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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

THE FESTIVAL 2011, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

CENTENARY DAY, TUESDAY, MARCH 15

 

 

EXCELLENT FIRST-DAY CROWD

 

An excellent attendance of 53,318 was seen at Cheltenham for the first day of The Festival 2011.

 

This was an increase of 4.66 per cent over the 50,945 on the first day last year and the second highest opening day crowd since 2004.

 

There is availability for all enclosures at The Festival tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday to racegoers turning up on the day, while a few Club badges remain for Friday, Cheltenham Gold Cup Day.

 

Edward Gillespie, Managing Director of Cheltenham Racecourse, said: “We have had a fantastic start to The Festival today with thrilling racing, a tremendous crowd and excellent weather. We are looking forward to the rest of the week with great anticipation.”

 

 

TODAY’S TOTE TURNOVER UP 15.6%

 

There was good news from the tote which experienced a 15.6 per cent rise in on-course cash betting turnover today.

 

Racegoers bet £2,360,557 into the pools as against £2,042,215 last year on the opening day.

 

 

GROUND REMAINS SAME OVERNIGHT

 

The official going remains the same on the Old Course (used Wednesday) Good, good to soft in places and the New Course (used Thursday and Friday) Good to soft, good in places.

 

 

 

 

THOMAS PINK LEADING RIDER AWARD -

STANDINGS AT THE END OF DAY ONE

 

Jockey    1st  2nd  3rd

Ruby Walsh    3  -  -

Richard Johnson   1  -  -

Graham Lee    1  -  -

Andrew Lynch   1  -  -

Robert Thornton   1  -  -

Barry Geraghty   -  3  1

Tony McCoy    -  1  1

Keiran Burke   -  1  -

Miss Nina Carberry   -  1  -

Jason Maguire   -  1  -

David Bass    -  -  1

Paul Carberry   -  -  1

Adrian Heskin   -  -  1

Daryl Jacob    -  -  1

Liam Treadwell   -  -  1

 

Latest totesport prices: 1/4 Ruby Walsh, 8/1 Barry Geraghty, 10/1 Robert Thornton, 12/1 Richard Johnson, 20/1 Tony McCoy, 25/1 Graham Lee

 

 

THOMAS PINK LEADING TRAINER AWARD -

STANDINGS AT THE END OF DAY ONE

 

Jockey    1st  2nd  3rd

Willie Mullins IRE   2  -  -

Henry de Bromhead IRE  1  -  -

Philip Hobbs    1  -  -

Alan King    1  -  -

Ferdy Murphy   1  -  -

Paul Nicholls   1  -  -

Nicky Henderson    -  4  2

Enda Bolger IRE   -  1  -

Donald McCain   -  1  -

Pat Rodford    -  1  -

Nick Gifford    -  -  1

Michael Hourigan IRE  -  -  1

Noel Meade IRE   -  -  1

Richard Price   -  -  1

Nick Williams   -  -  1

 

 

THE FESTIVAL 2011 - WINNERS

 

Centenary Day, Tuesday, March 15

Race     Winner  Trainer  Jockey  SP Ran

Stan James Supreme Novices Hurdle AL FEROF  Paul Nicholls  Ruby Walsh  10/1 15

The Irish Independent Arkle Nov Chase  CAPTAIN CHRIS Philip Hobbs  Richard Johnson 6/1 10

Stewart Family Spinal Research Hcp Chs BENSALEM  Alan King  Robert Thornton 5/1 19

Stan James Champion Hurdle  HURRICANE FLY Willie Mullins IRE Ruby Walsh  11/4F 11

Glenfarclas Cross-Country Hcp Chase SIZING AUSTRALIA Henry de Bromhead IRE Andrew Lynch 13/2 15

David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle  QUEVEGA  Willie Mullins IRE Ruby Walsh  5/6F 14

Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase DIVERS  Ferdy Murphy  Graham Lee  10/1 20

           

          

INITIAL QUOTES- RACE ONE

STAN JAMES SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE

 

AL FEROF WINS WELL

 

The six-year-old grey Al Ferof came with a run under Ruby Walsh to take fourth before the last and made such good progress after the final hurdle that he was in front half-way up the run-in and won well by two lengths at 10/1.

 

Dunraven Storm and Magen’s Star disputed the running at a good pace before being swallowed up three out when 7/4 favourite Cue Card started to move up and came through to dispute it at the second last before going on but was beaten by the last and came home fourth.

 

Stable companions Sprinter Sacre and Spirit Son from the Nicky Henderson yard disputed it before the last but neither could find a turn of foot to repel the winner.

 

The Barry Geraghty-ridden Spirit Son, always prominent, rallied and finished second, three and a quarter lengths ahead of Sprinter Sacre with Tony McCoy up.

 

Winning trainer Paul Nicholls said: “It was a brilliant ride from Ruby. This is the first time that Al Ferof has looked right this season - he just took a while to come to himself. He stays and has a bit of class.

 

“If he had won the bumper last year (when second to Cue Card) they would have been raving about him. Ruby really deserved that victory.”

 

Cue Card is the seventh consecutive beaten favourite in the Stan James Supreme Novices, Hurdle.

 

The winning time was 3m 52.2s.

 

Nicholls celebrated a 28th Festival victory, the same number as Walsh, with owner John Hales enjoying his fifth Festival victory.

 

 

FIRST RACE WINNING QUOTES

STAN JAMES SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE

 

AL FEROF UPSETS FAVOURITE

 

Red-hot 7/4 favourite Cue Card may have only finished fourth in the opening Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle but the 2011 Festival began on the best possible note for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and stable jockey Ruby Walsh when Al Ferof coasted a two-length success.

 

Walsh had missed much of this season through injury before returning earlier this month and Nicholls was particularly pleased for the rider.

 

“It’s a great way to start for Ruby,” said Nicholls. “And it has to be one of my best wins of the season because of Ruby.

 

"You need a horse to stay to win that race - Noland won it a few years ago. When you look back with Cue Card last year, we were giving him weight (when runner up in the 2010 Weatherbys Champion Bumper) and this is the first time I have ever had the horse right. He looked amazing today and it was a brilliant ride from Ruby.  We dropped him in, that was the plan because we thought they would go quickly.

 

"It’s brilliant for Ruby because over the last fortnight, we have had a few beaten and a few people have been questioning the form but all I concentrate on getting the horses right for this week. If they all go like that, then we will be laughing.

 

"It takes the pressure of to start like that and, for Ruby to do that, it was the best thing that could have happened - he’s gone through it a little bit and it is just great for him."

 

Ruby Walsh added:  "Fair play to Paul because I was expecting to ride him in the first three and he said ‘no, drop him in and get him to settle and he will come home’, and he was right. They went a real good gallop - the ground was a bit dead - and he picked up when I really needed him to. He jumped super and it was just great. This horse has come from a long way back and needed a bit of riding but he won well at the death.

 

"It’s great to get back. There are a lot of people who have given me a lot of help - David  Moore, Brian Green and my whole family. It’s great to be here.

 

"In fairness to Paul and Willie, they don’t put pressure on me one way or the other - they let me make my own call. If I ask them for advice, then they give it to me, but they let me make my own mind up.

 

"I guess with the drying ground, I went for Al Ferof over Zaidpour but you get some right and you get some wrong. If anyone knows how to split yourself in two and ride both horses, I would like to know. I got this one right and the next one could be wrong.

 

"Getting falls is part of being a jump jockey and I have had plenty of bad ones, but I am feeling a hell of a lot better than Dougie Costello today."

 

Wining owner John Hales, who was enjoying a third Festival success, added:"I thought that we were running for fourth place, then I thought that we had got third, and then it all happened. Thanks to Ruby - his judge of pace is just unbelievable - and he has took him in the end and won well.

 

"Somebody has just told me that Paul doesn’t know what he is doing and that we should be running in the two and a half-mile race. But you can’t get better than that!"

 

 

First race placed quotes

 

HENDERSON THRILLED WITH DUO

 

Nicky Henderson started the 2011 Cheltenham Festival in great style by taking second and third placings in the Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle courtesy of Spirit Son and Sprinter Sacre.

 

The pair had both won two races in the build-up to the meeting and lost little in defeat by chasing home Paul Nicholls’ Al Ferof.

 

Henderson said: “They have both run fantastic races.

 

“It is a little unfortunate for both to have beaten off Cue Card and then still get beat.

 

“I would be very surprised if Spirit Son is not back here in 365 days for the Arkle.

 

“Barry (Geraghty) said he ran a great race but that he is still weak and babyish.

 

“Another year will see him strengthen up as he is still weak.

 

“I don’t know about plans but I would be surprised if we took Sprinter Sacre to Aintree.”

 

 

First race

Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

CUE FAILS TO POT FESTIVAL OPENER

 

Heavily-backed 7/4 favourite Cue Card could finish only fourth in the opening race at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival.

 

The Colin Tizzard-trained five-year-old was beaten six and a half lengths by winner Al Ferof, but disappointed jockey Joe Tizzard put up no excuses, saying: “He travelled well to the home straight, but didn’t pick up as well as the first three.

 

“It was a bit rough early on, but that’s a Supreme Novices’ for you, and it didn’t affect me in any way. When I wanted to get there I did, so I have no excuses.

 

“That’s the quickest ground I’ve ridden him on, but I’m not saying that’s what beat us - I’d like to sleep on it and think about it.”

 

Colin Tizzard said: “He ran well on the day, but not as good as three other horses. We cannot make excuses. He got to the second-last as easily as any other horse, and those that came past him were shoving away like anything, but it’s a championship race.

 

“He’s come back without a mark on him, but he’s been beaten. Joe said everything went to plan, and while he looked to be flat out all the way most of them were.

 

“There’s been so much hype about this horse all season and he’s still run a fantastic race. I don’t feel disappointed because we got him here, he’s run a great race and he’s come back in one piece. We’ve lost a few in the past year and that is bloody disappointing.

 

“He’ll go to Aintree now. We gave him a break through the winter for a spring campaign. Next year he’ll make a chaser, which is what he’s bred to do.”

 

 

Second race - win quotes

The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase

 

CHRIS PROVES CAPTAIN IN NOVICES’ SHOWDOWN

 

Trainer Philip Hobbs welcomed his first winner of The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy when Captain Chris scored well under Richard Johnson.

 

Good ground and a breathing operation were factors in enabling the winner to reverse form with such as Ghizao and Medermit, who proved his superior earlier in the season. Hobbs said: “It’s good to have one in the bag. He’s improved throughout the past year and could get better.

 

“My first thought is that the King George VI Chase [on Boxing Day] at Kempton, going right-handed over three miles would suit him just the job. The problem with that is we could get winter ground, and he’s much better on good ground, but the breathing operation - he had a cauterised palate - has helped him a lot. I think he needs two and a half miles now, and they often say it takes a horse with that stamina to win an Arkle. He proves the point today.”

 

Hobbs had pondered running both Captain Chris and Wishfull Thinking in Thursday’s Jewson Novices’ Chase. He said: “Captain Chris would have run very well in that contest, and we were tempted to run both to give us two chances, but we’ve gone for glory in a bid to win both races.

 

Johnson said: “I’m hoping there’s a lot more to come, because ground is very important to him and he only had the wind op at Christmas. I believe his confidence will grow and grow - he

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could be very special.

 

“To be fair, he is quite inexperienced. Thirteen months ago he was running in bumpers, and he’s done a lot in a short space of time. The owners were patient before he got to a racecourse and they’ve reaped the benefit now.

 

“The better ground has definitely been a big help. He has done very little wrong and every race he has run in has been a high-class one. It was getting frustrating to finish second all the time but now he has won his last two.

 

“I was happy with him three out and he winged the second last. He probably did not meet the last on a great stride but he was very nimble over it for a big horse and galloped right to the line. He has plenty of speed.”

 

Paddy Power make Captain Chris a 25/1 shot for next year’s totesport Gold Cup, and 14/1 for the 2012 sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase.

 

 

MORE WINNING QUOTES - RACE TWO

THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHASE

 

OWNERS & TRAINER MAKE RIGHT DECISION

 

Graham Whateley, husband of winning owner Diana, explained how they came to decide with trainer Philip Hobbs which races to go for with their good novice chasers Captain Chris and WishfullThinking.

 

At one stage it looked like both would go for the new Grade Two Jewson Novices’ Chase over two and a half miles at The Festival - the opener on day three.

 

Whateley explained how plans changed: “I said let’s do a SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And we decided to split the horses - it is a sporting occasion. We wanted to take our chances and we did.

 

“Captain Chris is a great horse and my wife is very lucky to own him and Wishfull Thinking - I couldn’t split them and I don’t think that anyone else could either. We have got two and let’s just hope that the luck stays with us.

 

“I have tried to remain relaxed all day. I walked the course with my wife last night at about seven o’clock - it was just the two of us with our labrador and we relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed it. I made us a cup of tea this morning and we just wished ourselves good luck.

 

“I love every moment of owning horses.”

 

It was the Whateley’s second Festival success after Menorah in the opener last year, the Stan James Supreme Novices Hurdle.

 

 

More Philip Hobbs quotes

 

Philip Hobbs, enjoying his 14th Festival success with Captain Chris, declared: “We have picked the right race and it’s a big relief to get one on the board as well. We have always felt that he definitely wants two and a half miles  - I am sure he still does!

 

“He was mustard over his fences today. He jumped a little bit right-handed, which he always does, but he jumped really well.”

 

           

SECOND RACE PLACED QUOTES

THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHASE

 

SECOND AGAIN FOR BUCKLEY

 

Owner Michael Buckley and Nicky Henderson, who finished runner-up in the opening race with Spirit Son, had again to settle for second in The Irish Independent Arkle Chase when Finian’s Rainbow lost out to Captain Chris.

 

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed,” said Buckley. “The horse probably does a bit too much early on but he jumped magnificently and ran a wonderful race. I’ve no complaints, we just found one too good.

 

“You won’t see one jump much better than that and I don’t know if he will run again this season. The only option would be the two and a half mile novices’ chase at Aintree.”

 

Trainer Noel Meade was happy with Realth Dubh’s effort to come third. “Everyone likes to win but I was happy that he ran well,” said Meade. “He jumped well and was just not good enough. He had a lovely run around the inner and although he could have jumped the last two better, that was probably because he was going as quick as he could.

 

“This ground is a bit softer than a lot of people were expecting and I think you could run anything on it, even a horse that wants heavy.”

 

“I’d imagine he’ll go for the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse although we have the choice of going to Punchestown the following week.”

 

 

MORE SECOND RACE QUOTES

 

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KING OPTS FOR WRONG RACE

 

Alan King was regretting his decision to run Medermit in the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy in preference to the Jewson Novices’ Chase after the grey took fourth place under Robert Thornton.

 

King elected to run over the minimum distance of two miles as against the longer Jewson trip of two and a half miles, but the seven-year-old could never land a blow.

 

Medermit was settled in midfield for much of the race but could not close on the leaders as Captain Chris, Finian’s Rainbow and Realt Dubh pulled away in front.

 

King said: “I got it wrong and have run him in the wrong race.

 

“He was flat out all of the way and in top gear from the word go.

 

“I thought I was doing the right thing going for the Arkle but that wasn’t the case.

 

“He has battled on well to the end but was just flat out from the off.

 

“People may say he doesn’t act around Cheltenham but every time he has come here it has been for a top-class race.

 

“We will see how he is and have a look at Aintree and Punchestown, but he certainly wouldn’t be going two miles at Aintree.”

 

 

RACE THREE - WINNER QUOTES

STEWART FAMILY SPINAL RESEARCH HANDICAP CHASE

 

KING RULES WITH BENSALEM

 

Alan King was beaming with pride after Bensalem was nursed back to heath from a near-death experience and battled to victory in the Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase.

 

The eight-year-old almost died from pleurisy during the winter and landed an emotional victory as he fought tooth and nail with Carole’s Legacy for a half-length success.

 

The 5/1 chance fell when travelling supremely well at the second-last fence in the equivalent race 12 months earlier and hadn’t raced over fences since.

 

King, celebrating his 12th Festival success, said: “This means an awful lot and it is a very special day.

 

“I have to say a big thank you to my whole team and to my vet, Jeremy Swan, who treated him.

 

“There were some vets who advised we should put him down but Jeremy said to soldier on for a few more days. That is how ill he was.

 

“To have brought him back is remarkable and he is a bloody good horse with serious class.

 

“I was insistent to Choc (Robert Thornton) that he didn’t get there too soon and he probably did as the loose horse carried him into it.

 

“I was a little concerned as he can pull himself up in front and I know how tough Carole’s Legacy is.”

 

The winning rider, Choc Thornton, on  said: “It’s been three years since I rode a winner here, so it is nice to get off the mark. Last year was a blank for the stable but this has made up for it - it will be a an easy week now.” It was the rider’s 16th Festival victory.”

 

Winning owner Alan Marsh said: “We have had a terrible year - we really questioned whether he was ever going to race again, let alone race properly. We are all very, very excited and Alan has done a tremendous job training him.

 

“There has been tremendous support from his team as well - Bensalem’s groom Paul has done a fantastic job looking after him all the time through the sickness.

 

“Watching any race is horrible when you are the owner and it is much more fun coming here without a horse sometimes. It’s very exciting and very nervous at the same time.”

 

           

Third race placed quotes

Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase

 

CAROLE’S READY TO CREATE HER LEGACY

 

Carole’s Legacy finished runner-up at the Festival for the second year running after being worn out of victory by Bensalem in the Spinal Reseach Handicap Chase.

 

Twelve months ago she was runner-up to Quevega in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, and owner/breeder Paul Murphy said: “She’s run her little heart out. She will probably be bred to shortly, but nothing is set in stone at this stage.

 

“When I bred her I wanted a colt, because there are so few races for mares to run in. The David Nicholson is too short for her and we didn’t want to take Quevega on again, so we came instead - and still got beaten. Fair enough, that’s how it goes. She’ll run again, but not before Saturday.”

 

Nick Williams, trainer of third-placed Reve De Sivola, said: “He’s run to form and the ground was fine. He was a bit novicey at times, but he’s run well.

 

“I’m not disappointed because you couldn’t really expect more - he’s been beaten by two good horses. Anything in the frame at the Festival is a good run.”

 

 

Fourth race

Stan James Champion Hurdle - press conference quotes

 

PROUD DAY AS MULLINS LANDS FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP RACE

 

 Trainer Willie Mullins followed in the footsteps of his father Paddy today by winning the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

 

 Hurricane Fly became Willie’s first success in one of the Cheltenham Festival’s championship races, and emulated Paddy’s achievement with Dawn Run, who won in 1984.

 

 The successful trainer said: “I’m delighted to follow my dad. One thing he taught me was to have patience with good horses. You have to be prepared to wait and wait, and we’ve done that on occasions during Hurricane Run’s career.

 

 “When he led on the run-in today I’d like to think he [Paddy] was there urging us on.”

 

 He revealed that Hurricane Fly was not top of his shopping list when, in 2007, he instructed a France-based bloodstock agent, to buy a targeted horse. Mullins said: “We put in an offer for a horse, but the next morning the agent rang me and said we’d been gazumped, and that someone had offered more money. However, they said another horse was available, and they really liked him. It was far more money than we wanted to pay, but we agreed - that was Hurricane Fly, while the other horse is now running in handicaps.”

 

 Hurricane Fly, a son of top stallion Montjeu, wore ear plugs in today’s race, and Mullins said: “When he came to us he was very hyper, and it would certainly have been a big challenge to bring him to an event like this as a four-year-old, but under our training regime he gradually settled down. He’s worn ear plugs in just about all his races, but he’s a lot more mature now in any case.

 

 “He’s not very big and he’s not earmarked to go over fences, but if he stays injury free he will come back here. I haven’t thought about immediate plans for him, but it’s only three weeks to Aintree and I doubt he’ll come back for that. We’re much more likely to wait for Punchestown.”

 

 Hurricane Run had missed the past two Festivals with a suspensory injury and then a splint, and Mullins said: “They were not serious, but bad timing. They meant we had to give him time off, miss Cheltenham but get back for Punchestown. This time we had a clear run, and I’ve been pinching myself for the past month because everything was going right.”

 

 

 

Fourth race

Stan James Champion Hurdle - press conference quotes

 

FLY ENDS WALSH’S WAIT FOR A STAN JAMES CHAMPION HURDLE

 

 A first Stan James Champion Hurdle success followed a grim four months for jockey Ruby Walsh.

 

 He was sidelined with a broken leg throughout that time, yet the absence did not damage his race-riding skills. He returned to action just ten days ago, but said: “It’s all about confidence. People pointed to the fact I didn’t ride a winner until Saturday last week, but being put back on good horses by Willie [Mullins] and Paul [Nicholls] was all the confidence I needed.

 

 “The injury was treated by a guy called David Moore, who is a very practical man and told me the cage [which held the fracture in place] should be able to come off in 14 weeks. He laid down the law to me, and it paid off.”

 

 Of his winning ride on Hurricane Fly, Walsh said: “I wasn’t surprised when Peddlers Cross came back at me. He battled back when winning last year and he’s an incredibly tough horse. I probably got to him a bit sooner than ideal, but Hurricane quickened up so well there wasn’t much I could do - it was the way the race unfolded.

 

 “It hasn’t sunk in that I’ve won and it won’t do until the end of the week, because at Cheltenham there’s always another race. I know all about finishing second in the race having been runner-up on Brave Inca, Celestial Halo and Marble Arch.”

 

 This was the middle leg of a 74.6/1 first-day treble for Walsh, who also won on Al Ferof and Quevega.

 Hurricane Fly’s trainer, Willie Mullins, said he was not concerned that his number one jockey would be fit for the Festival, and revealed how he told Paul Townend that Walsh would be in Hurricane Fly’s saddle

- Townend had ridden the horse in Walsh’s absence. Mullins said:. “I kept in touch with Ruby while he was off, and the cage enabled him to walk and keep his muscle tone up. When he eventually came down to ride I could see there was nothing wrong with him, and a half-fit Ruby is better than most men fully fit, so I wasn’t concerned.

 

 “I called Paul aside one day and said ‘I’m putting Ruby on the horse at Cheltenham,’ and he said ‘Well, he is our stable jockey’. I knew he was disappointed, but I said to him ‘We’ll try to make you champion [jockey in Ireland]’ and I hope we can do that. In fact Ruby seemed more disappointed when I told him of that plan and said he wouldn’t be able to ride all the horses before the season’s end.

 

 “They are both level-headed, calm guys, and I believe Ruby would be disappointed if Paul didn’t win the title.”

 

 

FOURTH RACE WINNING QUOTES

STAN JAMES CHAMPION HURDLE

 

RUBY IS JUST CHAMPION

 

Ruby Walsh put a season curtailed by injury behind him when enjoying a first Stan James Champion Hurdle success when Hurricane Fly travelled over from Ireland to beat Peddlers Cross by a length and a quarter in hurdling’s biggest prize. Willie Mullins’ charge was backed into 11/4 favouritism and always travelled well before taking the lead after the final obstacle.

 

“Half a length is all I deserved to win by - I never got him to settle really and he ran keen all the way. We did it the hard way,” said Walsh. “We knew that he has this unbelievable speed and class but people were doubting  - Willie Mullins, Paul Townend and myself - we always believed he had it. He is a deserving champion and a right little horse. He has a big heart and he needed it today because we probably got there a fraction too soon but he never gave me a chance early doors.

 

“You’d have prefer for him to have been more settled but that was mainly because of the gallop. There was no point being concerned, that’s the way it was and I was happy that I was on a horse with flat speed that I could use against those bumper types.

 

“Willie and Paul have done some job with the horse, I only rode him today. A lot of people have got me here. I am very grateful to Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls because they have put me straight back on these horses. There’s ups and downs, good days and bad days in racing. I’ve been close a few times in the Champion Hurdle, I think I’ve been second three times but on paper this was the best ride I’d had.”

 

 

FOURTH RACE WINNING QUOTES

STAN JAMES CHAMPION HURDLE

 

MULLINS DELIGHTED

 

Trainer Willie Mullins was thrilled that Hurricane Fly was able to give British racegoers a chance to see what he had been achieving in Ireland with his victory in the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

 

Mullins said:  “He has done everything right all year - every race that we have run him in, he has answered all of the questions. I know that I haven’t travelled him to England but I wasn’t keen to. People were wondering whether a Montjeu could win around here but I looked back at the winners we have had in the past here, most of them had a sire who had never had a winner round here before.

 

“I think a lot of Irish punters backed him because they had been watching what he could do at home. Irish punters needed a lift and they got it today. I thought he was a fantastic price for the last month but I didn’t want to open my mouth and tempt fate. We didn’t get over here before today this season because our Irish targets were enough and I thought if we brought him here in good fettle we’d see what he could do.

 

“I am just delighted that we are here for one day to show what he is able to do. Paul Townend has done a great job - he has ridden him out every day this year apart from a couple of days when Emmett (Mullins) rode him. He has kept him right and I think that this morning was the first time that Ruby sat on him in months.

 

“It wasn’t a hard decision to go with Ruby. He is my stable jockey and Paul has had a fantastic innings while Ruby was out - hopefully we can make him champion jockey at home. You can’t leave Ruby Walsh on the sidelines when you have the favourite for the Champion Hurdle.

 

“The Irish form has stood up including the Irish Champion Hurdle, when Thousand Stars (fourth) was just behind Hurricane Fly. We are happy with the run of Thousand Stars - I was going to aim him at the Arkle but I schooled him once or twice and he jumped too big and I thought that I couldn’t do enough with him over fences before here.

 

“Hurricane Fly has been unlucky with a suspensory ligament and a splint. He is just hard on himself and he is like a rubber ball to sit on. He has to be doing something all of the time so you need someone cool on him every day. In his work, you can’t ask him for everything because he just does too much and that’s why he injures himself. He has not done full-speed work at home and Paul has done half-speed all year. We minded him last year because we thought we had a star and thankfully it worked out. If you know you have something good you just have to wait

 

“I’ve been counting down the days and minutes until this race The minutes were like hours towards the end but, once I legged Ruby up and got him off down to the start, the relief was there. I was afraid that he would get a kick in the parade ring at the last minute.”

 

 

Fourth race - second horse

Stan James Champion Hurdle

 

EMOTIONAL SECOND FOR MCCAIN

 

Peddlers Cross lost his unbeaten record with a brave second behind Hurricane Fly in the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

 

Donald McCain’s stable star landed the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival 12 months earlier and returned to the track unbeaten in six starts over hurdles.

 

The mount of Jason Maguire came close to extending that winning run but found Willie Mullins’ Hurricane Run pulling a length and a quarter clear after jumping the final flight upsides.

 

An emotional McCain said: “I am not a bad loser but I am just gutted for the horse.

 

“Jason said that Peddlers Cross did not do a thing wrong through the race but was just not good enough on the day.

 

“There are no excuses and he has found one too good. I have to say well done to Willie.

 

“It was a hell of a race and he came for another go at the winner after the final flight.

 

“I could not be prouder and I did think we had a good crack of winning the Champion Hurdle beforehand.

 

“He has had the hardest race of his life today in defeat so we’ll see how he comes out of this before making plans.

 

“Aintree is a possibility but I don’t know what we will do next season.”

 

Jason Maguire added: “He still tried after the last to come back which is why he is such a good horse.  I am looking forward to jumping a fence on Peddlers Cross. Hopefully, he will go to Aintree now for the two and a half mile hurdle.”

 

 

Fifth race - winner quotes

Glenfarclas Handicap Chase

 

SIZING AUSTRALIA STRIKES

 

Henry de Bromhead saddled his second Cheltenham Festival winner as Sizing Australia got the better of Garde Champetre in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase.

 

Twelve months on from Sizing Europe’s Arkle success, de Bromhead was back in the winner’s enclosure as Sizing Australia landed the cross-country event.

 

Andrew Lynch’s mount soon shrugged off the attentions of the gambled-on Maljimar (finished fourth) but had to find plenty in the end to hold the challenge of course specialist Garde Champetre, winner of this race in both 2008 and 2009, by a length and a quarter.

 

The winning trainer said: “That was amazing and I have lost my voice from shouting him home.

“It was quite a tight finish so I give him a bit of a roar and he was brilliant.

 

“Andrew gave him a fantastic ride, made plenty of use of him and he has battled on well.

 

“He was ran in this race the last couple of years. He was hampered last year and finished down the field but we didn’t make enough use of him and it was my fault. I told Andrew to ride him how he wanted to today and that is what he did. It just shows that you should leave it up to the jockeys!

 

“Sizing Australia has been placed on every other run in cross-country races.

 

“We’ll have a look at Punchestown but I’m not sure if he will run in the La Touche Cup as I don’t think he stays that four and a half mile trip.”

 

Andrew Lynch added: “We were unlucky last year when we were knocked down turning in but he’s very gutsy. He has been placed every time apart from last year and he only a young horse compare to Bolger’s runners. He loves it round there and jumps for fun.

 

“You need to jump very well around the course and they have to adapt to the different jumps. It probably doesn’t suit every type of horse but it suits our lad really well.

 

“It was a messy race last year but Henry said that he jumps so well that I should just keep out of trouble. I heard the commentator say that the favourite was coming and I was just delighted that my lad picked up so well from the back of the last.

 

“Henry’s horses are only just coming into form over the last couple of weeks. There were a lot of horses who were being placed but we had a winner during the week which seemed to boost the confidence back home.”

 

 

SIXTH RACE WINNING QUOTES

DAVID NICHOLSON MARES HURDLE

 

QUEVEGA CONTINUES GREAT DAY FOR MULLINS AND WALSH

 

Trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh, who had earlier landed the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Hurricane Fly, continued an unforgettable afternoon when Quevega strolled to a 10-length victory in the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle when sent off 5/6 favourite.

 

The seven-year-old, who was making her seasonal debut, was winning the Grade Two event for a third successive year as she completed a 5.87/1 double for Mullins and a 74.6/1 treble for Walsh, who had also landed the opening Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Al Ferof.

 

“It’s just been a magic day and I’ll enjoy the rest of the week now and not worry too much,” said Mullins, who became the most successful current Irish trainer in Festival history with 19 wins. “Ruby’s been fantastic and he gets on so well with the mare, he loves her and they just fire off each other. He rode her with such confidence.

 

“We entered her in the other races but, when you have a horse that can be favourite in a race at Cheltenham, why go somewhere else and look for something to beat you? This race was always the plan - this looked tailor made for her and it has proved to be the case.

 

“She won with her head in her chest today and Ruby started looking around when he turned for home. It was extraordinary how easily she won and Ruby said she was pulling hard coming to the second last. She’s a superstar.

 

“I thought she might have been a gallop short before today but maybe I had her over the top for the last couple of years! On her last two bits of work, both riders told me she needed it badly.

 

“She might go to the Aintree Hurdle next and the aim is to go to Punchestown again. The owners are racing people rather than breeders and I imagine that she will come back next year.”

 

Walsh added: “She’s a remarkable little mare. She jumped super, travelled super and, barring the last, there were no scares.

 

“She hasn’t run since Punchestown last year and what can you say about Willie, he’s obviously done something right.

 

“She has so much class and she settles a lot better than she did as a younger mare. She just lobs away and every time that you want her to get a bit closer, you let her out and she gets there. When you want her to slow down, she slows down - she is just a perfect ride.”

 

 

Race six - second place quotes

David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle

 

RODFORD DELIGHTED WITH MAY

 

Sparky May left soon-to-retire trainer, Pat Rodford, over the moon after her second-place finish to Quevega in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle.

 

After mopping up on her previous four hurdle runs, the six-year-old was rated as the main danger to hot favourite Quevega.

 

However, an early mistake saw jockey Kieran Burke lose his irons, but he regained his composure and his mount travelled well into the race.

 

Although leading down the hill, Sparky May was a sitting duck for Quevega and the Irish mare bounded past soon after.

 

Sparky May lost little in defeat and was 10 lengths behind the imperious winner who has dominated this race for the last three years.,

 

Rodford said: “It has been a good story and it has finished up all right.

 

“We have had a good time of it and she has finished second to a wonder horse so I am grateful for that.

 

“Kieren gave her a wonderful ride and had both legs on one side after she made a mistake early on.

 

 

“We will get her home and see how she is. She may have had enough for this season but if not we will look at Aintree or Punchestown.”

 

 

Seventh race win and place quotes

Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase

 

DIVERS GOES OVERBOARD FOR MURPHY AND LEE

 

Ferdy Murphy’s excellent record at the Festival was embellished after he saddled Divers to win the closing race on day one.

 

Divers became the North Yorkshire-based Murphy’s tenth Festival success, and he said: “He’s a tough little horse and had his ears pricked coming to the last. He’ll take another race before too long.

 

“We wanted to go chasing with him last year, but he wasn’t quite mature enough. This season we took him to Towcester to get used to jumping big fences, and we did the same at Carlisle, and it was no disgrace to finish fifth to Time For Rupert here in November. He’s a nice horse with the right profile for a race like this.”

 

Winning jockey Graham Lee said: “That was pretty good, and the horse deserves huge credit. Ferdy wanted me to keep hold of him and I said no chance. I’ll stick close to the rail.

 

“He fenced beautifully and was very clever with his feet. He was close to the guard board at the ditch, but snapped his feet up. He had to want it.

 

“Winning any race at the Festival at any time of your career is very satisfying - it’s the tops.”

 

J P McManus, owner of second-placed Quantiativeeasing, said: “He ran a good race but we just weren’t good enough.”

 

Nick Gifford, trainer of third-placed Tullamore Dew, commented: “He ran a great race and I couldn’t have asked for any more. It was a fiercely competitive race with the good horses filling the first four places and I think mine wants a bit further now.

 

“Liam (Treadwell) said he was in top gear all the way and if we went to Aintree we’d probably step up to three miles if we got this ground.”

 

 

ELLIOTT HOPEFUL OF GOOD WEEK

 

County Meath trainer Gordon Elliott believes he has several chances of breaking his Festival duck this year with several live chances through the week.

 

Elliott was speaking at a press conference organised by Horseracing Ireland and is hopeful that tomorrow could be a big day with Chicago Grey running in the National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, Plan A lining up in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, Jessies Dream going for the RSA Chase and Carlito Brigante lining up in the Coral Cup.

 

“Chicago Grey is in good nick and has been round the course a couple of times so I hope he runs well,” said Elliott. “Alfa Beat, who won the Kerry National, could be the one to beat but it is not a bad race. With a bit of luck, we should be placed.

 

“The weights went up 5lb for the Fred Winter at the declarations stage and it’s probably not the best contest of the whole Festival. Our horse won well at Gowran, he’ll like the ground drying out and should run a good race.

 

“Jessies Dream travelled over very well and will love this ground drying out. It is a very competitive race but I’ll be disappointed if he isn’t in the first three or four. I think the favourite, Time For Rupert, is very beatable. Chicago Grey was beaten only six or seven lengths by him on soft ground and Chicago Grey has no business lining up in the RSA. I’m not saying we’ll win but I think the favourite is beatable.”

 

Speaking on At The Races, Jessies Dream’s owner David Johnson was also confident of a big run tomorrow. “The ground’s come right for him, he wouldn’t want it too soft and he’s better horse going left-handed so he’s got that in his favour as well,” said Johnson. “Clearly the favourite’s the one we all have to beat but Gordon’s very optimistic that we’ll run a big race. He travelled over well yesterday. It’s all systems go.”

 

Looking to Carlito Brigante and his other runners, Elliott added: “Carlito Brigante in the Coral Cup is one of the best-handicapped Irish horses coming over. He’s off 140 here and 140 at home. He’s had a wind operation, is stepping up to two miles and five furlongs and will love this ground and has good each-way claims.

 

Dirar runs in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle and is a great little horse, but for me he has not come to himself yet. He’s more a spring and summer horse and whatever he does on Friday we haven’t seen the best of him yet. Grey Soldier is a 66/1 chance in the same race but if he runs the way he works he’d win a Champion Hurdle.”

 

Also speaking at the press conference was jockey Barry Geraghty, whose big hopes for the week include Big Zeb in tomorrow’s sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase.

 

“Big Zeb is one of my best rides of the week and I’m looking forward to getting back here on good ground. It’s a competitive race but you’d hope that on his best form he’d be hard to beat. He’s jumping well now. Master Minded has to be respected, he’s a former champion running well but I’d be hopeful we could hold last year’s form,” said Geraghty.

 

Bobs Worth is going to run in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on Friday in what might be a lesser race than tomorrow’s Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle. With the drying ground three miles might be more his thing than the two miles and five furlongs tomorrow. If he missed a hurdle over the shorter trip he might be in trouble. He means a bit to me as I bought him as a yearling and sold him as a four-year-old to Nicky.”

 

 

DUBH HAS A REALT CHANCE, SAYS MEADE

 

Leading Irish trainer Noel Meade gave a thumbs-up to Cheltenham’s ground and said it would be no problem for his leading hope on day one, Realt Dubh.

 

The seven-year-old is a key contender in the Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase, and Meade said: “I have no issues with the ground for him - I’d have no worries about running anything on it today. Obviously it could dry out, but to walk on it there’s plenty of juice in it. No race at the Festival owes you anything, but I’d love to win the Arkle.”

 

Meade’s totesport Gold Cup hope Pandorama is a horse who definitely prefers cut in the ground. The trainer said: “He’s coming over today and if the race was today he would run - if it dries out by Friday we may have to think again, but I’m expecting him to run.”

 

Also arriving today is Fully Funded, Meade’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle hope. He said: “He was quite a decent flat horse in France, won well for us when he came to Ireland, but then had a bit of a back problem. I hope he’s coming back to himself, but he does need soft ground.”

 

Meade has withdrawn Silver Hand from the Coral Cup, and said discrepancies between the way horses are handicapped in Ireland and England remains an issue. Meade said: “We really don’t have a problem with the English handicapper putting us up 10lb when we come over here to run, but it’s a problem when he puts them in different with other Irish horses. When they go back to Ireland the Irish handicapper has to reassess them, and you can go up 7lb or 8lb for finishing fifth or sixth.”

 

 

 

QUEEN MUM NO TWO-HORSE RACE, SAYS MURPHY

 

Tomorrow’s sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase revolves around recent champions Master Minded and Big Zeb, but dangers lurk among the field.

 

That’s the view of Big Zeb’s trainer Colm Murphy, who said his horse has “travelled over well - I couldn’t be happier”, but added: “There are a lot of unknown factors in the race - Somersby ran very well against Master Minded last time and could be improving, and Sizing Europe won the Arkle last year and will appreciate a bit of nice ground. It’s certainly not a two-horse race - there are half a dozen with chances.”

 

Murphy runs Raise The Beat in tomorrow’s Weatherbys Champion Bumper, and said: “He’s won two bumpers on fast ground, and he’ll like conditions here, but there could be a Dunguib or Cue Card in there, and we could run a blinder and still only finish fifth or sixth.

 

“Our fellow’s good and well and we’re hoping for the best.”

 

Murphy has an enviable strike-rate at the Festival. His last 13 runners have yielded three wins and eight places, and he said: “Cheltenham is the best place in the world when things are going well - but it can be the worse when things turn sour.”

 

     

FOUR JOCKEYS BANNED

 

 

CHOC THORNTON RECEIVES ONE-DAY BAN

 

Choc Thornton, riding Medermit in The Irish Independent Arkle Chase, was found by the stewards to have used his whip with excessive frequency from the top of the hill and banned for one day - Tuesday, March 29.

 

 

ONE-DAY BAN FOR BARRY GERAGHTY

 

Barry Geraghty, second on Carole’s Legacy in the Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase, was judged to have been guilty of careless riding in letting his horse drift right into the winner Bensalem. He was suspended for one day - Tuesday, March 29.

 

 

JASON MAGUIRE IS ANOTHE FOR A ONE-DAY BAN

 

Jason Maguire, riding the Stan James Champion Hurdle second Peddlers Cross, used his whip excessively from the second last said the stewards who banned him for one day - Tuesday, March 29.

 

 

THREE DAYS FOR JOHN CULLEN

 

John Cullen was found to have weighed in 2lb heavier than he weighed out for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase and the stewards banned him for three days - Tuesday to Thursday, March 29, 30 & 31. He rode the seventh home Another Jewel.

 

    

INITIAL GOING NEWS THIS MORNING

 

OLD COURSE (used TODAY (TUESDAY) & WEDNESDAY) GOOD, GOOD TO SOFT IN PLACES changed overnight from Good to soft, good in places.

 

GoingStick reading at 6.30am today 7.7

 

The Old Course was watered (4 millimetres) on Thursday & Friday (March 10 & 11) and was watered again yesterday (3 millimetres).

 

 

 

class=Section5>

CROSS COUNTRY COURSE (used TODAY (TUESDAY)): GOOD TO FIRM, GOOD IN PLACES (unchanged overnight)

 

GoingStick reading at 6.30am today 8.8

 

 

NEW COURSE (used on THURSDAY & FRIDAY) GOOD TO SOFT, GOOD IN PLACES (unchanged overnight).

 

The New Course was watered over the weekend (total 13 millimetres).

 

GoingStick reading at 6.30am today 7.8

 

There was 3 millimetres of rain on Sunday morning. It was dry yesterday, with sunshine and blue sky. There has been no rain at Cheltenham overnight (some drizzle had been forecast).

 

It is currently slightly misty and cloudy but the forecast is for the weather to be dry and bright today, then cloudy tomorrow, with light rain Thursday/ Friday.

 

 

ONE NON-RUNNER

 

   

4pm  GLENFARCLAS CROSS COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE no 4.   KING JOHNS CASTLE (IRE) (Vet’s Certificate)

 

 

TWO JOCKEY CHANGES

 

1.30pm STAN JAMES SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE

no 8. Recession Proof - Robert Thornton instead of the injured Dougie Costello

 

5.15pm CENTENARY NOVICES’ HANDICAP CHASE

no 3. Premier Sagas - Jason Maguire instead of the injured #o

 

 

BETTING UPDATE

 

Punters have finally latched onto Cue Card in the Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with Ladbrokes reporting him to be their best-backed horse of the afternoon.

 

The 3/1 has dried up and Colin Tizzard’s runner is now 5/2, with the firm also reporting money for Megan’s Star and she is now 20/1 after good each-way support.

 

Stan James went 100/30, the industry best price, during their happy hour and laid plenty of that

 

In the Stan James Champion Hurdle, the sponsors have laid a bet of £10,000 each-way at 9/2 about Peddlers Cross and have clipped the unbeaten runner into 4/1, one of three co-favourites with Menorah and Hurricane Fly.

 

Ladbrokes report big money for Dunguib each-way in the feature event, while Menorah is strong at 7/2.

 

However, with the professional money coming in for Peddlers Cross the firm expect the top three in the betting (Peddlers Cross, Menorah, Hurricane Fly) could all start at 4/1.

 

Ladbrokes also report money around for Bensalem and Sunnyhillboy in the Stewart Family Spinal Research Chase.

 

In the David Nicholson Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, Willie Mullins’ Quevega has been easy to back with Stan James who have eased her out to 11-10 from 10-11.

 

 

 

 

FIRST RACE RESULT - 1.30pm THE STAN JAMES SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE

Grade 1, Class 1, £100,000 Guaranteed. For 4yo+, 2m ½f. Weights: 4yo 10st 13lb; 5yo+ 11st 7lb. Allowances: fillies & mares 7lb. Penalty Value: 1st: £57,010; 2nd: £21,390; 3rd: £10,710; 4th: £5,340; 5th: £2,680; 6th: £1,340

 

1)  AL FEROF (FR) (John & Lisa Hales) Paul Nicholls 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh 10/1

2)  SPIRIT SON (FR) (Michael Buckley) Nicky Henderson 5-11-07 Barry Geraghty 5/1

3)  SPRINTER SACRE (FR) (Caroline Mould) Nicky Henderson 5-11-07 Tony McCoy 11/1

4)  CUE CARD (Jean Bishop) Colin Tizzard 5-11-07 Joe Tizzard 7/4 Fav

5)  RECESSION PROOF (FR) (Vanessa Stone) John Quinn 5-11-07 Robert Thornton

6)  RATHLIN (Gigginstown House) Philip Rothwell 6-11-07 Jason Maguire

7)  ZAIDPOUR (FR) (Susannah Ricci) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-07 Paul Townend

8)  SPANISH TREASURE (GER) (Martin Tedham) Andy Turnell 5-11-07 Nick Scholfield

9)  FAR AWAY SO CLOSE (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Paul Nolan IRE 6-11-07 Davy Russell

10)  GIBB RIVER (IRE) (Corbett Stud) Nicky Henderson 5-11-07 Andrew Tinkler

11)  MARSH WARBLER (Dan Gilbert) Brian Ellison 4-10-13 Fearghal Davis

12)  HIDDEN UNIVERSE (IRE) (Dr Ronan Lambe) Dermot Weld IRE 5-11-07 Mr Robbie McNamara

13)  MAGEN'S STAR (IRE) (Newtown Anner Stud Farm) Tommy Stack IRE 6-11-00 Davy Condon

14)  SHEER GENIUS (IRE) (O Finetto) John Murphy IRE 6-11-07 Andrew McNamara

PU)  DUNRAVEN STORM (IRE) (Karola Vann) Philip Hobbs 6-11-07 Richard Johnson

 

15 ran

Tote Win: £10.10 Places: £2.60; £2.00; £3.00 Exacta: £54.90

Distances: 2, 3¼, 1¼, 1½, 7, 1½, ¾, 4, 3¾, 7, 10, 8, 13

Breeder: J Rauch & G Chenu Breeding: gr g Dom Alco (FR) - Maralta (FR) (Altayan)

 

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. 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. Cheltenham Festival Wins (28): Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2010 Sanctuaire), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2009 & 2010 Big Buck’s), Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase (2009 Chapoturgeon), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), The Irish Independent Arkle Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2003 Azertyuiop), sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman), Christie’s Foxhunter Chase (2004 Earthmover, 2005 Sleeping Night), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran, 2007 Andreas), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest, 2009 American Trilogy), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis), Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland, 2011 Al Ferof), RSA Chase (2006 Star De Mohaison, 2007 Denman) First Trainer to Saddle Six Winners on One Card: Saturday, January 21, 2006, at Wincanton Number of Winners (1992/03-2009/10): 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);155*;115* *Champion Trainer Wins this Season: 111

 

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. Ruby is the second of Walsh's four children and his younger sister Katie is a successful amateur. He followed 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. His first success came in 2000 on his first ride in the race aboard Papillon, trained by his father, less than a month after returning from a fractured leg sustained in a fall in October, 1999, in the Czech Republic. The Willie Mullins-trained Hedgehunter provided him with a second success 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 2008/09 season he was leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival for a fourth time.  First Winner: Siren Song, Gowran Park, July 25, 1995 Cheltenham Festival Wins (28): Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2010 Sanctuaire), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2009 & 2010 Big Buck’s), David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009 & 2010 Quevega), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1998 Alexander Banquet, 2005 Missed That), Byrne Group Plate (2002 Blowing Wind), The Irish Independent Arkle (2003 Azertyuiop), sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis) , Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland, 2010 Al Ferof), Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase (2006 Dun Doire), RSA 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 Swan)  Number of Wins in Britain (1998/99-2009/10): 1; 1; 5; 13; 77; 62; 81; 69; 73; 69; 69; 69;  Wins in Britain This Season: 11

 

SECOND RACE RESULT

 

2.05pm THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE TROPHY CHASE

Grade 1, Class 1, £130,000 Guaranteed. For 5yo+, 2m. Weights: 11st 7lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Penalty Value: 1st: £74,113; 2nd: £27,807; 3rd: £13,923; 4th: £6,942; 5th: £3,484; 6th: £1,742

 

1)  CAPTAIN CHRIS (IRE) (Diana Whateley) Philip Hobbs t7-11-07 Richard Johnson 6/1

2)  FINIAN'S RAINBOW (IRE) (Michael Buckley) Nicky Henderson 8-11-07 Barry Geraghty 7/2

3)  REALT DUBH (IRE) (D J Sharkey) Noel Meade IRE 7-11-07 Paul Carberry 17/2

4)  MEDERMIT (FR) (The Dunkley & Reilly Partership) Alan King 7-11-07 Robert Thornton 11/4 Fav

5)  GHIZAO (GER) (The Johnson & Stewart Families) Paul Nicholls 7-11-07 Timmy Murphy

6)  GIORGIO QUERCUS (FR) (Sir Robert Ogden) Nicky Henderson 6-11-07 Paddy Brennan

7)  DAN BREEN (IRE) (Stuart Mercer) David Pipe b1 6-11-07 Tom Scudamore

8)  ROCK NOIR (FR) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill t6-11-07 Tony McCoy

9)  STAGECOACH PEARL (John & Jacqueline Conroy) Sue Smith 7-11-07 Shane Byrne

PU)  WEST WITH THE WIND (Janet Davis) Evan Williams 6-11-07 Paul Moloney

 

10 ran

Tote Win: £7.00 Places: £2.20; £2.00; £2.60 Exacta: £28.90

Distances: 2¾, 6, ¾, 19, 4½, ½, 20, hd

Breeder: Noreen Walsh  Breeding: b g King’s Theatre (IRE) - Function Dream (IRE) (Strong Gale)

 

Winning Trainer: PHILIP HOBBS Based: Sandhill, Bilbrook, Minehead, Somerset Date of Birth: 26/7/55 Background: Philip was brought up surrounded by horses. His father Tony Hobbs farmed, and had a permit to train for many years, breeding several good horses to run in the family colours. After school at Kings College, Taunton, Philip went on to Reading University and achieved a BSc honours degree. He rode at Hickstead, show jumping as a junior, and rode several point-to-point winners and winners under National Hunt rules as an amateur before turning professional at the age of 21. Rode 160 winners in a 10 year career including The Black and White Gold Cup at Ascot, The Killiney Novice Chase and The Midlands Grand National on such good horses as West Tip and Artifice. Date of first Trainer’s Licence: August 1, 1985 Cheltenham Festival Wins (14): Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase (2010 Copper Bleu), Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Menorah), Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (1990 Moody Man, 2002 Rooster Booster), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase(1996 Kibreet), Coral Cup H’cap Hurdle (2000 What’s Up Boys, 2004 Monkerhostin), sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (2002 Flagship Uberalles), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2003 Rooster Booster), RSA Chase (2003 One Knight), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2004 Made In Japan, 2006 Detroit City), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Massini’s Maguire), The Irish Independent Arkle Trophy Novices’ Chase (2011 Captain Chris) Number of Winners (1990/91-2009/10): 33; 51; 37; 64; 86; 77; 64; 71; 84; 120; 82; 119; 134; 121; 121; 112; 111; 108; 103; 86; Winners this Season: 70

 

Winning Jockey: Richard Johnson Date of birth: 21/07/77, Madley, Hereford Background: Richard Johnson attended Belmont Abby school, the alma mater of Peter Scudamore, before leaving at 16 to take a job with then champion trainer David Nicholson. He was born and raised at Madley, Herefordshire,. where his parents have a farm. Johnson comes from racing stock as his mother Sue holds a licence to train, while his father Keith, who won the 1982 Midlands Grand National on Bridge Ash, and his grandfather Ivor were both good amateur riders. Johnson is unlucky to be riding in the same era as Tony McCoy as he has finished runner-up to his rival in the jockeys' championship on 11 occasions. In 2007 he married Fiona Chance, daughter of the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winning trainer Noel Chance. First winner 30 April 1994, Rusty Bridge, Exeter Cheltenham Festival wins: (16) Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase (2010 Copper Bleu), Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Menorah), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1999 Anzum), Byrne Group Plate (2000 Dark Stranger,  2003 Young Spartacus), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2000 Looks Like Trouble), sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (2002 Flagship Uberalles), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2002 Rooster Booster), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2003 Rooster Booster), RSA Chase (2003 One Knight), Cathcart Chase (2003 La Landiere), Coral Cup (2004 Monkerhostin), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2004 Made in Japan, 2006 Detroit City), Neptune Investment Managment Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Massini’s Maguire), The Irish Independent Arkle Trophy Chase (2011 Captain Chris) Leading Rider At the Festival: 2002 (2) Number of Wins (1993/94-2009/2010): 1; 12; 53; 102; 120; 133; 143; 161; 132; 147; 186; 135; 167; 154; 122; 132; 160; Wins This Season: 138

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIRD RACE RESULT

 

2.40pm THE STEWART FAMILY SPINAL RESEARCH HANDICAP CHASE

Grade 3, Class 1, £75,000 guaranteed. For 5yo+, 3m ½f. Minimum weight 10st. Penalties: after February 27, a winner of a chase 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £42,757.50; 2nd: £16,042.50; 3rd: £8,032.50; 4th: £4,005; 5th: £2,010; 6th: £1,005

 

1)  BENSALEM (IRE) (Alan Marsh & John Duggan) Alan King 8-11-02 Robert Thornton 5/1

2)  CAROLE'S LEGACY (Paul Murphy) Nicky Henderson 7-11-05 Barry Geraghty 9/1

3)  REVE DE SIVOLA (FR) (Paul Duffy Diamond Partnership) Nick Williams p1 6-10-13 Daryl Jacob 9/1

4)  FAIR ALONG (GER) (Alan Peterson) Philip Hobbs p9-11-07 Rhys Flint 25/1

5)  KING FONTAINE (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Malcolm Jefferson 8-10-13 Graham Lee

6)  EXMOOR RANGER (IRE) (The Rangers Partnership) Victor Dartnall 9-11-03 Denis O'Regan

7)  NO PANIC (IRE) (Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar) Peter Bowen p8-10-00 Aidan Coleman

8)  THE SAWYER (BEL) (D R Fear, Bob Buckler) Bob Buckler 11-10-04 Nathan Sweeney (7)

9)  BLAZING BAILEY (Three Line Whip) Alan King 9-11-12 Wayne Hutchinson

10)  CARRICKMINES (IRE) (Dr Richard & Laura Newland) Dr Richard Newland b9-10-01 Jamie Moore

11)  WOLF MOON (IRE) (Louise Jones) Martin Keighley 8-10-00 Tom Scudamore

12)  THE RAINBOW HUNTER (The Hon Mrs Cookson) Andrew Turnell 7-9-12 Ed Cookson (7)

FELL 7TH) SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 8-10-12 Tony McCoy 9/2 Fav

FELL 5TH) CHIEF DAN GEORGE (IRE) (Maurice Chapman) James Moffatt p11-11-07 Paddy Aspell

FELL 2 OUT) GREAT ENDEAVOUR (IRE) (David Johnson) David Pipe 7-11-07 Timmy Murphy

PU BEF 12) RARE BOB (IRE) (D A Syndicate) Dessie Hughes IRE b1 9-11-10 Paddy Flood

PU)  SLIPPERS PERCY (IRE) (P Cleary) Denis Hogan IRE 9-10-06 Denis Hogan (3)

RAN OUT & UR BEF 12) RAZOR ROYALE (IRE) (Colin Cornes) Nigel Twiston-Davies 9-10-08 Sam Twiston-Davies (3)

UR 3RD) ADAMS ISLAND (IRE) (Naughty Boys Partnership) Rebecca Curtis p7-10-01 Aodhagan Conlon (5)

 

19 ran

Tote Win: £6.50 Places: £2.30; £1.90; £2.40; £4.60 Exacta: £56.10

Distances: ½, 11, 17, 3½, 4½, 2½, 7, 4, 19, 2¼, 7    

Breeder: Peter O’Reilly  Breeding: b g Turtle Island (IRE) - Peace Time Girl (IRE) (Buckskin)

 

Winning Trainer: ALAN KING Born: December 13, 1966 Based: Barbury Castle Stables, Wroughton, Wiltshire Background: Born into a farming family in Lanarkshire on December 13, 1966, Alan King was a member of a local pony club and also competed on the show jumping circuit before joining David Nicholson as an amateur jockey in 1985, having previously worked for John Wilson in his native Scotland. Alan managed to finish third in a couple of hunter chases, but soon realised that race riding was not for him and served as long-time assistant to Nicholson, from whom he took over the licence at Jackdaws Castle stables near Temple Guiting in Gloucestershire on December 3, 1999. He only had to wait until the following day for Mini Moo Min to provide him with a first success at Towcester. In that rookie season, Alan also saddled Relkeel to take a third totesport Bula Hurdle at Cheltenham a week after breaking his duck, and the following weekend captured the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot with Anzum, one part of a four-timer. He also sent out Go Ballistic to finish second to See More Business in the Stan James King George VI Chase at Kempton. Alan was only based at Jackdaws Castle, then owned by Colin Smith, until the end of the 1999/2000 season, as there was only a year by year lease available. At that juncture, he moved to the Barbury Castle estate near Marlborough, Wiltshire, which was bought by one of his principal owners, Nigel Bunter, and the trainer has since gone from strength to strength Cheltenham Festival Wins (12): Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2009 Oh Crick), Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Nenuphar Collonges), National Hunt Chase (2008 Old Benny), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2008 Katchit), Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase (2004 Fork Lightning, 2011 Bensalem), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2005 Penzance, 2007 Katchit), The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy (2006 Voy Por Ustedes, 2007 My Way De Solzen), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2006 My Way De Solzen), sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (2007 Voy Por Ustedes) Number of Winners (1999/2000-2009/10): 27; 18; 34; 39; 47; 66; 63; 92; 128; 136; 76; Wins this Season: 70

 

Winning Jockey: Robert Thornton Date of birth: 14/7/78 Background: Made a big splash in the 1996/7 season when, at the age of 18, he rode a double on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival (King Lucifer in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup and Pharanear in the Gold Card Final), then added two more wins at Aintree (John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase on Blue Cheek and the Cordon Bleu Handicap Hurdle aboard Shankar) and secured the amateur riders' title. Is nicknamed "Chocolate" or "Choc" for short due to his penchant for sweets in his younger days,  hails from Leicestershire where his father Martin is a huntsman with the Belvoir and mother Sally trains a couple of point-to-pointers. Worked for the late David Nicholson at Jackdaws Castle after leaving Grantham College at 16 and was later pupil assistant. Was leading conditional rider in the 1997/8 season with 80 wins and has also ridden the winners of four amateur Flat races. After such a flying start, Thornton's career went through something of a lull but after a spell with Kim Bailey he linked up with Alan King at Barbury Castle and the pair have enjoyed great success. Had his hair shaved for charity in June 2007, despite protests from his girlfriend. First Winner Under Rules: K C’s Dancer (Cheltenham, October 25, 1995) Cheltenham Festival wins: (16) Stan James Champion Hurdle (2008 Katchit), Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Captain Cee Bee), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase (King Lucifer 1997), Pertemps Final (Pharanear 1997), Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase (2004 Fork Lightning, 2005 Kelami), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2005 Penzance, 2007 Katchit), Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Moulin Riche, 2008 Nenuphar Collonges), The Irish Independent Arkle Trophy (2006 Voy Por Ustedes, 2007 My Way De Solzen), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2006 My Way De Solzen), sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (2007 Voy Por Ustedes), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2007Andreas) Wins (1995/96-2009/10): 3; 30; 71; 37; 23; 40; 56; 50; 73; 97; 73; 99; 105; 119; 68; Wins this Season: 42

 

 

FOURTH RACE RESULT

 

3.20pm THE STAN JAMES CHAMPION HURDLE

Grade 1, Class 1, £370,000 Guaranteed. 2m ½f. For 4yo+, which are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of horses entered and after taking account of race s run up to and including March 8; horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain, Ireland or France may also be entered and such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performance up to and including March 8 would merit a minimum rating of 130; the decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. Weights: 4yo 11st 2lb; 5yo+ 11st 10lb. Allowances: fillies and mares 7lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £210,937; 2nd: £79,143; 3rd: £39,627; 4th: £19,758; 5th: £9,916; 6th: £4,958

 

1)  HURRICANE FLY (IRE) (George Creighton & Rose Boyd) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-10 Ruby Walsh 11/4 Fav

2)  PEDDLERS CROSS (IRE) (Tim Leslie) Donald McCain 6-11-10 Jason Maguire 9/2

3)  OSCAR WHISKY (IRE) (Walters Plant Hire) Nicky Henderson 6-11-10 Barry Geraghty 7/1

4)  THOUSAND STARS (FR) (Hammer & Trowel Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-10 Paul Townend

5)  MENORAH (IRE) (Diana Whateley) Philip Hobbs 6-11-10 Richard Johnson

6)  CLERK'S CHOICE (IRE) (Michael Banks) Michael Banks 5-11-10 Tom Molloy

7)  OVERTURN (IRE) (Tim Leslie) Donald McCain 7-11-10 Graham Lee

8)  DUNGUIB (IRE) (Dan Hartnett/Lily Lawlor) Philip Fenton 8-11-10 Brian O'Connell

9)  KHYBER KIM (Caroline Mould) Nigel Twiston-Davies 9-11-10 Paddy Brennan

10)  BYGONES OF BRID (IRE) (James Callow, Equiname Ltd) Karen Mclintock 8-11-10 Timmy Murphy

11)  MILLE CHIEF (FR) (McNeil Family) Alan King 5-11-10 Robert Thornton

 

11 ran

Tote Win: £3.40 Places: £1.50; £1.80; £2.50 Exacta: £16.10

Distances: 1¼, 5, 2, 1¼, 2, 5, ¾, ½, 10, ½

Breeder: Agricola Del Parco Breeding: b g Montjeu (IRE) - Scandisk (IRE) (Kenmare)

 

Winning Trainer: WILLIE MULLINS Date of Birth: 15/9/56 Based: Closutton, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow Background:Willie Mullins was six-times amateur champion rider in Ireland and his major successes in the saddle included the 1983 John Smith’s Fox Hunters' Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath, before taking out a training licence in 1988. He hails from one of Ireland's most famous racing families, being a son of Paddy Mullins, the now retired outstanding all-round trainer, whose most famous star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup two years later. Willie Mullins rode and trained Wither Or Which to win the 1996 Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Mullins, who began training in 1988, has around 100 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow. He was crowned both Champion and Leading Trainer in Ireland for the first time in the 2007/08 season and followed up with further titles in 2008/09 and 2009/2010. Cheltenham Festival wins (18): Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2010 Thousand Stars), David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009 & 2010 Quevega), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1995 Tourist Attraction, 2007 Ebaziyan), RSA Chase (1998 Florida Pearl, 2004 Rule Supreme, 2009 Cooldine), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1996 Wither Or Which, 1997 Florida Pearl, 1998 Alexander Banquet, 2000 Joe Cullen, 2005 Missed That, 2008 Cousin Vinny), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2002 Scolardy), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2011 Hurricane Fly) Number of Winners in Britain (2001/02-2009/10): 4; 1; 1; 2; 0; 1; 2; 3; 2; Wins in Britain this season: 1 18th success at The Festival for Willie Mullins. He is now the joint most successful current Irish trainer at The Festival alongside Edward O’Grady

 

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. Ruby is the second of Walsh's four children and his younger sister Katie is a successful amateur. He followed 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. His first success came in 2000 on his first ride in the race aboard Papillon, trained by his father, less than a month after returning from a fractured leg sustained in a fall in October, 1999, in the Czech Republic. The Willie Mullins-trained Hedgehunter provided him with a second success 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 2008/09 season he was leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival for a fourth time.  First Winner: Siren Song, Gowran Park, July 25, 1995 Cheltenham Festival Wins (29): Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2010 Sanctuaire), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2009 & 2010 Big Buck’s), David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009 & 2010 Quevega), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1998 Alexander Banquet, 2005 Missed That), Byrne Group Plate (2002 Blowing Wind), The Irish Independent Arkle (2003 Azertyuiop), sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest, 2009 American Trilogy), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis) , Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland, 2010 Al Ferof), Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase (2006 Dun Doire), RSA Chase (2007 Denman, 2009 Cooldoine), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2007 & 2009 Kauto Star), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2011 Hurricane Fly) 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 Swan)  Number of Wins in Britain (1998/99-2009/10): 1; 1; 5; 13; 77; 62; 81; 69; 73; 69; 69; 69;  Wins in Britain This Season: 12

 

 

 

FIFTH RACE RESULT

 

4.00pm THE GLENFARCLAS CROSS COUNTRY

HANDICAP CHASE

Class 2, £40,000 Guaranteed. For 5yo+, 3m 7f. Minimum weight 10st. Penalties: after February 27, a winner of a chase 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £25,048; 2nd: £7,400; 3rd: £3,700; 4th: £1,852; 5th: £924; 6th: £464

 

1)  SIZING AUSTRALIA (IRE) (Ann & Alan Potts Partnership) Henry De Bromhead IRE 9-10-09 Andrew Lynch 13/2

2)  GARDE CHAMPETRE (FR) (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE t1 12-11-12 Miss Nina Carberry 5/1

3)  A NEW STORY (IRE) (Storey’s Over Syndicate) Michael Hourigan IRE 13-10-05 Adrian Heskin (5) 12/1

4)  MALJIMAR (IRE) (Jane Williams) Nick Williams 11-10-03 Daryl Jacob 9/2 Fav

5)  QUEZAC DE LA ROQUE (FR) (G Laroche) Francois Cottin FR t1 7-10-06 David Cottin

6)  POKER DE SIVOLA (FR) (David Johnson) Ferdy Murphy 8-10-07 Ms Katie Walsh

7)  ANOTHER JEWEL (IRE) (Frank Magee/Catherine Murphy) Denis Murphy IRE 9-10-04 John Cullen

8)  DREAM ALLIANCE (The Alliance Partnership) Philip Hobbs b10-10-10 Tom O'Brien

9)  GULLIBLE GORDON (IRE) (Bunty Millared) Paul Nicholls 8-10-11 Harry Skelton

10)  LORD NELLERIE (FR) (Evanna McCutcheon) David Nagle IRE 12-9-11 Miss Evanna McCutcheon (7)

11)  FRENEYS WELL (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 11-10-09 Paul Carberry

PU BEF 22ND) L'AMI (FR) (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 12-11-11 Mr J T McNamara

PU BEF 21ST) QUOLIBET (FR) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill p1 7-10-10 Mr Alan Berry (3)

PU)  OSCAR BAY (IRE) (Mr G Thompson) Jimmy Frost 9-10-05 Hadden Frost

RAN OUT 16TH) ONE COOL COOKIE (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Chalrie Swan tp10-10-08 Davy Russell

 

15 ran Non-Runner: King Johns Castle (Vet’s Certificate, Other)

Tote Win: £7.70 Places: £2.60; £2.50; £3.70 Exacta: £41.70

Distances: 1¼, 1, sh, 1½, 11, 4½, 2¼, 7, 15, 6

Breeder: James Linnana Breeding: b g New Frontier (IRE) - All The Gear (IRE) (Nashamaa)

 

Winning Trainer: HENRY DE BROMHEAD Based: Knockeen, Co Waterford, Ireland Date of first Trainer’s Licence: January 2000 Background: Worked as assistant for Sir Mark Prescott. Took over from father Harry at the end of 1999. Had first winner in Britain when Sizing Europe won the City Inn National Hunt Maiden Hurdle at Newbury on November 24, 2006. First Winner: Fidalus, Tramore, January 1, 2000 (his first runner) Cheltenham Festival Wins (2): Irish Independent Arkle (2010 Sizing Europe), Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (2011 Sizing Australia) Big Race Wins: Craddockstown Novice Chase (2009 Sizing Europe), Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (2007 Sizing Europe), Irish Champion Hurdle (2008 Sizing Europe), Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle (2008 Mister Watzisname), Sharp Novices' Hurdle (2009 Loosen My Load), Bord na Mona with Nature Novice Chase (2009 Sizing Europe), Arkle Novice Chase (Irish) (2010 An Cathaoir Mor) Wins in Britain (2006/07-2009/10): 1; 1; 0; 2; Wins in Britain This Season: 1

Winning Jockey: Andrew Lynch Background: had his first racecourse ride on a horse called Jack Dante in a bumper at Fairyhouse in April 2001 but had to wait over a year to get off the mark, which he did at the 26th time of asking on Tristernagh in a novice hurdle at Downpatrick on May 18th 2002. Amazingly, Lynch only rode three winners in the two years that followed that day at Downpatrick. Won the Amateur Derby at Epsom in late-August 2004 on Tender Falcon.  His win on Ballard Lad in  a bumper at Wexford on 24th July 2005 proved to be the final winner of his amateur career as he took the brave decision to turn professional days later. Cheltenham Festival Wins (3): Irish Independent Arkle (2010 Sizing Europe), Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Berties Dream), Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (2011 Sizing Australia) Big Race Wins: Bord na mona With Nature Novice Chase (2009 Sizing Europe), Craddockstown Novice Chase (2006 Blueberry Boy, 2009 Sizing Europe), Dunboyne Castle Novice Hurdle (2007 DeValira) O'Connell Transport Cork Stayers Novice Hurdle (2006 Emma Jane), paddypower.com Future Champions Novice Hurdle (2006 De Valira), Kinloch Brae Chase (2007 Forget The Past), Aramark Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle (2007 Duty), Grimes Hurdle (2007 Essex), Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (2006 Victram), Freshways Handicap Hurdle (2007 Nintytwo Team), Knight Frank Novice Chase (2007 Notre Pere), Punchestown Gold Cup (2009 Notre Pere), Sharp Novices' Hurdle (2009 Loosen My Load), Thurles Chase (2007 Forget The Past) Coral Welsh National (2008 Notre Pere), Boyne Hurdle (2011 Voler La Vedette), Red Mills Chase (2011 Rubi Light) Wins in Britain (2005/06-2009/10):1; 0; 0; 1; 4; Wins in Britain this season: 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIXTH RACE RESULT

4.40pm THE DAVID NICHOLSON MARES’ HURDLE

Grade 2, Class 1, £70,000 Guaranteed. For 4yo+, 2m 4f. Weights: 4yo 10st 5lb; 5yo+ 11st. Penalties: after September 30, 2009, a winner of a Class 2 weight-for-age hurdle or Class 1 handicap hurdle 3lb; of a Class 1 weight-for-age hurdle 5lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £39,431; 2nd: £14,854; 3rd: £7,434; 4th: £3,717; 5th: £1,862; 6th: £931

 

1)  QUEVEGA (FR) (Hammer & Trowel Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-05 Ruby Walsh 5/6 Fav

2)  SPARKY MAY (Bill Muddyman, Pat Rodford) Pat Rodford 6-11-05 Keiran Burke 4/1

3)  OCEAN TRANSIT (IRE) (Ocean’s Drive) Richard Price 6-11-00 David Bass 50/1

4)  ALASI (Shully Liebermann) Paul Webber 7-11-00 Dominic Elsworth

5)  STEPHANIE KATE (IRE) (Philip Reynolds) Charlie Swan 5-11-00 Paul Carberry

6)  L'ACCORDIONISTE (IRE) (David Maxwell) Nigel Twiston-Davies 6-11-00 Paddy Brennan

7)  BANJAXED GIRL (Jill Scott, John Phillips, Sarah MacEchern) Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-11-05 Sam Twiston-Davies

8)  SANTERA (IRE) (Jason Tucker) John Flint p7-11-00 Rhys Flint

9)  MISS OVERDRIVE (Partners In Wine) Andy Turnell 7-11-00 Nick Scholfield

10)  ALEGRALIL (John Hales) Donald McCain 6-11-05 Jason Maguire

11)  LA VECCHIA SCUOLA (IRE) (Johnnie Delta Racing) Jim Goldie p7-11-00 Graham Lee

12)  PRINCESS RAINBOW (FR) (P & Mrs G A Clarke) Jennie Candlish 6-11-00 A O'Keeffe

13)  LONESOME DOVE (IRE) (Mrs P Shanahan) Charlie Swan IRE 6-11-00 David Casey

14)  SILVER GYPSY (IRE) (Tania Yeomans) Kim Bailey t6-11-00 Sean Quinlan

 

14 ran

Tote Win: £1.80 Places: £1.10; £1.80; £12.30  Exacta: £4.30

Distances: 10, 1, ½, 3¾, 2½, 1, 1½, 2½, 6, 6, 4½, ¾, ¾ 

Breeder: Pierre Rives  Breeding: b m Robin Des Champs (FR) - Vega IV (FR) (Cap Martin)

 

Winning Trainer: WILLIE MULLINS Date of Birth: 15/9/56 Based: Closutton, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow Background:Willie Mullins was six-times amateur champion rider in Ireland and his major successes in the saddle included the 1983 John Smith’s Fox Hunters' Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath, before taking out a training licence in 1988. He hails from one of Ireland's most famous racing families, being a son of Paddy Mullins, the now retired outstanding all-round trainer, whose most famous star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup two years later. Willie Mullins rode and trained Wither Or Which to win the 1996 Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Mullins, who began training in 1988, has around 100 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow. He was crowned both Champion and Leading Trainer in Ireland for the first time in the 2007/08 season and followed up with further titles in 2008/09 and 2009/2010. Cheltenham Festival wins (19): Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2010 Thousand Stars), David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009, 2010 & 2011 Quevega), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1995 Tourist Attraction, 2007 Ebaziyan), RSA Chase (1998 Florida Pearl, 2004 Rule Supreme, 2009 Cooldine), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1996 Wither Or Which, 1997 Florida Pearl, 1998 Alexander Banquet, 2000 Joe Cullen, 2005 Missed That, 2008 Cousin Vinny), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2002 Scolardy), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2011 Hurricane Fly) Number of Winners in Britain (2001/02-2009/10): 4; 1; 1; 2; 0; 1; 2; 3; 2; Wins in Britain this season: 2 19th success at The Festival for Willie Mullins. He is now the most successful current Irish trainer at The Festival. A 5.8/1 double for the trainer today following the earlier success of Hurricane Fly in the Stan James Champion Hurdle

 

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. Ruby is the second of Walsh's four children and his younger sister Katie is a successful amateur. He followed 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. His first success came in 2000 on his first ride in the race aboard Papillon, trained by his father, less than a month after returning from a fractured leg sustained in a fall in October, 1999, in the Czech Republic. The Willie Mullins-trained Hedgehunter provided him with a second success 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 2008/09 season he was leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival for a fourth time.  First Winner: Siren Song, Gowran Park, July 25, 1995 Cheltenham Festival Wins (30): Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2010 Sanctuaire), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2009, 2010 & Big Buck’s), David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (2009, 2010 & 2011 Quevega), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Fiveforthree, 2009 Mikael D’Haguenet), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1998 Alexander Banquet, 2005 Missed That), Byrne Group Plate (2002 Blowing Wind), The Irish Independent Arkle (2003 Azertyuiop), sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest, 2009 American Trilogy), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis) , Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland, 2010 Al Ferof), Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase (2006 Dun Doire), RSA Chase (2007 Denman, 2009 Cooldoine), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2007 & 2009 Kauto Star), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2011 Hurricane Fly) 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 Swan)  Number of Wins in Britain (1998/99-2009/10): 1; 1; 5; 13; 77; 62; 81; 69; 73; 69; 69; 69;  Wins in Britain This Season: 13 30th winner at The Festival for Ruby Walsh. A 75.6 treble on the day following the earlier wins of Al Ferof and Hurricane Fly

 

 

SEVENTH RACE RESULT

 

5.15pm THE CENTENARY NOVICES’ HANDICAP CHASE

Listed Race, Class 1, £50,000 Guaranteed. For 5yo+ rated 0-140, 2m 4½f  . Minimum weight 10st. Penalties: after February 27, a winner of a chase 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weigt above 11st 12lb). Penalty Values: 1st: £28,505; 2nd: £10,695; 3rd: £5,355; 4th: £2,670; 5th: £1,340; 6th: £1,340

 

1)  DIVERS (FR) (The DPRP Divers Partnership) Ferdy Murphy 7-11-04 Graham Lee 10/1

2)  QUANTITATIVEEASING (IRE) (J P McManus) Nicky Henderson 6-11-11 Tony McCoy 7/1

3)  TULLAMORE DEW (IRE) (Give Every Man His Due) Nick Gifford 9-11-11 Liam Treadwell 13/2

4)  VINO GRIEGO (FR) (C E Stedman)) Gary Moore 6-11-05 Jamie Moore 20/1

5)  DEFINITY (IRE) (Graham Roach) Paul Nicholls 8-11-08 Ruby Walsh 3/1 Fav

6)  THARAWAAT (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 6-11-09 Davy Russell

7)  SWING BILL (FR) (David Johnson, Martin Pipe) David Pipe 10-11-08 Timmy Murphy

8)  ON BORROWED WINGS (IRE) (Andrew Wates) Alan Fleming 8-11-08 Daryl Jacob

9)  SHAKALAKABOOMBOOM (IRE) (Liam Breslin) Nicky Henderson 7-11-03 David Bass (3)

10)  GLENSTAL ABBEY (IRE) (J P McManus) Charlie Swan IRE 7-11-07 David Casey

11)  NADIYA DE LA VEGA (FR) (Million IN Mind Partnership) Nicky Henderson 5-11-10 Barry Geraghty

12)  LASTOFTHELEADERS (IRE) (Desmond Doherty) Arthur Moore IRE 8-11-05 Andrew McNamara

13)  SWAY (FR) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-01 Richie McLernon (3)

PU)  ROUGHAM (James & Anita Wigan) Philip Hobbs 5-11-07 Robert Johnson

PU)  QUO VIDEO (FR) (Folly Road Racing Partners (1996)) Tim Vaughan 7-11-06 Richard Killoran (3)

PU)  SWINCOMBE ROCK (Mills & Mason Partnership) Nigel Twiston-Davies 6-11-06 Sam Twiston-Davies (3)

PU)  OSRIC (IRE) (Richard & Lizzie Kelvin Hughes) Nicky Henderson 8-11-05 Andrew Tinkler

PU)  PREMIER SAGAS (FR) (David Wesley Yates) Nicky Richards 7-11-11 Jason Maguire

PU)  SONGE (FR) (Alan Halsall) Charlie Longsdon 7-11-12 Tom Siddall

PU)  AMERICAN TRILOGY (IRE) (Fulton, Donlon, Kilduff & Scott-MacDonald) Paul Nicholls 7-11-06 Nick Scholfield

 

20 ran

Tote Win: £11.30 Places: £2.60; £1.90; £1.90; £5.50 Exacta: £104.60

Distances: 2¾, 2, 1¼, 1½, ¾, 1¼, hd, 1¾, 2¾, 6, 2, 8

Breeder: Alec & Ghislaine Head  Breeding: gr g Highest Honor (FR) - Divination (FR) (Groom Dancer (USA))

 

Winning Trainer: FERDY MURPHY Trains at West Witton, Leyburn, North Yorkshire Riding career: Professional 1966-82; rode about 100 winners Date of first Trainer’s Licence: 1990 Cheltenham Festival Wins (10): Coral Cup (2008 Naiad Du Misselot), Walwyn Muir (1996 Stop The Waller, 2006 You’re Special), JCB Triumph Hurdle (1996 Paddy’s Return), Neptune Investment Management Hurdle (1998 French Holly), National Hunt Chase (2006 Hot Weld, 2010 Poker De Sivola), Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase (2007 Joe’s Edge), Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase (2007 L’Antartique, 2011 Divers) Aintree Festival Wins include: John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (2009 Kalahari King, 2001 Ballinclay King), John Smith’s Novices’ Handicap Chase (2005 Joes Edge), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2007 Aces Four) Other major wins: Bet365 Gold Cup (2007 Hot Weld), Christmas Hurdle (1998 French Holly), Eider Chase (2001 Narrow Water), Hennessy Gold Cup (1992 Sibton Abbey), Irish Grand National (2004 Granit d'Estruval), Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle (1997 Paddy's Return, 2005 Carlys Quest), Letheby & Christopher Cotswold Chase (1993 Sibton Abbey), Lightning Novices' Chase (2007Another Promise), Long Walk Hurdle (1997 Paddy's Return), Mildmay Novices' Chase (2007 Aces Four), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2007 L'Antartique), Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (2003 Truckers Tavern), Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (2004 Truckers Tavern, 2006 Leading Man), Scottish Grand National (2000ParisPike, 2005 Joes Edge, 2007 Hot Weld), Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase (2007 Another Promise), Tolworth Novices' Hurdle (1998 French Holly) Number of Winners (1997/98-2009/10): 27; 40; 34; 41; 68; 43; 31; 55; 45; 61; 44; 45; 39; Wins this Season: 19

Winning Jockey: Graham Lee Born: December 16, 1975 Background: Irish pony-racing circuit, left school at 15 to join handler Noel Meade. Five rides for Meade then joined Dessie McDonogh in County Meath. Ger Lyons then obtained Lee a position with Mary Reveley when he was 17. Began riding out for Bill Haigh, before joining Malcolm Jefferson. He was stable jockey for Howard Johnson between 2003-2006, and now rides predominately for trainer Ferdy Murphy. Trains with Middlesbrough football club to keep fit. Missed the final three months of the 2007/08 season (and Ferdy Murphy-trained winners at the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals) after suffering a fractured jaw at Huntingdon in February, 2008.  First Winner: Navan, November 7, 1992, Blushing Pearl Cheltenham Festival Wins (5): Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Arcalis), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2005 No Refuge), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever), Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase (2007 L’Antartique, 2011 Divers) Leading Rider at The Festival: 2005 (3). Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (2009 Kalahari King), John Smith’s Beefeater Restaurants Handicap Hurdle (2004 Zibeline), John Smith’s Grand National (2004 Amberleigh House), Betfair Bowl (2005 Grey Abbey), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2007 Aces Four) Number of Wins (1993/94-2009/10): 6; 20; 11; 16; 21; 24; 28; 25; 58; 66; 94; 100; 108; 89; 67; 65; Wins This Season: 67

 

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