HARDY EUSTACE CHASING HISTORIC THIRD SMURFIT CHAMPION HURDLE SUCCESS
Hardy Eustace, winner of the Smurfit Champion Hurdle for the past two years, heads the 35 entries for this year's renewal, run on the opening day of The Festival 2006, Tuesday, March 14.
The Dessie Hughes-trained nine-year-old will be attempting to become the sixth horse to land hurdling's greatest prize three times, following on from Hatton's Grace, Sir Ken, Persian War, See You Then and Istabraq. Hardy Eustace recently confirmed his well-being with a comfortable success on his seasonal reappearance at Punchestown on New Year's Eve.
Both Harchibald and Brave Inca, second and third respectively behind Hardy Eustace in 2005, giving the Irish a 1-2-3, are entered again and are among 13 entries hailing from Ireland this year. Other prominent contenders from the other side of the Irish Sea are the two mares Feathard Lady, winner of the Christmas Hurdle at Sandown and recently described as recovering well from a setback, Asian Maze, a Grade One winner at Aintree last season who was expected to bid for the longer Ladbrokes World Hurdle, Al Eile, another Grade One scorer at Aintree last season, and Essex.
France is represented by five entries at this stage, the pick of which are undoubtedly Arnaud Chaille-Chaille pair of Ambobo, successful at Cheltenham a year ago in the Grade Two Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Novices' Hurdle and Sunspot, third in Grade One company at Auteuil in November. Christian Von Der Recke supplies the one German contender, Fiepes Shuffle.
Heading the home-trained challenge is Howard Johnson's Arcalis, victorious last season in the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices' Hurdle at The Festival and an impressive winner on his seasonal reappearance in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November. Other leading British contenders include the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Lingo, impressive when taking the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham's Open Meeting in November, as well as Penzance and Faasel, who were separated by just a head in last season's JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival.
Edward Gillespie, Cheltenham's Managing Director, commented: "The hand of history is on Hardy Eustace as he bids to add another chapter to Smurfit Champion Hurdle history and become the sixth triple winner of hurdling's greatest prize.
"He is sure to face strong competition, with both established rivals and several exciting younger contenders among this year's 35 entries."
THE SMURFIT CHAMPION HURDLE
Class 1, Grade One, £340,000 Total Prize Fund. Cheltenham, 3.15pm, Tuesday, March 14. For four-year-olds and upwards, two miles & about half a furlong. Weights: 4yo: 11st 2lb; 5yo+: 11st 10lb; fillies & mares allowed 7lb. Entries closed January 11, entries revealed January 16 (35 entries). Forfeit stage February 21, £17,000 supplementary entry stage March 9, five-day confirmation stage March 9, final declaration 10.00am, March 12. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Friday, January 13.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
11-1100 ADMIRAL (IRE) 5 Willie McKay Richard Guest
063301- AL EILE (IRE) 6 Michael Ryan John Queally IRE
111211- AMBOBO (USA) 6 Sean Mulryan Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR
11431-1 ARCALIS 6 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
13-21 ARCH REBEL (USA) 5 Pat Garvey Noel Meade IRE
11211-1 ASIAN MAZE (IRE) 7 Sheila Moore Tom Mullins IRE
0P00P-F ASTONVILLE (FR) 12 Fergus Wilson Phillippe Cottin FR
3F-1131 BRAVE INCA (IRE) 8 Novices Syndicate Colm Murphy IRE
23/02-24 CHIEF YEOMAN 6 B Moore & E C Stephens Venetia Williams
13132-0 DUSKY WARBLER 7 Mike Charlton and Rodger Sargent Gary Moore
3110-25 ESSEX (IRE) 6 B P S Syndicate Michael O'Brien IRE
1221-23 FAASEL (IRE) 5 Jim Ennis Nicky Richards
111-111 FEATHARD LADY (IRE) 6 Lord Of The Ring Syndicate Colm Murphy IRE
1111P- FIEPES SHUFFLE (GER) 6 Stall Jenny Christian Von Der Recke GER
3/3100/-2 GOLDEN CROSS (IRE) 7 P Johnson Mick Halford IRE
2-21312 HARCHIBALD (FR) 7 Des Sharkey Noel Meade IRE
23311-1 HARDY EUSTACE (IRE) 9 Lar Byrne Dessie Hughes IRE
623000 HIGH MOON (USA) 10 Fergus Wilson Richard Chotard FR
60-2P20 INTERSKY FALCON 9 Interskyracing.com & Jacquie O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill
01-24U KAWAGINO (IRE) 6 K J Pike Seamus Mullins
F3 LEO'S LUCKYMAN (USA) 7 Sandra Brookhouse Roger Brookhouse
121/-1 LINGO (IRE) 7 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
154-354 MACS JOY (IRE) 7 Mac's J Racing Syndicate Jessica Harrington IRE
1P4-543 NEWMILL (IRE) 8 Ms M T Hayes John Murphy IRE
1111-34 PENZANCE 5 Elite Racing Club Alan King
FP0/-UF2 PERLE DE PUCE (FR) 7 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
131-11 RASHARROW (IRE) 7 Ashleybank Investments Limited Len Lungo
P13253 ROYAL SHAKESPEARE (FR) 7 John Webb Steve Gollings
1161/14- SADLERS WINGS (IRE) 8 J J Brennan Willie Mullins IRE
5P-P500 SH BOOM 8 T G K Construction Ltd Steve Brookshaw
1111-13 SUNSPOT 6 Sean Mulryan Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR
5300-31 THE FRENCH FURZE (IRE) 12 Jim Ennis Nicky Richards
TOLPUDDLE (IRE) 6 Patsy Byrne Tommy Stack IRE
4120P0- TURNIUM (FR) 11 Fergus Wilson Phillippe Cottin FR
11-1 UNITED (GER) 5 R B Holt Lucy Wadham
totesport Prices - Correct on 13/01/06
11/4 Feathard Lady (with a run), 3/1 Brave Inca, 3/1 Hardy Eustace, 9/2 Arcalis, 6/1 Lingo, 14/1 Faasel, 20/1 Essex, 20/1 Accordion Etoile, 33/1 Macs Joy, 33/1 Al Eile, 33/1 Ambobo, 33/1 Penzance, 40/1 United, 40/1 Arch Rebel, 40/1 Royal Shakespeare, 50/1 bar
Breakdown of Entries by Trainer With Past Successes in the Smurfit Champion Hurdle
Richard Chotard FR
Mick Halford IRE
Jessica Harrington IRE
Nicky Henderson (1985, 1986 & 1987 SEE YOU THEN)
Dessie Hughes IRE (2004 & 2005 HARDY EUSTACE)
Tom Mullins IRE
Willie Mullins IRE
John Murphy IRE
Michael O'Brien IRE
John Queally IRE
Tommy Stack IRE
Christian Von Der Recke GER
Smurfit Champion Hurdle - Analysis
The Smurfit Champion Hurdle has attracted a top-class entry of 35 horses, the same number as last year, including 13 entries from Ireland, who dominated last year's contest, five from France and one from Germany.
Hardy Eustace has won the Smurfit Champion Hurdle for the past two seasons and will bid to join the select list of three-time winners that comprises Istabraq (1998-2000), See You Then (1985-1987), Persian War (1968-1970), Sir Ken (1952-1954) and Hatton's Grace (1949-1951). The Dessie Hughes-trained nine-year-old has only had one race this season, when winning a three-runner race at Punchestown on New Year's Eve, and will be out to confirm his status as the best two-mile hurdler in training.
The dual-champion could be re-opposed by the two horses that chased him home last year, headed by the enigmatic Harchibald. A hugely talented individual, Noel Meade's star has won two races this term, including the Grade Two totesport Bula Hurdle at Cheltenham in December. He is currently sidelined with an injury and Meade has made no secret of the fact that it is a race against time to get him to Cheltenham on March 14.
The Colm Murphy-trained Brave Inca, who finished third behind his two Irish compatriots last year, has also been in good form this season, beating Harchibald by three lengths last time in the Grade One bewleyshotels.com December Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown last month. He is already a Festival winner, having lifted the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices' Hurdle in 2004.
Brave Inca could be joined in this contest by stablemate Feathard Lady, unbeaten in seven starts and a decisive winner of the Christmas Hurdle at Sandown on Boxing Day. She was thought to be in danger of missing the Smurfit Champion Hurdle although Murphy has recently issued a more upbeat prognosis.
Macs Joy, trained by Jessica Harrington, John Queally's Al Eile, and Essex from the Michael O'Brien stable all ran in last year's race and will be looking to get closer to Hardy Eustace this time round.
The Irish entries are completed by prolific winner Asian Maze, trained by Tom Mullins, although she is more likely to head for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, Mick Halford's Golden Cross, a runner-up to Solerina on his latest start, John Murphy's Newmill, third in the bewleyshotels.com December Festival Hurdle last time, Willie Mullins' Sadlers Wings, Noel Meade's novice Arch Rebel, and Tolpuddle, trained by Tommy Stack, who has yet to run over hurdles but won the 2004 Irish Lincolnshire Handicap and has twice scored in Listed company.
The home challenge is spearheaded by the Howard Johnson-trained Arcalis, last year's Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices' Hurdle victor, who looked better than ever when running away with the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November on his only start this season.
Lingo, for the powerful team of trainer Jonjo O'Neill and owner J P McManus, put up a great performance to take the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on November 13 but has not been seen since, while the consistent Royal Shakespeare, trained by Steve Gollings, claimed the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton on November 5, defeating Intersky Falcon by a length and a half.
Alan King's Penzance and Faasel from the Nicky Richards stable finished first and second in last season's JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival and look to step up on their juvenile form, as does the Richard Guest-trained Admiral, while Len Lungo's novice Rasharrow has won both his starts over hurdles, having also finished third to Missed That in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at last year's Festival.
Evergreen 12-year-old The French Furze is the second of Nicky Richards' two entries and looked in grand from when defeating Mighty Man at Cheltenham on New Year's Day in the Steel Plate & Sections Hurdle. The Venetia Williams-trained Chief Yeoman has shown decent form in handicap company this season but would have to make improvement to figure, as would Dusky Warbler, trained by Gary Moore, who acquitted himself well in some decent novice contests last season, including when third to Arcalis in the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
Sh Boom, now in the care of Steve Brookshaw, has competed in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle for the past two seasons, while Perle De Puce, trained by Nicky Henderson, has failed to reproduce his decent hurdle form in three runs over fences this season.
An interesting entry is United, trained by Lucy Wadham, who is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles but who has not raced since winning a Grade One hurdle race at Punchestown back in April. She is likely to return in the totesport Gold Trophy at Newbury in February. The Seamus Mullins-trained Kawagino and Roger Brookhouse's Leo's Luckyman complete the home defence but both look outclassed in this championship contest.
The French-trained possibles include two from the La Palmyre yard of Arnaud Chaille-Chaille, in Ambobo and Sunspot, both owned by Sean Mulryan. The former has not been seen out since landing the Grade Two Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in January, 2005, while the latter last ran at Auteuil in November, finishing third to Millenium Royal.
High Moon, trained by Richard Chotard, and the Phillippe Cottin-trained pair of Astonville and Turnium represent owner Fergus Wilson and complete the French entry.
The German-trained entry is Fiepes Shuffle, in the care of Christian Von der Recke, a Group race winner over seven furlongs on the Flat in Germany. He has also won twice over hurdles and twice over fences.
The German handler reported: "Fiepes Shuffle had a problem with a leg and had a wind operation, but he has come back since and won emphatically on the Flat. I would like to send him to Sandown for the Agfa Hurdle on Saturday, February 4, and if he runs into the frame there he will go for the Smurfit Champion Hurdle."
1. The Champion Hurdle was inaugurated in 1927, with a value to the winner of £365. The race was abandoned in 1931 due to persistent frost, in 1943 and 1944 because of the Second World War and in 2001 because of foot and mouth disease.
2. There have only been two sponsors of this great race since its inception. This statistic conceals a dramatic turn of events in 1990, when a major banking group, whose intended sponsorship was to raise the added value of the race by 66 per cent to £120,000, withdrew before its first running. The Smurfit Group stepped in at that point and has remained a loyal sponsor ever since. In 2006, the race will have total prize money of £340,000, up from £300,000 in 2005.
3. The largest field has been 24 (1964 and 1991) and the smallest three (1932). The first five runnings of the race saw a total of only 24 runners between them.
4. The Champion Hurdle is a contest for multiple winners. Peter Easterby won the race most often as a trainer, with five victories from three horses, Saucy Kit (1967), Night Nurse (1976 and 1977) and Sea Pigeon (1980 and 1981). Vic Smyth and Fred Winter both had four wins, and a further five trainers have captured the hurdling crown on three occasions.
5. Among jockeys, Tim Molony won the race most often with four victories, on Hatton's Grace (1951) and Sir Ken (1952, 1953 & 1954). Fred Winter, Jimmy Uttley, Steve Smith Eccles and most recently Charlie Swan were each successful three times.
6. The most successful owner is still Dorothy Paget, who won the race four times thanks to Insurance (1932, 1933), Solford (1940) and Distel (1946).
7. Istabraq, successful in the three Champion Hurdles from 1998 to 2000, was retired after failing to become the first horse to win the race four times in 2002. The four other three-time winners are Hatton's Grace (1949-51), Sir Ken (1952-54), Persian War (1968-70) and See You Then (1985-87).
8. The race has been won seven times by entires, but only twice by mares - Dawn Run (1984) and Flakey Dove (1994).
9. Four greys have won, the most recent being Rooster Booster in 2003. The others were Kribensis in 1990, Victor Nornian in 1936, and Our Hope in 1938. Only one roan horse has won the Champion Hurdle, Anzio in 1962.
10. Istabraq's success in 2000 in a time of 3 minutes 48.1 seconds beat the previous Champion Hurdle record time, set by Make A Stand in 1997, of 3 minutes 48.4 seconds.
11. Dessie Hughes, who trained Hardy Eustace to win in 2004 and 2005, is only the fourth person to have both ridden and trained a Smurfit Champion Hurdle winner, having partnered Monksfield in 1979. The others to have achieved this double are Fred Winter, Fred Rimell and Gerry Wilson.
KINGSCLIFF AND LORD TRANSCEND HEAD PETER MARSH CHASE ENTRIES
A total of 12 entries have been received today for the £75,000 Peter Marsh Chase (2.10pm), the highlight of the seven-race programme at Haydock Park on Saturday, January 21.
The weights for the Grade Two contest over three miles will be headed by the Robert Alner-trained Kingscliff, winner of the Betfair Chase over course and distance on November 19, and Lord Transcend, from the County Durham yard of Howard Johnson, who claimed the prize last year with a great front-running display.
Kingscliff, currently vying for Cheltenham Gold Cup favouritism, will be out to redeem his reputation after a below-par run last time out, when pulled-up in the King George VI Chase at Sandown on Boxing Day, while Lord Transcend will look to build on his comeback run when second in the Tommy Whittle Chase over course and distance on December 3.
Conditions are sure to be testing for the quality card, which also features the £50,000 Commhoist Logistics Champion Hurdle Trial (1:40pm) and the £30,000 Anglo Irish Bank Novices' Hurdle (1:10pm), both Grade Two contests run over two miles.
Kirkland Tellwright, Clerk of the Course at Haydock, said today: "The ground is currently heavy all over.
"The forecast is for mild weather, with some rain in the early part of the week and drier spells later on. The ground is likely to be heavy for Saturday's fixture."
This media information pack contains past results and histories of the three major races at Haydock Park on Saturday, January 21, when there will be £202,000 in prize money on offer.
The feature £75,000 Grade Two Peter Marsh Chase regularly attracts an outstanding field with Cheltenham Gold Cup winners such as Jodami, The Thinker, Bregawn and Little Owl on its roll of honour. Other victors include the 1998 Grand National hero Earth Summit and a whole host of other big names such as Combs Ditch, Twin Oaks, Zeta's Lad, Nick The Brief, General Wolfe, The Last Fling, Red Striker, Truckers Tavern and last year's victor Lord Transcend.
The £50,000 Commhoist Logistics Champion Hurdle Trial also has an impressive roll of honour and boasts the Champion Hurdle victors Rooster Booster, Flakey Dove and Granville Again among its winners. The 2005 victor, Inglis Drever, went on to lift the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
An exciting addition to the Peter Marsh Chase day programme in 2005 was the Grade Two Anglo Irish Bank Novices' Hurdle (Registered as the Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle), which had previously been run at Wetherby and Doncaster. Last year's first running at Haydock saw Malcolm Jefferson's Roman Ark come home in front.
Both the Peter Marsh Chase and the Commhoist Logistics Champion Hurdle are part of the BHB's Order of Merit series. Last year's winner of the Commhoist Logistics Champion Hurdle Trial, Inglis Drever, subsequently became the inaugural Order of Merit Champion.
RACE PROGRAMME, HAYDOCK PARK, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2006
Time Race Distance Prize Money
* 1.10pm Anglo Irish Bank Novices' Hurdle Race 2m £30,000
4.20pm EBF/Doncaster Bloodstock Sales Mares' Only 2m £2,500
Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race
* BBC Televised Races
For further information, please contact Adam Waterworth, Haydock Park's Managing Director, on 01942 725963 or visit www.haydock-park.co.uk
HISTORY OF THE PETER MARSH CHASE
The Peter Marsh Chase was inaugurated in 1981 and this limited handicap has grown into one of the highlights at Haydock Park, regularly attracting the very best staying chasers.
Four Cheltenham Gold Cup winners have taken the three-mile contest prior to going on to success at Prestbury Park while there has also been a Grand National winner and a whole host of other top-class performers among the 19 successful horses in the 20 runnings to date.
Little Owl in 1981 was the first winner of the Peter Marsh Chase and went on to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup that season for trainer Peter Easterby and amateur rider Jim Wilson.
A year later the race was won by Bregawn, who captured the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1983, when he headed Michael Dickinson's remarkable first five horses home in chasing's Blue Riband. In fifth place in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup was Ashley House, victorious in the Peter Marsh Chase earlier the same year.
Unfortunately, frost intervened in both 1984 and 1985 and it was not until 1986 that the Peter Marsh Chase was run again, when the David Elsworth-trained Combs Ditch achieved success. Combs Ditch was a high class if somewhat enigmatic performer, who was twice beaten in a photo finish for Kempton's King George VI Chase.
Arthur Stephenson landed the 1987 renewal with The Thinker, who progressed through the ranks from handicap company to that success and victory in the same year's Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Thinker ran a fine race to finish third under 11st 10lb in the 1989 Grand National.
The next renewal of the Peter Marsh Chase was in 1989 when the Toby Balding-trained Bishops Yarn came home 30 lengths clear of Cavvies Clown to add to his previous success in the 1987 Glen International Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Bishops Yarn turned out again for the 1990 Peter Marsh Chase but was unable to cope with John Upson's high-class young chaser Nick The Brief, who scored by half a length. Nick The Brief followed up in Ireland's top chase, the Vincent O'Brien Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, where he lowered the colours of the mighty Carvill's Hill and went on to win the Irish event (now the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup) again in 1991.
Twin Oaks was a star turn around Haydock Park, winning eight times in total at the course. His victory in the 1992 Peter Marsh Chase was one of his most emphatic as he stayed on resolutely to defeat Gold Options by five lengths.
Yet another future Cheltenham Gold Cup winner was to land the 1993 renewal, when Peter Beaumont's Jodami came home two lengths clear of Run For Free. He followed up on his Peter Marsh Chase victory in the 1993 Cheltenham Gold Cup and also finished second in that contest in 1994. He was also successful in three Hennessy Cognac Gold Cups at Leopardstown.
Jodami won the Peter Marsh Chase for the second time four years later in 1997 at the age of 12, when he prevailed by a neck from Unguided Missile with Avro Anson half a length back in third in a thrilling finish.
Following Nick The Brief's success in 1990, John Upson recorded a second Peter Marsh Chase victory with Zeta's Lad in 1994 while in 1995 Earth Summit made light of the heavy ground to win from 11lb out of the handicap. Three years later Earth Summit recorded another success on his favoured going - this time in the Grand National at Aintree.
Scotton Banks gave trainer Peter Easterby one of the last major successes of his long and distinguished career when landing the 1996 race, defeating Jenny Pitman's duo of Smith's Band and the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Garrison Savannah. Scotton Banks landed the Martell Cup Chase at Aintree the same season.
Two real Haydock Park specialists dominated the three renewals from 1998. General Wolfe, a four-time winner at the course, won his first Peter Marsh Chase when trained by the late Captain Tim Forster in 1998 and followed up a year later for Venetia Williams. In fact, General Wolfe's two victories followed on from one another - his 1998 win was his last start of the season while his 1999 triumph came on his seasonal reappearance.
In 2000 another Haydock Park hero, The Last Fling, put up one of his trademark gritty displays to deny Bobby Grant by three quarters of a length. The Last Fling won four times in total at Haydock Park, with his richest success coming in the 2000 De Vere Gold Cup.
Richard Guest gave a typically inspired ride when guiding Red Striker to victory in 2002, surviving a bad blunder at the eighth fence. Guest had won the Peter Marsh Chase 13 years earlier aboard Bishops Yarn.
The value of the Peter Marsh Chase as a trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup was proved once again in 2003 when the Ferdy Murphy-trained Trucker's Tavern was successful at Haydock Park prior to finishing second to the mighty Best Mate in the Cheltenham championship event.
Two years ago Artic Jack defeated Kingscliff by 13 lengths to give trainer Sue Smith and owner Trevor Hemmings their second success, following on from The Last Fling four years beforehand. Kingscliff has subsequently proved himself a performer of the highest class, with his victory in the Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock this season.
Last year's renewal saw a smooth performance from Howard Johnson's progressive young chaser Lord Transcend, who came home 10 lengths clear of French raider First Gold.
PETER MARSH CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR
YEAR HORSE AGE/WT OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY SP
2005 LORD TRANSCEND 8-10-04 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson Graham Lee 9/4F
2004 ARTIC JACK 8-10-06 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith Dominic Elsworth 6/1
2003 TRUCKERS TAVERN 8-10-09 Margaret Scholey Ferdy Murphy Davy Russell 9/2
2002 RED STRIKER 8-11-01 Norman Mason Norman Mason Richard Guest 8/1
2001 Meeting abandoned due to frost
2000 THE LAST FLING 10-10-12 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith Seamus Durack 11/2
1999 GENERAL WOLFE 10-10-12 The Winning Line Venetia Williams Norman Williamson 4/1
1998 GENERAL WOLFE 9-10-10 Winning Line Racing Ltd Tim Forster Norman Williamson 11/2
1997 JODAMI 12-11-10 John Yeadon Peter Beaumont Norman Williamson 9/2
1996 SCOTTON BANKS 7-11-06 Ian Bray Peter Easterby Russ Garritty 15/8F
1995 EARTH SUMMIT 7-10-04 The Summit Partnership Nigel Twiston-Davies Tom Jenks 7/1
1994 ZETA'S LAD 11-10-10 Andrew Cohen John Upson Robbie Supple 5/1
1993 JODAMI 8-11-02 John Yeadon Peter Beaumont Mark Dwyer 5/4F
1992 TWIN OAKS 12-11-10 John Moreton Gordon Richards Neale Doughty 5/4F
1991 Meeting abandoned due to frost
1990 NICK THE BRIEF 8-10-09 John Upson John Upson Martin Lynch 15/8F
1989 BISHOPS YARN 10-10-12 British Thoroughbred R & B Toby Balding Richard Guest 13/2
1988 Meeting abandoned due to snow
1987 THE THINKER 9-11-10 T P M McDonagh Ltd Arthur Stephenson Ridley Lamb 9/2
1986 COMBS DITCH 10-11-08 Jim Tory David Elsworth Colin Brown 3/1
1985 Meeting abandoned due to frost
1984 Meeting abandoned due to frost
1983 ASHLEY HOUSE 9-10-07 J McLoughlin Michael Dickinson Robert Earnshaw 11/8F
1982 BREGAWN 8-10-07 James Kennelly Michael Dickinson Robert Earnshaw 11/2
1981 LITTLE OWL 7-11-03 Robin Wilson Peter Easterby Mr Jim Wilson 4/6F
HISTORY OF THE ANGLO IRISH BANK NOVICES' HURDLE
The Anglo Irish Bank Novices' Hurdle (registered as the Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle) was inaugurated at Doncaster in 1971 and remained at that venue until transferring to Wetherby in 1997, where it remained until 2004.
Haydock inherited a race with an excellent roll of honour. Over the years, several performers who have gone on to success at the highest level have been triumphant.
In the early years, the best winner was undoubtedly Sea Pigeon in 1975. This tough and incredibly popular performer would win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in both 1980 and 1981, as well as enjoying significant success on the Flat in the Chester Cup and Ebor at York.
Gaye Brief was successful in 1982, a year prior to his success in the Champion Hurdle. In more recent times, trainer Nicky Henderson has won two of the last four renewals with Dusk Duel in 2000 and Mon Villez in 2004.
However, by far and away the best winner in the last few years was Rhinestone Cowboy in 2003. Following on from that success, he finished third in the Champion Hurdle while still a novice and in the 2003/04 season was triumphant in Grade One events at Aintree and Punchestown.
Roman Ark, trained by Malcolm Jefferson, was the first horse to win the race at Haydock last year, coming home eight lengths in front of Baby Run with Turpin Green, subsequently successful in Grade One company at Aintree, back in third.
ANGLO IRISH BANK NOVICES' HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR
Run at Haydock from 2005 onwards, Wetherby 1998-2004 & Doncaster 1971-1997
YEAR HORSE AGE/WT OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY SP RAN
2005 ROMAN ARK 7-11-08 Richard Collins Malcolm Jefferson Fergus King 4/1 5
2004 MON VILLEZ 5-11-03 Million In Mind Partnership Nicky Henderson Andrew Tinkler 2/1 5
2003 RHINESTONE COWBOY 7-11-08 Sue Magnier Jonjo O'Neill Norman Williamson 1/3F 7
2002 Meeting Abandoned
2001 Meeting Abandoned
2000 DUSK DUEL 5-11-12 Anthony Speelman Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 1/7F 4
1999 TONOCO 6-11-09 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith Seamus Durack 4/1 6
1998 FOUNDRY LANE 7-11-05 A Sharratt Mary Reveley Lorcan Wyer 6/5 5
1997 LE TETEU 4-10-04 Judit Woods Bob Jones Russ Garritty 5/2 5
1996 Meeting Abandoned
1995 Meeting Abandoned
1994 CUMBRIAN CHALLENGE 5-11-05 Cumbrian Industrials Ltd Peter Easterby Lorcan Wyer 12/1 11
1993 FRICKLEY 7-11-09 Robert Ogden Gordon Richards Neale Doughty 11/10F 5
1992 Meeting Abandoned
1991 RULING 5-11-00 G D Groarke Fulke Johnson Houghton Peter Niven 11/8F 7
1990 PEANUTS PET 5-11-00 L Perry Bryan McMahon Trevor Wall 4/5F 6
1989 CRUISING ALTITUDE 6-11-07 Mrs Christopher Heath Oliver Sherwood Simon Sherwood 5/4F 5
1988 DRUMLIN HILL 5-11-00 Lady Joseph Fred Winter Peter Scudamore 15/2 9
1987 Meeting Abandoned
1986 SHEAN LAD 6-11-07 F Tyldesley Lynn Siddall Phil Tuck 50/1 15
1985 Meeting Abandoned
1984 Meeting Abandoned
1983 CARDINAL FLOWER 6-11-04 Miss V Yager Andy Scott Jonjo O'Neill 7/4F 8
1982 GAYE BRIEF 5-11-07 Sheikh A Khamsin Mercy Rimell Sam Morshead 3/1 16
1981 HARD ABOUT 5-11-07 W Horsford Edward O'Grady IRE Tommy Ryan 3/1F 8
1980 PULSE RATE 4-10-08 R Spencer Peter Easterby Alan Brown 21/20F 8
1979 NO BOMBS 4-10-08 Snailwell Stud Co Ltd Peter Easterby Nigel Tinkler 3/1 11
1978 NEWGATE 5-11-12 Mrs Andy Scott Andy Scott Ridley Lamb 5/1 11
1977 FRENCH HOLLOW 5-11-12 M Basso Tony Dickinson Michael Dickinson 11/2 12
1976 GRAND CANYON 6-12-00 D W Samuel Derek Kent Peter Haynes 1/2F 6
1975 SEA PIGEON 5-11-12 Pat Muldoon Gordon Richards Ron Barry 13/8F 18
1974 CHARLIE MOUSE 5-11-02 Mrs M Wiggin Tim Forster Graham Thorner 14/1 22
1973 DARK SULTAN 5-11-07 Mrs E Deterding Peter Chisman Ron Barry 5/1 13
1972 THE BUGLER 4-10-05 Jakie Astor Jakie Astor Robin Griffin 10/1 10
1971 PRY 5-11-02 Mrs J Shawcross Toby Balding Eddie Harty 7/1 6
COMMHOIST LOGISTICS CHAMPION HURDLE TRIAL HISTORY
The Commhoist Logistics Champion Hurdle Trial, run over two miles, has grown into an important trial for hurdling's greatest prize, the Smurfit Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, as well as becoming a high-class race in its own right.
First run in 1981, the inaugural winner was the Peter Easterby-trained Starfen, who subsequently went on to finish fourth behind his stable companion, the great Sea Pigeon, in the Champion Hurdle. Easterby's son Tim, who has now succeeded his father, was in the saddle. Peter Easterby again won the race in 1987 with Nohalmdun.
Gaye Chance, the 1982 victor, went on to land the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham two years later while in 1983 the winner Ekbalco was scoring at Haydock after landing Cheltenham's Bula Hurdle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park.
Humberside Lady became the first mare to win the Haydock contest when she was triumphant for Newmarket-based Geoff Huffer in 1986 while Vicario Di Bray defeated the previous season's Champion Hurdle winner Celtic Shot in 1989.
Bank View caused a 33/1 upset in 1990 for Nigel Tinkler while in 1992 the race produced its first subsequent Champion Hurdle winner in Granville Again. Martin Pipe's gelding fell two out when going well in the Champion Hurdle that season but made amends when defeating Royal Derbi by a length at Cheltenham in 1993.
Gordon Richards' tough campaigner Jinxy Jack triumphed in 1993 while 12 months later the contest was won by a mare for a second time in the shape of Flakey Dove, who is so far the only horse to have won the Commhoist Logistics Champion Hurdle Trial and the Champion Hurdle in the same season.
The talented grey Relkeel was the facile victor in 1995 with the 1996 running going to the game 1994 Triumph Hurdle heroine Mysilv, who subsequently ran twice at the Cheltenham Festival that season, finishing sixth in the Champion Hurdle and second in the Stayers' Hurdle.
Mistinguett came home four lengths clear of Dato Star in 1997, and Malcolm Jefferson's runner-up, winner of the 1995 Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, went on to land the Haydock contest in 1998 and 2000.
Versatile performer Master Beveled triumphed in 1999 while Martin Pipe won his second Commhoist Logistics Champion Hurdle Trial with Rodock in 2002. The 2003 renewal went to the Noel Chance-trained Flame Creek, who won easily by 13 lengths from October Mist.
Two years ago the 2003 Champion Hurdle victor Rooster Booster defeated Hasty Prince by seven lengths. The popular grey went on to finish second to Hardy Eustace when attempting a second Champion Hurdle success later in the campaign.
Last year saw Inglis Drever prevail by eight lengths from Mister McGoldrick. Inglis Drever formed part of a great double on the day for owners Andrea and Graham Wylie, trainer Howard Johnson and jockey Graham Lee with Lord Transcend taking the Peter Marsh Chase. On his next start, Inglis Drever became the latest winner of the Commhoist Logistics Champion Hurdle Trial to go on to Cheltenham Festival glory when he was successful in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle (formerly the Stayers' Hurdle).
COMMHOIST LOGISTICS CHAMPION HURDLE TRIAL ROLL OF HONOUR
YEAR HORSE AGE/WT OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY SP
2005 INGLIS DREVER 6-11-08 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson Graham Lee 4/5F
2004 ROOSTER BOOSTER 10-11-13 Terry Warner Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 5/4F
2003 FLAME CREEK 7-11-06 Martin Wesson Partners Noel Chance Seamus Durack 9/4
2002 RODOCK 8-11-02 Chris, Basil & Rosie Batterham Martin Pipe Tony McCoy 15/8
2001 Meeting abandoned due to frost
2000 DATO STAR 9-11-11 Kath Riley, M Guthrie, Joe Donald Malcolm Jefferson Lorcan Wyer 11/8F
1999 MASTER BEVELED 9-11-07 Mrs E J Williams David Evans Glenn Tormey 12/1
1998 DATO STAR 7-11-03 Kath Riley, M Guthrie, Joe Donald Malcolm Jefferson Lorcan Wyer 9/2
1997 MISTINGUETT 5-11-02 John Duggan Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn 8/1
1996 MYSILV 6-11-02 Elite Racing Club Charles Egerton Jamie Osborne 10/11F
1995 RELKEEL 6-11-10 Brigdier Roscoe Harvey David Nicholson Adrian Maguire 4/6F
1994 FLAKEY DOVE 8-11-05 John Price Richard Price Richard Dunwoody 9/2
1993 JINXY JACK 9-11-07 Mrs B M McKinney Gordon Richards Neale Doughty 9/4F
1992 GRANVILLE AGAIN 6-11-10 Eric Scarth Martin Pipe Peter Scudamore 1/2F
1991 Meeting abandoned due to frost
1990 BANK VIEW 5-11-08 Bank View Hire Ltd Nigel Tinkler Graham Bradley 33/1
1989 VICARIO DI BRAY 6-11-08 Peter Hopkins Jonjo O'Neill Mark Dwyer 11/1
1988 Meeting abandoned due to snow
1987 NOHALMDUN 6-12-00 Ulceby Farms Ltd Peter Easterby Lorcan Wyer 2/5F
1986 HUMBERSIDE LADY 5-11-06 Humberside Enterprises Ltd Geoff Huffer Mark Dwyer 4/1
1985 Meeting abandoned due to frost
1984 Meeting abandoned due to frost
1983 EKBALCO 7-12-00 Tawfik Fakhouri Roger Fisher Jonjo O'Neill 8/13F
1982 GAYE CHANCE 7-12-00 Mary Curtis Mercy Rimell Sam Morshead 7/2
1981 STARFEN 5-11-12 F Ballard Peter Easterby Mr Tim Easterby 5/2
AUSTRALIAN COMPANY BRINGS NEXT LEVEL OF BREEDING TECHNOLOGY TO EUROPE
G1 Goldmine, an innovative thoroughbred breeding programme developed by Australian owner/breeder Leo Tsatsaronis, has just been launched onto the European market.
The G1 Goldmine software contains an exhaustive database of pedigree information including 12 years of Group and Graded race results from around the world (USA, Canada, Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, Japan, Australia and New Zealand).
The programme, designed to compliment rather than compete with existing pedigree software, is invaluable for breeders planning matings. It enables several types of specific research including placing a stallion in a particular part of the pedigree (such as dam sire) and finding out how many big-race winners are bred in the same way.
Results can be found at the tap of a finger but it is the ability to let breeders know which types of line-breeding have been successful - and not so successful - that really makes G1 Goldmine special.
"G1 Goldmine is designed to enhance and expand current pedigree search technology," said Tsatsaronis. "Say for example, you have a Mill Reef line mare and you wish to find out how many times he has crossed with Northern Dancer to produce a top-liner'. Normally this requires hours of research but G1 Goldmine can tell you in seconds.
"Another powerful use is in identifying crosses that have NOT been successful. For example, did you know that in North America there are over 340 Graded Stakes winners that are inbred to Northern Dancer but there are zero inbred to Northern Dancer through two daughters? This is a staggering statistic for owners of mares with a daughter of Northern Dancer.
"G1 Goldmine is already an indispensable tool for many top southern hemisphere and American breeders and it will be equally useful for those involved in the European bloodstock and racing scene."
A free download of G1 Goldmine (with Gr.2 and Gr.3 races) is available at www.g1goldmine.com
For those who find the free Gr.2/Gr.3 program enjoyable and useful, the full version is available for £60 or EUR80. This price includes bi-monthly updates until the end of the year.