Bumper entries are revealed today for The Festival’s two Grade One novice chases – The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Tuesday, March 11) and Royal & SunAlliance Chase (Wednesday, March 12) – which continue to prove unrivalled steps to future championship honours.
There are a record 64 entries for The Irish Independent Arkle Chase including the likes of Tidal Bay, a facile novice chase winner at Cheltenham in December, 2006 Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle hero Noland, who made a flawless debut over fences at Folkestone on Monday, and the Charlie Mann-trained Moon Over Miami.
David Pipe, whose father Martin trained four of the last 10 winners in this event, has six representatives including Acambo, who made a promising chasing debut at Ascot in November.
There are 20 Irish-trained entries - another record - with Willie Mullins accounting for five of those possible contenders including recent runaway Leopardstown winner Glencove Marina. Meanwhile trainer Paul Nolan today confirmed French Accordion, a four-time winner over fences this season, on target for the Grade One event.
“The plan is to run French Accordion in The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase at The Festival. He’s a good ground specialist and that would be the deciding factor,” said Nolan.
“He’s a couple of stone worse on yielding or soft ground, so we’re hoping that we get decent ground at Cheltenham in March. He travels so much better and jumps so much sweeter on better ground. The handicapper has given French Accordion a mark of 146, which would be among the top novices in Ireland.
“Although it looked like a weak Fortria Chase at Navan in November, he could do no more than win, and he was impressive and jumped very well. He came out of that race without a blemish on him or a sore joint, which is unusual for a big heavy horse. He just loves to hear his hooves rattle.
“He’s probably got more improvement in him and we have given him a break since his run in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse in December, when it was probably a mistake to run him in such testing conditions.
“He’s very hard to get fit, so he’ll definitely need a run before going to Cheltenham. He’s rated below 120 over hurdles, so a nice handicap will probably be the way forward.”
There are three French-trained entries – Okaido, trained by Arnaud Chaille-Chaille, Pepsyrock from Guillaume Macaire’s stable and Takeroc, based in Pau with Loic Manceau.
A total of 22 horses have the option of both The Irish Independent Arkle Chase and the Royal & SunAlliance Chase, for which there are 78 entries, and among those in the two events are Glencove Marina, Noland, Okaido and Tidal Bay.
Colin Tizzard’s stable star Joe Lively, who has scored twice over fences at Cheltenham this season, is sure to be a leading contender alongside the likes of Nicky Henderson’s Duc De Regniere while Nicky Richards today issued an upbeat bulletin on Money Trix, an impressive chasing debutant at Newcastle last week.
“Money Trix has been entered for the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at The Festival. I couldn’t have been more pleased with his first run over fences and he seems fine after that race,” said Richards.
“He’ll have one or two more runs in novice company and then we will take it from there. His next appearance will be in a novices’ chase at Ayr on February 9.
“His running at Cheltenham will be dependent on the ground and it will have to be the soft side of good for him to take his chance in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase. We won’t risk him on anything firmer. It’s early days but we are very happy with his progress so far.”
Other leading contenders include the Charlie Mann-trained Air Force One, who runs at Fontwell today, while Paul Nicholls – successful in 2007 with Denman and 2006 with Star De Mohaison - has seven engaged, including Big Buck’s, Nevada Royale, Noland and Silverburn.
The 22 Irish-trained entries include the Edward O’Grady-trained Sky’s The Limit, Glencove Marina and his stablemates Pomme Tiepy and J’y Vole, and Hairy Molly, the 2006 Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner who has yet to run over fences.
Edward Gillespie, Managing Director at Cheltenham Racecourse, said: “It is enormously encouraging to see such large and high-quality entries for the two Festival Grade One novice chases. As well as being important events in their own right, the races continue to be important stepping stones to future championship races as illustrated by the victory of Voy Por Ustedes in last season’s Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, 12 months after landing The Irish Independent Arkle Chase, while there are high hopes for the 2007 Royal & SunAlliance Chase hero Denman in this year’s totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.”
HORSES ENGAGED IN BOTH THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHASE &
THE ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE
Sky’s The Limit
THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY
Class 1, Grade One, Total Prize Fund £170,000, 2.35pm, Cheltenham, Tuesday, March 11, 2008, two miles. For novice 5-y-o & upwards, two miles. Weights: 11st 7lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Entries closed January 22, entries revealed January 24 (64 entries), forfeit stage February 19, six-day confirmation stage March 5, final declaration stage 10.00am, March 11. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Wednesday, January 23, 2008. May not include some overseas form.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
1P6-1F6 ACAMBO (GER) 7 David Johnson David Pipe
16-1212 BIG BUCK'S (FR) 5 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
520-111 BOOMSHAKALAKA (IRE) 8 The Cigar Bar Partnership Nicky Henderson
310-111 CEDRUS LIBANI (IRE) 7 Matthew Green and Howard Johnson Howard Johnson
121-446 CLOPF (IRE) 7 Bernard Anthony Heffernan Edward O'Grady IRE
0/12-4 CONSIGLIERE (FR) 5 P A D Scouller David Pipe
051116 CRATHORNE (IRE) 8 The Centaur Group Partnership IX Martin Todhunter
16/-11FF DRUNKEN DISORDERLY (IRE) 8 Gigginstown House Stud Charlie Swan IRE
415-131 ENLIGHTENMENT (IRE) 8 T Hywel Jones Evan Williams
0/0P-031 ESCREA (IRE) 9 John Crean Paul Nolan IRE
3//4/100-1 FLEET STREET 9 Henry Ponsonby Nicky Henderson
313-1F4 FREDS BENEFIT (IRE) 7 D J Power Willie Mullins IRE
01111P FRENCH ACCORDION (IRE) 8 Padraig Brady Paul Nolan IRE
20020U FRENCH SAULAIE (FR) 7 Carol Skan Philip Hobbs
4/PP0-01 GARDASEE (GER) 6 A S Helaissi Kahlil Burke
31-0411 GLENCOVE MARINA (IRE) 6 John Brennan Willie Mullins IRE
103-114 IMPERIAL COMMANDER (IRE) 7 Our Friends in the North Nigel Twiston-Davies
125-101 J'Y VOLE (FR) 5 Hammer & Trowel Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
P1-2121 KRUGUYROVA (FR) 5 Ronald Brimacombe Charles Egerton
1-20411 LEAD ON (IRE) 7 B K Peppiatt Philip Hobbs
10P-22P LENREY 8 Thomas Bailey Arthur Moore IRE
10-151F LESLINGTAYLOR (IRE) 6 Marie Taylor John Quinn
112-136 LINE BALL (IRE) 7 J P McManus Christy Roche IRE
00-1212 MAHOGANY BLAZE (FR) 6 Lorna Berryman Nigel Twiston-Davies
5-22114 MARODIMA (FR) 5 David Johnson Paul Nicholls
P11-101 MISSIS POTTS 7 James and Jean Potter Philip Hobbs
12-1224 MODICUM (USA) 6 Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson Nicky Richards
265-5F2 MONTANA BAY (FR) 6 Ged Pierse Michael O'Brien IRE
12-5141 MOON OVER MIAMI (GER) 7 Anne Fulton & M T Lynch Charlie Mann
14063-3 MY PETRA 5 Mr & Mrs Richard Kelvin Hughes Nicky Henderson
31111/-1 NOLAND 7 John Hales Paul Nicholls
1- NOMECHEKI (FR) 6 The Stewart Family Nick Gifford
1-6211F OKAIDO (FR) 6 Okaido Associates Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR
05P023 ORPEN WIDE (IRE) 6 Andy & Bev Wright Michael Chapman
11510-3 PANCAKE (FR) 5 Andrew Cohen Philip Hobbs
151-P0 PARADI (FR) 5 David Johnson David Pipe
113P-14 PAUILLAC (FR) 5 David Johnson David Pipe
1310-41 PEDROBOB (IRE) 10 Barry Connell Tony Mullins IRE
21F-231 PEPSYROCK (FR) 5 John Cotton Guillaume Macaire FR
120-1FF PERCE ROCK 6 J P McManus Tommy Stack IRE
61211 POMME TIEPY (FR) 5 Mrs S Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
144-242 PREDATEUR (FR) 5 Tony Kilduff,C Donlon,L Scott-Macdonald Paul Nicholls
F5-3556 PREMIERSHIP (IRE) 12 J E & T J Wilson Michael Scudamore
23F212 PRESENTING COPPER (IRE) 7 Alan Peterson Philip Hobbs
31P-212 PUR DE SIVOLA (FR) 5 Thurloe 50 Alan King
111-116 RING THE BOSS (IRE) 7 Alan Peterson Philip Hobbs
1/-F3 RUSSIAN AROUND (IRE) 7 Robin Eliot Nick Gifford
3100-13 SAVITHA (IRE) 8 R V Hennelly Paul Nolan IRE
3422-15 SCOTLAND YARD (UAE) 5 John Brown & Mike Blackburn David Pipe
01-2331 SCOTSIRISH (IRE) 7 Double R Stables LLP Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
501265 SECRETOFSHAMBHALA (IRE) 9 Michael McGinley Tom Mullins IRE
1-205F2 SHOULDHAVEHADTHAT (IRE) 6 Unchartered Waters Ferdy Murphy
1146-23 SILVERBURN (IRE) 7 Paul Green Paul Nicholls
620-111 SKY'S THE LIMIT (FR) 7 Raymond Rooney Edward O'Grady IRE
2102-11 TAKEROC (FR) 5 S Becerra Loic Manceau FR
505611 THE BUDGEE 7 J Doherty Michael Hourigan IRE
000-405 THE DUKE'S SPEECH (IRE) 7 Mrs A N Durkan Ferdy Murphy
5113/-01 THYNE AGAIN (IRE) 7 Simply The Best Syndicate Liam Burke IRE
221-111 TIDAL BAY (IRE) 7 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
0/-1F2PP TRAMANTANO 9 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
31/U-UU3 VICTORIAS GROOM (GER) 6 Pat Betts Lucy Wadham
34230-1 WEE ROBBIE 8 P H Betts (Holdings) Ltd Nick Gifford
22P300- WHISPERED PROMISES (USA)7 Sandra Brookhouse David Pipe
1152-02 WINS NOW 7 J P McManus Niall Madden IRE
64 Entries, 20 Irish-trained, 3 French-trained
Breakdown of Entries by Trainer with Past Successes in The Irish Independent Arkle Trophy
Nicky Henderson (1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev)
Paul Nolan IRE
Edward O’Grady IRE (1996 Ventana Canyon)
Liam Burke IRE
Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR
Michael Hourigan IRE
Alan King (2006 Voy Por Ustedes, 2007 My Way De Solzen)
Guillaume Macaire FR
Niall Madden IRE
Loic Manceau FR
Arthur Moore IRE (1982 The Brockshee, 1995 Klairon Davis)
Tony Mullins IRE
Tom Mullins IRE
Michael O’Brien IRE
Christy Roche IRE
Tommy Stack IRE
Charlie Swan IRE
THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY CHASE - Analysis
This year’s £170,000 The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase has attracted a record entry of 64, an increase of 21 on last season.
Howard Johnson has entered his exciting chasing prospect Tidal Bay, who chased home Massini’s Maguire in last season’s Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle.
The seven-year-old has made an impressive start over fences, stretching his unbeaten run to three when recording a facile win in the Boylesports.com Fon-A-Bet Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in December. Johnson could also be represented by Cedrus Libani, who has also yet to taste defeat in three starts over fences.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls, successful in this race with Flagship Uberalles in 1999 and Azertyuiop in 2003, has entered 2006 Grade One Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Noland, who looked very promising when scoring on his only subsequent appearance in a beginners’ chase at Folkestone in January.
Nicholls has also engaged French import Big Buck’s, Grade Two chase scorer Marodima, last year’s Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle fourth Silverburn and Predateur, who finished second behind Moon Over Miami in the Grade Two Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in December, before chasing home Lead On in the Grade Two Utopia Group “Dipper” Novices’ Chase at the same course on New Year’s Day.
Nigel Twiston-Davies has entered his talented novice Mahogany Blaze, who looked a horse with a bright future when scoring in the Grade Two Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton on December 27, while Nick Gifford could run Wee Robbie, who defeated Mahogany Blaze in the Grade Two Lightning Novices’ Chase at Ascot in January.
David Pipe could be represented by Acambo, who won the Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle at Ascot last season, Consigliere, Paradi, Pauillac, Scotland Yard and smart hurdler Whispered Promises.
A strong Irish challenge of 20, double last year’s number, is headed by the Willie Mullins-trained Glencove Marina, who was a comprehensive 10-length winner of the Grade Two Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Novice Chase at Leopardstown on January 13. Mullins has also entered Freds Benefit, J’y Vole, Pomme Tiepy and Scotsirish.
Edward O’Grady, Cheltenham’s winning-most current Irish trainer with 18 Festival triumphs, has entered 2006 Coral Cup scorer Sky’s The Limit, who has gone on to Grade One success over fences in both the Drinmore and Durkan New Homes Novice Chases. O’Grady could also be represented by Clopf, who took the Grade One Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown last year.
Other notable Irish entries include the Paul Nolan-trained French Accordion, winner of the Grade Two Fortria Chase at Navan in November, and Niall Madden’s Wins Now, who finished fifth in last year’s Grade One Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
There are three entries from France – the Loic Manceau-trained Takeroc, a five-length winner at Pau on January 8, Pepsyrock, who scored for trainer Guillaume Macaire at the same track on December 23 and Okaido, who had won his two previous starts before falling in the Grade Two Utopia Group “Dipper” Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHASE FACTS AND FIGURES
1. The Arkle Challenge Trophy was inaugurated in 1969, after Arkle’s three wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1964-66). In its first year, the race was worth £1,365, and was won by Chatam (10/1), trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Terry Biddlecombe. The 2008 running has total prize money of £170,000. It was known as the Cotswold Chase before 1969.
2. The Irish Independent, which backed the Arkle Chase for the first time in 2000, is only the race’s third sponsor. Guinness sponsored from 1994 until 1999, having taken over from Waterford Castle, who had supported since the first sponsored running in 1991.
3. The Irish Independent Arkle Chase has always been a fiercely contested event, and the following have gone on to other Championship victories at The Festival:
2006 Voy Por Ustedes (Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2007)
2003 Azertyuiop (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2004)
2002 Moscow Flyer (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2003 & 2005)
1999 Flagship Uberalles (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2002)
1995 Klairon Davis (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1996)
1991 Remittance Man (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1992)
1989 Waterloo Boy (2nd Queen Mother Champion Chase 1990, 1991 and 3rd 1992)
1978 Alverton (Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup winner 1979).
Alverton is the only horse to have won both The Irish Independent Arkle Chase and totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
4. The lowest number of runners has been eight (1979,1984 & 1993) and the highest 19 (1987 & 2005) as the Arkle Chase - there were 25 runners in the Cotswold Chase in 1960.
5. The Irish Independent Arkle Chase has seen several trainers and jockeys run up strings of wins. Martin Pipe notched up successive wins with Or Royal in 1997 and Champleve in 1998 before Well Chief in 2004 and Contraband a year later gave him another brace of victories. Peter Easterby trained three winners - Alverton 1978, Clayside 1981 and Ryeman 1983. Among current trainers, Nicky Henderson leads the way with three successes (Remittance Man 1991, Travado 1993 and Tiutchev 2000), while both Paul Nicholls (Flagship Uberalles in 1999 and Azertyuiop in 2003) and Alan King, successful in the past two renewals with My Way De Solzen in 2007 and Voy Por Ustedes in 2006, boast a pair of victories. Among jockeys, Jamie Osborne won three times, via a hat-trick between 1992 and 1994 on Young Pokey, Travado, and Nakir for three different trainers, Oliver Sherwood, Nicky Henderson and Simon Christian. Tony McCoy equalled Osborne’s three wins in 2004 when scoring on Well Chief, having also been aboard Or Royal (1997) and Champleve (1998). Robert Thornton has ridden the last two winners, Voy Por Ustedes in 2006 and My Way De Solzen in 2007.
6. Irish trainers have won The Irish Independent Arkle Chase nine times, including three of the last 12 runnings with Klairon Davis (1995), Ventana Canyon (1996) and Moscow Flyer (2002).
7. The longest-priced winner of The Irish Independent Arkle Chase is Gala’s Image, successful at 25/1 in 1987, while Pendil (1972) and Chinrullah (1979) are the shortest-priced scorers at 10/11. Six other favourites have won - Canasta Lad (1974), Clayside (1981), Bobsline (1984), Remittance Man (1991), Klairon Davis (1995) and Azertyuiop (2003).
8. The fastest time for the two miles of The Irish Independent Arkle Chase was 3m 46.5s by Tiutchev in 2000, beating the previous best of 3m 52.5s set by Or Royal in 1997.
9. Until 1980, The Irish Independent Arkle Chase was always run on the Wednesday of the National Hunt Festival. It now takes place on the opening day, Tuesday.
THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY CHASE
2007-WINNER-MY WAY DE SOLZEN 7-11-07 Owner-Ben Winfield, A Longman, J Wright & C Fenton; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-7/2
2ND-Fair Along 5-11-02 Owner-Alan Peterson; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-100/30 Fav
3RD-Jack The Giant 5-11-02 Owner-Hanbury Syndicate; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-14/1
13 ran, Time-3m 51.70s Dist-5, 1
1996-WINNER-VENTANA CANYON 7-11-08 Owner-Philip Myerscough; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-7/1
2ND-Arctic Kinsman 8-11-08 Owner-Rosie Hambro and D Milne; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-13/2
3RD-Super Coin 8-11-08 Owner-George and Joan Brookes; Trainer-Richard Lee; Jockey-Pat McLoughlin; SP-66/1 16 ran, Time-4m 0.5s Dist-20, 8 7/2 Fav Draborgie (p.u.)
THE IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR
(The Irish Independent Arkle Chase since 2000, Guinness Arkle Chase 1994-99, Waterford Crystal Arkle Chase 1991-93, no sponsor 1969-90, Cotswold Chase before 1969)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2007 My Way De Solzen 7-11-07 Robert Thornton Alan King Ben Winfield, A Longman, J Wright & C Fenton 7/2 13
2006 Voy Por Ustedes 5-11-02 Robert Thornton Alan King Sir Robert Ogden 15/2 14
2005 Contraband 7-11-07 Timmy Murphy Martin Pipe David Johnson 7/1 19
2004 Well Chief 5-11-03 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 9/1 16
2003 Azertyuiop 6-11-08 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John and Lisa Hales 5/4F 9
2002 Moscow Flyer 8-11-08 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 11/2 12
2001 No race (Foot and Mouth disease)
2000 Tiutchev 7-11-08 Mick FitzGerald Nicky Henderson Liars Poker Partnership 8/1 12
1999 Flagship Uberalles 5-11-00 Joe Tizzard Paul Nicholls Elizabeth Gutner/Michael Krysztofiak 11/1 14
1998 Champleve 5-11-00 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 13/2 16
1997 Or Royal 6-11-08 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 11/2 9
1996 Ventana Canyon 7-11-08 Richard Dunwoody Edward O’Grady IRE Philip Myerscough 7/1 16
1995 Klairon Davis 6-11-08 Francis Woods Arthur Moore IRE Chris Jones 7/2F 11
1994 Nakir 6-11-08 Jamie Osborne Simon Christian Jim Lewis 9/1 10
1993 Travado 7-11-08 Jamie Osborne Nicky Henderson Mrs Michael Ennever 5/1 8
1992 Young Pokey 7-11-08 Jamie Osborne Oliver Sherwood Maurice Oberstein 4/1 11
1991 Remittance Man 7-11-08 Richard Dunwoody Nicky Henderson Jim Collins 85/40 F 14
1990 Comandante 8-11-08 Peter Hobbs Josh Gifford Maurice Pinto 9/2 14
1989 Waterloo Boy 6-11-08 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Michael Deeley 20/1 14
1988 Danish Flight 9-11-08 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald A F Budge (Equine) Ltd 11/2 12
1987 Gala’s Image 7-11-08 Richard Linley Mercy Rimell Sheikh Ali Abu Khamsin 25/1 19
1986 Oregon Trail 6-11-08 Ronnie Beggan Simon Christian Henry Ponsonby 14/1 14
1985 Boreen Prince 8-11-08 Niall Madden Andrew McNamara IRE William Lenehan 15/2 16
1984 Bobsline 8-11-08 Frank Berry Francis Flood IRE R H Kelsey 5/4F 8
1983 Ryeman 6-11-08 Alan Brown Peter Easterby D Slater 16/1 16
1982 The Brockshee 7-11-08 Tommy Carberry Arthur Moore IRE T Murray 12/1 19
1981 Clayside 7-11-08 Alan Brown Peter Easterby Mrs D Grant 5/2F 13
1980 Anaglogs Daughter 7-11-08 Tommy Carberry Bill Durkan IRE A Durkan 9/4 9
1979 Chinrullah 7-11-08 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs R Eastwood 10/11F 8
1978 Alverton 8-11-08 Graham Thorner Peter Easterby Snailwell Stud Co Ltd 5/2 12
1977 Tip The Wink 7-11-08 Dessie Hughes Pat Taylor Michael Simmonds 15/2 10
1976 Roaring Wind 8-11-08 Reg Crank Roy Cambidge S Jones 11/1 16
1975 Broncho II 6-11-11 Colin Tinkler Tony Dickinson Frank Tyldesely 8/1 12
1974 Canasta Lad 8-11-11 Jeff King Peter Bailey Mrs R Hague 2/1F 10
1973 Denys Adventure 8-12-01 Graham Thorner Tim Forster Mrs Robert Henriques 8/1 10
1972 Pendil 7-12-01 Richard Pitman Fred Winter Mrs C Kinney 10/11F 10
1971 Alpheus 6-11-08 Eddie Wright Tom Dreaper IRE Lord Donoughmore 15/1 11
1970 Soloning 5-11-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Mrs C E Thornton 4/1 13
1969 Chatham 5-11-00 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell C Knott 10/1 10
1968 The Hustler 6-11-12 Barry Brogan Earl Jones Mrs D E Crouch 20/1 11
1967 Arctic Stream 7-12-02 Ben Hannon P Rooney IRE J A Duffy 8/1 9
1966 Arctic Sunset 6-12-06 George Milburn Ken Oliver J R McNair 3/1 9
1965 Flyingbolt 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Mrs Jean Wilkinson 4/9F 13
1964 Greektown 8-11-08 Michael Scudamore Willie Stephenson Lionel Ensten 13/2 16
1963 Ben Stack 6-12-01 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Duchess of Westminster 13/8F 17
1962 Prudent Barney 8-12-01 Johnny East Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 20/1 9
1961 Mountcashel King 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE John Glyn 2/5F 12
1960 Mazurka 6-11-12 Ron Harrison Ron Smyth Mrs Chris Barnes 10/1 25
1959 Flame Gun 8-12-04 Fred Winter Charlie Mallon Michael Sobell 7/2 14
1958 Fortria 6-12-01 Tom Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE A Craigie 7/2 17
1957 Ballyatom 5-11-04 Mr Bob McCreery George Beeby David Evans-Bevan 8/1 13
1956 Sir Ken 9-12-03 Tim Molony Willie Stephenson Maurice Kingsley 5/4F 17
1955 Manuscrit 5-11-00 Johnny Bullock Fulke Walwyn Mme Peggy Hennessy 10/1 20
1954 Armorial III 5-11-05 Rene Emery Fulke Walwyn Mrs M de Pret-Roose 7/2F 17
1953 Bramble Tudor 5-11-12 Tim Molony Stewart Wight Lord Joicey 11/4 9
1952 Nautical Print 5-11-00 Tommy Cusack Gerry Wilson Lt Col J F Harrison 6/1 15
1951 Red Steel 5-11-00 Dick Francis Frank Cundell Hugh Sumner 4/1F 15
1950 High Level 5-11-04 Johnny Bullock Fred Rimell T E Ward 9/2 14
1949 Grand Refrain 5-11-05 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Abergavenny 9/4F 12
1948 Top Cash 6-12-05 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Abergavenny 3/1 9
1947 No race (abandoned due to snow and frost)
1946 Bright Penny 6-11-12 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Penrhyn 5/1 15
THE 2007 IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY CHASE RESULT IN DETAIL
2m Old Course, £170,000 guaranteed, Class 1, For 5yo+ Weights 5yo 11st 2lb; 6yo+ 11st 7lb Allowances mares 7 lb Entries 43 pay £185 First Forfeit 25 pay £370 Confirmed 16 pay £185 Penalty Value 1st 96, 934; 2nd £36,363; 3rd £18,207; 4th £9,078; 5th £4,556; 6th £2,278.
1 MY WAY DE SOLZEN (Ben Winfield, A Longman, J Wright & C Fento) Alan King 7-11-07 Robert Thornton 7/2
2 FAIR ALONG (GER) (Alan Peterson) Philip Hobbs 5-11-02 Richard Johnson 100/30 Fav
3 JACK THE GIANT (IRE) (Hanbury Syndicate) Nicky Henderson 5-11-02 Mick Fitzgerald 14/1
4 FAASEL (IRE) (Jim Ennis) Nicky Richards 6-11-07p Tony Dobbin 16/1
5 ANOTHER PROMISE (IRE) (Geoff Hubbard Racing) Ferdy Murphy 8-11-07 Graham Lee 25/1
6 BUENA VISTA (IRE) (Matthew Archer & The Late Jean Broadhurst) David Pipe 6-11-07p Timmy Murphy 9/1
7 LENNON (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 7-11-07 Paddy Brennan 20/1
8 GOOD SPIRIT (FR) (Million In Mind Partnership) Paul Nicholls 5-11-02 Sam Thomas 20/1
9 TIDAL FURY (IRE) (Twelfth Night) Jonathan Jay 5-11-02 Leighton Aspell 16/1
10 GEMINI LUCY (IRE) (Queens Prices Syndicate) Jessica Harrington 7-11-00 Andrew Leigh 20/1
F2 out TWIST MAGIC (FR) (Barry Fulton, Tony Hayward & Michael Lynch) Paul Nicholls 5-11-02 Ruby Walsh 12/1
F2 out DON'T PUSH IT (IRE) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 7-11-07 Tony McCoy 4/1
P VINTAGE TREASURE (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Charles Byrnes IRE 8-11-07p Conor O'Dwyer 100/1
Distances: 5, 1, 3/4, 6, 20, 3 1/2, 12, 1 3/4, 10
Breeder: C Ricous-Guerin & Jacques Guerin
Breeding: b g Assessor (IRE) - Agathe de Solzen (FR)
Totes: Win: £4.90; Places: £2.20; £1.60; £2.80; Exacta: £11.90
Winning Trainer: ALAN KING Born: December 13, 1966 Based: Barbury Castle Stables, Wroughton, Wiltshire Cheltenham Festival Wins (5): William Hill National Trophy Handicap Chase (2004 Fork Lightning), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2005 Penzance), Arkle Challenge Trophy (2006 Voy Por Ustedes, 2007 My Way De Solzen), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2006 My Way De Solzen) Aintree Festival Wins: Citroen C6 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Stromness), John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2002 Spendid), John Smith’s HBLB TBA Mares’ Only NH (2005 Senorita Rumbalita), John Smith’s Champion Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (2006 Pangbourne) Big Race Wins: Bula Hurdle (1999 Relkeel), Betfair Handicap Hurdle (2006 Halcon Genelardais), Desert Orchid Chase (2006 Voy Por Ustedes), Dipper Novices’ Chase (2006 My Way De Solzen), Long Walk Hurdle (1999 Anzum, 2005 My Way De Solzen), Jim Ford Challenge Cup (2000 Spendid), Cleeve Hurdle (2004 Crystal d’Ainay), Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (2006 Voy Por Ustedes), National Spirit Hurdle (2006 My Way De Solzen), Ryman The Stationer Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Katchit), Coral Welsh National (2006 Halcon Genelardais) Horses in Training (2000-2006): 65; 51; 56; 74; 85; 123; 131 Number of Winners (1999/2000-2005/06): 27; 18; 34; 39; 47; 66; 63 Wins this Season: 73
Winning Jockey: Robert Thornton Date of birth: 14/7/78 First Winner Under Rules: K C’s Dancer (Cheltenham, October 25, 1995) Background: Joined David Nicholson as an amateur in 1995 and was crowned Champion Conditional in 1998. Wins (1995/96-2005/06): 3; 30; 71; 37; 23; 40; 56; 50; 73; 97; 73 Cheltenham Festival wins: (9) Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase (King Lucifer 1997), Pertemps Final (Pharanear 1997), William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase (2004 Fork Lightning, 2005 Kelami), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2005 Penzance), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Moulin Riche), Irish Independent Arkle Trophy (2006 Voy Por Ustedes, 2007 My Way De Solzen), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2006 My Way De Solzen) Aintree Festival Wins: Martell Foxhunters’ Chase (Blue Cheek 1997), Cordon Bleu Handicap Hurdle (Shankar 1997), Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Stromness), Premier Convenience Stores Top Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Royal Shakespeare); John Smith’s Mares Only Nh Flat Race (2005 Senorita Rumbalita), John Smith’s Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race (2006 Pangbourne) Big Race Wins: Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (2004 Trouble At Bay), Agfa Diamond Handicap Chase (2005 Innox), Agfa Hurdle (2005 Self Defense), Bula Hurdle (2003 Rigmarole), Cleeve Hurdle (2004 Crystal D’ainay, 2007 Blazing Bailey), Desert Orchid Chase (2006 Voy Por Ustedes), Dipper Novices’ Chase (2006 My Way De Solzen), Coralpoker.com Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2005 Kadount, 2006 Voy Por Ustedes), National Spirit Hurdle (My Way De Solzen), Rendlesham Hurdle (1999 Pharanear, 2005 Crystal D’ainay), Ryman The Stationer Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Katchit), Sporting Index Chase (2002 Famfoni), Totesport Long Walk Hurdle (2005 My Way De Solzen), Victor Chandler Chase (1999 Call Equiname), Wragg & Co Finesse Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Moneytrain, 2007 Katchit) Wins this Season: 82
THE ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE
Class 1, Grade One, £170,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.35pm Cheltenham, Wednesday, March 12, 2008. For novice 5-y-o+, three miles and half a furlong. Weights: 5-y-o 11st 2lb; 6-y-o+ 11st 4lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Entries closed January 22, entries revealed January 24 (78 entries), forfeit stage February 19, six-day confirmation stage March 6, final declaration stage 10.00am, March 11. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Wednesday, January 23. May not include some overseas form.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
5112 61 AIR FORCE ONE (GER) 6 Brian Walsh (Co. Kildare) Charlie Mann
111 121 ALBERTAS RUN (IRE) 7 Trevor Hemmings Jonjo O'Neill
35 4F53 ARBOR SUPREME (IRE) 6 J P McManus Willie Mullins IRE
1/4213 5 ARRIVE SIR CLIVE (IRE) 7 J P Dunne Philip Fenton IRE
142131 BAGAN (FR) 9 The Centaur Group Partnership VII Charlie Mann
31P522 BATTLECRY 7 Hamsard Ltd Nigel Twiston Davies
16 1212 BIG BUCK'S (FR) 5 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
312 2F1 BIG ZEB (IRE) 7 Patrick Joseph Redmond Colm Murphy IRE
03 1012 CALL BEWLEYS (IRE) 7 Gigginstown House Stud Philip Rothwell IRE
212 213 CALLHERWHATULIKE (IRE) 7 Fifteen To Eight Syndicate Robert Tyner IRE
223531 CASEY JONES (IRE) 7 Gillian Burke Noel Meade IRE
310 321 CATHEDRAL ROCK (IRE) 6 Valda Embiricos Nick Gifford
11/121 CLASSIC FIDDLE 6 Bunny Roberts Nicky Henderson
13351 1 CLENI BOY (FR) 6 Des Sharkey Noel Meade IRE
513/ U11 DEAR VILLEZ (FR) 6 John and Barbara Cotton Paul Nicholls
2211 U DOUBLE DEFAULT (IRE) 7 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Richards
2FF1PP DREUX (FR) 6 Valerie Courtney Thomas Cooper IRE
16/ 11FF DRUNKEN DISORDERLY (IRE) 8 Gigginstown House Stud Charlie Swan IRE
3110 31 DUC DE REGNIERE (FR) 6 Sir Peter & Lady Gibbings Nicky Henderson
05/35/0 0 FELIX REX (GER) 8 M Wakefield Jeff Pearce
UF 3F22 FINGER ONTHE PULSE (IRE) 7 Conor Clarkson Tom Taaffe IRE
4/PP0 01 GARDASEE (GER) 6 A Helaissi Kahlil Burke
31 0411 GLENCOVE MARINA (IRE) 6 John Brennan Willie Mullins IRE
1115P// 2 GOLD MEDALLIST 8 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
0//444 B2 GONE MISSING 9 Oliver Carter Not in training
112/310 HAIRY MOLLY (IRE) 8 FTB Syndicate Joseph Crowley IRE
401 122 HERE'S JOHNNY (IRE) 9 The Big Boys Toys Partnership Victor Dartnall
10 1111 HOBBS HILL 9 Mrs Orton & Exors of late Peter Orton Charles Egerton
131213 ICE TEA (IRE) 8 Sandicroft Stud Donald McCain Jnr
103 114 IMPERIAL COMMANDER (IRE) 7 Our Friends in the North Nigel Twiston Davies
125 101 J'Y VOLE (FR) 5 Hammer & Trowel Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
112111 JOE LIVELY (IRE) 9 Richard Dimond Colin Tizzard
10 KILCREA CASTLE (IRE) 6 M O'Driscoll Pat Doyle IRE
1 20411 LEAD ON (IRE) 7 B Peppiatt Philip Hobbs
LEADING ATTRACTION (IRE) 7 Jan Smith Paul Nicholls
62 0311 LEADING AUTHORITY (IRE) 7 Robert and Sarah Tizzard Colin Tizzard
2113 F2 MARK THE BOOK (IRE) 7 D Allen Philip Hobbs
F12 P1U MISS MITCH (IRE) 7 Clipper Logistics Robert Alner
21P FU5 MISTER POTTER 8 James and Jean Potter Richard Lee
2/1112/ 1 MONEY TRIX (IRE) 8 Craig Bennett Nicky Richards
00 2221 MR STRACHAN (IRE) 7 Susan Granger Sue Smith
1516 2F NEGUS DE BEAUMONT (FR) 7 W Roberts & J Tierney Ferdy Murphy
5/ F NEVADA ROYALE (FR) 7 Paul Barber & Margaret Findlay Paul Nicholls
03/445 1 NO REFUGE (IRE) 8 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
31111/ 1 NOLAND 7 John Hales Paul Nicholls
133 211 NOTRE PERE (FR) 7 Mrs P Conway Jim Dreaper IRE
26 1154 NUDGE AND NURDLE (IRE) 7 The Yes No Wait Sorries Nigel Twiston Davies
1 6211F OKAIDO (FR) 6 Okaido Associates Arnaud Chaille Chaille FR
11 2032 OLD BENNY 7 Trevor Hemmings Alan King
2/120 12 ORNAIS (FR) 6 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
2F01 F0 OSCAR PARK (IRE) 9 George Ward David Arbuthnot
0 23113 OVER THE CREEK 9 David Johnson David Pipe
11510 3 PANCAKE (FR) 5 Andrew Cohen Philip Hobbs
151 P0 PARADI (FR) 5 David Johnson David Pipe
113P 14 PAUILLAC (FR) 5 David Johnson David Pipe
61211 POMME TIEPY (FR) 5 Mrs S Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
2F 2R21 POMMEROL (FR) 5 Eric Puerari Francois Doumen FR
1/1130 1 ROLL ALONG (IRE) 8 Bryan & Philippa Burrough Carl Llewellyn
41- SANDHURST (IRE) 8 Cyril Kiernan Edgar Byrne IRE
ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE ENTRIES Continued
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
01 2331 SCOTSIRISH (IRE) 7 Double R Stables LLP Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
501265 SECRETOFSHAMBHALA (IRE) 9 Michael McGinley Tom Mullins IRE
1 205F2 SHOULDHAVEHADTHAT (IRE) 6 Unchartered Waters Ferdy Murphy
1146 23 SILVERBURN (IRE) 7 Paul Green Paul Nicholls
0/1120P SIR JIMMY SHAND (IRE) 7 Henry Ponsonby Nicky Henderson
F24 SIR JOHNNY (IRE) 7 Begrudgers Syndicate Jim Culloty IRE
620 111 SKY'S THE LIMIT (FR) 7 Raymond Rooney Edward O'Grady IRE
11 43F1 SOBERS (IRE) 7 Paul Beck Nicky Gifford
4//3000/ 1 STARZAAN (IRE) 9 Ben Arbib Hughie Morrison
123P 14 STOWAY (FR) 6 Tony Fisher & Jeni Fisher Alan King
121/112/ THE MARKET MAN (NZ) 8 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
133 THE WHISPERER (IRE) 7 Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson Nicky Richards
5113/ 01 THYNE AGAIN (IRE) 7 Simply The Best Syndicate Liam Burke IRE
221 111 TIDAL BAY (IRE) 7 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
0/ 1F2PP TRAMANTANO 9 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston Davies
12216 1 TRIGGER THE LIGHT 7 Fred & Susan Welch, Mrs A Shutes Alan King
00 F211 VERASI 7 F Ledger & J Bateman Gary Moore
34230 1 WEE ROBBIE 8 P H Betts (Holdings) Ltd Nick Gifford
2125/54 WOGAN 8 Peter Deal Nicky Henderson
78 entries, 22 Irish-trained, 2 French-trained
Breakdown of Entries by Trainer with Past Successes in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase
Paul Nicholls (2006 Star De Mohaison, 2007 Denman)
Philip Hobbs (2003 One Knight)
Nigel Twiston-Davies (1993 Young Hustler)
Noel Meade IRE
Liam Burke IRE
Edgar Byrne IRE
Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR
Thomas Cooper IRE
Joe Crowley IRE
Jim Culloty IRE
Francois Doumen FR
Pat Doyle IRE
Jim Dreaper IRE (1974 Ten Up)
Philip Fenton IRE
Donald McCain Jnr
Tom Mullins IRE
Colm Murphy IRE
Edward O’Grady IRE
Philip Rothwell IRE
Charlie Swan IRE
Tom Taaffe IRE
Robert Tyner IRE
ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE ANALYSIS
The Grade One Royal & SunAlliance Chase is the championship contest for staying novice chasers and this year’s race has attracted a healthy 78-strong entry, including 22 from Ireland and two from France.
The current market leader for the three-mile contest is the Willie Mullins-trained Glencove Marina, unbeaten in two starts over fences. The six-yearBold was 10 lengths superior to the Tom Taaffe-trained Finger Onthe Pulse in the Grade Two Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Novice Chase, over two miles and five furlongs at Leopardstown on January 13.
Mullins has won the contest twice with Florida Pearl (1998) and Rule Supreme (2004) and his five-strong entry also includes Arbor Supreme, J’y Vole, Pomme Tiepy and Scotsirish.
Joe Lively has been a revelation this term for West Country trainer Colin Tizzard - who also has the smart hat-trick seeking Leading Authority - and notched his fifth victory over fences in the Grade One Nigel Clark Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day from Here’s Johnny, trained by Victor Dartnall, and the Paul Nicholls-trained Silverburn.
Nicholls landed the last two renewals with Denman (2007) and Star De Mohaison (2006) and his seven-strong entry includes the 2006 Grade One Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Noland, Big Buck’s, Dear Villez, the once-raced and unbeaten Leading Attraction, Ornais and Nevada Royale, who was leading Joe Lively when falling at the last fence in a Grade Two contest at Newbury on December 2.
Charles Egerton has entered Hobbs Hill, unbeaten in four starts over fences and eight lengths too good for the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Battlecry in the two mile, three furlong Grade Two BGC Noel Novices’ Chase at Ascot in December.
Twiston-Davies won the race in 1993 with Young Hustler and his entry this term also includes Imperial Commander, successful twice over fences and fourth to Joe Lively in the Cheltenham Business Club Novices’ Chase in December, as well as Tramantano and Nudge And Nurdle.
The Howard Johnson-trained Tidal Bay, runner-up in the 2007 Grade One Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival, completed a hat-trick at Cheltenham on December 15, when winning the two mile, five furlong boylesports.com Fon-A-Bet Novices’ Chase from the Philip Hobbs-trained Gold Medallist and Duc De Regniere from the Nicky Henderson yard.
Johnson has also engaged No Refuge, winner of the 2005 Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival, while Nick Gifford has entered Wee Robbie, successful in the Grade Two Montpelier Group Lightning Novices’ Chase at Ascot on January 19.
Alongside Gold Medallist, Hobbs has also entered Lead On, winner of the Grade Two Utopia Group Dipper Novices’ chase at Cheltenham on January 1, as well as Mark The Book and Pancake.
The Gary Moore-trained Verasi was no match for Lead On at Exeter on December 7, but subsequently defeated Labelthou in a Grade Two at Lingfield and added an extended three-mile contest at Warwick on January 12, from the Alan King-trained Old Benny.
Barbury Castle handler King has also engaged Trigger The Light and Stoway, while David Pipe’s trio of entries are Coral Welsh National third Over The Creek, Paradi and Pauillac.
Air Force One, runner-up to Wichita Lineman in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s Festival, has been entered by trainer Charlie Mann, having secured victory over fences at Folkestone on January 2. The trainer may also run the useful Bagan.
Jonjo O’Neill has engaged the prolific Alberta’s Run, who landed the extended three-mile Club 16-24 Novices’ chase at Cheltenham in October, while Nicky Richards could run the smart but inexperienced trio Double Default, The Whisperer and Money Trix, who returned from a 21-month absence to hose up at Newcastle on January 16.
The fantastic Irish entry includes the Edward O’Grady-trained Sky’s The Limit, winner of the 2006 Coral Cup at The Festival and successful in both the Grade One Ballymore Properties Drinmore Novices’ Chase at Fairyhouse and the Grade One Durkan New Homes Novice Chase at Leopardstown in December.
The Jim Dreaper-trained Notre Pere won the three-mile Grade One Knight Frank Ganly Walters Novice Chase at Leopardstown on December 28 ahead of Callherwhatulike (3rd), Secretofshambhala (6th), Drunken Disorderly (fell) and Dreux (pulled up).
Joseph Crowley has entered Hairy Molly, winner of the Grade One Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the 2006 Festival and yet to jump a fence in public. Charlie Swan has Drunken Disorderly, a Grade Three winner at Galway in October who has fallen in good company the last twice.
The Noel Meade-trained Cleni Boy was a high-class novice hurdler last term, who scored at the first attempt over fences at Down Royal on December 26.
The French raiding party consists of the Arnaud Chaille-Chaille-trained Okaido, who fell behind Lead On at Cheltenham on January 1, and Pommerol, successful over an extended two and a half miles at Auteuil on December 2, for trainer Francois Doumen.
ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE FACTS AND FIGURES
1. The Royal & SunAlliance Chase had a slight name change in 1998, having been run as the Royal SunAlliance Chase for the first time in 1997. But Sun Alliance, which merged with Royal Insurance in 1996, is among Cheltenham’s longest-running sponsors. The Sun Alliance Chase was run for 23 years and Sun Alliance sponsored at Cheltenham for 26 years altogether. From 1971-3, the Foxhunter Chase was titled the "Sun Alliance & London Foxhunters."
2. Sun Alliance & London was the first sponsor outside racing to embrace commercial sponsorship at The Festival. Only the tote precedes the insurance company. Before 1974 the race was titled the Broadway Novices’ Chase and the Totalisator Champion Novices’ Chase.
3. Since 1960, five horses have won both the Royal & SunAlliance Chase and totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. They are:
1963 Arkle (Gold Cup 1964-6)
1974 Ten Up (Gold Cup 1975)
1979 Master Smudge (Gold Cup 1980 on the disqualification of Tied Cottage)
1990 Garrison Savannah (Gold Cup 1991)
1999 Looks Like Trouble (Gold Cup 2000)
To this list might be added the name of Tied Cottage, winner of the Royal & SunAlliance Chase in 1976 and the Gold Cup in 1980, before subsequent disqualification.
4. The biggest field for the race has been 30, in 1986, and the smallest eight, in 1993.
5. Fred Winter has the best record in the contest, having landed three victories with Killiney (1973), Pengrail (1975) and Brown Chamberlin (1982). Among current trainers Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls have both landed the race twice, Mullins having sent out Rule Supreme (2004) and Florida Pearl (1998) while Nicholls has trained the past two winners – Star De Mohaison (2006) and Denman (2007).
6. Irish-trained winners number eight since 1964, the latest being Rule Supreme in 2004.
7. The most successful jockey in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase has been Peter Scudamore, who notched up a hat-trick from 1991 to 1993 with Rolling Ball, Miinnehoma and Young Hustler. The latter went on to further big-race success while Miinnehoma won the 1994 Grand National.
8. The longest-priced winners since 1964 are Hussard Collonges in 2002 and Canny Danny in 1983, both at 33/1, with Arkle the shortest-priced at 4/9 in 1963.
9. The fastest running of the race was by Lord Noelie in 2000 at 6 mins 5.3s, beating the previous best of 6 mins 6.6s set by Miinnehoma in 1992.
10. The West Awake is the only horse to have won both the Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle (previously the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle) and the Royal & SunAlliance Chase. He won the Hurdle in 1987 and the Chase in 1988.
ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE
2007-WINNER-DENMAN 7-11-04 Owner-Maggie Findlay & Paul Barber; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/5 Fav
2ND-Snowy Morning 7-11-04 Owner-Quayside Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-10/1
3RD-According To John 7-11-04 Owner-Sir Robert Ogden; Trainer-Nicky Richards; Jockey-Tony Dobbin; SP-66/1 17 ran, Time-6m 6.80s Dist-10, 3½
ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR
(Royal & SunAlliance Chase since 1998, Royal Sun Alliance Chase 1997, Sun Alliance Chase 1974-96, Totalisator Champion Chase 1971-73, Totalisator Champion Novices’ Chase 1964-1970, Broadway Chase 1961-63, Broadway Novices’ Chase before 1961)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2007 Denman 7-11-04 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Maggie Findlay & Paul Barber 6/5F 17
2006 Star De Mohaison 5-10-08 Barry Geraghty Paul Nicholls Sir Robert Ogden 14/1 15
2005 Trabolgan 7-11-04 Mick FitzGerald Nicky Henderson Trevor Hemmings 5/1 9
2004 Rule Supreme 8-11-04 David Casey Willie Mullins IRE John Lynch 25/1 10
2003 One Knight 7-11-04 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Robert Gibbs 15/2 9
2002 Hussard Collonges 7-11-04 Russ Garritty Peter Beaumont Nick Bannister 33/1 19
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Lord Noelie 7-11-04 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight Executive Racing 9/2 9
1999 Looks Like Trouble 7-11-04 Paul Carberry Noel Chance Universal Conf. & Incentive Trv Ltd 16/1 14
1998 Florida Pearl 6-11-04 Richard Dunwoody Willie Mullins IRE Violet O’Leary 11/8F 10
1997 Hanakham 8-11-04 Richard Dunwoody Ron Hodges Malcolm Brereton 13/2 14
1996 Nahthen Lad 7-11-04 Warren Marston Jenny Pitman Jim Shaw 7/1 12
1995 Brief Gale 8-10-13 Philip Hide Josh Gifford Carrie Zetter 13/2 13
1994 Monsieur Le Cure 8-11-04 Peter Niven John Edwards Hector Brown 15/2 18
1993 Young Hustler 6-11-04 Peter Scudamore Nigel Twiston-Davies Gavin MacEchern 9/4 8
1992 Miinnehoma 9-11-04 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Freddie Starr 7/2F 18
1991 Rolling Ball 8-11-04 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Hilda Clarke 7/2F 20
1990 Garrison Savannah 7-11-04 Ben de Haan Jenny Pitman Autofour Engineering 12/1 9
1989 Envopak Token 8-11-04 Peter Hobbs Josh Gifford Frank Arthur 16/1 15
1988 The West Awake 7-11-04 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 11/4F 14
1987 Kildimo 7-11-04 Graham Bradley Toby Balding Lady Harris 13/2 18
1986 Cross Master 9-11-04 Reg Crank Tom Bill Harlow Bros 16/1 30
1985 Antarctic Bay 8-11-04 Frank Berry Pat Hughes IRE P Meade 6/4F 11
1984 A Kinsman 8-11-04 Geordie Dun John Brockbank Mrs John Brockbank 10/1 18
1983 Canny Danny 7-11-04 Niall Madden Jimmy FitzGerald P Norton 33/1 14
1982 Brown Chamberlin 7-11-04 John Francome Fred Winter Mrs Coral Samuel 7/1 15
1981 Lesley Ann 7-11-04 Colin Brown David Elsworth Brian Gaule 25/1 17
1980 Lacson 8-11-04 Steve Knight Bob Hawker Bob Hawker 16/1 17
1979 Master Smudge 7-11-04 Richard Hoare Arthur Barrow Arthur Barrow 16/1 17
1978 Sweet Joe 6-11-04 Steve Smith Eccles Tom Jones Milton Ritzenberg 12/1 17
1977 Gay Spartan 6-11-04 Michael Dickinson Tony Dickinson M Armstrong 13/2 15
1976 Tied Cottage 8-11-00 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Anthony Stanley Robinson 12/1 15
1975 Pengrail 7-11-00 John Francome Fred Winter Mrs G Morton 12/1 11
1974 Ten Up 7-11-00 Tommy Carberry Jim Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 7/2 12
1973 Killiney 7-11-03 Richard Pitman Fred Winter Enid Boucher 8/15F 9
1972 Clever Scot 7-11-07 David Mould Tom Jones Milton Ritzenberg 11/1 18
1971 Tantalum 7-11-07 David Nicholson Michael Pope Colonel S W Green 14/1 16
1970 Proud Tarquin 7-11-12 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE John Thomson 100/7 17
1969 Spanish Steps 6-11-12 John Cook Edward Courage Edward Courage 100/8 22
1968 Herring Gull 6-11-12 Joe Crowley Paddy Mullins IRE Mrs G A J Wilson 9/1 16
1967 Border Jet 7-11-00 Josh Gifford Ryan Price Lady Weir 4/1F 19
1966 Different Class 6-11-12 David Mould Peter Cazalet Gregory Peck 10/1 17
1965 Arkloin 6-11-07 Liam McLoughlin Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 100/7 17
1964 Buona notte 7-12-04 Johnnie Haine Bob Turnell Jim Joel 11/8F 16
1963 Arkle 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Duchess Of Westminster 4/9F 15
1962 Caduval 7-11-08 Laurie Morgan Bogden Lubecki Bogden Lubecki 11/2 13
1961 Grallagh Cnoc 7-12-01 Pat Taaffe Joe Osborne IRE Mrs K Harper 8/13F 17
1960 Solfen 8-11-12 Pat Taaffe Willie O’Grady IRE B Naughton 5/4F 21
1959 Mac Joy 7-11-12 Arthur Freeman Ken Bailey W C Simpson 4/1 11
1958 Just Awake 6-11-08 Arthur Freeman Peter Cazalet Bill Whitbread 100/7 19
1957 Mandarin 6-12-01 Michael Scudamore Fulke Walwyn Peggy Hennessy 8/1 14
1956 Polar Flight 6-11-08 Tommy Cusack George Spann Mrs P Pleydell-Bouverie 100/7 19
1955 Great Eliza 7-11-13 B Cooper Danny Morgan IRE Mrs N Hope Collins 7/2F 23
1954 Glenbeigh 8-11-13 Dave Dick Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget EvsF 16
1953 Coneyburrow 7-11-03 Pat Taaffe Joe Osborne IRE I E Levy 100/8 13
1952 Good And Plenty 8-11-08 Jimmy Power Jack Fawcus Lady Joicey 8/1 18
1951 On View 8-11-13 Bryan Marshall Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget 8/1 23
1950 (I) Manicou 5-11-06 Lord Mildmay Peter Cazalet Lord Mildmay 2/1F 9
1950 (II) Arctic Gold 5-10-13 Glen Kelly Gerald Balding John Hay Whitney 100/30 9
1949 (I) Glen Fire 6-11-02 Mr J Spencer Syd Mercer J G Greenaway 100/8 19
1949 (II) Comeragh 8-11-02 D Kelly Major Noel Furlong Major Noel Furlong 10/1 10
1948 (I) Blakely Grove 7-11-04 Joe Maguire Ivor Anthony Paul Mellon 5/4F 17
1948 (II) Mountain Prince 9-11-04 Bryan Marshall Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget 100/8 15
1947 No race (snow and frost)
1946 Birthlaw 11-11-07 Ted Vinall Tommy Rayson Mrs V Bruce 20/1 16
THE 2007 ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE RESULT IN DETAIL
3m 1/2f Old Course, £170,000 guaranteed, For 5yo+ Weights 5yo 10st 8lb; 6yo+ 11st 4lb Allowances mares 7lb Entries 73 pay £185 First Forfeit 48 pay £370 Confirmed 27 pay £185 Penalty Value 1st £96,934; 2nd £36,363; 3rd £18,207; 4th £9,078; 5th £4,556; 6th £2,278
1 DENMAN (IRE) (Margaret Findlay & Paul Barber) Paul Nicholls 7-11-04 Ruby Walsh 6/5 Fav
2 SNOWY MORNING (IRE) (Quayside Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-04 Mick Fitzgerald 10/1
3 ACCORDING TO JOHN (IRE) (Sir Robert Ogden) Nicky Richards 7-11-04 Tony Dobbin 66/1
4 ACES FOUR (IRE) (The Dprp Aces Partnerhip) Ferdy Murphy 8-11-04 Graham Lee 25/1
5 GAZZA'S GIRL (IRE) (Patrick McCooey) Jessica Harrington IRE 7-10-11 Barry Geraghty 28/1
6 UNGARO (FR) (Sir Robert Ogden) Keith Reveley 8-11-04 Timmy Murphy 11/1
7 TURKO (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 5-10-08t Sam Thomas 9/1
8 JUSTPOURIT (IRE) (Hanged Man’s Five Syndicate) Dessie Hughes IRE 8-11-04p Roger Loughran 66/1
9 PATSY HALL (IRE) (C Byrne) Michael Cunningham IRE 7-11-04 Robert Power 20/1
10 DOM D'ORGEVAL (FR) (A White & Mrs A Underhill) David Pipe 7-11-04 Tony McCoy 8/1
11 ROYAL ROSA (FR) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 8-11-04p Paddy Brennan 50/1
12 KNOWHERE (IRE) (Raymond Mould) Nigel Twiston-Davies 9-11-04 Tony Evans 28/1
13 MOSSBANK (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Michael Hourigan IRE 7-11-04 Andrew McNamara 66/1
14 OPENIDE (Brendan W Duke Racing) Brendan Duke 6-11-04 Noel Fehily 100/1
F 9TH CAILIN ALAINN (IRE) (Dewdrop Racing Syndicate) Charles Byrnes IRE 8-10-11 Davy Russell 13/2
U 15TH CHELSEA HARBOUR (IRE) (P Duffin, Sean Fox, P Brady) Tom Mullins IRE 7-11-04 David Casey 50/1
PU BEF 15TH EUROCHANCER (IRE) (Thomas Kelly) Joseph Fox IRE 8-11-04 Robbie McNally 100/1
Winning Trainer: PAUL NICHOLLS Date of birth: 17/05/62 Based: Heighes House, Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset Date of first trainer’s licence: 01/11/91 Previous Occupation: Professional jockey 1980-89. Rode 130 winners including Hennessy Gold Cup (1986 & 87), Irish Gold Cup (1988), Welsh Grand National (1987) Cheltenham Festival Wins (14): Irish Independent Arkle Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2003 Azertyuiop), Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business), Christie’s Foxhunter Chase (2004 Earthmover, 2005 Sleeping Night), Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother), Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2006 Star De Mohaison, 2007 Denman) Other big race wins: Aon Chase (2000 See More Business, 2001 Shotgun Willy, 2003 Valley Henry, 2007 Kauto Star), Betfair Chase (2006 Kauto Star), Betfred Gold Cup (2001 & 2003 Ad Hoc), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Neptune Collonges), Bula Hurdle (2003 Rigmarole), Challow Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Cornish Rebel, 2006 Denman), Charlie Hall Chase (1999 and 2000 See More Business), Feltham Novices’ Chase (1993 See More Indians), Game Spirit Chase (2000 lagship Uberalles, 2005 Azertyuiop), King George VI Chase (1997, 1999 See More Business, 2006 Kauto Star), Scottish Champion Hcap Hurdle (1999 Fadalko), Rehearsal Chase (1996 Belmont King, 1997 and 1998 See More Business), Pillar Chase (1998, 2001 See More Business), Scottish Grand National (1997 Belmont King), Tingle Creek Chase (2005 Kauto Star), Tolworth Hurdle (2003 Thisthatandtother, 2006 Noland, 2007 Silverburn), totesport.com becher Chase (2006 Eurotrek), Coral Welsh National (2004 Silver Birch, 2005 L’Aventure), William Hill Haldon Gold Cup Chase (1998 Lake Kariba, 1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2004 Azertyuiop), Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase (2007 Gungadu) 1000th Domestic Winner: Noble Action (Bumper, Folkestone, November 15, 2004) First Trainer to Saddle Six Winners on One Card: Saturday, January 21, 2006, at Wincanton Horses in Training (1997-2006): 52; 60; 66; 65; 78; 105; 106; 121; 126; ? Number of Winners (1992/03-2005/06): 20; 29; 28; 53; 56; 82; 110; 71; 83; 136; 152; 127; 152; 148 Wins this Season: 99
Winning Jockey: Ruby Walsh Born: May 14, 1979 First Winner: Siren Song, Gowran Park, July 25, 1995 Cheltenham Festival Wins (12): Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1998 Alexander Banquet, 2005 Missed That), Mildmay Of Flete (2002 Blowing Wind), Irish Independent Arkle (2003 Azertyuiop), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2004 Azertyuiop), Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother) Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), William Hill Trophy (2006 Dun Doire), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2007 Denman) Leading Rider at The Festival: 2004 (3), 2006 (3). Other Big Race Wins: John Smith’s Grand National (2000 Papillon (His first National ride), 2005 Hedgehunter); Betfair Chase (2006 Kauto Star), Betfred Gold Cup (2003 Ad Hoc); Challow Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Cornish Rebel, 2006 Denman); Stan James Christmas Hurdle (2005 Feathard Lady); December Festival Hurdle (2006 Brave Inca), Feltham Novices’ Chase (2003 Strong Flow); Game Spirit Chase (2004, 2005 Azertyuiop); Heineken Gold Cup (1999 Imperial Call, 2000 Commanche Court); Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (2003 Strong Flow); Irish Grand National (2000 Commanche Court, 2005 Numbersixvalverde); King George VI Chase (2006 Kauto Star); Racing Post Chase (2004 Marlborough); Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase (2007 New Little Bric); Tied Cottage Chase (2007 Nickname); Tingle Creek Trophy (2002 Cenkos, 2006 Kauto Star); Tolworth Hurdle (2006 Silverburn), Coral Welsh National (2004 Silver Birch) Number of Wins in Britain (1998/99-2005/06): 1; 1; 5; 13; 77; 62; 81; 69 Other Details: Son of Ted Walsh, former leading Irish amateur rider who is now a trainer and broadcaster in Ireland. Divides his time riding for Paul Nicholls in Britain and Willie Mullins in Ireland. Wins in Britain This Season: 62
CHIEF SENDING RIGHT SIGNALS AHEAD OF CLEEVE ASSIGNMENT
Meeting - Festival Trials Day, Saturday, January 26
Advance Admission Prices - Club/Tattersalls £18, Best Mate £8
Gates Open - 10.30am
First race - 1pm
Cumbria trainer James Moffatt believes his stable star Chief Dan George is ready to shine in the £60,000 Grade Two Byrne Group Cleeve Hurdle (3.50pm) over three miles at Cheltenham’s fantastic Festival Trials Day on Saturday, January 26.
The Cartmel handler revealed this morning: “Chief Dan George is going to run. He is very well and came out of his last race in good heart. We will be hoping that with more cut in the ground the horse will start showing something like the form he was in last year.”
Chief Dan George won five times last term, collecting Grade Two novice hurdles at Wetherby and Haydock prior to defeating last year’s Festival winner Wichita Lineman by four lengths in a Grade One contest at Aintree in April
Moffatt believes there are mitigating factors for the eight-year-old’s failure to repeat that top-class form in two outings this term. Chief Dan George finished fifth to Inglis Drever in the totesport.com Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury first time out and was a distant seventh behind Lough Derg in the BGC Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on December 22.
The trainer reported: “The horse excelled last season and although he has disappointed a bit, I think he definitely needed the run at Newbury and the ground was too quick for him at Ascot. To be fair, there are only a certain amount of races he can run in but I probably would not run him on that quick ground again in top company.
“He is a horse that takes a race or two to come up to his grade and he went for two racecourse gallops before Newbury. Last year he was running in tin-pot novice hurdles at the start so it was not too noticeable. He won his first race at Hexham and you can win at Hexham half-way there with a horse of his ability.”
Moffatt retains plenty of confidence in his charge’s talent and is of the opinion that he will disprove any doubters on his favoured soft going, although he is under no illusions as to the task facing Chief Dan George now that he is competing with the likes of Inglis Drever and Blazing Bailey.
Moffatt continued: “Chief Dan George will come good because he has plenty of ability and he will pick up a nice race. He is out of novice company and is playing with the big boys now so it is a fair step up. We have done everything right with the horse, the ground is soft and I am sure he will now start to show his true form.
“On his Aintree run he is up there with the best but I think they went too quickly that day. Our horse is a soft ground horse and although it was good that day, they turned it into a stayers’ race, which played to his strengths. His true form for me was at Haydock last year when he defeated Itsalegend by 15 lengths.
“Brian Hughes rides the horse on Saturday. He has ridden him a lot at home and rides for me all the time. He has done a lot of schooling with him so we want to give him his chance. He deserves it because he is a model professional.
“People like John Wade, Alan Swinbank and myself are supporting him in the hope that we can have a northern champion conditional this year.”
Last year’s renewal of the prestigious Byrne Group Cleeve Hurdle went to the Alan King-trained Blazing Bailey, who defeated the brilliant Inglis Drever, trained by Howard Johnson. The latter gained revenge next time out when collecting a second triumph in the Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at The Festival.
Inglis Drever and Blazing Bailey are both set to lock horns again in a fantastic renewal, which could also see Wichita Lineman, victorious at the 2007 Festival in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, attempt to strengthen his claim to the three-mile hurdle crown.
The field for the Grade Two contest could also feature the hat-trick seeking Grade One victor Lough Derg from the in-from David Pipe yard, recent Ascot winner Labelthou, trained by Emma Lavelle, and the Francois Doumen-trained Millenium Royal who defeated the Tom Hogan-trained Irish raider Sonnyanjoe in the lucrative Betfair Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle at Haydock in November.
The fantastic seven-race cards features four Grade Two contests with the highlight being the £100,000 Grade Two Letheby & Christopher Chase (2.40pm), a leading trial for the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, over an extended three miles and one furlong.
Cheltenham Clerk of the Course, Simon Claisse, revealed this morning: “The going on the hurdles and chase courses is currently soft, good to soft in places with a Turftrax going stick reading of 6.8 and the ground continues to dry out. There may be a little late rain today but Friday and Saturday are expected to be dry and bright.”
GUEST HOPING FOR BIG RUN FROM ARMAGEDDON IN SKY BET CHASE & REVELEY SET TO RUN TWO IN DONCASTER FEATURE
Richard Guest is looking forward to a good performance from Our Armageddon in the £75,000 Listed Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster (3.00pm) on Saturday, January 26.
The Nottinghamshire-based handler, who triumphed in the three-mile Sky Bet Chase in 2004 with Tyneandthyneagain, has had the race in mind for his 11-year-old gelding for some time and was pleased with his recent reappearance in a handicap chase at Wincanton on January 5, after an absence of nearly two years.
Guest said: “The Sky Bet Chase has been the aim for Our Armageddon for a long time. He bowled along for half of the race under a big weight at Wincanton recently before he blew up. That race has did him the world of good and he came back bouncing. We have galloped him round Southwell since and he seems absolutely spot on.
“We’ve laid him out for Doncaster, and being pulled up last time could have actually improved his chances for Saturday, as he’s had a good blow and he didn’t get bottomed. He won’t mind really soft ground, but the recent drying weather will suit him as well.”
Prior to his Wincanton appearance, Our Armageddon, currently a 25/1 shot with sponsor Sky Bet after support earlier in the week, was a game winner of the Singer & Friedlander Chase over an extended two miles & six furlongs at Uttoxeter in testing conditions on February 18, 2006.
The 11-year-old gelding, set to carry 10st 5lb in the Sky Bet Chase, enjoyed his finest hour at the Cheltenham Festival in 2004, when he won the Grade Two Cathcart Challenge Cup Chase over two miles and five furlongs.
Trainer Keith Reveley, whose mother won the Sky Bet Chase twice with Dalkey Sound in 1991 and Carbisdale in 1994, hopes to be double-handed in Saturday’s big race. The Cleveland-based handler is looking forward to running Borders Scottish National winner Rambling Minster and is anticipating a bold show from Ungaro, who is set to make his debut in handicap company in the Sky Bet Chase.
Reveley said: "Hopefully both Rambling Minster and Ungaro will line up in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday. Rambling Minster wouldn't want the ground to be too heavy, but the recent sunshine and wind should help conditions.
"He's very flexible concerning distances, having won the Scottish Borders National at Kelso over four miles and then running well in the Tommy Whittle at Haydock over a mile less. He pitched on landing there at the third last when he was coming with a nice run, but he still ran well to finish fourth in a good race. He's in good form and has done nothing wrong all year."
While Rambling Minster, set to carry 11st 3lb on Saturday, comes into the Sky Bet Chase on the back of two gallant displays in staying chases, Reveley hopes that Ungaro (11st 5lb) will return to winning ways on his first start over fences in handicap company.
Reveley continued: "Running in a handicap should suit Ungaro. He's run at the highest level more or less for the last two years, having taken part in a Grade One Novice Hurdle at Aintree and the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham.
"He's slipped to nice chase mark, around the low 140s, and he wants a strongly run three miles which is hopefully what he'll get on Saturday."
Both horses are currently rated as 14/1 chances with Sky Bet for Saturday’s big race. Top weight Opera Mundi, who like Ungaro is owned by Sir Robert Ogden, is their 5/1 market leader.
Other likely runners for Saturday include the Charlie Mann-trained Bagan, currently 8/1 second favourite with Skybet, Rehearsal Chase winner Harmony Brig (20/1), and French raiders L’Ami (20/1) and Kelami (22/1).
LATEST SKY BET PRICES
Opera Mundi 5/1, Bagan 8/1, An Accordian 10/1, Yardbird 12/1, Alderburn 14/1, New Little Bric 14/1, Rambling Minster 14/1, Standin Obligation 14/1, Ungaro 14/1, Brooklyn Brownie 16/1, Dream Alliance 16/1, Model Son 16/1, Maljimar 18/1, Butler's Cabin 20/1, Caipiroska 20/1, Dusky Warbler 20/1, Harmony Brig 20/1, Idle Talk 20/1, Jaunty Times 20/1, Juveigneur 20/1, L'Ami 20/1, Limited Edition 20/1, Aztec Warrior 20/1, Bob Hall 20/1, Ma Yahab 20/1, Kelami 22/1, Kerry Lads 22/1, Ardaghey 22/1, Burntoakboy 25/1, Captain Corelli 25/1, Henry's Pride 25/1, Lidjo De Rouge 25/1, Our Armageddon 25/1, Royal Rosa 25/1, Thistlecraft 25/1, Aleron 28/1, Herecomestanley 28/1, Mister McGoldrick 28/1, Hard Act To Follow 33/1, Alright Now M'Lad 33/1, Himalayan Trail 33/1, The Reverend 33/1, Brooklyn Breeze 33/1, Lampion Du Bost 40/1, Undeniable 40/1, Korelo 66/1, Red Scally 66/1, Arumun 100/1