Thursday, March 12, 2009
THE FESTIVAL, CHELTENHAM
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
LADIES DAY, THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2009
GERAGHTY LOOKS FORWARD TO ZAYNAR & THE QUEEN’S BARBERS SHOP TOMORROW
Barry Geraghty, with two winners over the first two days of The Festival and second to Ruby Walsh in the Citroën Leading Jockey Award, said this morning: “If you watch Zaynar’s race at Ascot from the third or fourth last then you would be impressed with him because he drew right away. He missed the first flight and got a little bit of a fright.
“I said to Nicky beforehand I wasn’t sure if he was going to enjoy Ascot, running down the hill away from the stands. He’s a horse who wants a real test of stamina and I think that the JCB Triumph Hurdle (Friday) will suit him.
“He’s going to wear cheek-pieces for the first time and he has schooled well in them at home and I am really looking forward to riding him. He’s a laidback horse but I wouldn’t call him lazy or ungenuine. He’s by Daylami and they tend to be a little bit laid back but he stays really well.
“It’s always a fast race and I think it looks like a very good renewal this year with the likes of Walkon and Ebadiyan, who are two very good horses.
“Barbers Shop (totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday) has improved since finishing second here last year and I think that he will improve again. He's only seven and it was a good performance over three miles at Sandown.
“He’s going to enjoy the extra distance tomorrow and he goes into the race with a chance. Kauto Star comes here with rock solid form - the King George was a great performance - and he's the horse to beat. Connections have minded him more this season and kept him fresher and I think that’s going to suit him.
“Apart form him, it’s wide open. Denman could come back to form and there are a lot of horses that could run well. It looks like a really good race and I am looking forward to it.”
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 by the in-form Nicky Henderson near Lambourn, will line up with an excellent chance. He is a progressive seven-year-old and proved he acts around Cheltenham when a close second in last year’s Jewson Novices’ Handicap 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, particularly 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 10 years. He said: “It would be the most amazing thing for National Hunt racing if Barbers Shop wins. It’s fantastic The Queen has 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.”
16 GO FOR GOLD
Trainer Paul Nicholls already boasts three successes in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, worth a record £475,000, and the champion trainer has bright chances of making it number four in tomorrow’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 and was pulled out of Tuesday’s William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase in which he had top-weight because of the softish ground.
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
CAN KAUTO COME BACK?
For Muhammad Ali, regaining titles was like shelling peas. Boxing is the great comeback sport, after all. In motor racing, it comes with the territory too, as Jim Clark (one comeback) and Jackie Stewart (two comebacks) found. In golf and tennis, hardly a day passes without somebody somewhere regaining something. But in National Hunt racing, regaining a title (as opposed to retaining one) has proved fearsomely difficult.
Okay, Red Rum did it in the Grand National; retained his title in 1974, then regained it three years later. But Red Rum was different gravy, and you have to go back to 1871 and The Lamb to find another horse to make a similar comeback.
In the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, it has never happened. Not once in the 84 years that the event has been contested. Plenty have retained the crown - Best Mate (twice), L’Escargot (once), Arkle (twice), Cottage Rake (twice), Golden Miller (four) - but none has regained it.
The closest in the last 50 years, in terms of placing, was Mill House, who was second to Arkle in 1965. Mill House had won the Gold Cup in 1963, was beaten into second the following year (five lengths adrift). In 1965, though, Mill House was 20 lengths behind an imperious Arkle. So, if we are going to be pedantic (and why waste an opportunity?) that doesn’t make Mill House the closest to regaining the crown.
In 1991, the redoubtable Desert Orchid was third in his attempt to regain the crown he had won in 1989, but was closer than Mill House, being just 15 lengths behind the winner, Garrison Savannah. Back in 1973, L’Escargot was even nearer to regaining the title he had won in 1970 and 1971, the Dan Moore-trained horse finishing fourth, just over 11 lengths behind The Dikler.
The horse that has come closest though (and it takes us full circle) is See More Business, who gave trainer Paul Nicholls his first Gold Cup win in 1999. The following year the horse came close to retaining his title, finishing a six-length fourth to Looks Like Trouble, but was then denied a first attempt to regain the title by the cancellation of The Festival in 2001 due to the outbreak of foot and mouth. Despite the advancing years (he was now 12) See More Business returned to The Festival in 2002 and proved that age is no obstacle in finishing third, just nine and three-quarter lengths behind Best Mate.
And that’s as close as anyone’s got in 50 years.
Kauto Star won his Gold Cup two years ago and last year was second to his stablemate Denman in one of the classic confrontations. Can Kauto be the comeback king?
KAUTO STAR (FR) FACTFILE
9 b g Village Star (FR) - Kauto Relka (FR) (Port Etienne (FR))
Owner: Clive Smith Trainer: Paul Nicholls Breeder: Mme H Aubert Jockey: Ruby Walsh
KAUTO STAR, a Grade Three winner over hurdles at Auteuil in France, has developed into a chaser of the very highest class with six straight wins in the 2006/2007 season, including a stunning Grade One four-timer, culminating in an impressive totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup victory, though last season did not go quite as smoothly. He made his British debut at Newbury in December, 2004, in an extended two and a quarter mile novice chase, and produced a fine performance, gaining an emphatic nine-length victory over Grade One Irish Champion Hurdle winner Foreman. Things did not go to plan next time in a three-runner race at Exeter in January, 2005, when he fell two out with the race at his mercy. After being remounted, he just failed to reel in the winner, but it came to light afterwards that the horse had injured his near-hind leg, and he was forced to miss the rest of the season. Kauto Star reappeared in November, 2005, turning in an excellent comeback effort to chase home Monkerhostin in the Grade Two William Hill Gold Cup Chase at Exeter. He improved on that run when landing the Grade One Tingle Creek Trophy Chase at Sandown over two miles the following month, staying on in fine style to score by a length and a half from Ashley Brook. The Grade One Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival in March was Kauto Star's next port of call but, after tracking the leaders in the early stages, he took off too early at the third fence and hit the deck. He returned to action in the 2006/2007 season at Aintree in October, 2006, over two and a half miles in the Grade Two bonusprint.com Old Roan Chase and romped home by 21 lengths. He then defeated the best three-mile chasers around when easily taking the Betfair Chase at Haydock a month later by 17 lengths from Beef Or Salmon before showing himself to be one of the most adaptable top-class chasers of recent times when cruising to a seven-length victory over Voy Por Ustedes in the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase over two miles at Sandown a fortnight later. Clive Smith's gelding evoked memories of Desert Orchid as he went directly from that triumph to capture the 2006 King George VI Chase over three miles at Kempton on Boxing Day. Ruby Walsh sat tight to survive a last fence blunder and the pair finished eight lengths clear of the chasing Exotic Dancer. Another final fence error made life more difficult again for the pair in the Grade Two Aon Chase at Newbury, but he rallied to hold the determined challenge of L'Ami by a neck. A hot favourite for the 2007 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, he didn't disappoint. Ruby Walsh struck the front with two fences left and, despite hitting the last hard, Kauto Star stormed up the hill to prevail from Exotic Dancer by two and a half lengths. Kauto Star thus collected the Betfair Million bonus by winning at Haydock, Kempton Park and Cheltenham. The £1-million incentive was offered by the betting exchange for winning the Betfair Chase, the King George VI Chase or the Lexus Chase and the totesport Gold Cup, though the conditions have changed this season. Last season he followed the same path as he did in the 2006/07 campaign by starting off in the bonusprint.com Old Roan Chase over two and a half miles at Aintree, finding Monet's Garden a length and a half too strong when conceding a stone to him. He won the 2007 Betfair Chase for a second year running in good style by half a length from Exotic Dancer and went on to win the Stan James King George VI Chase again, scoring easily by 11 lengths from Our Vic. He dropped back to two miles, five and a half furlongs in the Commercial First Chase at Ascot in February but that proved no problem and he won by eight lengths from Monet’s Garden. The chance of winning a second Betfair Million bonus was lost in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March when his stable companion Denman proved seven lengths too strong. Kauto Star’s jumping was not as fluent as usual and a bad mistake two out cost him victory in Aintree’s totesport Bowl Chase the following month when Our Vic was a nose too good. He had a long break and reappeared in the Grade One Jnwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in Northern Ireland on November 1 when he won unchallenged but then unseated jockey Sam Thomas at the last fence in the Betfair Chase at Haydock 17 days later. Normal service was resumed at Kempton on Boxing Day, when he won his third King George VI Chase - this time by 10 lengths from Albertas Run - and he has been given a break until the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Race Record - Starts: 30; 1st: 17; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £1,291,534
Clive Smith is a true jumping enthusiast who first went to Cheltenham in 1974 and has made a significant investment in his string of horses in recent years. A former Surrey golf captain, he was busy building golf courses, including Windlemere, Hawthorn Hill (now Birds Hill) and Pine Ridge, when first breaking into racehorse ownership in 1987 with Hawthorn Hill Lad, trained by Jenny Pitman. The owner then had a brief spell with David Elsworth before having horses with Martin Pipe for 12 years, but took the decision to switch his string to another Somerset-based handler, Paul Nicholls, in the summer of 2003. Jump racing's newest superstar, Kauto Star, bought for 400,000 euros, is owned by Smith while the 2005 John Smith's Grand National runner-up, Royal Auclair, also sports his colours. He also owns the brilliant two-mile chaser Master Minded, winner of a second successive Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday. He bid up to 500,000gns at Doncaster Sales in May, 2004, for the record-priced Garde Champetre, who was eventually sold to J P McManus for 530,000gns. Kauto Star has since confirmed himself one of the most exciting and talented chasers of recent times, with a track record that includes three King George VI Chase victories and a success in the 2007 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. He also landed his owner the £1 million Betfair Million bonus after that success. Smith is also believed to have collected around £100,000 in winning bets after his charge's 2007 Cheltenham victory, while Kauto Star also topped the Order Of Merit - designed to reward horseracing excellence and participation - netting his connections a further £200,000 in total. A former executive with Ford and Chrysler who lives at Wentworth in Surrey, Smith is well known in the golfing world as the founder of the Lagonda Trophy, which attracts an international field of top amateurs, has been won by Lee Westwood and Luke Donald and is in its 33rd year. He is also a vintage car enthusiast and owns a 1928 and 1930 Lagonda.
totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup victories: 2007 KAUTO STAR
Paul Nicholls, the son of a policeman, was born 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 in racing as a jump jockey and twice rode the winner of the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury, in 1986 on Broadheath and a year later on Playschool. Nicholls partnered 130 winners between 1980 and 1989, struggling always to keep his weight down, and nominates the best horses he rode as Broadheath, Playschool and Seagram. Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to Devon-based David Barons, who sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during that time. He started out at Paul Barber's Manor Farm with eight horses. Having strongly challenged Martin Pipe for the jump trainers' championship over a number of years, most notably when pushing his great rival right to the last day of the 2004/05 campaign, Nicholls claimed his first title the following season, being responsible for 148 winners and gaining over £2.4 million in prize money. He retained the title the next season with 124 successes and nearly £2,950,000 in prize money. The hugely talented Kauto Star was the stable's flag-bearer, with victories in the bonusprint.com Old Roan Chase at Aintree, the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, Sandown's Tingle Creek Chase, the King George VI Chase at Kempton, Newbury's AON Chase and the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. Kauto Star thus became the first horse to land the Betfair Million, the huge bonus put by the leading betting exchange to a horse successful in the Betfair Chase, King George VI Chase and totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. Last season Kauto Star’s halo slipped slightly but Nicholls also trained his conqueror in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, the mighty Denman, and ended up champion trainer again with 151 winners and over £4 million in prize money. 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 high point in his training career came at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival when 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 has trained 20 Cheltenham Festival winners in total, and was the most successful trainer at The Festival in 1999, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. His 1,000th British winner came when Noble Action won at Folkestone on November 15, 2004. This season he has taken all before him, winning a series of big races with the likes of Kauto Star, who won his third King George VI Chase, Neptune Collonges, who landed the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown and Master Minded, who won his second Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday.
totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup victories: 1999 SEE MORE BUSINESS, 2007 KAUTO STAR, 2008 DENMAN
Ruby Walsh is associated with the powerful stables of Paul Nicholls in Britain and Willie Mullins in Ireland. Born May 14, 1979, and based in Co. Kildare, 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 secured his first success under Rules aboard Siren Song at Gowran Park on July 25, 1995, and followed in his father's footsteps when capturing the Irish amateur riders’ championship 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 times (2000/2001, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08). Walsh has won the John Smith's Grand National twice on Papillon in 2000 and Hedgehunter five years later. He was leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival for a third time (he also took the accolade in 2004 and 2006) last season with three wins aboard Fiveforthree in the Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle, Celestial Halo in the JCB Triumph Hurdle and Master Minded in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase. Through his associations with Nicholls and Mullins, he has partnered many of the best jumpers of recent years including Kauto Star, on whom he won the 2007 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. He had four wins on the first two days of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, including on Master Minded for a second time in the Minded in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase.
totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup victories: 2007 KAUTO STAR
SCU JUNIOR HOPING TO TRUMP DAD
Eight-time champion jump jockey Peter Scudamore is regarded as one of the sport’s all-time greats, yet he never won the totesport Gold Cup.
Scu’s father, Michael, rode the winner in 1957 on Linwell, and his son has a live chance of adding to the family’s Cheltenham haul in tomorrow’s race on Madison Du Berlais, trained by David Pipe.
Madison Du Berlais has soared this season, notably when winning Newbury’s Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup - rival totesport Gold Cup contenders Air Force One and Snoopy Loopy were second and third - and then carrying out a demolition of Denman in Kempton’s Levy Board Chase. Regardless of Denman’s physical wellbeing or aversion to the track and ground, Madison Du Berlais jumped like a buck and looked a high-class horse.
Tom says: “Some people might think that last run was too good to be true, but if he reproduces it he has an outstanding chance tomorrow. If you factor in his Hennessy win you have to say he won’t be far away - I’m really looking forward to it, and it’s great to be riding a horse for the Pipe family, who have been such supporters of my career.”
Cheekpieces, sheepskin attachments that fit to the bridle and restrict a horse’s view behind, seem to have given Madison Du Berlais a new zest for the game. In 2007 he met Denman in the Hennessy, received 13lb and was beaten 20 lengths, so the level of improvement is notable.
Scudamore says: “The cheekpieces have made a big difference, but we’re using different tactics on him now. I ride him more positively, whereas we used to hold him up. He started life in two-mile races so we had to be conscious about whether he would stay longer trips - now we know he does I ride him more forcibly.
“He’s still only eight, so he’s progressive, which cannot be said of some of his rivals. He’s in tremendous form at home and he has won on good to firm, so he’s versatile.”
Scudamore’s first Cheltenham memory involves a totesport Gold Cup defeat for his father. “That would be Charter Party’s year  when Richard Dunwoody rode the winner and Dad was fourth on Beau Ranger. Even by that stage my path was set - I knew I was going to be a jockey,” he said.
GALLOPING VAL A REAL STAR FOR THE AMATEURS
Valerie Jackson’s riding career is older than many of the jockeys who are taking part at this week’s Cheltenham Festival, but do not underestimate her chances of winning tomorrow’s Christie’s Foxhunter Chase.
Jackson, who is in her 50th year, rode in her first point-to-point at 16 and took part in the 1984 Grand National on Bush Guide (they fell at the Canal Turn second time), yet she retains youthful enthusiasm and hopes to put experience to good use on Robbers Glen, who she owns and trains at a Northumberland farm, some 30 minutes from Newcastle.
Robbers Glen, a nine-year-old Jackson bought from Howard Johnson, became a contender for the Christie’s when winning last year’s Weatherbys-sponsored John Corbet Cup run at Stratford, although there have been hitches this season.
Jackson explains: “We were fifth in a point in Lincolnshire [in January] after being held up by the weather. I work him at home with a horse called The Reverend, who we knew was fit, but while Robber spends afternoons asleep in his stable, The Reverend is a box walker.
“Then we went to Ayr for a hunter chase. Turning into the straight for the final time we were upsides Always Right [who also runs tomorrow] and took off at the fourth-last together. I knew my horse had jumped it perfectly and I was looking up for the next fence when I found myself on the floor. I didn’t have a clue what had happened.”
Always Right had fallen, sprawled sideways and whipped Robbers Glen’s feet from under him. Jackson says: “There were a few scrapes on his legs, but otherwise he was alright. When I worked him a few days later he seemed to be better for the run, and if we had won at Ayr by ten lengths it would have been some performance.”
This will be Jackson’s second appearance at the Festival. She was just out of the money on Bush Guide in the 1983 RSA Chase, and has since finished fourth in a hunter chase at the course, but the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase represents another milestone in her long career.
“My biggest ambition was to ride in the Grand National, but once I had achieved that I wanted a Foxhunter ride,” she says. “I’ve waited a long time for the right horse.
“I keep fit by riding three lots a day and hunting twice a week [she is a joint-master of the Morpeth Hunt], but in races it’s not all about fitness. I’ll suck it and see before I predict how I’ll ride it - I haven’t got a wise head on my shoulders, but it is an old one!”
The Christie’s Foxhunter Chase has a maximum field of 24 and includes two former winners - the Cherry Coward-trained Amicelli, successful last year, and Kingscliff, who scored in 2003 when trained by Sally Alner, but is now under the care of Somerset-based Marie McGuinness. Also running is Juveigneur, who won the Fulke Walwyn/Kim Muir Chase in 2005 when trained by Nicky Henderson, but is now representing Cork’s Eugene O’Sullivan.
AMICELLI QUESTION MARK AFTER GREENALL INJURY
A question mark was hanging over the participation of Amicelli in tomorrow’s Christie’s Foxhunter Chase after rider Oliver Greenall was ruled out of the final day of The Festival.
Amicelli won last year’s race and was a leading contender once again, but following Greenall’s fall from Heathcliff in today’s Pertemps Final, his father, Lord Daresbury, said: “Oliver is having tests on his spleen [in Cheltenham General Hospital] and at this stage we don’t know the outcome, but he won’t ride tomorrow. I’ll be talking to Tom [Oliver’s elder brother] before making a decision about Amicelli.”
Tom Greenall rode Amicelli, who is owned by Lord Daresbury, in a point-to-point last month when the horse fell, but he is booked to ride the Paul Nicholls-trained Ofarel D’Airy in tomorrow’s race.
Robert Thornton, who suffered a fall at Cheltenham on Wednesday, resumed racing today, but gave up his final ride on Turkish Surprise in the Freddie Williams Plate because he was not feeling 100 per cent.
AMAZING 113 DECLARATIONS IN MARTIN PIPE CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS’ HURDLE
Tomorrow sees the first running of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and the race has received an amazing response.
The two and a half mile handicap, the only race restricted to conditional riders at The Festival, attracted an amazing 216 initial entries when closing in February.
But there is a maximum field size of 24 and at today’s final declaration stage an incredible 89 horses were eliminated having been among the 113 horses declared overnight.
The race celebrates the training achievements of 15-times champion Martin Pipe and his son David, who now holds the licence at the family’s Pond House Stables near Taunton, accounts for a third of the final declarations in the race named after his father.
David Pipe’s eight runners include Big Eared Fran, who makes a quick reappearance after scoring at Sandown on Saturday and will be ridden by 3lb claimer Johnny Farrelly.
Pipe’s octet is completed by Gaspara, Acambo, Piraya, Mamlook, Buena Vista, Pauillac and Prince De Bersy. Pipe also had 11 of the 89 eliminations.
Trainers Nicky Henderson, Philip Hobbs, Tim Vaughan and Venetia Williams are all double-handed in the race which also features a pair of Irish raiders in Faltering Fullback and Hangover, trained respectively by Eric McNamara and Conor O’Dwyer.
DAVE’S DREAM CHASING £75,000 PADDY POWER BONUS
The Nicky Henderson-trained Dave’s Dream will be chasing a £75,000 bonus when he lines up in tomorrow’s Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle.
The six-year-old was successful in Saturday’s Paddy Power Imperial Cup at Sandown Park and the Irish bookmaker is offering a £75,000 bonus to the winner of that race who then goes on to win any race at The Festival.
Henderson revealed today why he has taken the decision to go for the bonus.
The master of Seven Barrows said: “Dave’s Dream is very well and two things have influenced me - firstly, he has gone up 18lb so it’s not rocket science that a 5lb penalty is quite attractive and secondly, he is squealing, and I really do mean squealing.
“He is four kilos heavier than before Sandown, so he has actually put weight on.
“The horse is well and he has got to take his chance.
“He really is well, that is the main thing.”
Three horses have completed the Sandown/Cheltenham double in the past - Olympian in 1993, Blowing Wind in 1998 and Gaspara in 2007.
Paul Carberry, who sustained an injury when unseated from Jaamid in the opening Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase, has been taken to the jockeys’ hospital at Cheltenham Racecourse for further assessment.
An update on his condition will be issued as soon as possible. He will not ride again today.
His scheduled ride in the second race, Foreman, has been taken by Richard McGrath.
The stewards looked into the incident and announced that no other jockey was involved.
CARBERRY INJURY UPDATE
Paul Carberry, unseated from Jaamid in the opening Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase, has been taken to Cheltenham General Hospital.
He has a right side pneumothorax and fractured a rib which has punctured a lung.
He was initially taken to the jockeys’ hospital at Cheltenham Racecourse for assessment following treatment on the racecourse.
WINNERS ON LADIES DAY
The best dressed lady - Michelle Hugo from Newmarket
The best hat winner - Maria Cheslin, Southampton
The best accessories winner - Jane Lunnon, Reading
GUINNESS AWARDS DAY THREE
The three nominations for the Guinness Award for the best performance on Day Three of The Festival are Ruby Walsh, who won the Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle on Big Buck’s, the horse’s trainer Paul Nicholls who also sent out the first winner Chapoturgeon, and Nigel Twiston-Davies, who saddled Imperial Commander to victory in the Grade One Ryanair Chase.
The ground was good to soft for the third day of the Festival, but the clerk of the course and director of racing Simon Claisse is expecting it to dry out.
“Temperatures tomorrow are forecast to be12 or 13 degrees, so maybe a little warmer than today. There will be some cloud around but no rain forecast, so my expectation is that at some stage tomorrow there will be good in the description,” said Claisse.
The totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup the is first chase on the final day and will be raced on fresh ground. “There are eight to nine yards being opened up tomorrow. It hasn’t been raced on for 12 months and will be fantastic ground,” said Claisse.
Today’s attendance on the third day of the 2009 Cheltenham Festival came to 48,857. A comparison with 2008 is not valid because the previous day’s racing was abandoned. The 2008 crowd figure was 56,922, while in 2007, 55,023 passed through the gates.
Today’s tote on course cash turnover was £1,916,879, compared to £2,394,014 on the equivalent day in 2007. Comparisons with 2008 are not valid as there were 10 races on the same day last year.
Race One - Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase - Winning Quotes
CHAPOTURGEON STARTS DAY THREE PERFECTLY FOR NICHOLLS
Day three of The Festival got off to the perfect start for champion trainer Paul Nicholls when 8/1 chance Chapoturgeon landed the opening Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase in impressive fashion under Timmy Murphy in the colours of David Johnson.
The five-year-old was travelling like the winner at the top of the hill and pulled right away to record a comfortable nine-length victory.
Paul Nicholls said: “The horse did it well.
“He fell first time over fences and then finished second to Araldur at Warwick.
“The race he won at Doncaster last time was moderate but at least that meant he was on a decent mark for today.
“It was always the plan to step him up in trip. Ruby (Walsh) said after he ran in the Fred Winter last year that the horse wants two and a half miles - he is crying out for it.
“He has been declared for the Grand Annual tomorrow but won’t run. He will have no chance in handicaps after that so we will look for a novice chase over two and a half miles for him now. There should be plenty of races for him.”
Winning jockey Timmy Murphy added: "He hasn't got much experience but he guessed the first a little bit but I don't think he has ever gone that fast to a fence.
"All the credit goes to Paul. He has done a good job and he knew that we had a favourable mark and it's not often that you do coming here. He's in great form and this lad has jumped absolutely fabulous.
"Paul had no doubt about him staying but it was a strong pace and it was a long way to commit turning in off that good gallop. He just got a bit tight at the second last but, on the whole, he has jumped very, very well.”
The successful owner David Johnson added: "All credit to Paul. I thought he was a two-miler but Paul said he'd get a trip. I listened to him and I'm pleased I did. He was right and I was wrong. Paul's laid the horse out for the race and it has all come good."
William Hill rate Chapoturgeon a 14/1 chance for glory in next year’s Ryanair Chase.
FIRST RACE PLACED QUOTES
JEWSON NOVICES’ HANDICAP CHASE
TWISTON-DAVIES PLEASED WITH CRESCENT
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies was delighted with the efforts of Crescent Island, who finished third in the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase after racing prominently through the race.
“He was giving weight away to the first two and at the top of the hill I thought he might just get it,” said Twiston-Davies. “It was his first time in blinkers, they just made him concentrate a bit, and I was delighted with his run.
“He’s going to make a lovely staying chaser and we’ll run him through to the end of the season, because he’ll lose his novice status after that.”
GOING AFTER THE FIRST
Timmy Murphy, jockey of the nine-length winner Chapoturgeon, described the going as: ”On the slow side of good.”
Paddy Brennan, rider of the third placed Crescent Island, described the going as “Beautiful.”
A P McCoy, rider of Kia Kaha, said: “It is a little bit dead in places, good to soft but probably more to the good than yesterday.”
Richard Johnson, rider of Pancake, said: “I’d say good to soft but more good than soft.”
Graham Lee, partner of Naiad du Misselot, said: “It is a little bit on the slow side.”
Barry Geraghty, rider of Au Courant, thought the ground “A bit dead.”
Dominic Elsworth, rider of The Vicar, said: “Good to soft.”
Tjade Collier, rider of Auroras Encorre, said: “It is on the soft side of good.”
John Cullen, rider of Bohemian Lass, described the going as “Gorgeous, lovely jumping ground.”
Winner’s quotes - the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle
THE ASCENT OF ARAMIS
Kafy Aramis made all when he scooted home in the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle. It was a first Festival success for jockey Aidan Coleman (who has now reached 50 winners this season in his quest for the conditional jockeys’ title).
“I couldn’t believe how well that went. He’s had a brilliant run through all the way. He’s jumped great and he’s travelled great,” said the young jockey.
“Venetia said pop him out handy because if he misses a flight, which he can do, then we would have been last before you knew it. But he has travelled so well today.
"He's just got the hang of it with his last couple of wins in moderate handicaps and now he's got his head in front, there's no stopping him.
"I heard something coming in the run-in and I was thinking "not now" because he had been in front for so long he didn’t deserve to get caught but thank God it was a loose horse, such a relief.
"I can't describe the feeling of winning here. It's my 50th winner of the season as well and I am still absolutely speechless. I don't think I will be able to tell you how I feel for another week or two.”
It was a fistful of firsts for owner Isobel Phipps Coltman; a first winner from a first runner at The Festival, who was her first ever racehorse and she bred the winner too. And something of a shock too.
“I would have been happy with sixth, I would been delighted with sixth. I bred him from my little mare that I used to ride. I’ve got his full brother and his full sister at home in a muddy field in Gloucester, half an hour away,” said the owner.
"I can't believe it, it's so fantastic. I am really, really pleased. It's all thanks to the team and Venetia for all of their hard work."
For trainer Venetia Williams, it opened her account for this year’s Festival and is her fourth winner in all at this meeting.
“I said to Aidan that the horse would never lack for stamina, so have him up the front. It wasn’t the strongest pace, and I thought it wasn’t quite quick enough because he is such an out and out stayer,” said Williamson.
“I think the loose horse helped him a bit in the closing stages, giving him something to run against,” she added.
Williams acknowledged that the horse had undergone something of a transformation in his last three outings. “He’s been a bit hesitant in his earlier hurdling but I’ve never seen him jump so well. He jumped really well. I think he even showed a change of gear. I just can't believe it! Two runs ago I couldn't even win a maiden hurdle with him.
"That's the best he's ever jumped and I am so thrilled for Isobel, whose bred him and stuck with him through think and thin. I think she was totally shocked when I said we might enter him for Cheltenham and even more shocked to discover that we actually got into the race. I should think that she's probably on a stretcher now!
Race 2: The Pertemps Final
BUENA VISTA JUST MISSES TARGET FOR ARCHER
The familiar light blue and maroon colours of Matt Archer and the late Jean Broadhurst were carried into second place in the Pertemps Final by Buena Vista.
Those same silks last entered The Festival’s number one spot when Upgrade won the JCB Triumph Hurdle in 1998, and sadly Broadhurst has died since, but her name remains attached to horses in which Archer has an interest.
He explained: “The most important part of Jean’s life was her horses, and she set up a trust so that every horse we retire is looked after for life. She died four years ago, and while she would have loved to be here she would have been mad, because she loved being a winner - mind you, she would still have been giving everyone a kiss.”
Of Buena Vista’s run he said: “Seconditis again. We keep finishing second or third, but he’s run a fine race and I can’t complain about that. He’s been declared for tomorrow’s Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle, but I don’t think he’ll run again. He was entered just in case something went wrong today.
“We bought the horse from Aidan O’Brien and he’s been a really good servant to us.”
David Pipe, who trains Buena Vista and fourth-placed The Sliotar, said: “They’ve both run fine races. Buena Vista tried his hardest all the way to the line, and I thought The Sliotar was too big a price and would run well.”
Alan King was very satisfied with the performance of 9/1 chance Pennek, who stayed on well to take third place.
The master of Barbury Castle said: “That was another good solid run and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
“I don’t know if he will run again this year but he will be going over fences next season and could be one for the four-miler (National Hunt Chase) back here next year.”
GREENALL TAKEN TO HOSPITAL
Amateur rider Oliver Greenall was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital for tests this afternoon after he was unseated from Heathcliff in the Pertemps Final.
The Richard Lee-trained Heathcliff skewed when racing on the flat towards the final turn and ejected his rider from the saddle. Greenall, 22, was said to have suffered an abdominal injury.
Britain’s national champion point-to-point rider having ridden a record 56 winners last season, Greenall is pursuing the amateur riders’ title under rules and gained his first Cheltenham Festival winner last season when winning the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase on Amicelli.
He is due to ride the same horse in that race tomorrow.
THIRD RACE WINNING QUOTES
COMMANDER IS IMPERIAL
Imperial Commander landed his fifth - and most significant - success at Cheltenham when fending off Voy Por Ustedes with a terrific performance to take the Ryanair Chase. He was prominent before going to front after the ninth fence.
The eight-year-old, winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November, was given a confident ride by Paddy Brennan to come home two lengths clear of the 4/5 favourite.
“That was a very pleasant experience,” said winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. “Voy Por Ustedes made a mistake but you just don’t know what would have happened otherwise. But mine jumps, he battles and they came to take him on and he battled well.
“He comes up the hill here very well and hopefully we can come back here for the Gold Cup next year. I’m hoping the extra distance of that race would improve. But he gallops and is a proper jumper.
“He kept pulling out a bit more and I was worried that the fact he hadn’t run for a bit might catch him out but it didn’t.
“There’s no specific reason why he hasn’t been out since Boxing Day, just that we couldn’t find the right race with the right ground at the right time.
“Paddy’s brilliant, it was his idea to force the pace and it took the sting out of the others.”
Brennan added: “He jumped super and just loves Cheltenham. He’s a brilliant performance. I thought I had Choc (Thornton on Voy Por Ustedes) beaten turning in but then Schindlers Hunt appeared on my outside but we fought him off although we were getting a bit tired going to the line.
"I believe in the horse. I just wanted to get Voy Por Ustedes off the bridle and Choc came alongside me turning in and I saw he wasn't travelling. I was really happy because I felt we would stay up the hill. He's tough - they came at him one by one but he keeps a little bit. He's very, very good and I am just so happy.
“I opened my mouth after the Paddy Power Gold Cup and told everyone how good he was and I am thrilled that he has proved me right. I has been a frustrating year but I promise you this is worth 40 winners.
“This meeting has all I’ve been thinking about all season and to win this makes up for everything.
"When you are at Cheltenham, you feel like there is actually nobody in the crowd until you past winning line and you take it all in - it's the best feeling in the world.
"Nigel's so supportive and he's the best boss in the world. He's just proved it again there that he's the best trainer in the country - what a horse! He always seem to pull one out of the bag here and I thought I had missed it with yesterday's winner. Two victories for him now and the horses are in great form.”
Placed quotes - the Ryanair Chase
VOY’S ERROR COSTLY
Voy Por Ustedes, who had been supported all day down to 4/5 favourite for the Ryanair Chase, failed in his bid for a third success at the Cheltenham Festival, the horse a strong-finishing second behind Imperial Commander.
Trainer Alan King felt an error at the fourth-last fence probably cost his horse the race.
“I think the mistake hasn’t helped - it happened at the wrong time. Choc [Robert Thornton] had been very happy with him until then. But there you go, they are there to be jumped and he didn’t today. We’ll freshen him up and go to Aintree.”
King is compiling a catalogue of near-misses at this year’s Festival, Voy Por Ustedes was his third second-placed horse this week, and the trainer has also had three third places.
“It could be worse, couldn’t it? We will hopefully get a winner before the week is out. They’re running bloody well, you know, it’s when they tail off you start worrying. I’ve still got a few more to fire off and we’ll see what happens,” said King.
Race Three - Ryanair Chase - Placed Quotes
SCHINDLERS DIDN’T QUITE GET HOME ON THE GROUND
TIDAL BAY WILL BE A DIFFERENT HORSE AT AINTREE
Trainer Dessie Hughes felt that Schindlers Hunt just didn’t quite get home as the 22/1 chance finished a fine third in the Grade One Ryanair Chase.
Hughes said: “I was hopeful between three out and two out, but the hill has just found him out on that ground. The ground was just a bit too tacky for him today.
“The distance was fine for him, it was just the ground. He really is a good ground horse.
“We will look at taking him to Punchestown now.”
Tidal Bay, last year’s The Irish Independent Arkle Trophy Chase victor, stayed on from off the pace to take fourth and his trainer Howard Johnson was very happy with the eight-year-old, a 13/2 shot .
The County Durham handler reported: “I am over the moon. He has run on up the hill like a rocket.
“Considering the problems he had in his build-up, he has run a great race.
“He now go for the Melling Chase at Aintree. I think you will see a different horse in three weeks time.”
Last year’s winner Our Vic was pulled up and his trainer David Pipe said: “Timmy said the horse put down at a couple and didn’t travel as well as last year. He’s back in one piece and I can’t really comment further than that.”
Race 4: The Ladbrokes World Hurdle
BIG’S IN THE BUCKS WITH RUBY AT THE REINS
A thrilling Ladbrokes World Hurdle saw Big Buck’s from Paul Nicholls’ stable beat the Nicky Henderson-trained Punchestowns.
The pair had finished first and second in the Byrne Group Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January, when Punchestowns had conceded 8lb. At level weights Punchestowns still found Big Buck’s too good in the £260,000 Grade One race, and Nicholls was keen to underline Walsh’s role in the horse’s advance to champion staying hurdler.
Nicholls said: “We need that man on board, which is one reason why we didn’t continue chasing with him [Big Buck’s ran over fences in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup and unseated Sam Thomas - since then he has stuck to hurdling]. Now he’s won this race we don’t have to worry about chasing for a while. Ruby is in top form and a great team player. While Kauto Star is as good as he is why take him on with this horse? I don’t see why we can’t win this again next year.”
Kasbah Bliss, trained in France by Francois Doumen, started 10/11 favourite after a blinding victory at Haydock, but could finish only fourth. Nicholls said: “Big Buck’s is improving and the better ground was always going to suit him. Kasbah Bliss looked good, but there is a world of difference between here and Haydock, especially on this better ground.
“I know we were worse off at the weights with Punchestowns, but if you watch a video of their race here in January and know him at home you would know he only does just enough. He’ll go chasing again one day and may run in a [totesport] Gold Cup one day. We rushed him last year [over fences] when two miles was too quick for him and he wasn’t the bravest despite winning two races. His confidence for chasing will come in time.”
Big Buck’s was bred in France and bought by bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley, who also purchased Master Minded, winner for Nicholls of yesterday’s Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Ruby Walsh, riding his fifth winner of the meeting, added: “I never jumped a hurdle down the back but I was delighted to see Christophe (Pieux on Kasbah Bliss) arriving on the outside because I was supposed to try to keep behind him. This horse has a huge engine but it is just getting it out of him because he’s a bit quirky.
"When I got to Barry (Geraghty on Punchestowns) he just came on the bridle and I have seen him and thought "Jesus, he's coming again". We fluffed the last but I always knew I would get him back. This is an unbelievable meeting and he's a cracking horse.”
FOURTH RACE PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE (GRADE 1)
STEWART TAKES LADBROKES BUCK’S
Following the victory of Big Buck’s in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, owner Andy Stewart said: “Going back to the time after the Hennessy when Paul said he was going to send this horse back hurdling, I said he was going bonkers until the time he beat Can’t Push It over hurdles.
“I guess if he’d have won the Hennessy he’d have been running tomorrow in the Gold Cup but going over hurdles has been a very good idea. He wouldn’t get close to Kauto Star or Neptune Collonges so maybe he’d come back for the Gold Cup when he’s eight or nine.
“I’m pleased to take Ladbrokes’ money for a change and we’ll come back and have a go again next year.
“He ran off top weight in the Jewson last year and you couldn’t find him so I guess you couldn’t really make this up. Ruby (Walsh) is a genius as far as timing is concerned.”
Stewart’s son Paul broke his back in a snowboarding accident during the winter and the owner added: “This win means an enormous amount to me as this week was all about getting my son out of hospital. Paul’s going to stay until the last race tomorrow and he’s made great progress, not only physically, but also in adjusting mentally to the fact that he’s not fully mobile. Both he and my other son Mark are big enthusiasts and that’s why the horses run as the Stewart Family.
“We run My Will in the Gold Cup tomorrow but our main hope for him is Liverpool and the Grand National meeting - I’d be delighted if he could come fifth tomorrow.”
Paul Nicholls added: “We were probably trying to make him into an Arkle horse last year when he wasn’t one.
“The big key to this horse is Ruby Walsh but with Kauto at the top of his game there was no point running Big Buck’s over fences when Ruby wouldn’t be on board. We left Big Buck’s in the Gold Cup until the last minute just in case Kauto trod on a stone or something.
“We wanted Ruby on him for his experience for as much as anything. I didn’t criticise Sam (Thomas) about what happened in the Hennessy, just explained what happened. We said to keep inside on the rail but he ended up outside. Ruby just has that much more experience at race riding in these situations and this is not an easy ride, he’s a quirky horse.
“I don’t see why he won’t run again this season, Aintree would suit him well, but I haven’t really thought about it - all things are possible. But if Andy is in agreement we’ll take the same route again next year.
“He’s just a careful jumper and the mistake he made at the last probably helped him because it meant that he didn’t hit the front too soon.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Gold Cup, Nicholls added: “I’m not even considering getting the first five, it’s an impossible task and the most important thing is to win the race.
“Kauto Star has had a brilliant prep, he’s in great form at home, Neptune Collonges is A1 but I’m worried about the ground, Star De Mohaison will come into it if the ground is good, I honestly can’t say how Denman will run while My Will will run his race but the Grand National is his aim.”
Race Four - Ladbrokes World Hurdle - Placed Quotes
HENDERSON AND O’CONNELL DELIGHTED
Nicky Henderson had no complaints after Punchestowns ran a fine race to take second place, beaten a length and three quarters, behind Big Buck’s in the Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
The Seven Barrows handler said: “He ran a great race. I think that is one all between us and the Stewart/Nicholls team this week!
“The horse stays, gallops and jumps. You would like to think he will make up into quite a chaser one day.
“He could go to Punchestown now. I am sure the racecourse would like him to go there one day and Lynn (Wilson, the deceased husband of owner Judy Wilson) always loved to go there.
“However, Punchestown is in early May this year and the ground could have turned against him by that stage. He doesn’t want it too fast.
“He will be going over fences next season.
“It’s a pity Big Buck’s didn’t take to chasing!”
A further 17 lengths back in third was Powerstation. The nine-year-old is trained in Ireland by Eamon O’Connell, who was originally involved with Powerstation as part of the Fat Frog Syndicate which owns the horse. O’Connell has eight horses in his care, having given up his job at airline Aer Lingus.
O’Connell said: “The front two pulled away from the last.
“I am delighted how the horse has run. We were hoping he might be in the first three so it’s job done.
“If he is OK after this, he will go to Punchestown.”
Placed quotes - the Ladbrokes World Hurdles
NO BLISS FOR KASBAH
NO EXCUSES FROM DOUMEN
Kasbah Bliss, supported to 10/11 favourite, faded tamely up the final Cheltenham hill to finish only fourth in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, nearly 20 lengths behind the winner Big Buck’s. His trainer, Francois Doumen, seeking his seventh Festival winner, offered no excuses.
“Christophe [Pieux] said that he knew when they started to come down the hill that he wasn’t travelling well,” said Doumen.
“There was no reason for the poor run. The ground was good enough for everybody. He was fairly beaten and beaten by far, so to say that he travelled a bit wide, well, if he was beaten narrowly we could say that, but today he wasn’t close,” he added.
Doumen implied that the market may not have got it right: “To make him hot favourite like that because he had a wonderful comeback [at Haydock in February] and because he ran such a nice race at Longchamp and to be so sure that those two [Big Bucks and Puncestowns] were not better than him - I don’t know.”
Doumen had seen nothing that worried him before the race. “When he came to the races he was 200%. He was beaten very far. We have no excuse at all.”
The trainer will make no decision now about what is next for the horse - “we will do nothing in the heat of the moment” - but he does not expect Kasbah Bliss to race again in the UK this season.
Winner quotes - the Freddie Williams Festival Plate Chase
Venetia Williams had the finish of the Freddie Williams Plate Chase to herself, as Something Wells, the eventual winner, and Ping Pong Sivola, both trained by Williams, pulled 18 lengths clear of the third horse Notable D’Estruval.
“They’ve both run their hearts out, I can’t be more pleased. Absolutely thrilled. Not a hair's breadth between them! We had hoped to get Ping Pong Sivola in the Jewson but unfortunately she didn't make the cut, but she just sneaked in this race,” said Williams, who also won the second race on the card, the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle with Kafy Aramis, and has now taken her total Cheltenham Festival winners to five.
“I thought our good run had come to an end but we have picked up some momentum now,” Williams added.
As well as having the first two home, Williams also had Stan in the race, so the jockey bookings needed some working out. “Adrian [Coleman] has always ridden Stan [who pulled up in the race] and Will [Biddick] couldn’t do the weight on Ping Pong Sivola, so that was how it worked out. And Will has ridden for the owners Favourites Racing before so they knew him,” said the trainer.
Biddick had left the Williams stable last autumn for a spell with at champion trainer Paul Nicholls’ yard, but returned to Williams in December. For the 22-year-old amateur jockey, victory on Something Wells was a Cheltenham Festival first.
“It's absolutely unbelievable! Something Wells fell here last year and he's come here in great form. Venetia has done what she's good at again and it's nice to have my first winner here for her. I thought that I would have more turn of foot than Ping Pong Sivola and all this fella does is stay. When she's kicked on I thought that was enough and I would leave her to do a bit more hard work before catching her.
"They went a really good gallop and they didn't stop either. Ping Pong forced a gallop but this horse has given me such a good ride. I'll never forget this,” said Biddick.
Liam Treadwell, who rode runner-up Ping Pong Sivola, beaten three quarters of a length, said: “She battled all the way to the line and did nothing wrong. She jumped from fence to fence - I knew it was Will alongside me going to the last, and when she picked up once more I was still hopeful, but he's outstayed me.”
Race 5: Freddie Williams Festival Plate
MIRRORS A PET FOR MURPHY
Venetia Williams-trained horses Something Wells and Ping Pong Sivola came first and second in the Freddie Williams Festival Plate, but Sean and Ann Murphy were delighted with the performance of Three Mirrors, who finished fourth.
The Murphys, from Dublin, regard the nine-year-old as one of the family, and Sean Murphy said: “We’ve had marvellous fun with this guy and he’s won at Ayr for the last two years. He’s perfect. We adore the horse and will never sell him. He’s a pet.”
Murphy added (with tongue in cheek): “We bought him as a yearling and called him Three Mirrors because at that time we had been married 21 years - and I couldn’t remember breaking three mirrors!
“We now have a horse called Four Mirrors in training with David Myerscough - and we also owned a horse called New Alco, who was second here twice, but we’ve yet to have a winner at this course.
“The ground was against Three Mirrors and the trip probably too far. Graham Lee is so good with him - the horse always gives everything and doesn’t need any extra encouragement, so Graham rides him accordingly.
“He ran over two miles one furlong at Doncaster on his previous start, but that trip was too short. Ideal for him is two and a half miles at Ayr, so he could run there or at Aintree next time.”
Notable D’Estruval finished third, beaten just under 19 lengths, and his trainer Arthur Moore is now considering either the Irish Grand National or the Topham Chase at Aintree for thr eight-year-old.
Moore said of the 8/1 chance: "I was delighted with the run. The horse had every chance. Venetia has done brilliantly to have the first two horses home.
"The horse could now maybe go for the Irish Grand National and we will also have a look at the Topham Chase at Aintree."
Clarified had to be humanely put down following a hip injury sustained after falling in the Freddie Williams Festival Plate Handicap Chase.
Race Six - Fulke Walwyn Kim Challenge Cup Handicap Chase -
CHARACTER NATIONAL BOUND
The grey Character Building booked his place for the John Smith’s Grand National with a cosy success in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase in the hands of Jamie Codd.
The nine-year-old, returned at 16/1, travelled supremely well throughout the extended three miles and a furlong contest and hit the front after the last to score a cheeky one length victory over Pretty Star.
Winning trainer John Quinn said: “That was grand. Everything worked out well today.
“The ground really is the key to this horse, he wants the better ground. He couldn’t even win a maiden hurdle at Ayr three years ago on soft ground. We thought he might handle softer ground better as he got older but at Haydock last time he hated it - it was bottomless.
“It was a great ride from Jamie. The horse has been called a few names in the past but was as straight as a gun barrel today.
“The Grand National is now the plan for him. We will also put him in the Irish Grand National as well to give us another option but Aintree is the plan.”
Character Building is rated at 12/1 (Boylesports), 16/1 (Paddy Power) and 20/1 (Cashmans) for Aintree glory.
Jamie Codd, the successful rider, added: “The horse travelled great and John’s instructions were to take my time, get him jumping, get a good rhythm and produce him as late as I could and it worked a treat. John actually told me that when I thought of going for it to count to 10 seconds before I went.
"He jumped super and when you’re on a nice horse like that you can afford to wait. He jumped the fourth and third lasts really well which enabled me to get in a great position.
"If he was ridden the same way in the National then I think he would be there or thereabouts. I would love to ride him there!"
Race 6: Fulke Walwyn/Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase
PRETTY A STAR ON VENETIA’S DAY
Venetia Williams enjoyed a memorable day at The Festival with two winners and two seconds in handicap races.
Pretty Star formed part of that quartet when finishing runner-up in the day’s final race, the Fulke Walwyn/Kim Muir Challenge Cup, under Danny Cook.
Williams said of Pretty Star: “He’s been a star. He joined me at the beginning of the season and I cannot believe how well he’s done - I really didn’t expect him to come this far.”
ALLWOOD GIVEN SUSPENSION
Amateur rider Sam Allwood was found by the stewards to have used his whip with excessive frequency on Bowleaze in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase. Allwood received a two-day suspension.
IT’S A BULL MARKET FOR VOY POR USTEDES
There’s no doubt where the financial impetus is on the third day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival. The punters have latched on to Voy Por Ustedes in the Ryanair Chase (2.40) and are simply not letting go.
“Voy Por Ustedes would be by far and away the worst result of the day,” acknowledged David Williams of Ladbrokes and the other layers were lining up to agree. From 11/10, Ladbrokes have shortened the horse to evens, while Paddy Power now have the eight-year-old at 10/11.
Ladbrokes started the day with an offer of 4/1 against the big two - Voy Por Ustedes and Kasbah Bliss in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle (3.20) - but that bet was taken up with such alacrity by the punters, despite the fact that Kasbah Bliss has been weak in the market, that it’s now no longer being offered.
Nina Carberry has already posted her first winner of the meeting and the weight of money for Poker de Sivola in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (4.40) suggests she could be on course for a second. The Ferdy Murphy-trained Poker de Sivola is now 9/2 with totesport, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes and as short as 4/1 with Corals, having been as long as 15/2 with the latter company earlier today.
Punters can pair their Sivolas today as Ping Pong Sivola appears in the Freddie Williams Festival Plate Handicap Chase (4.00). The Venetia Williams-trained mare has been backed with both Corals - from 14/1 to 10/1 - and Paddy Power - 12/1 to 10/1.
The Philip Hobbs-trained Ballydub in the Pertemps Final Hurdle (2.05) has been supported with totesport, now 8/1 having been available at 10/1. In the same race, the Nicky Henderson-trained Galient has also attracted some interest, now 16/1 with both Paddy Power and totesport, having been available at 20/1.
GOING NEWS AT 10AM
After a dry night, today’s going remains:
Good to Soft
on the New Course, which is used for the first time at this year’s Festival today.
“We didn’t have any rain last night and are expecting today to be mainly dry, cloudy with a temperature of 11 or 12 degrees,” said Cheltenham’s clerk of the course Simon Claisse.
THORNTON MUST PASS DOCTOR
Jockey Robert Thornton must pass a medical with the racecourse doctor prior to racing if he is to ride this afternoon.
Thornton, whose mounts today include Ryanair Chase favourite Voy Por Ustedes, was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital last night after falling from Big Zeb in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase. He passed an abdominal scan at the hospital last night.
THORNTON PASSED FIT
Robert Thornton has been passed fit by the racecourse doctor to ride this afternoon, when his mounts will include Voy Por Ustedes in the Ryanair Chase.
Thornton was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital last night after falling from Big Zeb in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase. He passed an abdominal scan at the hospital last night but needed to be passed by the racecourse doctor this morning to be allowed to ride today.
Thornton walked the course earlier today and described the going as good to soft.
WALSH HAT-TRICK GAINS GUINNESS FESTIVAL AWARD
Jockey Ruby Walsh won racegoers’ votes when taking the Guinness Festival Award on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.
Walsh’s victories on Master Minded in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, Mikael D’Haguenet in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and Cooldine in the RSA Chase, gained him the daily award ahead of Willie Mullins, trainer of Mikael D’Haguenet and Cooldine, and Paul Nicholls, who saddled Master Minded.
Walsh will receive his prize - generously donated by Waterford Crystal - in the winner’s enclosure today at 12.40pm.
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. Choc Thornton took the title 12 months ago.
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.
WI A CLEAR FAVOURITE FOR LADIES DAY AT CHELTENHAM
The WI and Cheltenham Racecourse are ready for the start of a winning partnership today, Ladies Day, which will continue right through the summer.
The Gloucestershire Federation of WIs has teamed up with the Racecourse to provide a number of exclusive opportunities for their 5,000 members as part of 90th anniversary celebrations.
Cheltenham Racecourse has appointed Gloucestershire WI member Sue Wilson as this year's Ladies Day Ambassador and she will be bringing over 250 local WI members with her to enjoy the day.
The WI has also nominated the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), with which it has close links, as the charity for the day.
The odds about these two Gloucestershire icons joining together might seem quite remote, but it is proving to be a winning combination as they work on a project which involves visits to look behind the scenes at some of the top sporting events and facilities relating to "The Horse" in the county.
These include Willie Carson’s Minster Stud, Jonjo O'Neill’s racing stables at Jackdaws Castle, and the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe, the home of the Princess Royal, who is herself a WI member.
Sue Wilson, a member of the Gloucestershire Federation’s Executive team, said: “I am delighted to be the Ladies Day Ambassador this year and to be working with Edward Gillespie and his team at Cheltenham Racecourse to provide some exciting experiences for our members to enjoy during our 90th anniversary year.
“Horses are an important part of life in Gloucestershire and it will be a thrill for us to find out more about some of the top establishments in the county linked with them."
The WI is the largest women's voluntary organisation in the UK with more than 205,000 members in 6,500 WIs. It plays a unique role in enabling women to develop new skills, giving them opportunities to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities, and provides wide-ranging activities for members. In Gloucestershire, there are 5000 members in 156 WIs. For more information about the WI, please visit www.thewi.org.uk
CITROËN LEADING JOCKEY
STANDINGS AFTER DAY THREE
Jockey 1st 2nd 3rd
Ruby Walsh 5 1 -
Barry Geraghty 2 1 1
Tony McCoy 1 1 1
Timmy Murphy 1 1 1
Paddy Brennan 1 - 1
Paddy Flood 1 - 1
Mr Will Biddick 1 - -
Miss Nina Carberry 1 - -
Paul Carberry 1 - -
Mr Jamie Codd 1 - -
Aidan Coleman 1 - -
Tom O’Brien 1 - -
Mr Brian O’Connell 1 - -
Mr Sam Waley-Cohen 1 - -
Robert Thornton - 2 2
Mrs Rose Dobbin - 1 1
Dominic Elsworth - 1 1
Robbie Power - 1 1
Davy Russell - 1 1
Mr Danny Cook - 1 -
Seamus Durack - 1 -
Graham Lee - 1 -
Daryl Jacob - 1 -
Richard McGrath - 1 -
Mr J T McNamara - 1 -
Mr Derek O’Connor - 1 -
Tom Scudamore - 1 -
Liam Treadwell - 1 -
Richard Johnson - - 2
Alain Cawley - - 1
Jack Doyle - - 1
Wayne Hutchinson - - 1
Andrew McNamara - - 1
Mr Kevin Power - - 1
Pat Smullen - - 1
CITROËN LEADING TRAINER
STANDINGS AFTER DAY THREE
Trainer 1st 2nd 3rd
Paul Nicholls 3 1 -
Willie Mullins IRE 3 - -
Venetia Williams 2 2 -
Nigel Twiston-Davies 2 - 1
Nicky Henderson 1 1 2
Enda Bolger IRE 1 1 1
Jonjo O’Neill 1 1 -
Tom Cooper IRE 1 - -
Philip Fenton IRE 1 - -
Noel Meade IRE 1 - -
Mick Quinlan 1 - -
John Quinn 1 - -
Tom Taaffe IRE 1 - -
Alan King - 3 3
David Pipe - 2 -
Tony Martin IRE - 1 1
Ferdy Murphy - 1 1
Nick Williams - 1 1
Jessica Harrington IRE - 1 -
Tom Mullins IRE - 1 -
Lucinda Russell - 1 -
Tim Vaughan - 1 -
Lucy Wadham - 1 -
Philip Hobbs - - 2
Dessie Hughes IRE - - 1
Henrietta Knight IRE - - 1
Emma Lavelle - - 1
Arthur Moore IRE - - 1
Paul Nolan IRE - - 1
Eamon O’Connell 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
1.30pm JEWSON NOVICES’ HANDICAP CHASE (LISTED)
CHAPOTURGEON (David Johnson) Paul Nicholls 5-10-11 Timmy Murphy 8/1
2.05pm PERTEMPS FINAL (LISTED HANDICAP HURDLE)
KAYF ARAMIS (Isobel Phipps Coltman) Venetia Williams 7-10-5 Aidan Coleman 16/1
2.40pm RYANAIR CHASE (GRADE ONE)
IMPERIAL COMMANDER (Our Friends In The North) Nigel Twiston-Davies 8-11-10 Paddy Brennan 6/1
3.20pm LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
BIG BUCK’S (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh 6/1
4.00pm FREDDIE WILLIAMS FESTIVAL PLATE HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE THREE)
SOMETHING WELLS (Favourites Racing XVIII) Venetia Williams 8-10-7 Mr Will Biddick 33/1
4.40pm FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE (AMATEURS)
CHARACTER BUILDING (Mrs E Wright) John Quinn 9-11-12 Mr Jamie Codd 16/1
FIRST RACE RESULT
1.30pm JEWSON NOVICES' HANDICAP CHASE (LISTED)
£90,000 guaranteed, 2m 5f New Course, 5yo+ Weights: highest weight 11st 10lb Weights raised 3lb Minimum Weight 10st 4lb Penalties after February 22, a winner of a chase 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 10lb) Ring The Boss’s Handicap Mark 147 Entries 98 pay £110 Confirmed 54 pay £330 Penalty vlaue 1st £51,309, 2nd £19,251, 3rd £9,639, 4th £4,806, 5th £2,412, 6th £1,206
1 CHAPOTURGEON (FR) (David Johnson) Paul Nicholls 5-10-11 Timmy Murphy 8/1
2 ISN'T THAT LUCKY (Valda Burke) Jonjo O’Neill 6-10-7 Richard McGrath 11/1
3 CRESCENT ISLAND (IRE) (Sarah Bays, Jill Scott & Sarah MacEchern) Nigel Twiston-Davies 6-11-2b1 Paddy Brennan 25/1
4 NORTHERN ALLIANCE (IRE) (Irish Rover Syndicate) Tony Martin IRE 8-11-4 Ruby Walsh 8/1
5 STRAW BEAR (USA) (JP McManus) Nick Gifford 8-11-2t Noel Fehily
6 TRANQUIL SEA (IRE) (Dermot Cox) Edward O'Grady IRE 7-11-2 Andrew Mcnamara
7 PANCAKE (FR) (Andrew Cohen) Philip Hobbs 6-10-9 Richard Johnson
8 ASTARADOR (FR) (Alderclad Ltd & S Rutter) Howard Johnson 7-10-12 Denis O'Regan
9 SLASH AND BURN (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Charlie Swan IRE 7-11-0 Davy Russell
10 KIA KAHA (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 7-11-1 Tony McCoy 15/2F
11 AURORAS ENCORE (IRE) (Alicia Skene & W Skene) Sue Smith 7-10-6 Tjade Collier (3)
12 RING THE BOSS (IRE) (Alan Peterson) Philip Hobbs 8-11-10 Tom O'Brien
13 BOHEMIAN LASS (IRE) (Riona Molony) Bill Harney IRE 6-10-8ow3lb John Cullen
14 QUWS LAW (IRE) (Ian Miller) Lucinda Russell 7-10-6t Peter Buchanan
U JAAMID (Peter Law) Noel Meade IRE 7-10-7t Paul Carberry
F EXMOOR RANGER (IRE) (The Rangers Partnership) Victor Dartnall 7-11-0 Christian Williams
P AU COURANT (IRE) (Michael Buckley) Nicky Henderson 9-11-1b1 Barry Geraghty
B BACK ON THE ROAD (IRE) (C Jones) Arthur Moore IRE 7-10-5 Alan Crowe
P NAIAD DU MISSELOT (FR) (Hill, Trembath, Bryan & Outhart) Ferdy Murphy 8-11-1 Graham Lee
P THE VICAR (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Henrietta Knight 6-10-11 Dominic Elsworth
Distances: 9, 2 1/4, 6, 7, 4, 2 1/4, 3 3/4, 2, 1 1/4, 11/2, 1 3/4, dist, 9
Breeder: Robert Gasche Luc & Michel Boulay
Breeding: gr g Turgeon (USA) - Chapohio (FR)
Totes: Win: £8.40 Places: £2.40, £3.80, £7.90, £2.10 Exacta: £100.80
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 (22): Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2009 Chapoturgeon), 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: 134
Winning Jockey: Timothy James Murphy Date of birth: August 20, 1974 Background: Father Jimmy was a leading amateur and manager of Newberry Stud. Timmy began working for Noel Chance during weekends when still at school, and rode for the trainer as an amateur, as well as for Mick Halford and Michael Hourigan. Opted to relocate to England after turning professional and began riding for Kim Bailey. Began riding for Paul Nicholls in 1998, before being overtaken as first choice jockey for the trainer by Joe Tizzard. Returned to Nicholls as number one rider in May 2001, but following a lengthy battle with alcoholism, Murphy was jailed for four months in July 2002 for assaulting an air stewardess. Returned to the saddle on his release in October 2002, and has enjoyed considerable success since. Became the retained jockey for leading owner David Johnson after the departure of Tony McCoy from the Martin Pipe stable. Has written critically acclaimed autobiography “Riding The Storm”. First winner: Gayloire (Kilmuckridge point to point, Co Wexford) General: Rode the last ever winner over jumps at Nottingham - Dominie (29/2/96) Cheltenham Festival Wins: (8) Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2009 Chapoturgeon), Ryanair Chase (2008 Our Vic), Mildmay of Flete Chase (1997 Terao, 2004 Tikram), Vincent O’Brien County Hcap Hurdle (1999 Sir Talbot, 2005 Fontanesi), Pertemps Final (2004 Creon), Irish Independent Arkle (2005 Contraband) Number of Wins (1995/96-2007/2008): 26; 28; 60; 73; 64; 54; 98; 42; 57; 143; 87; 98; 71; Wins This Season: 54
SECOND RACE RESULT
2.05pm PERTEMPS FINAL (LISTED HANDICAP HURDLE)
£80,000 guaranteed, 3m New Course, For 5yo+ which have either started, as defined in the Orders and Rules of Racing, in a Pertemps Hurdle Race (Qualifier) since the start of the current season, or any horses which were eliminated from a Qualifier, having been declared to run under the provisions of Order 124 (ii) at the declaration stage in such a race (In the even of an abandonment of a qualifier, any horse which had been declared to run in that race or any horse entered to run if the time of abandonment was prior to the declaration stage, will be qualified to enter the final). Minimum weight 10st Penalties after February 22, a winner of a hurdle 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) P’tit Fute’s Handicap Mark 150 Entries 79 pay £95 Confirmed 53 pay £285 Penalty Value 1st £45,608, 2nd £ 17,112, 3rd £8,568, 4th £4,272, 5th £2,144, 6th £1,072.
1 KAYF ARAMIS (Isobel Phipps Coltman) Venetia Williams 7-10-5 Aidan Coleman 16/1
2 BUENA VISTA (IRE) (Matt Archer & the late Jean Broadhurst) David Pipe 8-10-9b Tom Scudamore 10/1
3 PENNEK (FR) (H Read) Alan King 6-10-11 Robert Thornton 9/1
4 THE SLIOTAR (IRE) (Roger Brookhouse) David Pipe 8-10-0 Mr Danny Cook (5) 33/1
5 GREEN MILE (Road To No Town Syndicate) Tony Martin IRE 7-10-4 Ruby Walsh
6 SCRIPTWRITER (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 7-10-8 Denis O'Regan
7 DON'T PUSH IT (IRE) (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 9-11-5 Tony McCoy
8 P'TIT FUTE (FR) (Jim Racing Syndicate) Francis Flood IRE 8-11-9 Mark Walsh (3)
9 MIDDLETON DENE (IRE) (Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson) Nicky Richards 7-10-11 Mrs Rose Dobbin (3)
10 RASLAN (D Reid) David Pipe 6-10-11v Timmy Murphy
11 RINGAROSES (Mrs Nicholas Jones/Martin Broughton) Henrietta Knight 8-10-7 Graham Lee
12 BALLYDUB (IRE) (R Gibbs) Philip Hobbs 6-11-2 Rees Flint (5) 7/1F
13 GALIENT (IRE) (Mr & Mrs Kevan Watts) Nicky Henderson 6-10-9 Barry Geraghty
14 FOREMAN (GER) (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 11-10-11 Richard McGrath
15 INDIAN PIPE DREAM (IRE) (The Dreamers) Steve Gollings 7-10-1t Paul Townend (3)
16 MISTER GLOSS (IRE) (J & B Gibbs & Sons) Philip Hobbs 8-10-9 Richard Johnson
17 BLUE SHARK (FR) (Trevor Hemmings) Nicky Henderson 7-10-6 Dominic Elsworth
18 THE VERY MAN (IRE) (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 7-10-8p Noel Fehily
19 THE RALL (IRE) (Tomtonykarlcyril Partnership) Dessie Hughes IRE 7-10-7 Roger Loughran
P SYNCHRONISED (IRE) (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 6-10-9 Richie McLernon (5)
P LUPANAR (IRE) (Elizabeth Kiernan) Gary Moore 5-10-7 Jamie Moore
U HEATHCLIFF (IRE) (George Brookes & Family & Lord Daresbury) Richard Lee 7-10-6b Mr Oliver Greenall (5)
22 ran Non-runners: 2 Hills Of Arran (ground), 15 Maucaillou (vet certificate)
Distances: 2, nk, 1 1/4, 4 1/2, nk, 8, sh, 1 3/4, 1 1/4, 3 1/2, 15, 3/4, 3 1/2, 23, 3 1/2, 2, 4, 2 3/4
Breeder: Isobel Phipps Coltman Breeding: b g Kayf Tara - Ara Totes: Win: £21.20 Places: £4.00, £2.40, £2.40, £12.60 Exacta: £281.00
Winning Trainer: VENETIA MARY WILLIAMS Trains at Aramstone, Kings Caple, Hereford Date of birth: May 10, 1960 Background: Born May 10, 1960, Venetia Williams had a great deal of experience as a trainer and rider before setting out with a licence at her family's Herefordshire estate. She had 10 winners as an amateur through 1986-88 and rode in the 1988 Grand National on Marcolo, who knocked her unconscious when coming down at Becher's, before she broke her neck in a fall and was forced to retire on medical advice. She went all over the world to further her knowledge of training, starting off with seven years as assistant to John Edwards at Sellack, only a few miles from where she is now based. Later on she had spells with Martin Pipe and Barry Hills in this country, John Fulton in the United States and Colin Hayes in Australia. She began with a string of limited size and talent but her success has prompted great reaction and new owners have flocked in with the result that her yard is full with more than 80 horses. Her first venture on the Flat yielded a Group Three winner when Stretarez won the 1998 Ormonde Stakes at Chester. Her first Cheltenham Festival win came courtesy of Samakaan in the 2000 Grand Annual Challenge Cup, while Idole First won the 2005 Coral Cup and the 2007 Racing Post Plate. Her biggest successes came via Teeton Mill in the 1998 Hennessy Gold Cup and King George VI Chase. Cheltenham Festival wins (4): Pertemps Final (2009 Kayf Aramis), Grand Annual Challenge Cup H’cap Chase (2000 Samakaan), Coral Cup (2005 Idole First), Racing Post Plate (2007 Idole First) Other details: Won Group Three Ormonde Stakes (1998 Stretarez) with her first runner on the Flat Number of Winners (1996/6-2007/08): 7, 33, 45, 74, 74, 63, 55, 78, 89, 80, 77, 76; 69; Wins this Season: 58
Winning Jockey: Aidan Coleman Based: c/o Venetia Williams, Aramstone, Kings Caple, Hereford Background: Brought up in Cork, where his parents are both PE teachers, Aidan Coleman learned his trade on the Irish pony racing circuit, where he had over 100 winners. "It's brilliant and you learn to deal with the nerves too,” he said, “There was a lot of betting and the owners always wanted them to win. I was 12 or 13 and had one owner who always told me how many grand he had on his horse, but I never let it get to me. I still don’t.” His brother, Kevin, won the 2007 Galway Plate on Sir Frederick), Aidan opted instead to work in England. Through Irish trainer John Murphy, Coleman got a place at Henrietta Knight's yard, and it was her horse Silverbar that provided the young jockey with his first ride under Rules on December 23, 2006, at Hereford. At the end of the 2006/07 season, Coleman moved to Venetia Williams’ stable at King’s Caple. Cheltenham Festival Win (1): Pertemps Final (2008 Kayf Aramis) Aintree Festival Wins: Silver Cross Prams Red Rum Handicap Chase (2008 Stan) Big Race Wins Include: Boylepoker.com Handicap Chase (2008 Mon Mome), Mears Group Silver Trophy Chase Limited Handicap (2008 Stan),skybet.com Handicap Chase (2009 Stan), totescoop6 Heroes Handicap Hurdle (2009 Chief Yeoman) Wins (2007/08): 28; Wins this season: 50
THIRD RACE RESULT
2.40pm RYANAIR CHASE (GRADE ONE)
£220,000 guaranteed, 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 5. Weights 5yo 11st 9lb; 6yo+ 11st 10lb Allowances mares 7lb Entries 48 pay £250 1st Forfeit 35 pay £500 Confirmed 12 pay £250 Penalty Value 1st £125,422, 2nd £47,058, 3rd £23,562, 4th £11,748, 5th £5,896, 6th £2,948
1 IMPERIAL COMMANDER (IRE) (Our Friends In The North) Nigel Twiston-Davies 8-11-10 Paddy Brennan 6/1
2 VOY POR USTEDES (FR) (Sir Robert Ogden) Alan King 8-11-10 Robert Thornton 4/5F
3 SCHINDLERS HUNT (IRE) (Slaneyville Syndicate) Dessie Hughes IRE 9-11-10t Paddy Flood 22/1
4 TIDAL BAY (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 8-11-10 Denis O'Regan
5 GWANAKO (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh
6 MONET'S GARDEN (IRE) (David Wesley Yates) Nicky Richards 11-11-10 Davy Condon
7 MISTER MCGOLDRICK (Richard Longley) Sue Smith 12-11-10 Dominic Elsworth
8 KNIGHT LEGEND (IRE) (Martin St Quinton) Jessica Harrington IRE 10-11-10t Andrew Leigh
P L'ANTARTIQUE (FR) (Mary Durkan) Ferdy Murphy 9-11-10 Graham Lee
P OUR VIC (IRE) (David Johnson) David Pipe 11-11-10b Timmy Murphy
Distances: 2, 3/4, 4 1/2, 1 1/2, 6, 3, 17
Breeder: Laurence J Flynn
Breeding: b g Flemensfirth (USA) - Ballinlovane
Totes: Win: £7.80 Places: £2.20, £1.10, £4.10 Exacta: £13.50
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. Born on May 16, 1957, as an amateur jockey Twiston-Davies rode 17 winners under Rules and gained a further 17 point-to-point victories, and 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 (10): Ryanair Chase (2009 Imperial Commander), 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: 71
Winning Jockey: Paddy J Brennan Born: Ardrahan, Galway, April 13, 1981 Background: Brennan spent the summer of 1995 working for County Kildare handler Gerry Stack before embarking on a five season apprenticeship with the leading Irish trainer Jim Bolger, for whom he rode eight winners. The first of those came on Ivory Isle at Gowran Park in August, 1998. He became too heavy and tall for the Flat and moved to Paul Nicholls' stable as a conditional jockey in 2001. He stayed there for two and a half years, riding winners for Nicholls and Jeff King, before joining Philip Hobbs in the 2003/4 season as one of that yard's conditionals. Brennan also struck up a good rapport with Ashley Brook, on whom he won the Grade One Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree in 2005, and enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival success that year aboard Shamayoun in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Brennan was appointed as retained rider to owners Andrea and Graham Wylie for the 2006/7season after dropping by trainer Howard Johnson's County Durham yard for a cup of tea and toast. He rewarded those connections when guiding Inglis Drever to victory in the 2007 Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham - the gelding's second success in the race. Brennan, who wanted to return to the south of England, left Johnson at the end of the 2006/07 season and joined Naunton-based handler Nigel Twiston-Davies at the start of the 2007/08 campaign Cheltenham Festival Wins (4): Ryanair Chase (2009 Imperial Commander), Pertemps Final (2008 Ballyfitz), Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2006 Shamayoun), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2007 Inglis Drever) First Winner: Ivory Isle (Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap, Gowran Park, August 12, 1998) Other Big Race Wins: Grand Sefton Handicap Chase (2005 Hakim); intercasino.co.uk Molyneux Novices’ Chase (2006 Lennon); Sea Pigeon Handicap Hurdle (2002 Benbyas); Wensleydale Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Degas Art) Charlie Hall Chase (2007 Ollie Magern), Boylesports.com International Hurdle (2007 Osana), Old Roan Chase (2008 Knowhere), John Smith’s Hurdle (2008 Pettifour), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2008 Imperial Commander) Number of Wins (2000/01-2007/08): 3; 9; 15; 19; 67* (*Champion Conditional Jockey); 60; 80; 104; Wins This Season: 76
FOURTH RACE RESULT
3.20pm LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
£260,000 guaranteed, 3m New Course, for 4yo+ 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 5. Weights 4yo 11st; 5yo+ 11st 10lb Allowances fillies and mares 7lb Entries 36 pay £310 1st Forfeit 24 pay £620 Confirmed 16 pay £310 Penalty Value 1st £148,266, 2nd £55,614, 3rd £27,846, 4th £13,884, 5th £6,968, 6th £3,484
1 BIG BUCK'S (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh 6/1
2 PUNCHESTOWNS (FR) (Judy Wilson) Nicky Henderson 6-11-10 Barry Geraghty 100/30
3 POWERSTATION (IRE) (Fat Frog Sydicate) Eamon O'Connell IRE 9-11-10 Andrew McNamara 25/1
4 KASBAH BLISS (FR) (Henri de Pracomtal) Francois Doumen FR 7-11-10 Christophe Pieux 10/11F
5 MIGHTY MAN (FR) (Joss Hanbury) Henry Daly 9-11-10 Sam Thomas
6 WHATUTHINK (IRE) (Cavan Developments Bloodstock) Oliver McKiernan IRE 7-11-10 Davy Russell
7 MOBAASHER (USA) (Seasons Holidays) Paul Nicholls 6-11-10tb Christian Williams
8 BLAZING BAILEY (Three Line Whip) Alan King 7-11-10 Robert Thornton
9 FAIR ALONG (GER) (Alan Peterson) Philip Hobbs 7-11-10 Richard Johnson
10 NO REFUGE (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 9-11-10 Denis O'Regan
11 PETTIFOUR (IRE) (J Pettifer) Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-11-10 Paddy Brennan
12 TAZBAR (IRE) (The Supreme Partnership) Keith Reveley 7-11-10 James Reveley
13 SHAKERVILZ (FR) (Thomas Gilligan) Willie Mullins IRE 6-11-10 Paul Townend
14 AFSOUN (FR) (Trevor Hemmings) Nicky Henderson 7-11-10 Dominic Elsworth
Distances: 1 3/4, 17, 1 3/4, 5, hd, 4 1/2, 2 1/4, 1 3/4, 4 1/2, 5, 16, 3 1/4, 27
Breeder:Henri Poulat Breeding: b or br g Cadoudal (FR) - Buck’s (FR) Totes: Win: £6.70 Places: £1.80, £1.60, £3.90 Exacta: £19.10
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 (23): Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2009 Big Buck’s), Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2009 Chapoturgeon), 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: 135
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 (22): Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2009 Big Buck’s), 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: 61
FIFTH RACE RESULT - REVISED
(Borora was a non-runner rather than pulled-up)
4.00pm FREDDIE WILLIAMS FESTIVAL PLATE HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE THREE)
£90,000 guaranteed, 2m 5f New Course, For 5yo+ Weights raised 1lb Minimum weight 10st Penalties, after February 22, a winner of a chase 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Stan’s Handicap Mark 153 Entries 82 pay £110 Confirmed 46 pay £330 Penalty value 1st £51,309, 2nd £19,251, 3rd £9,639, 4th £4,806, 5th £2,412, 6th £1,206
1 SOMETHING WELLS (FR) (Favourites Racing XVIII) Venetia Williams 8-10-7 Mr Will Biddick (5) 33/1
2 PING PONG SIVOLA (FR) (Jean Yeomans) Venetia Williams 6-10-0 Liam Treadwell 13/2F
3 NOTABLE D'ESTRUVAL (FR) (P McCarthy) Arthur Moore IRE 8-10-7t Davy Russell 8/1
4 THREE MIRRORS (Sean Murphy) Ferdy Murphy 9-11-1 Graham Lee 9/1
5 COSSACK DANCER (IRE) (The United Front Partnership) Mark Bradstock 11-10-0p Matthew Batchelor 100/1
6 FINGER ONTHE PULSE (IRE) (Conor Clarkson) Tom Taaffe IRE 8-11-9 Barry Geraghty
7 OR BLEU (FR) (The Kingpins) Philip Hobbs 7-10-11 Tom O'Brien
8 AKILAK (IRE) (Ada Partnership) Howard Johnson 8-10-13 Denis O'Regan
9 BUCK THE LEGEND (IRE) (Alan Parker, C Fell & A Harris) Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-11-1 Paddy Brennan
10 PABLO DU CHARMIL (FR) (Joe Moran) David Pipe 8-11-12 Tom Scudamore
11 BOOMSHAKALAKA (IRE) (The Cigar Bar Partnership) Nicky Henderson 9-10-3 Felix De Giles (3)
12 OSAKO D'AIRY (FR) (John Webb) Paul Nicholls 7-11-1 Sam Thomas
B POP (FR) (Robert Kirkland) Henry Daly 6-11-1 Andrew Tinkler
F CLARIFIED (IRE) (C Byrne) Tony Martin IRE 7-10-11 Paul Townend
F LE BURF (FR) (M Burford) Grant Smyly 8-10-4 Mark Bradburne
F BIBLE LORD (IRE) (M Tedham) Andrew Turnell 8-10-9 Mark Grant
P STAN (NZ) (Paul Beck) Venetia Williams 10-11-12 Aidan Coleman
P FIER NORMAND (FR) (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 10-10-7 Noel Fehily
P OSLOT (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 7-11-11 Ruby Walsh
P SILVERBURN (IRE) (Paul Green) Paul Nicholls 8-10-11b1 Nick Scholfield (3)
P TURKISH SURPRISE (FR) (John & Barbara Cotton) Alan King 6-10-11 Wayne Hutchinson
P OCEANOS DES OBEAUX (FR) (M Tuckey) Philip Hobbs 7-10-10p Richard Johnson
U PERCE ROCK (JP McManus) Tommy Stack IRE 7-11-3 Tony McCoy
Distances: 3/4, 18, 2 3/4, 8, 1, 1 1/4, 10, 1 1/2, 6, 6, 3 1/4
Breeder: Bernard Blot
Breeding: b g Dolpour - Linsky Ball (FR)
Totes: Win: £48.70 Places: £11.20, £1.70, £2.30, £2.40 Exacta: £225.50
Winning Trainer: VENETIA MARY WILLIAMS Trains at Aramstone, Kings Caple, Hereford Date of birth: May 10, 1960 Background: Born May 10, 1960, Venetia Williams had a great deal of experience as a trainer and rider before setting out with a licence at her family's Herefordshire estate. She had 10 winners as an amateur through 1986-88 and rode in the 1988 Grand National on Marcolo, who knocked her unconscious when coming down at Becher's, before she broke her neck in a fall and was forced to retire on medical advice. She went all over the world to further her knowledge of training, starting off with seven years as assistant to John Edwards at Sellack, only a few miles from where she is now based. Later on she had spells with Martin Pipe and Barry Hills in this country, John Fulton in the United States and Colin Hayes in Australia. She began with a string of limited size and talent but her success has prompted great reaction and new owners have flocked in with the result that her yard is full with more than 80 horses. Her first venture on the Flat yielded a Group Three winner when Stretarez won the 1998 Ormonde Stakes at Chester. Her first Cheltenham Festival win came courtesy of Samakaan in the 2000 Grand Annual Challenge Cup. Her biggest successes came via Teeton Mill in the 1998 Hennessy Gold Cup and King George VI Chase. Cheltenham Festival wins (5): Pertemps Final (2009 Kayf Aramis), Grand Annual Challenge Cup H’cap Chase (2000 Samakaan), Coral Cup (2005 Idole First), Freddie Williams Festival Plate (2007 Idole First, 2009 Something Wells) Other details: Won Group Three Ormonde Stakes (1998 Stretarez) with her first runner on the Flat Number of Winners (1996/6-2007/08): 7, 33, 45, 74, 74, 63, 55, 78, 89, 80, 77, 76; 69; Wins this Season: 59
Winning Jockey: Will Biddick Based: c/o Venetia Williams, Aramstone, Kings Caple, Herefordshire Background: Rode in point-to-points. Rode as an amateur for Venetia Williams. Left to join Paul Nicholls in autumn of 2008 before returning to Williams that December. First winner under rules: Ashgreen, Hereford, November 17, 2005, (Have Your Xmas Party At The Racecourse Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase) Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Freddie Williams Festival Plate (2009 Something Wells) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Novices’ Chase (2006 Mon Mome) Wins (2005/06-2007/08): 4; 5; 5; Wins This Season: 6
SIXTH RACE RESULT
4.40pm FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE (AMATEURS)
£60,000 guaranteed, 3m 1 1/2f New Course, For 5yo+ Rated 140 Minimum Weight 10st Penalties, after February 22, a winner of a chase 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Arteea’s Handicap Mark 139 Entries 105 pay £75 Confirmed 69 pay £225 Penalty Value 1st £36,012, 2nd £11,250, 3rd £5,622, 4th £2,814, 5th £1,404, 6th £708
1 CHARACTER BUILDING (IRE) (Mrs E Wright) John Quinn 9-11-12t Mr Jamie Codd 16/1
2 PRETTY STAR (GER) (Lottie Hayman-Joyce & H J Racing) Venetia Williams 9-10-13 Mr Danny Cook 16/1
3 NEWBAY PROP (IRE) (Billy Moffett) Tony Martin IRE 10-11-1b Mr Kevin Power 20/1
4 BOWLEAZE (IRE) (Martin Short) Robert & Sally Alner 10-10-10 Mr Sam Allwood (7) 16/1
5 BUTLER'S CABIN (FR) (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 9-11-8p Mr Alan Berry
6 HIGH CHIMES (IRE) (Mr & Mrs William Rucker) Evan Williams 10-11-9 Mr James Tudor (3)
7 POKER DE SIVOLA (FR) (David Johnson) Ferdy Murphy 6-11-3 Miss Nina Carberry 7/2F
8 OODACHEE (Modreeny Syndicate) Charlie Swan IRE 10-11-5 Mr Richard Harding
9 LE DUC (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 10-10-13 Mr Ian Popham (3)
10 IRISH RAPTOR (IRE) (Caroline Beresford-Wylie) Nigel Twiston-Davies 10-10-9 Mr Sam Twiston-Davies (7)
11 SHERWOODS FOLLY (Trevor Hemmings) Henry Daly 7-11-8 Mr Richard Burton
12 OPENIDE (Brendan W Duke Racing) Brendan Duke 8-10-10 Mr Mark Wall (7)
13 AGGIE'S LAD (IRE) (Proud Syndicate) Tony Martin IRE 7-10-13 Mr Derek O'Connor
14 ARTEEA (IRE) (Judith Wilson) David Pipe 10-11-9 Mr John Monk (3)
15 ALRIGHT NOW M'LAD (IRE) (JP McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 9-11-7 Mr J T McNamara
16 LE TOSCAN (FR) (Judith Wilson) David Pipe 9-10-10 Mr Tom Cannon (7)
17 DOUBLE DIZZY (Martyn Forrester) Bob Buckler 8-10-12 Mr John Derham (7)
B ALEXANDERTHEGREAT (IRE) (Six Blokes) Venetia Williams 11-11-0 Mr William Biddick
F WARPATH (IRE) (R Gambarini) Evan Williams 8-11-0 Mr Nick Williams
P BROOKLYN BREEZE (IRE) (Alix Stevenson) Len Lungo 12-11-1b1 Mrs Rose Davidson
P GO FOR ONE (IRE) (Mrs B Grainger) Venetia Williams 10-11-5 Mr Tom Greenall
P ICE TEA (IRE) (Sandicroft Stud) Donald McCain Jnr 9-11-6 Mr Brian Toomey (5)
P SHOULDHAVEHADTHAT (IRE) (Unchartered Waters) Nicky Henderson 7-11-0 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen (3)
P WITHOUT A DOUBT (Malcolm Denmark) Carl Llewellyn 10-11-3p Mr Ross O'Sullivan
Distances: 1, 2 3/4, sh, 4 1/2, 1 1/2, 1 1/4, nse, 12, 3 1/2, 1, 6, 18, 5, 1 1/4, 7, 1/2
Breeder: P Joyce
Breeding: ch or gr g Accordion - Mrs Jones (IRE)
Totes: Win: £22.50 Places: £4.10, £4.40, £5.70, £4.70 Exacta: £459.70
Winning Trainer: JOHN QUINN Based: Highfield Stables, Malton, North Yorkshire Background: Former jockey now a dual purpose trainer. Saddled Blythe Knight to win the Lincoln Handicap, and the Group Three Diomed Stakes on the Flat Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (2009 Character Building) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Imagine Appeal John Smith’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Blythe Knight), John Smith’s Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle (2007 Kings Quay) Other Big Race Wins (Jumps): Elite Hurdle (2006 Crow Wood); Scottish County Hurdle (2006 Crow Wood) Wins (2001/02-2007/08): 4; 1; 5; 11; 19; 33; 16; Wins this season: 14
Winning Jockey: Jamie Codd Age: 26 Background: Former conditional with Willie Mullins who is now an amateur. Had his first ride at the Cheltenham Festival, aged 20, aboard Hedgehunter in the 2003 National Hunt Chase. Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (2009 Character Building) Wins in Britain this season: 1
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink