Wednesday, March 11, 2009
THE FESTIVAL, CHELTENHAM
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
SECOND DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2009
totesport CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP FINAL DECLARATIONS
Class 1, Grade 1, £475,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.20pm, Cheltenham, Friday, March 13, 2009. For 5yo+ which are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including March 6 - horses which are not qualified for a rating in GB, IRE or FR may also be entered & such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including March 6 would merit a minimum rating of 130 (the decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final), three miles, two and a half furlongs. Weights: 5yo 11st 8lb, 6yo+ 11st 10lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Entries closed January 6, entries revealed January 7 (38 entries), scratchings deadline February 10 (28 remain), £25,000 supplementary entry stage March 7, six-day confirmation stage March 7 (17 remain). Final 48-hour declaration stage, 10am, March 11 (16 declared).
Horse Age Owner Trainer/Jockey
1) AIR FORCE ONE (GER) 7 Brian Walsh (Co Kildare) Charlie Mann/Noel Fehily
2) ALBERTAS RUN (IRE) 8 Trevor Hemmings Jonjo O'Neill/Dominic Elsworth
3) BARBERS SHOP 7 The Queen Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty
4) CERIUM (FR) 8 Judith & Tina Wilson Paul Murphy/
5) DENMAN (IRE) 9 Maggie Findlay & Paul Barber Paul Nicholls/Sam Thomas
6) EXOTIC DANCER (FR) 9 Sir Robert Ogden Jonjo O'Neill/Tony McCoy
7) HALCON GENELARDAIS (FR)9 Ian Payne & Kim Franklin Alan King/Robert Thornton
8) KAUTO STAR (FR) (t) 9 Clive Smith Paul Nicholls/Ruby Walsh
9) KNOWHERE (IRE) 11 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies/Paddy Brennan
10) MADISON DU BERLAIS (FR)8 Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds II David Pipe/Tom Scudamore
11) MIKO DE BEAUCHENE (FR)9 Andrew Wiles Robert & Sally Alner/Andrew Thornton
12) MY WILL (FR) 9 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls/Nick Scholfield
13) NEPTUNE COLLONGES (FR)8 John Hales Paul Nicholls/Christian Williams
14) ROLL ALONG (IRE) 9 Bryan & Philippa Burrough Carl Llewellyn/Graham Lee
15) SNOOPY LOOPY (IRE) (bl) 11 Walters Plant Hire Ltd Egan Waste Ltd Peter Bowen/ Seamus Durack
16) STAR DE MOHAISON (FR) (t)8 Sir Robert Ogden Paul Nicholls/Paul Carberry
16 declared runners
16 GO FOR GOLD
Trainer Paul Nicholls already boasts three successes in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup and he has bright chances of making it number four in Friday’s renewal with no less than five of the 16 final declarations.
The 2007 winner Kauto Star looks set to start a warm favourite. He was second last year behind stablemate Denman with Neptune Collonges in third. Nicholls’ chances of another 1-2-3 in chasing’s premier event are increased by also saddling My Will and Star De Mohaison. Kauto Star made a winning reappearance at Down Royal this season prior to parting company with Sam Thomas at the last fence in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November, when he failed to show his usual sparkle. However, he bounced back to form in imperious fashion when winning a third King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. Denman has been limited to one run since his famous win last year, coming home a distant second to Madison Du Berlais at Kempton last month and connections will be hoping that run will have cleared the cobwebs and that a return to Cheltenham will bring out the best in the nine-year-old. Neptune Collonges landed the Irish Hennessy at Leopardstown last time out while My Will finished fifth in the Hennessy at Newbury in November but has not run since. Star De Mohaison, winner of the RSA Chase three years ago, was a well-beaten fourth in the Letheby & Christopher Chase at Cheltenham in January.
Another trainer with more than one chance of glory on Friday is locally-based Jonjo O’Neill. O’Neill, who won the Gold Cup as a jockey on Alverton in 1979 and Dawn Run in 1986, is represented by the 2007 runner-up Exotic Dancer, successful in the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in December and the 2008 RSA Chase scorer Albertas Run, who registered his best effort this season when runner-up to Kauto Star at Kempton.
The totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup has never been won by a horse owned by a member of the royal family but there is a chance that could change this year with the Queen set to be represented by Barbers Shop. The seven-year-old has twice finished runner-up at Cheltenham, taking the second spot in the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival last season and in the Paddy Power Gold Cup earlier this season, while he was last seen out when triumphant in an intermediate chase at Sandown in December (when he had Roll Along back in third). If successful, Barbers Shop would make his trainer Nicky Henderson the first handler to win the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle and the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season since Kim Bailey pulled off the double in 1995. Henderson won yesterday’s Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle with Punjabi.
Other contenders include Air Force One, runner-up to Madison Du Berlais in the Hennessy at Newbury in November but disappointing last time out behind Kauto Star at Kempton, Halcon Genelardais, who finished fourth last year and Snoopy Loopy, who enjoyed the biggest success of his career in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November but was another who was no match for Kauto Star at Kempton.
The field is completed by Knowhere, who was sixth in 2008, 2007 Welsh Grand National victor Miko De Beauchene and the rank outsider Cerium.
For the first time since 1992, there are no Irish-trained runners facing the starter.
LATEST totesport PRICES
Kauto Star 15/8, Neptune Collonges 5/1, Denman 11/2, Madison Du Berlais 7/1, Exotic Dancer 10/1, Barbers Shop 14/1, Albertas Run 16/1, Air Force One 20/1, Star De Mohaison 28/1, Halcon Genelardais, 40/1, Miko De Beauchene 66/1, Roll Along 66/1, Knowhere 100/1, My Will 100/1, Snoopy Loopy 100/1,
Cerium 500/1 Each-Way 1/4 Places at 1, 2, 3
QUEEN’S RUNNER SUCH GOOD NEWS FOR THE SPORT
A runner owned by The Queen with a winning chance in the Cheltenham Festival’s greatest race - it’s a publicist’s dream.
Expect a mass of media interest in horseracing if Barbers Shop lands Friday’s totesport Gold Cup, but win, lose or draw the interest sparked by the horse and his royal owner is a dream ticket for the sport.
Barbers Shop, trained at the in-form stable run by Nicky Henderson, will line up with an excellent chance. He is a progressive seven-year-old and proved he acted around Cheltenham when a close second in last year’s Jewson Novices’ Chase and this season’s Paddy Power Gold Cup. He has not raced over three and a quarter miles, but gave a riveting performance when stepped up to three miles at Sandown in December.
Senior figures in jump racing are agreed that Barbers Shop represents a fabulous publicity vehicle.
Lord Oaksey said: “Hitherto The Queen hasn’t been particularly connected to jump racing - it was her mother’s passion, while The Queen was more involved in Flat racing. It’s wonderful that she has a horse to compete at this level.”
Ian Balding, who trained many winners for The Queen on the Flat, said: “It’s fabulous, particuarly as she will be here in person. Her first racing interest was in a jumper called Monaveen, who she shared with her mother, so she has gone full circle. Barbers Shop is a particularly nice horse.”
Paul Barber, a part-owner in Denman, will be in opposition on Friday, but he said: “It’s wonderful that The Queen will be here, and with a horse that is obviously very serious. On good ground he has every chance. Anything the Royal Family does that is connected with National Hunt racing is a great boost.”
Jockey Club steward Andrew Merriam said: “It’s going to put racing on the front page, and her horse has a very good chance in an open year. Tony McCoy’s feat in riding 3,000 winners was pushed off the news pages by Scolari’s sacking [by Chelsea], but this would not be so easy to ignore. I just hope the horse runs its race.”
Nick Cheyne was clerk of the course at The Queen’s racecourse, Ascot, for ten years. He said: “It would be the most amazing thing for National Hunt racing if Barbers Shop wins. It’s fantastic The Queen’s got a runner, let alone one with a winning chance. What a way to end Cheltenham week!”
Cheltenham racecourse commentator Mark Johnson said: “It would be huge for racing if Barbers Shop put his head in front, and very positive publicity. In an open [totesport] Gold Cup he has an each-way chance. There are question marks about so many of the runners.”
The ground is GOOD TO SOFT going into the third day of the Cheltenham Festival, when the New Course will come into use for the first time.
“We changed the ground to Good to Soft during the afternoon and the times were getting marginally quicker, bearing that out,” said Cheltenham’s clerk of the course Simon Claisse.
“The New Course will be opened up tonight and is in great order. There is a chance of the odd shower tonight, then the same tomorrow during the day and in the evening but it’s set to be warm and dry on Friday.”
MURPHY, SIMPSON & O’REGAN LOOK AHEAD
Timmy Murphy, leading jockey, looked ahead to the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday and Friday: "Our Vic has a good chance in the Ryanair Chase (Thursday). I think that it will be a tougher race than last year with a Champion Chase winner (Voy Por Ustedes) in the field. If Our Vic runs up to the same form as in the race last season, then he might have the edge over the rest of the field.
"His run at Kempton was a write-off - I was never happy with him at any stage, he didn’t jump and it didn’t happen for him. David’s horses weren’t running well at the time and fingers crossed he can bounce back this time.
"I can’t see why Starluck (JCB Triumph Hurdle - Friday) won’t find something off the bridle. The vibes from Kevin Prendergast’s yard were that when he gets a slap, he goes again. He’s been very, very impressive and Alan’s done a fantastic job. He hasn’t over-placed him and he’s spread out his runs well. He kept him off the soft ground and if he gets beat, it won’t be because of the trainer.
"I rode him out a couple of weeks ago and he felt and looked brilliant. I couldn’t be any happier with him."
Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Sir Robert Ogden, said: “Star De Mohaison was withdrawn from the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase (on Tuesday) because of the ground. Paul was a little bit concerned about the amount of rain that had fallen in the last 48 hours. After walking the course and speaking to Ruby, Paul felt that it wasn’t the right thing to do to run him off top-weight.
"It was disappointing but we felt that he wouldn’t get home on that sticky ground. The sun is making me smile at the moment and I think that if it dries out over the next two or three days, then he should take his chance in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (Friday).
"I think that he will run well. He has the ability to travel in his races and he also has the ability to jump, which will doing him a world of good in a championship race.
"We were looking for a jockey and went through the list of available riders and Paul’s (Carberry) name was there so we were straight on the phone to get him booked.
"I think that the horse is good enough to run into a place. The current form of the other horses in the race suggests that he could run well and finish fifth or sixth. You just have to wait and see what happens because there are questions marks over one or two of the horses and he may run into a place at a big price.
"He’s got a big enough weight in the John Smith’s Grand National and I was a little bit disappointed when I saw the weights because he was a couple of pounds worse off with the likes of Cloudy Lane. But I could see him as a Grand National type of horse.
"Voy Por Ustedes (Ryanair Chase, Thursday) is such an enthusiastic horse and it is very easy for him to boil over. Alan (King) has done a wonderful job of training him and I think we have just hit it right in terms of the number of races we have given him this season. He’s well prepared and he has never missed a day’s training since September and he’s in great shape.
"It was a very good performance at Ascot. He was entitled to beat the horses that he ran against on the ratings but we were absolutely delighted with the way he won and I think that a lot of observers were as well.”
Denis O’Regan, the stable jockey to Howard Johnson, commented: “Tidal Bay (Ryanair - Thursday) worked at Doncaster and everyone was there to see - it wasn’t a stand-out piece of work. He will like the sun on his back and he has always like Cheltenham. He’s only been out of the first two on one occasion, on his last start here, and he’s definitely a class horse and he has got a chance if he bounces back to his best. If not, then there hopefully Aintree beckons.
"I think the Ryanair trip is probably his best now. He looks to have the speed for two miles but he just doesn’t seem to handle the ground over three. I suppose three miles on good ground around Aintree wouldn’t be a problem, but two and a half miles round here should suit him.
"It’s hard to find races for him at the moment. He would have to carry top weight in handicaps and it’s difficult for him on tacky and soft ground.
"He didn’t have a good experience here in January when he made a mistake at the first down the back and things didn’t happen for him. He gave weight away, we didn’t knock him around and he came back a tired horse. I hope that he’s back to his best tomorrow and, if he is, then he should give me the ride of a lifetime."
GUINNESS TO CELEBRATE THE MILLIONTH PINT DRAWN AT THE FESTIVAL TOMORROW
At around 12 noon on Thursday March 12, Guinness, the Dublin-brewed stout, will celebrate the millionth pint of Ireland's national drink poured at the Cheltenham Festival.
Guinness is synonymous with the Festival, just as strawberries and cream are to Wimbledon. Guinness's involvement first began 17 years ago with the adoption of the successful Guinness Village and sponsorship of the Champion Bumper.
Now the Guinness Village has become a Cheltenham destination in its own right, drawing thousands of racing enthusiasts to sup the black stuff and enjoy music, top quality racing and the craíc.
In the early years, around 20,000 pints were consumed each day of the three-day Festival. Latterly, with higher spectator footfall, and a longer day to enjoy the racing, more and more spectators have enjoyed the Guinness Cheltenham experience. Over 175,000 pints were drunk in 2008 and Irish bookmaker Paddy Power even makes a book on the volumes.
Photographers are invited to attend the Guinness mobile Bar in the Guinness Village at 12 noon on Thursday to see the millionth pint being drawn. One lucky customer will receive a prize of hospitality to another great Cheltenham event, the Open, in November, courtesy of Guinness.
Some Guinness facts:
10 million glasses of Guinness are drunk every day around the world
Guinness is enjoyed in over 150 countries
5 million pints of Guinness will be consumed in Britain on St Patrick's Day next week (March 17)
Guinness is celebrating its 250 anniversary this year. Arthur Guinness began brewing at St James' Gate in Dublin in 1759 and signed a lease for 9,000 years - so there's a lot more of the famous black brew still to come!
A LIFE OF BLISS FOR DOUMEN?
Having brought out the very best in Inglis Drever last year and looking a dream when he cruised home at Haydock last month, it hardly surprising that Kasbah Bliss is out on his own as far as the betting for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle is concerned. But if those two runs still haven’t persuaded you that the Francois Doumen-trained gelding is one to lump on, there are plenty of seductive statistics to support mere form.
Kasbah Bliss is seven, for starters, and the average age of the winners of the last 30 editions of the World Hurdle is 7.13 (this incidentally only marginally older than the figure for the Champion Hurdle which is 7.0).
Kasbah Bliss is making only his second appearance at The Festival, but second appearances are very important in the World Hurdle. Inglis Drever won his first World Hurdle on his second Festival appearance; Bacchanal (2000), Princeful (1998), Karshi (1997), Cyborgo (1996), Dorans Pride (1995) and Balasani (1994) are among the many who won their World Hurdles on their second visit.
Should he win the race tomorrow, Kasbah Bliss could also be the horse with the highest Racing Post flat rating ever to win the race. Last October, when finishing fourth in the Prix du Cardan at Longchamp, the horse was given a RPR of 114. It may not be the highest, but we’re struggling to find one to better it. The horse with the lowest flat racing to win is probably the 1994 victor Balasani (French bred, as it happens) who had an official rating of just 47 at one point.
To change statistical direction; it’s surprising how few previous winners have ever switched successfully to chasing. A fair few have tried. Henrietta Knight targeted the Sun Alliance for Karshi, but the horse retired through injury after just a single chase at Exeter. Princeful was brought down in his only chase and Balasani contested four chases but only finished one.
Iris’s Gift (2004) showed plenty of promise, but after winning three novice chases progressed no further. Bacchanal (2000) got to run in the Gold Cup in 2002, but was over 50 lengths adrift of Best Mate.
Dorans Pride (1995) and My Way De Solzen (2006) are two obvious exceptions in the last 20 years. Doran’s Pride ran in four totesport Cheltenham Gold Cups and started as favourite in 1998, but could finish only third. His victory in the Hennessey Gold Cup at Leopardstown, the same year, was his most notable victory. And My Way De Solzen, won the Irish Independent Arkle in 2007.
Of course, the two best stayers in recent years, Baracouda and Inglis Drever, never went chasing.
GUINNESS AWARDS DAY TWO
The nominations for today’s Guinness Award are Ruby Walsh, who collected a terrific treble this afternoon culminating in Master Minded’s victory in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, Master Minded’s trainer Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins, trainer of winners Cooldine and Mikael D’Haguenet.
Votes from the public this afternoon and early evening will decide the winner.
ORDER OF MERIT
Master Minded picked up 20 points when winning the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase towards the Order of Merit title and so jumped to the top of the leaderboard, just two points ahead of Snoopy Loopy.
It will be interesting to see how Voy Por Usted fares in tomorrow’s Grade One Ryanair Chase. A win for him would also see him join Master Minded at the top of the leaderboard.
1 Master Minded 60
2 Snoopy Loopy 58
3 Chomba Womba 52
IRISH RECORD TO COME?
The Irish are on target for an all-time record number of winners at The Festival after gaining eight victories over the first two days.
Since the Festival was extended to four days in 2005, the Irish score has been nine (2005), 10 which the highest number to date in 2006, five (2007) and seven (2008).
There are two more days of the 2009 Festival to go, encompassing 13 races.
The Irish record when the Festival was over three days was eight victories in 1958 when novice races were divided.
Horses from the Emerald Isle achieved a modern-day record seven successes for a three-day Festival (without divisions) in both 1977 and 1996.
Since1973, Irish horses struck six times in 1978, 1982, 1993, and, most recently, in 2003, while they gained five wins in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1999 and 2002.
Four victories were achieved by Irish-trained runners in 1980, 1984, 1986, 1995, 1998 and last year, while a hat-trick was recorded in 1973, 1981, 1994, 1997 and 2000.
A brace came for Irish horses in 1985, 1990, 1991, 1992, while a single success was notched in 1987 and 1988.
1989 was a particularly torrid time for Irish punters at The Festival, when not one Irish-trained success occurred.
Today’s crowd came to 47,135. There was no racing on the corresponding day last year after high winds caused an abandonment and the races were re-scheduled over the next two days.
Today’s tote on-course cash turnover was £2,142,370. Racing was abandoned on this day 12 months ago but the figure is 19 per cent lower than its 2007 equivalent. “With Master Minded such a hot favourite in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, we only really took pennies on the race so that hit the turnover,” said tote spokesman George Primarolo.
There were two 50p totejackpot winners, who each collected £36,271, while there was a record placepot pool for the Cheltenham Wednesday of £822,017.
Race 1: The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup
Tricky Trickster proved a willing horse when galloping to victory in the amateur riders’ four-mile National Hunt Challenge Chase, putting 100-plus owners into Cheltenham’s winner’s enclosure.
The six-year-old is owned by the 180-strong Million In Mind syndicate, which is headed by bloodstock agent David Minton and his colleague Anthony Bromley. Minton said: “The syndicate’s first winner here was Mysilv [in 1994] and nothing can beat that, but this was so unexpected. It’s a dream. We thought he’d run a good race and get round, but not win.”
Tricky Trickster, an 11/1 chance, is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and was ridden by amateur Sam Waley-Cohen, who was gaining his second Festival win following victory on Liberthine in the 2005 Festival Plate. Minton added: “Sam has given him a beautiful ride and never put a foot wrong. It’s marvellous for the syndicate - a dream for us all. We planned this for a long time.
“Nigel bought the horse here at Cheltenham, at the Brightwells’ Sale [for £40,000] and when Anthony and I saw him we thought we had better buy him for Million In Mind and leave him to be trained by Nigel. The horse has done us proud and the Scottish National is the new plan.”
Twiston-Davies, whose son, also called Sam, is a budding amateur with rides at the Festival tomorrow on Irish Raptor (Walwyn/Muir) and on Friday on Baby Run (Christie’s Foxhunter), said: “Sam’s father, Robert, rang me and Minty about a month ago and said his son was available. He did a fine job, but the instructions came from [stable jockey] Paddy Brennan, who said give the horse a chance and he’ll do the galloping for you..
“He obviously stays, so we’ll strike while the iron is hot and go for the Scottish National.”
From amid a throng of excited Million In Mind owners, Waley-Cohen said: “It was a fantastic ride. He made just one mistake when I asked him to pick up and he put down, but he’s so brave. You’ve got to get the last three right if you want to win at this meeting, and he was superb. He kept travelling so well and I began to think, they are going to struggle to get to me.
“Every winner is magic at this meeting because they are so hard to come by. It’s great to have the opportunity to ride good horses, particularly for such a lovely crowd of people.
WALEY-COHEN AND COOK HIT BY BANS
Sam Waley-Cohen, who won the National Hunt Chase, the first race on the second day of The Festival, on the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Tricky Trickster, has received a day’s suspension for hitting his mount in an incorrect place. The stewards noted three hits dropping short of the horse’s quarters on the run-in.
In the same race, Danny Cook, who rode Hennessy, was judged to have hit his mount with excessive frequency. Cook has been suspended for seven days after using his whip 24 times from approaching the third-last to the finish. Hennessy finished fifth.
The dates of Danny Cook’s suspension are confirmed - he'll be suspended on the 25th Mar, 26th Mar, 27th Mar, 29th Mar, 1st Apr, 2nd Apr and 5th Apr 2009, so will miss the Fox Hunter at Aintree.
GOING AFTER THE FIRST RACE
Mr Sam Waley-Cohen, jockey of the 10-length winner Tricky Trickster, reported the ground to be “Good to soft and riding fairly consistently.”
Mr Derek O’Connor, rider of second placed Drumconvis, thought the going “A little bit dead”.
Mrs Rose Dobbin, jockey of third placed Nine de Sivola, said: ”It is on the slow side.”
Mr Alan Berry, rider of Carnival Town, said: “Dead and soft”.
Mr Kevin Power, rider of Forest Leaves, said:”It is just on the dead side”.
Mr Danny Cook, rider of Hennessy, said: “Good to soft.”
Mr James Banks, rider of Itsa Legend, reported “Tacky ground.”
Mr Robbie McNamara, jockey of Kornati Kid, said: ”It is a bit on the dead side.”
Mr Oliver Greenall, rider of Le Beau Bai, said: “It is probably good to soft though it is riding a bit dead.”
Mr William Biddick, rider of Pangbourne, said: “Good to soft, but dead in places.”
Mr David Stratton, rider of Radetsky March, thought the ground “Dead and tacky.”
Mr Luke Morgan, rider of Tank Top, said: “Good to soft.”
SECOND RACE WINNING QUOTES
BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE
Mikael D’Haguenet justified his connections’ high opinions when - sent off the 5/2 favourite - he came home a length and three-quarters in front of Karabak under Ruby Walsh in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
Trainer Willie Mullins hopes the five-year-old could be a totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup horse of the future and said: "He's 17 hands and a big, long angular horse - I would say a typical French-bred. It took him years to mature but when I started working him at home he just showed a gear and, from day one, he has shown me that he is better than I thought was possible. This is unbelievable.
"I think that he adjusted his stride coming down the hill. We have watched him all winter on really heavy ground and he had a huge, high action. Today on better ground, I saw him going down to the start and after jumping the first and second - he had a long low action like a good ground horse. It was as if he changed his stride and very few horses can do that. I don’t think I’ve seen another one do it.
“When he won at Naas, Ruby said he was a machine and might one day win a Gold Cup and I don’t see any reason to change that view after today. He's probably my best chance of having a Gold Cup horse - I hope he can come back here in two or three years over fences.
“I’d favour going to Punchestown with him next and then back to run in France but he was bought to go chasing and that’s what he’ll do next year. This was a bonus! I’d see him as an RSA type of horse next year.”
Walsh added: "He's a machine. He travelled far too well all the way and even at the top of the hill when I got a gap that I didn't want - he just charged into it.
“When the gap between China Rock and Diamond Harry came, he just shot through it - in two strides it was over. That’s the sign of an exceptional horse. He’s very special.
“He had a look at the inside wing of the second last flight and missed it but when they closed up around him he came back on the bridle again. He's a cracking horse. He handled softer ground and he is a wonderful jumper.
"He has stamina, he has speed, he has heart - he has everything. He has a wonderful turn of foot.
“He didn’t surprise me in the slightest and I couldn’t understand why people were saying things like the trip was too short for him. He’s never done anything wrong either on the track or in his work at home. Hopefully next year he’ll take to fences.”
Mikaeal D’Haguenet is just 5/1 with Boylesports and Cashmans for next year’s RSA Chase and quoted at 8/1 by Paddy Power to win the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup at any time in the future.
Race 2 - Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle - Placed Quotes
HARRY DOWN BUT NOT OUT
Alan King was disappointed with the effort of 4/1 shot Karabak, the length and three quarters runner-up in the Grade One Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
"They seemed to go a very steady pace and then sprinted which really wouldn’t suit our horse. He’s run well, but..." said King, who clearly thought that this was a race they could have won.
Diamond Harry, a further three and three quarters lengths back in third, may have lost his unbeaten record in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle but his trainer Nick Williams was not too disappointed.
Williams said of the 4/1 shot: “The betting suggested there was nothing between the first three horses home and the other two have just had the edge on the day.
“That is five sound races he has run now this season. He was up in grade today and has run another solid race. Timmy Murphy did say that he emptied a bit today and thinks that the horse is a bit better than he showed today. However, it was still a very good run.
“That’s definitely his last race of the season, we always said that would be it for the year after Cheltenham. He will go over fences next season.”
Race 3 - RSA Chase - Winning Quotes
COOLDINE SO IMPRESSIVE
Cooldine proved a cut above the opposition when recording a 16-length success in the Grade One RSA Chase to give trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh a quickfire 10.4/1 double following the success of Mikael d’Haguenet in the preceding Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
Carruthers did all the donkey work out in front but it was clear at the top of the hill that there was nothing travelling better than the 9/4 favourite who powered right away in the colours of Archie and Violet O’Leary, who previously won this race with Florida Pearl in 1998.
Trainer Willie Mullins said: “He jumped from fence to fence today. He made a mistake in his schooling session at Leopardstown, but Ruby blamed himself for that.
“There is no room for mistakes if you want to win the RSA Chase and this horse always has the ability to find a fifth leg.
“I thought if he jumped today, there would be very few horses that would outstay him. He has out and out stamina. I thought he was my best chance of success today and I could believe how easily Mikael d’Haguenet won earlier today.
“We will now go to Punchestown with him.”
However, Cooldine almost didn’t make the line up today as Mullins explained: “About an hour and a half before the race my head girl Ali called me to say the horse was lame and only standing on three legs.
“I had the farrier Richard have a look at him and it transpired that one shoe was too tight and a nail was pressing on him. Richard managed to glue a new shoe on him and added some pollyfiller. We then put some ice on him for about an hour. Richard did a fantastic job - I owe him a drink tonight!
“Ruby said he was slightly feeling himself on the concrete but was fine once he got out on the track.”
Ruby Walsh added: “I love this horse, I have always loved this horse.
“He has the heart of a lion and jumped like a stag.
“He is a hell of a good horse.”
Cooldine is rated at 16/1 (Cashmans), 10/1 (Paddy Power) and 8/1 (Boylesports) for glory in the 2010 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Race 3: RSA Chase
WOODS A TIGER AT 66-1
Cooldine became Europe’s leading novice chaser when winning the RSA Chase, but there was a surprisingly good run by second-placed Horner Woods, who started at 66-1.
The Jessica Harrington-trained seven-year-old won a beginners’ event at Limerick last month over two miles and one furlong, a very distant cry from the demands of today’s event. Yet he belied his odds under jockey Robbie Power, and although 16 lengths behind the winner was nine lengths clear of the third. Ironically he had been due to run in tomorrow’s Jewson Novices’ Chase with a featherweight, but was balloted out.
A surprised Harrington said: “Everything has gone wrong for him this season. First time out he was all wrong, then he fell, then he ran at Christmas and nothing went right in the race - Robert couldn’t ride him because he got hurt - and despite that he was only just beaten.
“Then we had snow and heavy ground and I couldn’t find an opportunity for him, so I was forced to go to Limerick on ground that was too deep for him and a race over two miles and a furlong. He only just got home, but I knew he needed three miles and good ground.
“He’s a brilliant jumper, and since I put a new bridle on him with a Swedish snaffle that acts like a gag he’s been much improved. He was exploding over fences and not listening.
“It was a pity about the Jewson, because he would have gone well with 10st. I thought he was a near certainty in that contest.”
Philip Hobbs, trainer of third-placed Massini’s Maguire, said: “Now we know he stays this trip it’s a big plus, because it was a doubt. It’s disappointing to be beaten so far, but he’s finished ahead of Carruthers and What A Friend.
“I suppose the three-mile novices’ chase at Aintree would suit, as would better ground.”
Carruthers, with Mattie Bachelor on board, made the pace until three out, when a mistake cost him dear. "He just made a horlicks of it which didn’t help him, but I’m really chuffed with that. He’s just a big baby. Now he’s finished for the season, we’ll put him out in a field," said trainer Mark Bradstock.
Fourth race winner quotes - The Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase
MASTER MINDED MASTER AGAIN
If the second successive victory of Master Minded in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Chase was not the rout that some pundits predicted, it more than satisfied connections.
“He’s an amazing horse. I thought that about Kauto [Star] then he came along,” said trainer Paul Nicholls.
The race unfolded at a hectic pace, with Marodima, who caused two breakaways sat the start, leading the field to the ninth.
“Ruby [Walsh] and I talked about it before the race and knew they were going to go fairly fast. It just worked out right. The one place you want to be then is in front. He’s so uncomplicated, you can ride him how you want to ride him,” said the trainer.
“He was a bit of a tearaway when he was younger and had his falls, but he’s much more relaxed now. Ruby said you can give him a slap and he just takes off. He’s so relaxed now you just don’t know what’s in the tank,” he added.
"We knew we had him right and it was brilliant. I'm obviously relieved because everybody expects a lot of him and all this nonsense of how far he was going to win by was of no interest. We just wanted him to win the race and that is what he has done. If we mind him and look after him he can keep on coming back.
"Last year we were probably a little bit harder on him than today because we didn't really know about him. You only get them ready to perform at a level you think. People were talking about 15 or 20 lengths today but we just wanted the horse to win the race and he has done that.
“He's got a little lazy now because he does have everything so easily. He jumped great and travelled really well - what a wonderful run by Well Chief as well.
“These are the races that count. We have had a few runners this week and Celestial Halo ran an absolute blinder yesterday. It's the big races that you concentrate on and it's just great. I just want to say well done to the whole team.
Nicholls sees much the same sort of schedule for Master Minded next season: “It’ll be the Tingle Creek, the Victor Chandler and back here, God willing. There’s no point in going to Punchestown, it’ll be too fast. If we keep looking after them, they’ll keep winning good races. That’s what National Hunt racing wants.”
Owner Clive Smith admitted that he felt a certain amount of relief: “You hope he’s going to win, everyone says he’s going to win, so there is a lot of relief. But Ruby said he was no problem at all. He jumped beautifully. He just did what he had to do. Ruby is the very, very best and Paul is a sensational trainer. They are great chaps.”
Ruby Walsh commented: “I would say that he wasn’t as good today as he can be. He got worked up in the parade and the couple of false starts were messy. He’s just a very, very good horse. I think he’s better this year. Good horses always win on an off day.”
For Walsh, Master Minded’s victory made it three successive wins for the Irishman, who had won on Mikael d’Haguenet and Cooldine in the previous two races. You have to go back to 1999 for the last jockey to win three races on a single Festival day. That was Mick Fitzgerald, whose wins that day included See More Business in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Nicholls’ first Gold Cup win. Fitzgerald, though, did not win his races in sequence.
Race 4 - Seasons Holidays Queen Mothetr Champion Chase - Winning Quotes
SEASONS HOLIDAYS QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Paul Nicholls, Trainer
“There are four big races at The Festival - the Champion Hurdle, this race, the World Hurdle and the Gold Cup. We were beaten a neck yesterday in the Champion Hurdle with Celestial Halo which was great but it’s nice to have one of the big four on the board.
“At the end of the day, we want to look after Master Minded. He may not have been as impressive today as he was when he won last year but we know him better now. We want to win nicely but also leave plenty in the tank for the future.
“Ruby was very happy with him today. The horse is so uncomplicated - he jumps and travels and you can do anything you like with him.
“Clive (Smith, owner) and I will have a chat about what we do next with him but he won’t be going to Aintree this year as he would have to go over two and a half miles there. He is not the easiest horse to train as he tends to tie up if you give him a day off. The horse needs to be fresh. Sandown or Punchestown could be a possibility, but the ground could be too quick for him by then. We will give him a fortnight off after today and then decide what to do.
“We will bring him back here again next year and as I said, we want to leave plenty in the tank with him.
“My main worry was that I gave him some time off after he won at Ascot and it took a fair bit of work to get him right for today. I said to Georgie (his partner) I just hope we have done enough with him. We are still learning all the time with this horse.
“I must just say that Clive is a pleasure to train for. He has put the money down to buy some good horses with Anthony Bromley and myself and doesn’t interfere.
“Ruby is unflappable. Willie (Mullins) and I are lucky to have him and he is a real
“I don’t see that there is really any point at this stage going over further with him while he is so good at two miles, but you can never rule anything out.”
Clive Smith, Owner
“I just feel extremely lucky. I first came to The Festival in 1974 when Captain Christy won the Gold Cup and watched the races down on the rails with my friends. I never thought I would own a runner here, let alone a winner. It really is a great excitement.
“I will discuss it with Paul, but I would say that he is very likely not to run again this season. If he does, it could be at Punchestown.
“Last Saturday I saw Kauto Star and he looked probably the best he has ever been.”
EXCELLENT RECORD FOR HOT FAVOURITES AT CHELTENHAM
Master Minded looks set to start one of the warmest Cheltenham Festival favourites for a decade in this afternoon’s Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase and if history is a guide then he will have an excellent chance of justifying his cramped odds of around 2/5 ahead of the race.
The last horse to start at less than 1-2 was Istabraq, who was successful when 4/9 favourite in the 1999 Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle, while Double Silk took the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase five years earlier when a 2/5 chance.
Master Minded looks set to be the hottest Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite since Flyingbolt won the 1966 race at odds of 1/5. Fortria won the same race five years earlier at 2/5.
Among the other famous post-war short odds-on winners have been Arkle, who was 3/10 when winning the 1965 Cheltenham Gold Cup and 1/10 when repeating that victory a year later.
But short odds are not a guarantee of success as backers of Grand Canyon in the 1976 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle will recall. The 4/9 chance came third, while The Laird (2/5 in the 1967 Cathcart Chase) fell and Scottish Memories finished second when 40/85 for the 1963 Champion Chase.
Race 4: Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase
PIPE TEAM PROUD OF CHIEF
A horse whose career has been a book of battles against injury, proved the good ones can come back when second in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase.
He could not match the winner, Master Minded, when the favourite turned on the power, but going down by seven lengths was no disgrace.
Well Chief won the 2005 Irish Independent Arkle Trophy and was runner-up in the following year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase, but his constitution has not matched his ability.
Initially trained by Martin Pipe, and more recently by his son, David, Well Chief’s latest tendon problem meant he had not been seen in public since April 2007, but his owner, David Johnson, and the team at Pond House never lost faith.
David Pipe said: “It’s been a great team effort. Jonothan Lower rides him every day and his groom, Eileen Defew, has put in endless hours. So many people have played a part, not least the swimming pool, which has been his home on occasions.
“He’s an amazing horse. Someone just said to me, ‘he’ll be remembered as one of the best horses never to win a Champion Chase’, but there’s always next year.”
Lower said: “It’s unbelievable, but we know how good he is, and it was very unfortunate to come up against Master Minded at his peak. David’s worked miracles to get him here, but we all have done our part, and the horse has swum more times than any Olympic swimmer. I knew the horse was in good form, but he cannot be as good as he was two years ago. Every day has been a risk.”
Petit Robin is likely to step up in trip after his third-placed effort. "We had a go and took him on - we didn’t hide and he ran a great race," said trainer Nicky Henderson. "It was a brilliant race to be involved in and I think we’ll have to go up to two and a half miles now and avoid the winner.”
The 2006 Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Newmill, a 100/1 chance today, put in a great effort to take fourth."He’s 11 now and I’m delighted," said trainer John Murphy. "He was in absolutely brilliant form beforehand so I was hopeful he’d run well. He’s always been plagued by a lung problem and been difficult to train but this time of year he comes good. On his good days he is very good and possibly he’ll go to Aintree now over two and a half miles and then hope for faster ground. He’ll then go to Punchestown and get his beloved good ground, that’s what he really needs."
ROBERT THORNTON STANDS DOWN
Big Zeb’s rider Robert Thornton received a kick to the stomach when his mount fell during the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase. He was taken to the jockeys’ hospital at the racecourse and is currently undergoing medical assessment. He will not ride again today. Saticon is now ridden by Wayne Hutchinson in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle, and Graham Lee rides Bygones Of Brid in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
ROBERT THORNTON TO HOSPITAL
Robert Thornton, following a fall from Big Zeb in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, has been taken to Cheltenham General Hospital for further assessment after receiving an abdominal kick.
NEWS FROM PAUL STRUTHERS’ BLOG ON WWW.BRITISHHORSERACING.COM
Paul Struthers is Media Relations Manager of the British Horseracing Authority
15.50pm - Master Minded
I've spoken to Phil Smith and John de Moraville, who is responsible for handicapping the 2-mile chasers. Their immediate reaction to Master Minded’s performance was that he’d run at least a stone below his performance in the race last year.
15.20pm - Breakaways not false starts
The stands are packed for this one but it seems like Nick Scholfield is struggling to control Marodima. Everyone keeps saying the were false starts but they're not - they’re breakaways. A false start is when the starter lets the horses go and then for some reasons calls a false start. It’s infuriating!
15.05pm - Stewards’ Room Update
The Stewards had Sam Thomas in to ask him why he appeared to stop riding and lose 5th place. They found him in breach and he's been suspended for two days (March 25 & 26). The prize money for 5th was over £4,500 and for 6th just under £2,300.
Race 5: Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle)
NINETIETH MINUTE TIMES IT RIGHT
Trainer Tom Taaffe added to his list of Cheltenham Festival winners when Ninetieth Minute took the Coral Cup under Paddy Flood.
Ninetieth Minute had not run for 80 days since winning a three-runner race at Thurles, but the absence was part of Taaffe’s plan to prevent the horse from going off the boil. He said: “I believe you need a fresh horse at the Festival, so I just pulled up with him. It was the same with Kicking King [former totesport Gold Cup winner] and Fingeronthepulse last year.”
His horse’s victory belied the theory that some Irish horses are handicapped too highly when they run in Britain. Taaffe said: “You can call me biased, but this horse was put up 12lb for his first win this season and 8lb for his next, so he’s been hit by the handicapper, but once they get to 140 they are supposed to be on a level playing field in both countries, and that’s a view Phil Smith [Britain’s handicapper] took.
“A few more pounds probably wouldn’t have stopped him, but it’s all about winning and he’s now won five from ten.”
Ninetieth Minute is owned by Dermot Cox, who is well-known in Ireland as head of a cash-and-carry business. His son, David, discovered the horse as a two-year-old in a neighbour’s field, purchased him from his breeder, and later bought Ninetieth Minute’s dam, Myown. She has since produced two full sisters to today’s winner.
Taaffe added: “I’d like to run him back here over fences one day. He’ll go novice chasing next year and being by Old Vic out of a staying family that’s a logical route. He might run at Punchestown, because his owner is a driving force at that track, but if not he’ll go out in a field for a holiday.”
Flood, having his first winner at The Festival, said: "I can't describe the feeling! It's just wow! People say that it's the best feeling ever but you don't understand until it happens.
"He didn't travel great early on. He's a big horse with a big stride on him and it just took me half the race to get into a rhythm. I didn't get a nice position until at the top of the hill but to fair to the horse, he's toughed it out.
"I've been on for both his victories this season and I have got on with him and he's galloped on today. Tom has been super this season and I can't thank him enough.”
FIFTH RACE PLACED QUOTES
CORAL CUP (HANDICAP HURDLE)
MIRAGE PLAN NEARLY COMES OFF
A plan hatched in October almost came to fruition when Mirage Dore lost out by a length and a half when finishing second in the Coral Cup under amateur Rose Dobbin.
“We made a plan after his last time to come here and it was a great run. On the one hand I’m delighted he ran so well but it’s a bit of an anticlimax to be second,” said the runner-up’s trainer Lucinda Russell.
“He was further back than we had planned so did well to get there. He’ll go to Aintree next.”
Trainer Emma Lavelle hopes third-placed Pause And Clause has a bright future. “It was only his fourth run over hurdles and he’s very exciting. He put his heart and soul into it today and will be a lovely horse for the future. Having seen him after the race I’m not sure he’ll run again this season, we’ll have to see. But he’s an exciting horse to have.”
The going was changed to GOOD TO SOFT all round after the fifth race.
SIXTH RACE WINNING QUOTES
FRED WINTER JUVENILE NOVICES’ HANDICAP HURDLE
A long-term plan came to fruition when Silk Affair brought both trainer Mick Quinlan and jockey Tom O’Brien first successes when winning the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
“It’s not just our first winner here but our first runner,” said Noel Quinlan, brother and assistant to the winning trainer. “She’s very talented and I was delighted to see them go so patiently.
“The only worry I had was the ground because she was going back in distance to two miles but nothing else concerned me beforehand.”
The winner was bred and part-owned by Micheal Fahy, nominations manager at Rathbarry Stud, who sold a share to Liam Mulryan.
“Micheal is anxious to take her to Fairyhouse for a Grade Three at Easter but we’ll see, if she’s not right she’ll go home and have a long rest.
“She was rated 94 as a two-year-old and we kept trying to black type - she went to Roscommon last year then ran in the Irish Oaks a week later then went to France so she deserves a rest.
“I think she could be a David Nicholson filly next year or even one for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
“Since the day she ran behind Starluck at Kempton on Boxing Day this has been the plan. But I couldn’t believe the handicapper only put her on 110, I thought she would get 115 or 116 and we had to run her quickly last time to pick up a penalty so she would get in.”
Jockey Tom O’Brien added: “I’ve been sat in the weighing room all day just waiting for this and that’s why. She’s a great little mare and everything went to plan.
"I am really delighted because I have been riding her all season. She got beat by Starluck on her first start over hurdles when she ran green but she has built on that since.
"I was wondering as I was going along whether this would be the one to give me a first Festival winner but I thought that she can't be because she was only winning small races. She has just kept building and building and she's got a future.
"She's very tough and she puts her head down and gallops like a greyhound. I really enjoy riding her and hope that she can take the next step.
"She won over further at Sandown and Towcester and today she has put her head down and galloped up the hill, which has suited her. My worry today was that she might get outpaced at some stage and I thought when things got tight down the back she got shuffled too far back. She's managed to travel away and she's certainly quite good.
"I rode her a bit handy today because of the ground. You can sit last on her over two and a half miles on heavy and she will just pick them up off a lenient mark but you can't do that here.
"Its very special to win here and I just want it again now.”
Sixth race placed quotes - Fred Winter Juvenile Novices Handicap Hurdle
SATICON TOUGHS IT OUT
Alan King may still be waiting for his first winner of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, but he’s not been very far away. Saticon’s third place in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle was his fourth placed horse and the trainer acknowledged: “I can’t complain, they’re all running well.”
Wayne Hutchinson, deputising for the injured Robert Thornton, charted a wide course on Saticon. “We got forced out there a bit, but he’s a horse that doesn’t like to be crowded,” explained the trainer.
Even though he travelled further than almost any other horse in the race, the four-year-old finished strongly. “He certainly is tough, the way he stayed on up the hill. I still think he’ll be a better horse on quicker ground. This was only just all right for him.”
Welsh trainer Tim Vaughan was extremely pleased with the effort of Ski Sunday, just his second runner at The Festival, who finished the three-length runner-up in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
He said of the 20/1 chance: "I am delighted. We ran Helens Vision here yesterday but this horse was our first runner at The Festival with a live chance. I’ve only been seriously at this game for the past 10/11 months so this is just fantastic.
"I thought he would finish in the first four or five. Seamus (Durack) said he didn’t have the clearest of runs but I am not begrudging second place.
"He will now go to Aintree."
The 5/2 favourite, Alexander Severus, came to challenge on the bridle, but the jockey Andrew McNamara was soon working hard, and the horse could only manage fourth place. “I just don’t think he came up the hill,” said the trainer Edward O’Grady.
NEWS FROM PAUL STRUTHERS’ BLOG ON WWW.BRITISHHORSERACING.COM
Paul Struthers is Media Relations Manager of the British Horseracing Authority
17.16pm - Stewards’ Room Update
Seamus Durack was suspended for two days for using his whip with excessive frequency on Ski Sunday, the runner-up in the Fred Winter, while Thundering Star’s rider in the Coral Cup Harry Skelton received a one-day ban for his use of whip when out of contention.
Race 7 - Weatherbys Champion Bumper - Winning Quotes
DUNGUIB LEADS HOME IRISH 1-2-3 IN WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER
Ireland’s domination of The Festival 2009 continued with the eighth Irish-trained winner when Dunguib landed the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, the concluding contest on day two. All of the first eight horses home were trained in Ireland.
The winner travelled supremely well throughout under amateur Brian O’Connell and was in total command as he entered the home straight, running on strongly to secure a 10-length victory over Some Present with 5/2 favourite Rite Of Passage back in third.
Philip Fenton, who won at The Festival as a jockey aboard Loving Around in the 1996 National Hunt Chase, was enjoying his first Festival success as a trainer.
Fenton said of the 9/2 winner: “That was great. Brian rode him with a lot of confidence and top marks to him.
“This horse is not a cool customer. Mainly because he is a box walker and gets excited about small things.
“Punchestown is our festival but Cheltenham really is the place where it matters. That was a great performance today and he really stretched the field.
“We thought he was a beautiful horse the Christmas before last. He had one run at Punchestown last year and then we put him away until this season and he has come back stronger.
“I doubt he will go to Punchestown. I see him as a two-miler in the future.”
Winning jockey Brian O’Connell said: "He was always good at home and his last two runs have been very good. His race at Navan was a great run and I came here today thinking that he had every chance. To be honest, I would have been disappointed if he had been beaten.
"He travelled great and settled well. I was a little bit far out passing the stand and I thought that I might have a bit of trouble getting into the race but I was only a passenger more than anything else. I only had to do the steering.
"It was a very good bumper on paper and I think it rode like a very good race. They went a good gallop and my lad seemed to never come out of third gear. He's definitely the best horse I have ever sat on and it's great that Philip and the owners have put me up in a professional race here at Cheltenham.
"I only had my first rides at Cheltenham today and this was my second start after the four-mile chase earlier. I wasn't looking back to see how much I had won by but I couldn't hear anything coming.
"He has a great cruising speed and seems to stay well."
O’Connell, 22, was born in Limerick but is now based in Tipperary. He currently lies in third place in the amateurs’ championship in Ireland.
Race 7: Weatherbys Champion Bumper
MIXED FORTUNES FOR MULLINS BROTHERS
Willie Mullins ran eight horses in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, his brother Tom saddled just one, but David beat Goliath comfortably in this family battle.
While Willie had to be content with a fourth (Quel Esprit) and fifth (Morning Supreme), Tom’s once-raced Some Present finished second, albeit ten lengths behind runaway winner Dunguib. Tom said: “He’s run a cracker for a horse with so little experience. We thought a lot of him after he won at Punchestown in December, and then I got Davy Russell to ride him in a schooling day at Leopardstown, and I thought he worked as well as any horse.
“I hoped Davy would agree with me, and when he pulled up he said, ‘you should go to the Cheltenham Bumper’. It’s worked out and he’ll learn a bit from the experience, but he’ll have to learn a good bit more to beat the winner [Dunguib].
“He’ll be a three-miler in time - he’s a real chaser in the making, but I’m looking forward to running him in novices’ hurdles next season. In the meantime we ought to go back to Punchestown for the Festival, because he’s won there, but how we beat Dunguib I don’t know.”
Willie Mullins said: “One or two of mine ran disappointingly, one or two ran well, but it was great for Philip Fenton who trains Dunguib.
“Quinola Des Obeaux [Tony McCoy] was beaten before he went away from the stands, and Cadspeed [Emmett Mullins] was beaten by the time they passed the water fence, while Sicilian Secret [Patrick Mullins] seemed to tie up. It looks like his muscles behind the saddle are wrong, and Patrick said he ran too freely and dropped out in the dip.”
The Dermot Weld-trained Rite of Passage, the subject of consistent support throughout the day, started as the 5/2 favourite.
But when the winner accelerated in the final furlong, Rite of Passage could not respond and was eventually just run out of second place by Some Present. Nevertheless,Weld felt his horse had done himself justice. "I was delighted with the horse. He’s run a very, very good race. But he probably found the ground a shade sticky for him," said Weld, who was full of praise for the winner. "He’s a super horse," he said.
MASTER MINDED MOVES (A LITTLE)
Master Minded, in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, may not be everyone’s idea of the best bet of The Festival, but both Ladbrokes and William Hill have given the punters a little bit of leeway. “Master Minded is safer than a lot of banks at the moment, but we’ve taken it out from 4/11 to 2/5,” said David Williams, of Ladbrokes. A move William Hill have matched.
Money for the Irish-trained horses was inevitable after four winners were greeted into the winner’s enclosure on the opening day of The Festival. Noel Meade, who started the Irish rout with Go Native, will be trying to set the tone for the second day, and Paddy Power report interest in Meade’s Parsons Pistol which is now 9/1 from 10/1 for the National Hunt Challenge Cup (1.30).
It’s much the same story in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (2.05) and the RSA Chase (2.40). In the Ballymore, the Willie Mullins-trained Mikael D’Haguenet has been supported, with totesport showing the 5-year-old as short as 3/1. In the RSA Chase, the same trainer’s Cooldine is proving very popular with both Paddy Power and Ladbrokes (7/2 from 4/1with both). Mullins was bullish about his Festival prospects at the beginning of the week and, like Meade, recorded a victory (Quevega) on the opening day.
Killyglen, who jockey Denis O’Regan rates as his most exciting ride of the week, has also come in for some support in the RSA Chase, shortening to 12/1 from 14/1 with Paddy Power.
The Polomoche, trained by Nicky Henderson, is popular across the board in the Coral Cup (4.00), generally available at 7/1 with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power, but only 6/1 with totesport.
The gamble of the day, though, looks to be in the final race, the Weatherbys Champion Bumper (5.15). Mullins has eight runners in the race, but it’s a Dermot Weld-trained horse which is the subject of the plunge - Rite Of Passage. The horse has been backed off the boards, with 4/1 now the best available price with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power - from 9/2 earlier. In contrast, Ladbrokes report that they “can’t give away” the Mullins-trained Sicilian Secret.
GOING NEWS AT 10AM
After a dry night, today’s going remains:
Good to Soft, Soft in Places
on both the Old Course, raced on today, and the New Course, which will be raced over tomorrow and on Friday.
The GoingStick reading is 6.8 on the Old Course and 6.4 on the New Course.
Simon Claisse, Cheltenham’s clerk of the course, said: “There’s a chance the course may dry out a bit this afternoon if the possible isolated showers that are forecast fail to materialise.”
RACEGOERS GIVE GERAGHTY GUINNESS FESTIVAL AWARD
Jockey Barry Geraghty won the opening day’s Guinness Festival Award, voted for by racegoers, thanks to a high-profile double.
Designed to honour the person who makes the biggest contribution to the Festival, Guinness Awards are given each day leading to an overall winner who will be announced on Saturday’s Channel 4 Morning Line.
Geraghty became the first-day winner after gaining narrow victories on Punjabi in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle and Forpadydeplasterer in the Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy.
He held off strong competition from Tony McCoy, who produced an outstanding ride on Wichita Lineman in the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase, and Nicky Henderson, who trained the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle first and third, Punjabi and Binocular.
Geraghty will receive his prize - generously donated by Waterford Crystal - in the winner’s enclosure at 12.45pm.
Nominations for today’s award will be announced over racecourse tannoys and shown on TVs after the fourth race. Racegoers can text their selection between 3.30pm and 7pm (3.30pm to 4.30pm on Friday) to 80818, choosing a, b or c. This information will also be broadcast on Festival Radio (87.7FM) and on www.cheltenham.co.uk.
CITROËN LEADING JOCKEY
STANDINGS AFTER DAY TWO
Jockey 1st 2nd 3rd
Ruby Walsh 4 1 -
Barry Geraghty 2 - 1
Tony McCoy 1 1 1
Miss Nina Carberry 1 - -
Paul Carberry 1 - -
Paddy Flood 1 - -
Tom O’Brien 1 - -
Mr Brian O’Connell 1 - -
Mr Sam Waley-Cohen 1 - -
Mrs Rose Dobbin - 1 1
Dominic Elsworth - 1 1
Timmy Murphy - 1 1
Robert Thornton - 1 1
Seamus Durack - 1 -
Graham Lee - 1 -
Daryl Jacob - 1 -
Mr J T McNamara - 1 -
Mr Derek O’Connor - 1 -
Robbie Power - 1 -
Davy Russell - 1 -
Richard Johnson - - 2
Alain Cawley - - 1
Jack Doyle - - 1
Wayne Hutchinson - - 1
Robbie Power - - 1
Pat Smullen - - 1
CITROËN LEADING TRAINER
STANDINGS AFTER DAY TWO
Trainer 1st 2nd 3rd
Willie Mullins IRE 3 - -
Enda Bolger IRE 1 1 1
Paul Nicholls 1 1 -
Nicky Henderson 1 - 2
Tom Cooper IRE 1 - -
Philip Fenton IRE 1 - -
Noel Meade IRE 1 - -
Mick Quinlan 1 - -
Jonjo O’Neill 1 - -
Tom Taaffe IRE 1 - -
Nigel Twiston-Davies 1 - -
Alan King - 2 2
Ferdy Murphy - 1 1
Nick Williams - 1 1
Jessica Harrington IRE - 1 -
Tony Martin IRE - 1 -
Tom Mullins IRE - 1 -
David Pipe - 1 -
Lucinda Russell - 1 -
Tim Vaughan - 1 -
Lucy Wadham - 1 -
Philip Hobbs - - 2
Henrietta Knight IRE - - 1
Emma Lavelle - - 1
Paul Nolan IRE - - 1
Dermot Weld IRE - - 1
1.30pm WILLIAMHILL.COM SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
GO NATIVE (Docado Syndicate) Noel Meade IRE 6-11-7 Paul Carberry 12/1
2.05pm IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY (GRADE ONE)
FORPADYDEPLASTERER (Goat Racing Syndicate) Tom Cooper IRE 7-11-7 Barry Geraghty 8/1
2.40pm WILIAM HILL TROPHY HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE THREE)
WICHITA LINEMAN (J P McManus) Jonjo O’Neill 8-10-9 Tony McCoy 5/1 fav
3.20pm SMURFIT KAPPA CHAMPION HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
PUNJABI (Raymond Tooth) Nicky Henderson 6-11-10 Barry Geraghty 22/1
4.00pm GLENFARCLAS HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE (CROSS COUNTRY)
GARDE CHAMPETRE (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 10-11-12 Miss Nina Carberry 7/2
4.40pm DAVID NICHOLSON MARES’ HURDLE (GRADE TWO)
QUEVEGA (Hammer & Trowel Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-3 Ruby Walsh 2/1 fav
1.30pm 139th YEAR OF THE NATIONAL HUNT CHASE CHALLENGE CUP
TRICKY TRICKSTER (Million In Mind Partnership) Nigel Twiston-Davies 6-11-11 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen 11/1
2.05pm BALLYMORE PROPERTIES NOVICES’ HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
MIKAEL D’HAGUENET (Susannah Ricci) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-7 Ruby Walsh 5/2 fav
2.40pm RSA CHASE (GRADE ONE)
COOLDINE (Violet O’Leary) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-4 Ruby Walsh 9/4 fav
3.20pm SEASONS HOLIDAYS QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (GRADE ONE)
MASTER MINDED (Clive Smith) Paul Nicholls 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh 4/11 fav
4.00pm CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE THREE)
NINETIETH MINUTE (Dermot Cox) Tom Taaffe IRE 6-10-3 Paddy Flood 14/1
4.40pm FRED WINTER JUVENILE NOVICES’ HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE THREE)
SILK AFFAIR (L Mulryan & M Fahy) Mick Quinlan 4-10-4 Tom O’Brien 11/1
5.15pm WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER NH FLAT RACE (GRADE ONE)
DUNGUIB (Daniel Harnett & Mrs E Lawlor) Philip Fenton IRE 6-11-5 Mr Brian O’Connell 9/2
FIRST RACE RESULT
1.30pm 139TH YEAR OF THE NATIONAL HUNT CHASE CHALLENGE CUP
£75,000 guaranteed, 4m Old Course, For 5yo+ Weights 5yo 11st 5lb; 6yo+ 11st 7lb Penalties a winner of a chase 4lb Allowances mares 7lb Entries 85 pay £90 1st Forfeit 68 pay £180 Confirmed 40 pay £90 Penalty value 1st £40,015, 2nd £14,062, 3rd £7,027.50, 4th £3,517.50, 5th £1,755, 6th £885
1 TRICKY TRICKSTER (IRE) (Million In Mind Partnership) Nigel Twiston-Davies 6-11-11 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen 11/1
2 DRUMCONVIS (IRE) (Billy Moffett) Tony Martin IRE 8-11-11 Mr Derek O'Connor 22/1
3 NINE DE SIVOLA (FR) (The Dprp Sivola Syndicate) Ferdy Murphy 8-11-7 Mrs Rose Dobbin 16/1
4 CAN'T BUY TIME (IRE) (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 7-11-11 Mr J T McNamara 4/1F
5 HENNESSY (IRE) (Malcolm Denmark) Carl Llewellyn 8-11-11 Mr Danny Cook
6 KORNATI KID (Diana Whateley) Philip Hobbs 7-11-11 Mr Robbie McNamara
7 FOREST LEAVES (IRE) (Legal Access Syndicate) Edward O'Grady IRE 9-11-11 Mr Kevin Power
8 NICHE MARKET (IRE) (G Regan) Bob Buckler 8-11-11 Mr Jamie Codd
9 FAIR POINT (IRE) (Jared Sullivan & R Michaelson) Charlie Mann 7-11-11 Mr Paul Cashman
10 NUVELLI (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Shane Donohoe IRE 7-11-11 Mr Brian O'Connell
F TANK TOP (R & L Channing/A & P Hurley) Tom George 8-11-7 Mr Luke Morgan
F PARSONS PISTOL (IRE) (R Bagnall) Noel Meade IRE 7-11-11 Miss Nina Carberry
P PANGBOURNE (FR) (Trevor Hemmings) Alan King 8-11-11 Mr William Biddick
P ITSA LEGEND (The We’re A Legend Partnership) Alan King 10-11-11 Mr James Banks
P RADETSKY MARCH (IRE) (Piers Pottinger) Mark Bradstock 6-11-11 Mr David Stratton
P COE (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Sue Smith 7-11-11 Mr Richard Burton
P CARNIVAL TOWN (Gay Smith) Jonjo O'Neill 8-11-11 Mr Alan Berry
P BORERO (FR) (N Bannister & M Bannister) Charlie Mann 6-11-11 Mr Tom Greenall
P LE BEAU BAI (FR) (Glass Half Full) Richard Lee 6-11-11 Mr Oliver Greenall
Non-runner: 18 Wichita Lineman (vet certificate)
Distances: 10, nk, 2 3/4, 5, 24, 26, 14, 1 1/4, 11
Breeder: Donie O’Brien
Breeding: b g Oscar (IRE) - Pavlova (IRE)
Totes: Win: £12.40 Places:£3.40; £7.40; £5.20 Exacta:£372.40
Winning Trainer: NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES Based: Grange Hill Farm, Naunton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Date of birth: 16/5/57 Background: Rode as an amateur for Fred Winter, Fred Rimell and Kim Bailey. The Gloucestershire handler combined training as a permit-holder with his farming interests throughout the 1980s, having his first winner with Last Of The Foxes, who he also rode, at Hereford in March, 1982, before the agricultural recession prompted him to make training his full-time profession. He took out a full training licence in 1989, recording his first win as a public trainer in December of that year with Babil at Newbury. As an amateur jockey Twiston-Davies rode 17 winners under Rules and gained a further 17 point-to-point victories. He served as assistant trainer to Richard Head and Fred Rimell. A childhood neighbour and friend of Peter Scudamore, he went into partnership with the former champion jump jockey to set up stables at Grange Hill Farm, Naunton, Gloucestershire, although Scudamore is no longer involved in the venture, having teamed up with Denis Caro in 2002 and then his father Michael. Twiston-Davies has adopted and developed the pioneering techniques of Martin Pipe, such as interval training and regular blood tests for his string, enabling him to rapidly raise his profile among the training ranks. An essentially shy man, he momentarily shocked Des Lynam after Earth Summit’s Grand National success in 1998 by telling the BBC presenter in front of millions of viewers “I don’t do interviews”. Trained his 1,000th winner at Stratford in October 2006. Cheltenham Festival wins (9): 139th Year Of The National Hunt Chase (2009 Tricky Trickster), William Hill NH Chase (1992 Tipping Tim), Royal & SunAlliance Hdle (1993 Gaelstrom, 2004 Fundamentalist), Royal & SunAlliance C (1993 Young Hustler), Letheby & Christopher Supreme H (1994 Arctic Kinsman), JCB Triumph Hurdle (1998 Upgrade), Pertemps Final H’cap Hurdle (2000 Rubhahunish, 2008 Ballyfitz) Wins (1982/3-2007/08): 0, 0, 4, 4, 1, 3, 2, 8, 19, 31, 76, 72, 81, 74, 52, 69, 65,87, 4, 35, 31, 79 ; 69; 59; 60; 87; Wins this Season: 70
Winning Jockey: Mr Sam Waley-Cohen Born: April 15, 1982 Background: Son of Robert Waley-Cohen, long-standing owner with Nicky Henderson and Cheltenham Racecourse Director. Sam, a regular on the point-to-point circuit, studied politics at Edinburgh University. First Winner Under Rules: Moscow Dancer, Kelso, December 1, 2003, Kevin Oliver Property & Business Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle Cheltenham Festival Wins (2): 139th Year Of The National Hunt Chase (2009 Tricky Trickster), Mildmay of Flete Handicap Chase (2005 Liberthine) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Foxhunter’s Chase (2005 & 2006 Katarino), John Smith’s Topham Chase (2006 Liberthine) Wins (2003/04-2007/08): 2; 3; 4; 6; 1 Wins This Season: 2
SECOND RACE RESULT
2.05pm BALLYMORE NOVICES' HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
£120,000 guaranteed, 2m 5f Old Course, For 4yo+ Weights 4yo 10st 12lb; 5yo+ 11st 7lb Allowances fillies and mares 7lb Entries 125 pay £130 1st Forfeit 77 pay £260 Confirmed 29 pay £130 Penalty Value 1st £68,412, 2nd £25,668, 3rd £12,852, 4th £6,408, 5th £3,216, 6th £1,608
1 MIKAEL D'HAGUENET (FR) (Mrs Susannah Ricci) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-7 Ruby Walsh 5/2F
2 KARABAK (FR) (JP McManus) Alan King 6-11-7 Tony McCoy 4/1
3 DIAMOND HARRY (Paul Duffy Diamond Partnership) Nick Williams 6-11-7 Timmy Murphy 4/1
4 CHINA ROCK (IRE) (Michael O’Flynn) Mouse Morris IRE 6-11-7 Niall Madden
5 KNOCKARA BEAU (IRE) (W Trueman) George Charlton 6-11-7 Jan Faltejsek
6 THE NIGHTINGALE (FR) (Graham Roach) Paul Nicholls 6-11-7 Christian Williams
7 REALT DUBH (IRE) (D Sharkey) Noel Meade IRE 5-11-7 Paul Carberry
8 MAD MAX (IRE) (Carole Skipworth & Paul Murphy) Nicky Henderson 7-11-7 Barry Geraghty
9 RUTHENOISE (FR) (Galaxy Sports Management Ltd) David Pipe 4-10-5 Tom Scudamore
10 JUNIOR (Paul Green) Alan King 6-11-7 Robert Thornton
11 DORSET SQUARE (IRE) (Shanakiel Racing Syndicate) John Murphy 5-11-7 Andrew McNamara
12 QUWETWO (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 6-11-7 Denis O'Regan
13 QUARTETTO (GER) (Amanda Torrens) Mervyn Torrens IRE 5-11-7 Andrew Thornton
P RICHARD THE THIRD (Vijay Kara) John Harris 5-11-7 Seamus Durack
14 ran Distances: 1 3/4, 3 3/4, nk, 3 3/4, 10, 6, 1 1/2, 10, 23, dist, 7, 29
Breeder: Mme Martine Lelong Breeding: b g Lavirco (Ger) - Fleur D’haguenet (FR) Totes: Win: £3.60 Places: £1.70, £2.20, £1.90 Exacta: £10.80
Winning Trainer: WILLIE MULLINS Date of Birth: 15/9/56 Based: Closutton, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow Background: Born September 15, 1956, Willie Mullins was six-times amateur champion rider in Ireland and his major successes in the saddle included the 1983 John Smith’s Fox Hunters' Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath, before taking out a training licence in 1988. He hails from one of Ireland's most famous racing families, being a son of Paddy Mullins, the now retired outstanding all-round trainer, whose most famous star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup two years later. Willie Mullins rode and trained Wither Or Which to win the 1996 Weatherbys Champion Bumper, the Cheltenham Festival race in which he has saddled six winners (also Florida Pearl 1997, Alexander Banquet 1998, Joe Cullen 2000, Missed That 2005 and Cousin Vinny 2008). Mullins saddled Rule Supreme to win the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival and sent out the same horse to win the Irish Hennessy in 2005. His best horse to date has been Florida Pearl, who was placed in two Cheltenham Gold Cups, won the 1998 Royal & SunAlliance Chase, the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 Irish Hennessy Cognac Gold Cups in Ireland as well as the 2001 King George VI Chase and the 2002 totesport Bowl at Aintree. Mullins, who began training in 1988, has around 100 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow. He was crowned both Champion and Leading Trainer in Ireland for the first time in the 2007/08 season. Cheltenham Festival wins (14): David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009 Quevega), Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1995 Tourist Attraction, 2007 Ebaziyan), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (1998 Florida Pearl, 2004 Rule Supreme), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1996 Wither Or Which, 1997 Florida Pearl, 1998 Alexander Banquet, 2000 Joe Cullen, 2005 Missed That, 2008 Cousin Vinny), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2002 Scolardy) Number of Winners in Britain (2001/02-2007/08): 4; 1; 1; 2; 0; 1; 2; Wins in Britain this season: 3
Winning Jockey: Ruby Walsh Born: May 14, 1979 Background: Ruby (short for Rupert) is associated with the powerful stables of Paul Nicholls in Britain and Willie Mullins in Ireland. He is the son of 11-times Irish amateur champion jockey, Ted Walsh, now a trainer and television pundit. Ruby is the second of Walsh's four children and his younger sister Katie is a successful amateur. He in his father's footsteps when capturing the Irish amateur riders’ championship (1996-97) at the age of 19 while still studying for his Leaving Certificate. He was crowned champion Irish National Hunt jockey in his first season as a professional (1998/99) and has taken the title a further five times (2000/2001, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/7 and 2007/08). Walsh has won the John Smith's Grand National twice - in 2000 aboard Papillon, trained by his father, and the Willie Mullins-trained Hedgehunter in 2005. He followed Papillon's Aintree triumph with an Irish Grand National victory aboard his father's Commanche Court but surpassed that achievement in the 2004/2005 season when his John Smith's Grand National success aboard Hedgehunter was augmented by wins in the Welsh National (Silver Birch) and Irish Grand National (Numbersixvalverde). He narrowly missed out in that season's Scottish Grand National when his mount, Cornish Rebel, finished a short-head second to Joes Edge. In the 2007/08 season he was leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival for a third time (he also took the accolade in 2003 and 2007) with three wins. First Winner: Siren Song, Gowran Park, July 25, 1995 Cheltenham Festival Wins (19): David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009 Quevega), Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1998 Alexander Banquet, 2005 Missed That), Mildmay Of Flete (2002 Blowing Wind), Irish Independent Arkle (2003 Azertyuiop), Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase (2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 Master Minded), Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis) Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), William Hill Trophy (2006 Dun Doire), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2007 Denman), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2007 Kauto Star) 1,000th Winner in Ireland: Rare Article, Smirnoff (Mares) Maiden Hurdle, Thurles, May 4, 2008 (became only the second jockey to complete the feat after Charlie Swann) Number of Wins in Britain (1998/99-2007/08): 1; 1; 5; 13; 77; 62; 81; 69; 73; 69; Wins in Britain This Season: 58
THIRD RACE RESULT
2.40pm RSA CHASE (GRADE ONE)
£170,000 guaranteed, 3m 1/2f Old Course, For 5yo+, Weights 5yo 11st 12lb; 6yo+ 11st 4lb Aallowances mares 7lb Entries 72 pay £195 1st Forfeit 51 pay £390 Confirmed 19 pay £195 Penalty Value 1st £96,917, 2nd £36,363, 3rd £18,207, 4th £9,078, 5th £4,556, 6th £2,278
1 COOLDINE (IRE) (Violet O’Leary) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-4 Ruby Walsh 9/4F
2 HORNER WOODS (IRE) (Howard Spooner) Jessica Harrington IRE 7-11-4 Robbie Power 66/1
3 MASSINI'S MAGUIRE (IRE) (Alan Peterson) Philip Hobbs 8-11-4 Richard Johnson 10/1
4 CARRUTHERS (The Oaksey Partnership) Mark Bradstock 6-11-4 Matthew Batchelor 13/2
5 CASEY JONES (IRE) (Gillian Burke) Noel Meade IRE 8-11-4 Paul Carberry
6 WHAT A FRIEND (Ged Mason & Sir Alex Ferguson) Paul Nicholls 6-11-4 Sam Thomas
F BOHEMIAN LASS (IRE) (Riona Molony) Bill Harney IRE 6-10-11 John Cullen
P LIGHTNING STRIKE (GER) (John Nicholls (Trading) Ltd) Venetia Williams 6-11-4 Aidan Coleman
P LODGE LANE (IRE) (O Wynne & S Wynne) Victor Dartnall 8-11-4 Christian Williams
P GONE TO LUNCH (IRE) (Gary Lever) Jeremy Scott 9-11-4 Tony McCoy
P SIEGEMASTER (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Dessie Hughes IRE 8-11-4 Davy Russell
P THE MARKET MAN (NZ) (Sir Robert Ogden) Nicky Henderson 9-11-4 Barry Geraghty
P KILLYGLEN (IRE) (D McCammon) Howard Johnson 7-11-4 Denis O'Regan
P HOLD EM (IRE) (David Hughes, Mike Evans & Partners) Keith Goldsworthy 7-11-4 Graham Lee
P BALLYFITZ (F Mills & W Mills) Nigel Twiston-Davies 9-11-4 Paddy Brennan
15 ran Distances: 16, 9, 4, 1, nk
Breeder: Eleanor Hadden Breeding: b g Beneficial - Shean Alainn Totes: Win: £3.40 Places: £1.50, £15.70, £3.30 Exacta: £263.30
Winning Trainer: WILLIE MULLINS Date of Birth: 15/9/56 Based: Closutton, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow Background: Born September 15, 1956, Willie Mullins was six-times amateur champion rider in Ireland and his major successes in the saddle included the 1983 John Smith’s Fox Hunters' Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath, before taking out a training licence in 1988. He hails from one of Ireland's most famous racing families, being a son of Paddy Mullins, the now retired outstanding all-round trainer, whose most famous star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup two years later. Willie Mullins rode and trained Wither Or Which to win the 1996 Weatherbys Champion Bumper, the Cheltenham Festival race in which he has saddled six winners (also Florida Pearl 1997, Alexander Banquet 1998, Joe Cullen 2000, Missed That 2005 and Cousin Vinny 2008). Mullins saddled Rule Supreme to win the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival and sent out the same horse to win the Irish Hennessy in 2005. His best horse to date has been Florida Pearl, who was placed in two Cheltenham Gold Cups, won the 1998 Royal & SunAlliance Chase, the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 Irish Hennessy Cognac Gold Cups in Ireland as well as the 2001 King George VI Chase and the 2002 totesport Bowl at Aintree. Mullins, who began training in 1988, has around 100 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow. He was crowned both Champion and Leading Trainer in Ireland for the first time in the 2007/08 season. Cheltenham Festival wins (15): David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009 Quevega), Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1995 Tourist Attraction, 2007 Ebaziyan), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (1998 Florida Pearl, 2004 Rule Supreme, 2009 Cooldine), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1996 Wither Or Which, 1997 Florida Pearl, 1998 Alexander Banquet, 2000 Joe Cullen, 2005 Missed That, 2008 Cousin Vinny), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2002 Scolardy) Number of Winners in Britain (2001/02-2007/08): 4; 1; 1; 2; 0; 1; 2; Wins in Britain this season: 4
Winning Jockey: Ruby Walsh Born: May 14, 1979 Background: Ruby (short for Rupert) is associated with the powerful stables of Paul Nicholls in Britain and Willie Mullins in Ireland. He is the son of 11-times Irish amateur champion jockey, Ted Walsh, now a trainer and television pundit. Ruby is the second of Walsh's four children and his younger sister Katie is a successful amateur. He in his father's footsteps when capturing the Irish amateur riders’ championship (1996-97) at the age of 19 while still studying for his Leaving Certificate. He was crowned champion Irish National Hunt jockey in his first season as a professional (1998/99) and has taken the title a further five times (2000/2001, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/7 and 2007/08). Walsh has won the John Smith's Grand National twice - in 2000 aboard Papillon, trained by his father, and the Willie Mullins-trained Hedgehunter in 2005. He followed Papillon's Aintree triumph with an Irish Grand National victory aboard his father's Commanche Court but surpassed that achievement in the 2004/2005 season when his John Smith's Grand National success aboard Hedgehunter was augmented by wins in the Welsh National (Silver Birch) and Irish Grand National (Numbersixvalverde). He narrowly missed out in that season's Scottish Grand National when his mount, Cornish Rebel, finished a short-head second to Joes Edge. In the 2007/08 season he was leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival for a third time (he also took the accolade in 2003 and 2007) with three wins. First Winner: Siren Song, Gowran Park, July 25, 1995 Cheltenham Festival Wins (20): David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009 Quevega), Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1998 Alexander Banquet, 2005 Missed That), Mildmay Of Flete (2002 Blowing Wind), Irish Independent Arkle (2003 Azertyuiop), Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase (2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 Master Minded), Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis) Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), William Hill Trophy (2006 Dun Doire), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2007 Denman, 2009 Cooldoine), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2007 Kauto Star) 1,000th Winner in Ireland: Rare Article, Smirnoff (Mares) Maiden Hurdle, Thurles, May 4, 2008 (became only the second jockey to complete the feat after Charlie Swann) Number of Wins in Britain (1998/99-2007/08): 1; 1; 5; 13; 77; 62; 81; 69; 73; 69; Wins in Britain This Season: 59
FOURTH RACE RESULT
3.20pm SEASONS HOLIDAYS QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (GRADE ONE)
£320,000 guaranteed, 2m Old Course, For 5yo+ which are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including March 4; horses which are not qualified a rating in GB, Ireland or France may also be entered; such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including March 4 would merit a minimum rating of 130; the decision of the BHA Handicapper shall be final. Wweights 11st 10lb Allowances mares 7lb Entries 29 pay £380 1st Forfeit 20pay £760 Confirmed 14 pay £380 Penalty Value 1st £182,432, 2nd £68,48, 3rd £34,272, 4th £17,088, 5th £8,576, 6th £4,288
1 MASTER MINDED (FR) (Clive Smith) Paul Nicholls 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh 4/11F
2 WELL CHIEF (GER) (David Johnson) David Pipe 10-11-10 Timmy Murphy 12/1
3 PETIT ROBIN (FR) (Mr & Mrs John Poynton) Nicky Henderson 6-11-10 Barry Geraghty 12/1
4 NEWMILL (IRE) (Mary Hayes) John Murphy IRE 11-11-10 Robbie Power
5 SCOTSIRISH (IRE) (Double R Stables Llc Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 8-11-10 Paul Townend
6 MAHOGANY BLAZE (FR) (Lorna Berryman) Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-11-10 Paddy Brennan
7 ASHLEY BROOK (IRE) (Elizabeth Ellis) Kevin Bishop 11-11-10 Richard Johnson
8 SANTA'S SON (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 9-11-10 Denis O'Regan
9 MARODIMA (FR) (Mark & Lavinia Sherwood) Rebecca Curtis 6-11-10 Nick Scholfield
F BIG ZEB (IRE) (Patrick Joseph Redmond) Colm Murphy IRE 8-11-10 Robert Thornton
F last BRIAREUS (Miss E Lambourne) Andrew Balding 9-11-10 Tony McCoy
P TWIST MAGIC (FR) (Barry Fulton, Tony Hayward & Michael Lynch) Paul Nicholls 7-11-10 Sam Thomas
12 ran Distances: 7, 2, 1 1/2, 5, 7, 11, 15, dist
Breeder: Marie-Christine-Gabeur Breeding: b g Nikos - Haute Tension (FR) Totes: Win: £1.40 Places: £1.10, £2.60, £2.20 Exacta: £7.30
Winning Trainer: PAUL NICHOLLS Date of birth: 17/05/62 Based: Heighes House, Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset Background: Paul Nicholls, the son of a policeman, was born in Olveston, Bristol, on April 17, 1962, and has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. He started out as a jump jockey and twice rode the winner of the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury, in 1986 and 1987. He partnered 130 winners between 1980 and 1989, and nominates the best horses he rode as Broadheath, Playschool and Seagram. Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to former Devon-based David Barons, who sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during that time. Having strongly challenged Martin Pipe for the jump trainers’ championship for several years, most notably when pushing his great rival right to the last day of the 2004/05 campaign, he claimed his first title in the 2005/06 season, and followed up in the following campaign, with the hugely-talented Kauto Star being the flag-bearer with victories in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree, the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, Sandown’s Tingle Creek Chase, the Stan James King George VI Chase at Kempton, Newbury’s AON Chase and the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. Paul Nicholls pulled off the amazing feat of saddling seven winners and three seconds from his 10 runners on Saturday, November 7, 1998, and made history when he became the first trainer to saddle six winners on the same card, at Wincanton, his local track, on Saturday, January 21, 2006. Another highpoint in his training career came at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival, as he captured the major chase on each of the three days - Flagship Uberalles scored in the Irish Independent Arkle Chase, Call Equiname in the Queen Mother Champion Chase the following day and, best of all, See More Business took the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. Nicholls was the most successful trainer at The Festival in 1999, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Cheltenham Festival Wins (21): JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), Irish Independent Arkle Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2003 Azertyuiop), Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman), Christie’s Foxhunter Chase (2004 Earthmover, 2005 Sleeping Night), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran, 2007 Andreas), Co Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis), Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2006 Star De Mohaison, 2007 Denman) 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 Number of Winners (1992/03-2007/08): 20; 29; 28; 53; 56; 82; 110; 71; 83; 136; 152; 127; 152; 148*; 124*; 151* (first trainer to win more than £4 million in prize money in a season); *Champion Trainer Wins this Season: 133
Winning Jockey: Ruby Walsh Born: May 14, 1979 Background: Ruby (short for Rupert) is associated with the powerful stables of Paul Nicholls in Britain and Willie Mullins in Ireland. He is the son of 11-times Irish amateur champion jockey, Ted Walsh, now a trainer and television pundit. Ruby is the second of Walsh's four children and his younger sister Katie is a successful amateur. He in his father's footsteps when capturing the Irish amateur riders’ championship (1996-97) at the age of 19 while still studying for his Leaving Certificate. He was crowned champion Irish National Hunt jockey in his first season as a professional (1998/99) and has taken the title a further five times (2000/2001, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/7 and 2007/08). Walsh has won the John Smith's Grand National twice - in 2000 aboard Papillon, trained by his father, and the Willie Mullins-trained Hedgehunter in 2005. He followed Papillon's Aintree triumph with an Irish Grand National victory aboard his father's Commanche Court but surpassed that achievement in the 2004/2005 season when his John Smith's Grand National success aboard Hedgehunter was augmented by wins in the Welsh National (Silver Birch) and Irish Grand National (Numbersixvalverde). He narrowly missed out in that season's Scottish Grand National when his mount, Cornish Rebel, finished a short-head second to Joes Edge. In the 2007/08 season he was leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival for a third time (he also took the accolade in 2003 and 2007) with three wins. First Winner: Siren Song, Gowran Park, July 25, 1995 Cheltenham Festival Wins (21): David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009 Quevega), Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1998 Alexander Banquet, 2005 Missed That), Mildmay Of Flete (2002 Blowing Wind), Irish Independent Arkle (2003 Azertyuiop), Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase (2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis) Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), William Hill Trophy (2006 Dun Doire), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2007 Denman, 2009 Cooldoine), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2007 Kauto Star) 1,000th Winner in Ireland: Rare Article, Smirnoff (Mares) Maiden Hurdle, Thurles, May 4, 2008 (became only the second jockey to complete the feat after Charlie Swann) Number of Wins in Britain (1998/99-2007/08): 1; 1; 5; 13; 77; 62; 81; 69; 73; 69; Wins in Britain This Season: 60
FIFTH RACE RESULT
4.00pm CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE THREE)
£80,000 guaranteed, 2m 5f Old Course, For 4yo+ Minimum Weight 10st Penalties after February 22, a winner of a hurdle 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Lough Derg’s Handicap Mark 163 Entries 150 pay £95 Confirmed 90 pay £285 Penalty Value 1st £45,608, 2nd £17,112, 3rd £8,568, 4th £4,272, 5th £2,144, 6th £1,072
1 NINETIETH MINUTE (IRE) (Dermot Cox) Tom Taaffe IRE 6-10-3 Paddy Flood 14/1
2 MIRAGE DORE (FR) (Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson) Lucinda Russell 6-9-11 Mrs Rose Dobbin (3) 14/1
3 PAUSE AND CLAUSE (IRE) (Robert Cohen) Emma Lavelle 5-9-11 Jack Doyle (3) 9/1
4 STAR OF ANGELS (Roger Brookhouse) David Pipe 5-9-11b Hadden Frost (3) 40/1
5 KAWAGINO (IRE) (Mrs M Rayner/M Adams) Seamus Mullins 9-9-11 Wayne Kavanagh (3)
6 KIRBYBROGUELANTERN (IRE) (Brogue Lanterns Syndicate) Tom Hogan IRE 8-9-11 Alain Cawley (3)
7 COPSALE LAD (Judy England) Nicky Henderson 12-9-9 Richard Killoran (5)
8 DANCING TORNADO (IRE) (JP McManus) Michael Hourigan IRE 8-10-3p David Casey
9 CONVINCING (Shanakiel Racing Syndicate) John Murphy IRE 6-10-0 Niall Madden
10 THE POLOMOCHE (IRE) (Anthony Speelman) Nicky Henderson 6-10-8 Barry Geraghty 6/1F
11 ONNIX (FR) (Sir Michael Smurfit) Francois Doumen FR 7-10-3p Barry Keniry
12 THUNDERING STAR (SAF) (Findlay/Bloom/De Kock/Westwood/Chandler) Paul Nicholls 6-9-9 Harry Skelton (5)
13 PSYCHO (IRE) (Exors of the late C McLure) Tony Martin IRE 8-10-8 Davy Russell
14 TISFREETDREAM (IRE) (Woodland Generators & D Pritchard) Philip Pritchard 8-10-0p Owyn Nelmes
15 FRANCHOEK (IRE) (JP McManus) Alan King 5-11-4 Tony McCoy
16 CHIEF YEOMAN (B Moore & E Stephens) Venetia Williams 9-10-2 Aidan Coleman
17 GREAT ENDEAVOUR (IRE) (David Johnson) David Pipe 5-10-0 Timmy Murphy
18 DOOR BOY (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 6-10-3ow3lb Denis O'Regan
19 LOUGH DERG (FR) (W Frewen) David Pipe 9-11-12v Tom Scudamore
20 AMBOBO (USA) (Sean Mulryan) Martin Brassil IRE 9-9-13tp Paul Townend (3)
21 SERABAD (FR) (Walters Plant Hire Ltd) Peter Bowen 5-10-11b1 Paddy Brennan
22 GEE DEE NEN (Chris Duggan & Brendan Gilligan) Jim Best 6-10-0 Seamus Durack
23 LARKWING (IRE) (Margaret Wilmott) Eric McNamara IRE 8-10-3 Paul Carberry
24 PIERROT LUNAIRE (USA) (Angela Tincknell) Paul Nicholls 5-11-2t Ruby Walsh
25 SWORDSMAN (GER) (Kate Digweed) Chris Gordon 7-10-0tp Colin Bolger
26 POUVOIR (FR) (Mr & Mrs R Scott) Alan King 6-10-0 Wayne Hutchinson
27 DOUBLY GUEST (The Ting Tong Partnership) Nicky Henderson 5-9-11 Felix De Giles (3)
Non-runner: 22 Altilhar (self certificated) Distances: 1 1/2, 1/2, 7, 1, 7, 1 1/4, hd, 6, 1/2, 3/4, 1/2, hd, 12, 2, 7, 2 1/2, 4 1/2, 3, 5, 19, nk, 27, 1 3/4, 2 3/4, 4, 9
Breeder: Ray Nolan Breeding: b g Old Vic - Myown (IRE) Totes: Win: £13.60 Places: £2.90, £3.80, £3.60, £9.60 Exacta: £123.00
Winning Trainer: TOM TAAFFE Background: Tom Taaffe, who was born on June 15, 1963, is son of the peerless Arkle's legendary jockey Pat Taaffe, who rode two Grand National winners in Quare Times (1955) and Gay Trip (1970). Tom took a giant stride into the limelight in 2005 thanks to his impeccable handling of totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Kicking King. Taaffe spent his schoolboy summers working for Arthur Moore and forged an association with the trainer that lasted 15 years, first as an amateur rider and then as a professional jockey. He rode his first winner at Phoenix Park in 1981 and enjoyed a successful career in the saddle as a jump jockey, partnering 400 winners. He finished third in the 1988 Grand National aboard Monanore and began training from Portree Stables near Straffan in County Kildare in 1994. In 1998, he enjoyed his first Grade One triumph with Delphi Lodge in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse. Kicking King's Gold Cup success, combined with his earlier Stan James King George VI victory, enabled Taaffe to emulate his father, who saddled Captain Christy to victory in the same two races. Although Kicking King did not make it to Cheltenham this year, Taaffe enjoyed his second success at the Festival when Finger Onthe Pulse won the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase in 2008 Big Race Wins include: Arkle Perpetual Challenge Cup Novices’ Chase (2004 Kicking King), Byrne Group Plc Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Kicking King), Champion Chase at Gowran (2004 Kicking King), John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (2004 Kicking King), Guinness Gold Cup (2005 Kicking King), King George VI Chase (2004 & 2005 Kicking King), Paddy Power Chase (2006 Cane Brake) Cheltenham Festival Wins (3): totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2005 Kicking King), Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2008 Finger Onthe Pulse), Coral Cup (2009 Ninetieth Minute) Wins in Britain (2002/03-2007/08): 0; 1; 2; 1; 0; 1; Wins in Britain This Season: 1
Winning Jockey: Paddy Flood Background: Paddy Flood's first victory under Rules came at Tralee in June, 2003, but it was subsequently erased from the record books when the horse, Ballygowan Beauty, was adjudged to have run under the name Bog Road at the Dingle pony racing meeting in August, 2002, an unlicensed meeting. Flood (born May 6, 1986) escaped censure as he was not a licensed jockey at the time. He became attached to the Dessie Hughes stable at the Curragh from the age of 16 and in his first season, 2003/2004, had 15 winners and was recognised as one of the best young jockeys around. He subsequently split with Dessie Hughes and joined the Edward O'Grady stable in Tipperary but then opted to take a break from the sport to resolve alcohol problems. Flood returned to action late in 2005 when his mounts included Back In Front, who was making the switch from hurdling to chasing. Flood partnered that horse in the 2006 Royal & SunAlliance Chase, the jockey's first ride at the Cheltenham Festival. For the 2007/08 campaign, Flood left Edward O'Grady at Thurles to move 15 miles down the road to Mouse Morris' stable at Fethard. Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Coral Cup (2009 Ninetieth Minute) Other Big Race Wins: Sharp Minds Betfair Novices’ Handicap Chase (2004 Liscannor Lad), Jack Duggan Memorial Hurdle (2004 Classic Note), Midlands National Handicap Chase (2004 Night Busker), Paddy Power Long Distance Handicap Hurdle (2004 Oulart), Guinness Galway Hurdle (2006 Cuan Na Grai), Woodlands Park 100 Slaney Novice Hurdle (2008 Venalmar), Powers Whiskey Irish Grand National (2008 Hear The Echo) Wins in Britain this season: 1
SIXTH RACE RESULT
4.40pm FRED WINTER JUVENILE NOVICES' HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE THREE)
£80,000 guaranteed, 2m 1/2f Old Course, For 4yo, Weights highest weight 11st 10lb Minimum weight 10st Penalties after February 22, a winner of a hurdle 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 10lb) Mr Thriller’s Handicap Mark 145 Entries 57 pay £95 Confirmed 41 pay £285 Penalty Value 1st £45,608, 2nd £17,112, 3rd £8,568, 4th £4,272, 5th £2,144, 6th £1,072
1 SILK AFFAIR (IRE) (L Mulryan & M Fahy) Mick Quinlan 4-10-4 Tom O’Brien 11/1
2 SKI SUNDAY (Scarlet Pimpernel) Tim Vaughan 4-11-1 Seamus Durack 20/1
3 SATICON (S Smith & Paul Duffen) Alan King 4-11-1 Wayne Hutchinson 20/1
4 ALEXANDER SEVERUS (IRE) (Patrick Wilmott) Edward O'Grady IRE 4-10-13 Andrew McNamara 5/2F
5 INDIAN GROOM (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 4-10-13 Denis O'Regan
6 MR THRILLER (FR) (Joe Moran) David Pipe 4-11-10 Tom Scudamore
7 TOBAGO BAY (Heart of The South Racing) Sheena West 4-10-6b Jamie Goldstein
8 HELIUM (FR) (Mr & Mrs Mark Tracey & Friends) Nick Gifford 4-10-13 Liam Treadwell
9 RUFF DIAMOND (USA) (John Griffin & Owen Mullen) Stan Moore 4-10-3 Graham Lee
10 GIORGIO QUERCUS (FR) (Million In Mind Partnership) Nicky Henderson 4-10-10 Felix De Giles (3)
11 RESOUNDING GLORY (USA) (M Wynne) Richard Fahey 4-10-7 Paddy Brennan
12 KAHSABELLE (FR) (The Weather Girls) Venetia Williams 4-10-2 Aidan Coleman
13 WOOLFALL TREASURE (Findlay & Bloom) Gary Moore 4-10-3p Jamie Moore
14 RONALDO DES MOTTES (FR) (K & D Ives) David Pipe 4-11-0 Timmy Murphy
15 FLAG OF HONOUR (IRE) (Dessie Hughes) Dessie Hughes IRE 4-10-10 Paddy Flood
16 HIGGY'S BOY (IRE) (I Higginson) Nicky Henderson 4-10-12b Barry Geraghty
17 AMORE MIO (GER) (N Mustoe) Emma Lavelle 4-10-8 Jack Doyle (3)
18 MISS SARENNE (FR) (JP McManus) Nicky Henderson 4-10-10 Tony McCoy
19 BALZACCIO (FR) (King, Roberts, Flintham & MCL) Alan King 4-10-3 Christian Williams
20 ART EXHIBITION (IRE) (John Southway & Andrew Hughes) Charlie Mann 4-10-6 Noel Fehily
21 BRUSLINI (FR) (Terry Warner) Philip Hobbs 4-10-0 Richard Johnson
22 EL PRESIDENTE (IRE) (Would’ya Would’ya Syndicate) Marc Halford IRE 4-10-10 Paul Carberry
Non-runners: 2 Simarian (vet certificate), 23 Love And Glory (self certificated)
Distances: 3, 3/4, 1 3/4, 1/2, 2, 1/2, 2 1/2, 3 1/2, 8, 3 3/4, 1/2, 7, 5, 3 1/4, 2 3/4, 1/2, 1 1/4, nk, 1 1/4, 28, dist
Breeder: M Fahy
Breeding: b f Barathea (IRE) - Uncertain Affair (IRE)
Totes: Win:£13.20 Places: £2.50, £3.60, £4.60, £1.80 Exacta: £193.30
Winning Trainer: MICK QUINLAN Based: Athnid Stables, Hamilton Road, Newmarket, Suffolk Background: Runs the operation along with his brother Noel Big Flat Wins: Queen Mary Stakes (2008 Langs Lash), Dubai International Airport World Trophy (2006 Dixie Belle) Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2009 Silk Affair) Wins over jumps (2002/03-2007/08): 2; 0; 3; 2; 3; 6; Wins this Season: 7
Winning Jockey: Tom O’Brien Born: November 28, 1986 Based: Philip Hobbs, Minehead, Somerset Background: O’Brien set a record for the conditional riders’ championship for the 2006/07 season with 107 successes. His father Jim is a brother of the brilliant trainer Aidan O’Brien and plays a key role at his Ballydoyle stable in Co Tipperary. From the age of 13, Tom rode out at weekends and in school holidays at Ballydoyle, aboard champions such as High Chaparral, Rock Of Gibraltar and Mozart. He joined Philip Hobbs’s stable as a 17-year-old, initially riding as an amateur and in point-to-points and had first winner aboard The Names Bond at Warwick on December 18, 2004. Hobbs feels that O’Brien “could certainly be champion some day” and the rider has also established a useful association with trainer Peter Bowen, for whom he finished second aboard McKelvey on his first John Smith’s Grand National ride in 2007. His major successes for the 2007/08 campaign include the Bowen-trained Souffler in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December. Aidan O’Brien still takes a keen interest in his nephew’s progress - “when he sits down to watch me ride, he often gets on the phone to give me a rollicking,” said Tom. First Winner Under Rules in Britain: The Names Bond, Warwick, December 18, 2004, Ron Gascoigne Memorial Amateur Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2009 Silk Affair) Other Notable wins: Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase (2005 Captain Corelli), totescoop6 Summer Hurdle (2006 Tycoon Hall), Ballymore Properties Challow Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Souffleur) Number of Winners (2004/05-2007/08): 3; 22; 107; 70; Wins This Season: 54
SEVENTH RACE RESULT
5.15pm WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER NH FLAT RACE (GRADE ONE)
£60,000 guaranteed For 4-6yo which have not run under any recognised Rules Of Racing except NH/INH Flat races or French AQPS Flat races; horses are not to have run more than four races and, before February 23, 2009, must have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a race. Weights 4yo 10st 11lb; 5yo & 6yo 11st 5lb Allowances fillies and mares 7lb Entries 1 pay £85 Confirmed 31 pay £205 Penalty Value 1st £34,206, 2nd £12,834, 3rd £6,426, 4th £3,204, 5th £1,608, 6th £804
1 DUNGUIB (IRE) (Daniel Harnett) Philip Fenton IRE 6-11-5 Mr Brian O'Connell 9/2
2 SOME PRESENT (IRE) (Mrs Paul Duffin) Tom Mullins IRE 6-11-5 Davy Russell 25/1
3 RITE OF PASSAGE (Dr Ronan Lambe) Dermot Weld IRE 5-11-5 Pat Smullen 5/2F
4 QUEL ESPRIT (FR) (Red Barn Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-5 Ruby Walsh 10/1
5 MORNING SUPREME (IRE) (Henry Murphy) Willie Mullins IRE 6-10-12 Ms Katie Walsh
6 LEAD THE PARADE (IRE) (Dr Ronan Lambe) Dermot Weld IRE 5-11-5 Mr Robbie McNamara
7 CRANKY CORNER (Trevor Hemmings) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-5 Davy Condon
8 SHINROCK PADDY (IRE) (Barry Connell) Paul Nolan IRE 5-11-5 Mr Barry Connell
9 PEPE SIMO (IRE) (Mette Campbell-Andenaes) Paul Nicholls 5-11-5 Sam Thomas
10 BENBANE HEAD (USA) (Louise Keefe) Martin Keighley 5-11-5 Warren Marston
11 MEATH ALL STAR (IRE) (Martin Lynch) Willie Mullins IRE 6-11-5 Paul Townend
12 LONG STRAND (IRE) (K Doyle) Charlie Swan IRE 5-11-5 Richard Hughes
13 LATIN AMERICA (IRE) (Core Strength) Nick Gifford 4-10-11 Jay Pemberton
14 RED HARBOUR (IRE) (C Giles) Paul Nicholls 5-11-5 Liam Heard
15 GAGEWELL FLYER (IRE) (Clipper Logistics Group Ltd) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-5 David Casey
16 SICILIAN SECRET (IRE) (Mrs S Ricci) Willie Mullins IRE 6-11-5 Mr Parick Mullins
17 FENNIS BOY (IRE) (Stillhouse Syndicate) John Hanlon IRE 5-11-5 Seamus Durack
18 HENRY KING (IRE) (Mrs C Barber) Victor Dartnall 5-11-5 Timmy Murphy
19 ABROAD (Trading Post Syndicate) James Leavy IRE 5-11-5 Seamie Heffernan
20 DOUBLE DASH (P Scott-Dunn) George Baker 5-11-5 Andrew Tinkler
21 LIGHTENING ROD (Nick Bannister) Mick Easterby 4-10-11 Mr Oliver Greenall
22 CADSPEED (FR) (Cara Ethos Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 6-11-5 Emmett Mullins
23 BYGONES OF BRID (IRE) (James Callow) Karen Mclintock 6-11-5 Graham Lee
24 QUINOLA DES OBEAUX (FR) (O Meli) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-5 Tony McCoy
Distances: 10, 3/4, 2, 4, 2 3/4, nk, 2, 3 1/4, hd, 1, 2 3/4, 1 1/2, nk, 2, 13, 23, 1 3/4, 5, 1 1/4, 3, 8, 13, 17
Breeder: Liam Meade
Breeding: b g Presenting - Edermine Berry (IRE)
Totes: Win: £5.30 Places: £2.30, £10.50, £1.90 Exacta: £214.80
Winning Trainer: PHILIP FENTON Based: Glenbower Stables, Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Ireland Background: Leading amateur rider who enjoyed Festival success aboard Loving Around in the 1996 National Hunt Chase. Also won the Aintree Foxhunters’ on Elegant Lord in 1999 after finishing runner-up aboard the horse in the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase at The Festival. Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2009 Dunguib) Other Big Race Wins: Dorans Pride Novice Hurdle (2005 Vic Venturi), Grade 2 Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Festival Novice Hurdle (2005 Sher Beau, 2006 Vic Venturi), Ballybrit Novice Chase (2006 Vic Venturi), Grade 2 Glen Dimplex Future Champions INH Flat Race (2006 Shirley Capser) Wins in Britain this season: 1
Winning Jockey: Brian O’Connell Age: 22 Based c/o Philip Fenton, Glenbower Stables, Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Ireland Background: Father Val was a talented jockey and trainer who is now chief inspector of courses for the Turf Club. Brian spent school holidays working for Jim Bolger and Aidan O’Brien and started with Philip Fenton as soon as his studies had finished. Rode first point-to-point winner aged 16 and enjoyed a first success under rules when Shoot The Breeze landed a maiden hurdle at Down Royal on May 2, 2005. Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2009 Dunguib) Other Big Race Wins Include: Dorans Pride Novice Hurdle (2005 Ven Venturi), Glen Dimplex Future Champ (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race (2008 Dunguib) Wins in Britain this season: 1
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink