Nina Carberry 16/1
4 BEE AN BEE (IRE) (Carol Jobburns) Tom George 9-10-03 Mr Robert McCarthy (7) 25/1
5 RISK ACCESSOR (IRE) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 11-11-10 Mr J T McNamara
6 BLACK APALACHI (IRE) (G Burke) Philip Rothwell IRE 7-10-13 Mr Jamie Codd
7 IRIS BLEU (FR) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 10-11-05 Mr Robert Quinn (7)
8 LIBERTHINE (FR) (Robert Waley-Cohen) Nicky Henderson 7-11-00 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen (5) 7/1jf
9 PARSONS LEGACY (IRE) (R A S Offer) Philip Hobbs 8-10-11 Mr Tom O'Brien 7/1jf
10 LOU DU MOULIN MAS (FR) (The Eight Amigos Racing Syndicate) Paul Nicholls 7-11-01 Mr Colman Sweeney
11 FLORIDA DREAM (IRE) (D & S Goodman) Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-10-04 Mr David England (5)
12 UNDERWRITER (USA) (Diane O’Rourke) Ferdy Murphy 6-10-07 Mr Tom Greenall
13 BRIERY FOX (IRE) (Vicky Jeyes Helen Plumbly Jane Trafford) Henry Daly 8-10-10 Mr Joe Docker (7)
F ARISTOXENE (FR) (Trevor Hemmings) Nicky Henderson 6-11-02 Mr Jamie Snowden (3)
P ANOTHER RUM (IRE) (Ronald Lilley) Ian Duncan IRE 8-11-05 Mr Mark O'Hare (5)
P ADARMA (IRE) (J P McManus) Christy Roche IRE 8-10-12 Mr Kevin Power
P SCOTS GREY (Henry Ponsonby) Nicky Henderson 11-11-10 Mr Aidan FitzGerald
P CRUISING RIVER (IRE) (Four Stablemates) Henrietta Knight 7-10-13 Mr Damian Murphy
P ZETA'S RIVER (IRE) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 8-11-04 Mr Darren Edwards (3)
P GLACIAL DELIGHT (IRE) (The Friday Night Racing Club) Emma Lavelle 7-10-03 Mr Colin Motherway (3)
P JACKSON (FR) (C Brookes) Alan King 9-10-02 Mr Gerald Tumelty (3)

Non-runners: Native Jack, No Half Session
Withdrawn: Better Days
21 ran
Time: 6m 09.80s
Distances: 3.5, 8, 1.5, sh, 1 1/4, 1 3/4, 2 1//2, 1, 3, 0.5, nk, 10
Breeder: Ralph C Wilson Jnr Trust Agreement
Breeding: bg Northern Flagship (USA) - Pillow Mint (USA)
Tote: Win; £38.90 Places; £6.50, £2.70, £3.00, £6.50 Exacta; £554.20

Winning Trainer: FERDY MURPHY Trains at West Witton, Leyburn, North Yorkshire Riding career: Professional 1966-82; rode about 100 winners Date of first licence: 1990 Cheltenham Festival Wins: (4) Walwyn Muir (1996 Stop The Waller, 2006 You’re Special), Elite Triumph Hurdle (1996 Paddy’s Return), Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle (1998 French Holly) Aintree Festival Wins include: John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (2001 Ballinclay King) Other major wins: Tolworth Hurdle (1998 French Holly), Hennessy Gold Cup (1992 Sibton Abbey), Long Walk Hurdle (1997 Paddy’s Return), Christmas Hurdle (1998 French Holly), Sporting Index Chase (2001 Paddy’s Return), Scottish Grand National (2000 Paris Pike, 2005 Joes Edge) Rowland Meyrick Chase (2004 Truckers Tavern) Ballymore Properties Champion Stayers Hurdle (2005 Carlys Quest) Horses in Training (1995-2005): 25, 37, 40, 38, 55, 58, 106, 121, 116, 97; 66 Number of Winners (1997/98-2004/05): 27; 40; 34; 41; 68; 43; 31; 55 Wins this Season: 36

Winning Jockey: RICHARD HARDING Background: Brother of jockey Brian Harding who partnered One Man to success in the 1998 Queen Mother Champion Chase Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup (2006 You’re Special) First Win In Britain: Winter Star, Musselburgh, 18/12/05 Wins In Britain This Season: 2






THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

Race 6 - Weatherbys Champion Bumper - Winning & Placed Quotes

HAIRY MOLLY LANDS ANOTHER CHAMPION BUMPER FOR IRELAND

Hairy Molly became the 11th Irish-trained winner in 14 runnings of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper when coming a head in front of Pressgang under Paul Carberry.


The winner is trained by Joe Crowley, father-in-law of Aidan O’Brien, who was not at Cheltenham today as he feels he is “too old for the hustle and bustle.”

Assistant trainer Damien Byrne commented on the 33/1 winner: “Paul has given him a tremendous ride and this is just great.


“We fancied him a bit today as he does stay well and we thought the track would suit him.


“He is a three-mile chaser in the making and is a lovely horse.


“The syndicate that owns him is made up of four lads from Listowel. He is their first ever horse and was expensive enough, but you couldn’t put a price on him now, could you?”

Paul Webber saddled the runner-up for a second successive year in Pressgang and said: “He maybe just lacked experience, it probably made the difference that Newbury was off three weeks ago when he was due to have run.


“He was staying on but the fact that he had only had one run just showed.”

CARBERRY ENDS DAY ON A HIGH

Paul Carberry completed a first and last race double when winning the concluding Weatherbys Champion Bumper aboard Hairy Molly.


“I didn’t know a whole lot about the horse but I was told he stayed very well, so I had him up in the van the whole way in a great position,” said Carberry.

“I was going well enough down the hill, got a good gap, kicked on and he just kept finding for me all the way up the hill. I thought I was always holding them - my lad picked up again when challenged and the line came in time. The day started off well and ended well so it’s great - hopefully I can get a few more winners this week.”

Murtagh out of luck on first Festival ride

Triple Epsom Derby winning jockey Johnny Murtagh was out of luck on his first ride at the Cheltenham Festival.


Murtagh, the former Irish champion jockey on the Flat in his native Ireland, finished unplaced on the Willie Mullins-trained Ballytrim in the closing race on day two, the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.


Murtagh said: “The result wasn’t so good, but it was great to take part. I really enjoyed it.


“The horse travelled well for a long way, but when they quickened up he was just found wanting.


“It’s a great track and there is a great atmosphere - this is right up there with any big meetings I’ve ever ridden at.”

Murtagh will be back in action on day three, when he partners Golden Cross in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle for Michael Halford. “I’ve got my fingers crossed for a good ride,” said Murtagh.


SIXTH RACE RESULT

5.20pm WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER
Grade 1 (class 1) 2m 110y, Old Course, (A Standard National Hunt Flat Race), £40,000 guaranteed For 4-6yo which have not run under any recognised Rules of Racing, except NH/INH Flat races; horses are not to have run in more than four NH Flat races and, before Feb 27, 2006, must have been placed first, second, third, or fourth in such a race, Weights 4yo 10st 11lb; 5yo and 6yo 11st 5lb Allowances fillies and mares 7lb Entries 63 pay £65 Confirmed 45 pay £135 Penalty value 1st £22,808; 2nd £8,556; 3rd £4,264; 4th £2,136; 5th £1,072; 6th £536

1 HAIRY MOLLY (IRE) (F T B Syndicate) Joseph Crowley IRE 6-11-05 Paul Carberry 33/1
2 PRESSGANG (Mrs Anthony West) Paul Webber 4-10-11 Tom Doyle 20/1
3 KICKS FOR FREE (IRE) (Mark Tincknall) Paul Nicholls 5-11-05 Mick Fitzgerald 5/1
4 PERCE ROCK (J P McManus) Tommy Stack IRE 4-10-11 Tony McCoy
5 DANCING HERO (IRE) (J Brohan) Tom Foley IRE 5-11-05 Davy Russell
6 LORD OVER (Sir Michael Smurfit) Patrick Flynn (IRE) 5-11-05 Barry Geraghty
7 FEMALE (IRE) (J P McManus) Christy Roche IRE 5-10-12 Mr Padraig Roche
8 WIND INSTRUMENT (IRE) (Ryder Racing Ltd) Tom George 5-11-05 Timmy Murphy
9 PANGBOURNE (FR) (Trevor Hemmings) Alan King 5-11-05 Robert Thornton
10 WICHITA LINEMAN (IRE) (Sue Magnier) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-05 Mr J P Magnier
11 BURNT OAK (UAE) (Glasgow House Racing Syndicate) Chris Fairhurst 4-10-11 Barry Keniry
12 EQUUS MAXIMUS (IRE) (Greenstar Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 6-11-05 Ruby Walsh 5/2f
13 BALLYTRIM (IRE) (Violet O’Leary) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-05 Johnny Murtagh
14 NIGHTFLY (IRE) (Malcolm Denmark) Mark Pitman 5-11-05 Carl Llewellyn
15 ALBERTAS RUN (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-05 Tony Dobbin
16 FREDS BENEFIT (IRE) (D Power) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-05 Ms Katie Walsh
17 DARK CORNER (Raymond Mould) Nigel Twiston-Davies 4-10-11 Stephen Crawford
18 LEADING CONTENDER (IRE) (Joanna Peppiatt) Philip Hobbs 5-11-05 Richard Johnson
19 MUMBLES HEAD (IRE) (Jill Day) Peter Bowen 5-11-05 Christian Williams
20 SHADY WILLOW (IRE) (T Gilligan) Willie Mullins IRE 4-10-11 David Casey
21 FLOWONLOVELYRIVER (IRE) (T Kearns) Patrick Flynn IRE 5-11-05 Graham Lee
22 SPARTACUS BAY (IRE) (You Can Be Sure) Venetia Williams 5-11-05 Sam Thomas
23 FIRST AUTHOR (IRE) (Dr Eithne Murphy) Gerard O'Leary IRE 5-11-05 Kevin Manning

Non-runner: Sword Of Damascus
23 ran
Time: 3m 46.57s
Distances: hd, 1 3/4, 0.5, 2, 1, 0.5, 2, hd, 3.5, 1 3/4, 1, 1, 2, nk, 0.5, 3.5, 1 0.5, hd, 0.5, 7, 0.5, dist
Breeder: T O’Malley
Breeding: b g Shernazar - Ballilaurenka (IRE)
Tote: Win; £27.00 Places; £5.50, £7.10, £2.80 Exacta; £1586.70

Winning Trainer: Joseph Crowley Based: Piltown, County Kilkenny Background: Father-in-law of Aidan O’Brien - trainer of triple Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq. Daughter Frances Crowley also trains and is married to Irish Champion flat jockey Pat Smullen Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2006 Hairy Molly) Wins In Britain This Season: 1

Winning Jockey: Paul Alice Carberry Date of Birth: 09/02/1974 General: Son of Former Jockey Tommy Carberry Who Won the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup (1970 & 1971) and Grand National (1975) on L’Escargot. Ended three-year retainer with owner Robert Ogden in May, 1998, to go freelance. Now based in Ireland, riding mainly for Noel Meade. Cheltenham Festival Wins: (9) Bumper (1993 Rhythm Section, 2006 Hairy Molly), William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase (1998 Unguided Missile, 2002 Frenchmans Creek), Royal & Sunalliance Novices’ Chase (1999 Looks Like Trouble);Gerrard Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Sausalito Bay), Pertemps Final (2005 Oulart), Grand Annual (2005 Fota Island), Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Nicanor) Big Race Wins: Martell Grand National (Bobbyjo 1999), Belle Epoque Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Pleasure Shared 1996), John Hughes Memorial Chase (Joe White 1996) Sandeman Maghull Novices’ Chase (1998 Direct Route), Barton & Guestier H’cap Hurdle (2000 Ross Moff), Martell Cognac Ember Inns Handicap Chase (2004 Lord of the River), John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle (2005 Definate Spectacle), Tote Gold Trophy (1996 Squire Silk), Lexus Chase (1998 Dorans Pride, 2004 & 2005 Beef Or Salmon), the Sporting Index Cross Country Chase (1998 Linden’s Lotto); Hatton’s Grace Hurdle 2001 Limestone Lad), Gerrard Wealth Management Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Mutakarrim), Kevin Mcmanus Bookmakers Champion Stayers’ Hurdle (2002 Limestone Lad), Pertemps Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2004 Harchibald), Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (2004 Wild Passion, 2005 Iktitaf), Drinmore Novice Chase (2004 Watson Lake), Paddy Power Dial-a-bet Chase (2004 Central House), Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (2005 Wild Passion), Menolly Homes Champion Novice Hurdle (2005 Asian Maze), John Smith’s Midlands Grand National (2005 Philson Run), John James Mcmanus Memorial Hurdle (2005 Harchibald), Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup (2005 Sir Oj), Bula Hurdle (2005 Harchibald), Woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle (2005 Rosaker) Wins In Britain (2001/02-2004/05): 2; 1; 2; 6 Wins In Britain This Season: 4



THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

CROWD AND TOTE UP

Today’s attendance on the second day of The Festival was 55,083, just up on last year’s figure of 54,850.


Edward Gillespie, Cheltenham’s Managing Director, said: “The sun really made everything go with a special zest today and it was great to see so many people out and about. We’ve now reached halfway at the 2006 Festival and the best is still to come.”

Today on-course cash tote turnover was £2,563,732, up 4.6 per cent on last year’s figure of £2,451,052. There was a record Queen Mother Champion Chase day tote placepot pool of £637,491, producing a dividend of £2,062.30.


Cheltenham covers up for the night

A chilly night is forecast for the Cotswolds, and Cheltenham racecourse is putting down covers on vulnerable areas of the track to ensure racing starts on time tomorrow.


Simon Claisse, Cheltenham’s clerk of the course, said: “The temperature is due to drop to minus two tonight and we’re covering everything - take-offs and landings, crossings, entries and exits, the canter down and winner’s enclosure etc.


“It’s due to be [plus] four or five tomorrow and it’s forecast to stay dry, but everyone that’s ridden today has said the ground’s on the slow side of good so I’m optimistic we’ll keep moisture in it for the next two days.


“If needs be we will consider watering tomorrow night if it unexpectedly dries up much more quickly than we think it will.


“It’s been a fantastic day with great racing and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”


THE FESTIVAL 2006
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
CHELTENHAM, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

RACING POST FESTIVAL JOCKEYS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

AT THE END OF DAY TWO

JOCKEY 1st 2nd 3rd

Ruby Walsh 2 2 -
Paul Carberry 2 - -
Barry Geraghty 2 - -
Tony McCoy 1 2 2
Paddy Brennan 1 - 1
Richard Harding 1 - -
Andrew McNamara 1 - -
Davy Russell 1 - -
Robert Thornton 1 - -
Mick Fitzgerald - 1 1
Mr William Biddick - 1 -
Brian Byrnes - 1 -
Tony Dobbin - 1 -
Tom Doyle - 1 -
Barry Geraghty - 1 -
Jason Maguire - 1 -
Mr J T McNamara - 1 -
Miss Nina Carberry - - 2
Dominic Elsworth - - 1
Marcus Foley - - 1
Richard Johnson - - 1
Carl Llewellyn - - 1
Timmy Murphy - - 1
Conor O’Dwyer - - 1

Latest betting on Racing Post Festival Jockey’s Championship (William Hill): Evens Ruby Walsh, 2/1Tony McCoy, 9/2 Paul Carberry, 13/2 Barry Geraghty

RACING POST FESTIVAL TRAINERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

AT THE END OF DAY TWO

TRAINER 1st 2nd 3rd

Paul Nicholls 2 1 1
Charles Egerton 1 - 1
Joe Crowley IRE 1 - -
Alan King 1 - -
Tony Martin IRE 1 - -
Noel Meade 1 - -
Colm Murphy IRE 1 - -
Ferdy Murphy 1 - -
John Murphy IRE 1 - -
Edward O’Grady IRE 1 - -
Philip Rothwell IRE 1 - -
Enda Bolger IRE - 1 1
Nicky Henderson - 1 1
Tom George - 1 -
Nick Gifford - 1 -
Jessica Harrington IRE - 1 -
Eric McNamara IRE - 1 -
Mouse Morris IRE - 1 -
Nicky Richards - 1 -
Ted Walsh IRE - 1 -
Paul Webber - 1 -
Venetia Williams - 1 -
Sue Smith - - 2
Thierry Doumen FR - - 1
Dessie Hughes IRE - - 1
Jonjo O’Neill - - 1
Martin Pipe - - 1
Nigel Twiston-Davies - - 1
Nick Williams - - 1


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