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Friday, November 11, 2005



Today saw a crowd of 19,994 - a record attendance for Countryside Day at Cheltenham.

The previous record was 19,725 in 2004.

Edward Gillespie, Cheltenham’s Managing Director, said: “Countryside Day continues to grow at Cheltenham and it was a fantastic achievement for us to have created a new attendance record today, especially considering that the weather was not so great.

“The range of entertainments before racing proved popular and we hope the next two days of the meeting are just as successful.”


Race sponsor Paddy Power will be paying FIVE places in tomorrow’s feature race at Cheltenham, the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

Meanwhile in the betting, favourites Our Vic and Monkerhostin remain unchanged at 10/3 and 9/2 respectively whilst Therealbandit and Kandjar D’Allier continue to come in following plunges on Thursday, both now at 14/1.

Paddy Power also has a number of specials for the race with Martin Pipe and Philip Hobbs both 11/4 to be the winning trainer.

Paddy Power Gold Cup Latest
10/3 Our Vic, 9/2 Monkerhostin, 6/1 Lacdoudal, 10/1 Brooklyn Breeze, 12/1 My Will, 12/1 Forget The Past, 12/1 Redemption , 14/1 Kandjar d'Allier, 14/1 Therealbandit, 16/1 Mariah Rollins, 20/1 Fondmort, 25/1 Liberthine, 25/1 Lord Sam, 25/1 Full House, 40/1 Banker Count, 50/1 East Tycoon, 66/1 Royaleety, 66/1 Turgeonev EW 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4-5

Paddy Power Gold Cup Specials
11/4 M. Pipe to train the winner
11/4 P. Hobbs to train the winner
16/1 N. Henderson to train the winner
8/1 Winner to be trained in Ireland

Massive totescoop6 Bonus

Five punters failed to land the massive scoop6 bonus in last Saturday's totesport November Handicap, so once again there is a huge rollover. The Win Fund Rollover stands at £66,118 while there is £409,760 in the Bonus Fund Rollover. Races this weekend are divided between the jump meetings at Cheltenham and Wetherby.

Damian Walker of totesport said: "We expected the bonus to go last weekend, but with almost £500,000 still in the bonus pool there's a huge incentive for punters to land the win fund with the hope an even bigger payday the following Saturday."

totescoop6 TV Legs
Leg 1 2.10 Cheltenham
Leg 2 2.25 Wetherby
Leg 3 2.45 Cheltenham
Leg 4 2.55 Wetherby
Leg 5 3.20 Cheltenham
Leg 6 3.55 Cheltenham

Win Fund - £66,118

Bonus Fund - £409,760


Tomorrow’s £110,000 Paddy Power Gold Cup has attracted a huge field of 18 runners, the highest number to go to post since Richard Of Bordeaux was successful in the extended two and a half mile event from 19 rivals in 1963.

If all 18 declared runners take part, it will be the fourth largest field in the history of the race only surpassed by the 1963 contest (20 runners) and in the inaugural running in 1960 (19) and 1962 (25).

Paddy Power’s market leaders Our Vic (10/3 favourite) and Monkerhostin (9/2) both feature among the 18. The former, who won Ascot’s Reynoldstown Chase as a novice, failed to finish in three starts last year but is highly regarded by trainer Martin Pipe and has slipped down to a nice mark in the handicap, while the Philip Hobbs-trained Monkerhostin was successful in last year’s bonusprint.com Gold Cup (now the Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup) and in Exeter’s Haldon Gold Cup on his recent seasonal debut.

Monkerhostin has been all the rage with Paddy Power since his Exeter success, at one time being 4/1 favourite, while Our Vic has attracted support with the sponsor since his trainer exuded confidence at Monday’s media visit to Martin Pipe stable.

Hobbs also saddles Lacdoudal (6/1), who took advantage of a favourable hurdling handicap mark to win at Chepstow last month by a neck from Howle Hill.

Len Lungo bids to win this prestigious chase for the first time with Brooklyn Breeze (10/1), who also begun his season over timber, winning a handicap hurdle at Aintree on October 22 by two lengths from Town Crier.

Nigel Twiston-Davies has had a good season so far and he is attempting to add to Tipping Tim’s victory in 1992 with Redemption (12/1). The 10-year-old found only Ladbrokes World Hurdle winner Inglis Drever three lengths too powerful in the Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby on his seasonal bow last month.

Irish trainer Michael O’Brien hopes to conduct the first successful raid from across the Irish Seas since he achieved the same feat with Bright Highway in 1980, courtesy of Forget The Past (12/1). The Past Glories gelding was a top novice in Ireland last season with four victories including in a Grade One event at Leopardstown.

Paddy Power eased the front two in the betting a fraction yesterday afternoon after support for Pipe’s Therealbandit and Kandjar D’Allier, trained by Alan King, who are both now 14/1 chances.

Therealbandit won the Mears Group Handicap Chase at Cheltenham’s December Meeting last year, while Kandjar D’Allier has not been seen in action since finishing the runner-up to Buckby Lane in the Ladbrokes Trophy Handicap Chase at Prestbury Park at the end of January.

The Irish bookmaker bets 16/1 bar with the exception of the Paul Nicholls-trained My Will (12/1), who was two and a half lengths adrift of Impek in the Old Roan Handicap Chase at Aintree on October 23.


Tomorrow’s Servo Computer Services Trophy Handicap Chase has attracted 16 top-class chasers - the highest number in its history beating the previous record of 13 in 2000 - including the Martin Pipe-trained Stormez, who has won two of the three most recent renewals last year and in 2002.

Robert Alner saddles one of his stable stars in the form of Sir Rembrandt, who was classy enough to finish second to Best Mate in chasing’s blue riband, the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, in 2004.

French trainer Francois Doumen is double-handed in the race courtesy of First Gold and Innox. The former is a high-class performer who has twice won the Martell Cup at Aintree, while Innox was seventh in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National and won the Agfa Diamond Chase at Sandown in February and has the assistance of 10-time champion jockey Tony McCoy in the saddle.

The Mark Bradstock-trained King Harald enjoys his first appearance since winning the inaugural running of the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Captain Corelli is an intriguing representative for Philip Hobbs having joined the Minehead-based trainer from Mark Pitman. He has not run for 240 days but is highly-regarded and was recently nominated by one of Hobbs’s assistants as his horse to follow for the season.

Another improver set to line up is Bob Buckler’s I Hear Thunder, who has won his last two handicap chases at Wincanton and Chepstow respectively over three and a half miles and three miles.

Ireland has two runners in the form of Ted Walsh’s Jack High and Montayral, trained by Pat Hughes.


Sunday’s feature at Cheltenham contest, the £50,000 Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle (2.40pm), has attracted a quality field of 21.

Heading the declarations is the 2003 Smurfit Champion Hurdle victor Rooster Booster, who landed this race in 2002, was fifth in 2001 and fourth last year.

Another previous winner Westender, victorious in 2001, runs again, having also been second last year, and is one of three declared runners from the Martin Pipe stable, who are also represented by the exciting French import Don’t Be Shy, one of the leading juvenile hurdlers in France last season who will be having his first start for the Nicholashayne handler and also Fontanesi.

The Irish are well represented with three runners including Power Elite from the Noel Meade stable, Willie Mullins’ veteran Adamant Approach and Eye Candy, a recent winner rom the small yard of Sandra McCarthy.

Admiral was impressive when making his seasonal reappearance at Chepstow last month and makes the trip down from the yard of Richard Guest, while fellow County Durham handler Howard Johnson runs Dalaram.

Jonjo O’Neill has an interesting contender in Lingo, a very smart novice a couple of seasons ago who is having his first start after returning from injury.

Another horse making his first appearance of the season is Henry Daly’s Mighty Man, who looked a progressive performer when winning at the Grand National meeting at Aintree in April.

Other interesting contenders including Emma Lavelle’s consistent dual-purpose performer Self Defense, who is having his first outing of the Jumps season after showing good form on the Flat over the summer, Howle Hill from the Alan King stable and Paul Nicholls’ duo of Phar Bleu, a good juvenile last season, and Darrias.



The Open get off to a flying start for trainer Philip Hobbs when 8/1 shot Boychuk landed the opening Anglo Irish Bank Novices’ Hurdle (1.15pm) under Richard Johnson.

Martin Pipe’s Buena Vista made a bold bid from the front and looked as if he may have done enough, but a strong run from the last from Boychuk saw him go on to land the spoils by two lengths.

Hobbs said: “He was very green first time over hurdles but still won and improved next time out.

“He’s a really athletic type and has a good turn of speed. He didn’t actually jump as well today as he has done in the past but I suppose that is down to this being by the far the most competitive race he has run in.

“I think he will probably stay further than two miles, but I think we will probably stick to this trip for the time being. I think he is best on goodish ground - I’m not sure soft would suit him.”

“I suppose after this performance will would have to think about something for him here next March.”

He is 12/1 for the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with Paddy Power and 14/1 with Cashmans.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, where Hobbs saddles both Monkerhostin and Lacdoudal, he said: “I think it is very difficult to choose between them.

“Phil Smith [the handicapper] says he thinks Monkerhostin should win off his current mark. I’m not so sure - although what I can say is that I think his win last time in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter was probably his best-ever performance. Lacdoudal is in his second season and I think he has a good chance too.”


After today’s opening Anglo Irish Bank Novices’ Hurdle, the following jockeys reported the ground as:

Ruby Walsh, rider of Natal, and Barry Geraghty, rider of French Accordion, said: “Dead.”

Tom Doyle, rider of Off Spin, said: “On the slow side of good, not quite good to soft.”

Timmy Murphy, rider of Buena Vista, said: “Easy side of good.”

Russ Garritty, rider of Crow Wood, said: “Felt a bit dead.”

Tom Phelan, rider of Lago D’Oro, said: “Good to soft - just nice jumping ground.”

Richard Johnson, rider of winner Boychuk, said: “Good to soft.”

Tony McCoy, rider of Two Miles West, said: “Very dead.”



Martin Pipe, who has so often enjoyed great success at this meeting, got off the mark in only the second race when amateur Robert Quinn gave Getoutwhenyoucan a fantastic ride to beat Bee An Bee by nine lengths.

The champion trainer said: “Robert gave him a good ride and he jumped really well.”

Quinn was gaining his first win at Cheltenham. “He had a nasty accident in Ireland where he broke his neck and it was a life-threatening injury,” explained Pipe.
“He rode at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and he’s a good, conscientious lad with plenty of experience and a cool head.

“He’s tall but he rides very well and his brother trains in Ireland at the Curragh.

“He gave Getoutwhenyoucan a hell of a ride and followed instructions exactly and the horse jumped well and carried on going. It’s nice to get one on the board and hopefully we’ll get some more winners.”

The winner had won his previous two starts, most recently at Newton Abbot in August.

Pipe continued: “We gave him a rest after Newton Abbot and we were looking ahead for an opportunity.

“Buena Vista was second in the first race and he ran a great race. He was giving 7lb to the winner and gave him a great race coming off best at the weights. The ground might have been a bit soft for him.”

Speaking about Our Vic, who runs in tomorrow’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, the trainer said: “He’s in the stable next to Getoutwhenyoucan which hopefully will do the trick! He’s done the groundwork and Jonothan Lower has given him extra schooling to get his confidence back as he had a very nasty fall. Hopefully he’s back on song.

“Celestial Gold isn’t running as we’ve got other options including the Betfair Chase or the Hennessy Gold Cup.”



Tom George, trainer of second-placed Bee An Bee was satisfied with the eight-year-old’s performace.

The Gloucestershire handler said: “I think he’s run very well indeed and Robbie McCarthy has given him a super ride.

“He made a mistake at the ditch at the top of the hill - it was the same fence where he fell here as a novice. Once again, he just seems to have left his legs behind.

“I’m not totally sure where we’ll go next with him but we may step him up in distance later in the season as he was keeping on well at the end.”

WINNING QUOTES - RACE THREE - Beards Jewellers Cup


Bold Bishop finally bagged a decent prize when landing the £25,000 Beards Jewellers Cup for trainer Jonjo O’Neill and jockey Brian Harding.

The winner progressed from a unpromising position at the top of the hill to take up the running after the last under Brian Harding to deny Tiger Cry by two and a half lengths with long-time leader Made In Japan back in third.

The master of Jackdaws Castle opined: “That was grand.

“I didn’t think he would win until he was approaching the last. Early on, he just couldn’t seem to go the pace but I suppose the leaders have come back to him.

“There hasn’t been any physical problem with him - the only problem is in his head!

“We thought he was going to be really good when he was younger but he’s a bit soft to be honest. However, we’ll forgive him if he can win a good prize occasionally!”

“Brian rode him today as Tony wouldn’t have been able to do the weight. Brian has ridden quite a bit for us and finished third in the Grand National on Simply Dashing. His father used to look after me when I was a young lad out hunting.”

Harding added: “He did not really travel early on - they have gone a good gallop. But he jumped great and stayed on strongly up the hill.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s £50,000 Greatwood Hurdle, O’Neill reported of Lingo: “It’s a long time since Lingo last ran but he is in good form and has been schooling well.”



Tiger Cry found just Bold Bishop two and a half lengths too powerful in the Beards Jewellers Cup Handicap Chase, getting overtaken after the last obstacle by the winner in a thrilling finish.

Mary Moore, wife of trainer Arthur, who is at the sales, and handles Tiger Cry, said: “I’m pleased but disappointed - it was a fairly run race and I would think that we might come back to England with him. We like him.”

Tiger Cry’s jockey David Casey said: “Obviously, going to the last I thought that I had a possibility of winning. However, I haven’t got eyes in the back of my head!

“The winner is a well-handicapped horse and I was absolutely delighted with my fellow who was super and jumped great.”

Philip Hobbs, trainer of third-placed Made In Japan, a further three-quarters of a length away, said: “Certainly that was his best run for a long time.

“Apart from his win at the beginning of last season, his form has been indifferent and he’s run a lot better today.

“He probably wants further and we’ll be looking at races from anywhere from two to two and a half miles.”


After the third race, the going was changed to: Good to soft on the Hurdle and Chase course from an earlier Good to soft, good in places.



The King of the cross-country chasers retained his crown in fine style, gaining his fourth success in races of this type at Cheltenham by two and a half lengths to Lord Jack and getting a huge cheer when coming back to the winner’s enclosure.

Winning trainer Enda Bolger said: “I am absolutely delighted - the conditions of this race suited him and this horse is a treat to have around the place.

“We have highlighted it tons of times but when he turns for home here, this is a fair horse and difficult to beat and the Cheltenham hill gets the best out of him. He runs all the way to the line.

“He swings his legs everywhere but gets the job done!

“Please God - you know this game and anything can happen - but he’ll come back next month for the Sporting Index Cross-Country Handicap Chase and then the Sporting Index Cross-Country Handicap at the Festival in March. We’ll keep rocking!

“J T McNamara [winning rider] makes this horse and they are a great combination. J T rides this track so well and I don’t know what I’ll do when the guy retires.

“The horse will be 13 when he comes back for the Festival but today a lot of shrewd observers marked him down as brilliant and I’m proud of him and the jockey.”



Trainers Nicky Richards and Tony Martin both expressed their delight with the performances of Lord Jack and Oh My Lord, who finished second and third respectively in the Sporting Index Cross Country Chase.

Speaking of Lord Jack, who went down by two and a half lengths, Nicky Richards said: “That was a great effort considering that it was the first time he has run over the cross-country course.

“Lord Jack is a good, game and versatile performer who is qually effective over both hurdles and fences and today he’s shown he handle this course too.

“Mr Hemmings [the owner] has always wanted a runner for this race and is delighted with him - it was a great thrill. He said if you haven’t got a runner in the Sporting Index Chase you have to twiddle your thumbs for 15 minutes!

“I think we may well come back for the race next month over this course. That is a handicap so we’ll be getting a fair bit of weight from Spot Thedifference.”

Tony Martin said of Oh My Lord: “I am delighted with Oh My Lord.

“He did it well considering this was his first attempt at this course, it was a great effort.

“I thought he would jump well as he’s a very nimble horse and has always been a great ‘lepper’ and he stays well.

“We’ll have a look at next month’s race and I think he may well come back for it.”



Church Island took the first step towards the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at The Festival in 2006 when upsetting the odds-on favourite Celtic Son in the Steel Plate & Sections Novices’ Chase.

The six-year-old is from the Irish stable of Michael Hourigan and runs in the yellow and green silks of Joe Craig, owner of Beef Or Salmon.

Prominent throughout, Church Island put up a superb display of jumping and had eight lengths to spare at the finish.

Michael Hourigan Jnr, representing his father who is stuck at home with the flu, said: “We thought we would bring him to The Open as we thought he could do with getting a feel of the fences here. We didn’t want to bring him over for The Festival having never run here before.

“Groundwise, I think he would go on pretty much anything and he’s jumped well today.

“He will be aimed at the top staying novice chases’ through the season and could well run at Leopardstown over Christmas. Hopefully, we will be back for the SunAlliance Chase here next March.

“The stable is going really well this year. We had the vurus last year and things were never quite right but it has been much better this year.

“I have to say we were quietly confident we could beat Celtic Son today - we just thought he may not truly get the trip round here. I was a bit worried when there did not appear to be much pace on, but he’s done it well in the end.”

Church Island earned the following quotes for the Royal & SunAlliance Chase: 12/1 (Sean Graham), 16/1 (totesport), 20/1 (Paddy Power, Cashmans, bet365), 25/1 (Boylesports).



Odds-on favourite Celtic Son was no match for Irish raider Church Island in the Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase, going down by eight lengths and leaving some glum faces in the second position in the winner’s enclosure.

Celtic Son’s trainer Martin Pipe, saddling his second runner-up of the day to go with his one success, said: “He’s done well and that is probably as good as he is.

“He jumped well. He won well at Wincanton last time but what did he beat?

“Maybe we’ll go back in trip with him but he has won over three miles.”

Celtic Son’s owner David Johnson said: “That was disappointing really - there is no obvious answer. Maybe the race came a bit quick after Wincanton [six days ago].”

Cashmans were least impressed with Celtic Son’s performance, pushing him out to 14/1 (from 10/1) for the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham in March. Paddy Power, totesport and bet365 all go 10/1 from 7/1, 7/1 and 8/1 respectively.



Robert Stronge has not had a good 2005 but he was ecstatic in a gloomy winner’s enclosure after his Water King had won the concluding Abacus Global Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle by half a length from Mouftari.

The winning trainer said: “That was a good result after six months in the wilderness. To be fair my horses haven’t been right and they were probably a bad bunch.

“This horse ran well last year and was very ill at one stage.

“I can’t believe that he was 50/1 [£69.10 on the tote].”

The winner was Shane Walsh’s first Cheltenham winner.

He said: “I have worked for Robert for a couple of months and my agent is Dave Roberts.

“I was born on September 20, 1983 in Tipperary. I previously worked for Emma Lavelle for a season.”


French Accordion has proved popular in the opening Anglo Irish Bank Novices’ Hurdle (1.15pm) and is 10/1 from 12/1, with Paddy Power.

In the second race, the paddypower.com Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (1.50pm), You Owe Me is 6/1 from 7/1.

Today’s Pricewise selection, Bold Bishop, has proved popular and is 8/1 from 10/1 in the Beards Jewellers Cup (2.25pm).

Sport Thedifference, successful in all three cross country chases at Cheltenham last season, is 2/1 from 11/4 for a second win in the Sporting Index Chase (3.00pm).

Mouseski has been the most popular horse in the concluding Abacus Global Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and is 9/2 from 11/2.


In the opening Anglo Irish Bank Novices’ Hurdle (1.15pm), Boylesports report money for Rimsky who is now 7/1 from 8/1.

Willie John Daly is 6/1 from 7/1 with same firm in the paddypower.com Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase while the main horse backed today has been Bold Bishop in the Beards Jewellers Cup (2.25pm) who is 15/2 from 9/1 with Boylesports and 8/1 from 9/1 with Coral. Andreas has also been popular in the same contest with Boylesports and is 7/2 from 4/1.

Bob Bob Bobbin has been in demand with Boylesports in the Steel Plate & Sections Novices’ Chase (3.35pm) and is 7/1 from 9/1.

A couple of horses have been backed in the concluding Abacus Global Conditional Handicap Hurdle (4.10pm). Nassaro is 16/1 from 20/1 with Boylesports while Coral report money for Good Thyne Jack, who is 16/1 from 20/1 and representing the yard of Eric McNamara - successful in this race last year.


Simon Claisse, Cheltenham’s Clerk of the Course, reported that he has changed the going to: Good to soft, good in places. The going had been good to soft.

He added: “We haven’t had any rain overnight but we have had lots of wind which has dried out the course a bit more.

“The forecast is for rain coming in in mid-afternoon, with five to six millimetres expected then and into this evening. We have just had a little shower but there is nothing forecast for the next few hours.

“The forecast is for a dry Saturday and Sunday.

“The going on the cross country course remains: Good, good to soft in places.

“I think that the course looks fantastic and we have had 50 millimetres since the weekend, with the last rain being on Tuesday night.”


1st 2nd 3rd
Martin Pipe 1 2 -
Jonjo O’Neill 1 - 1
Philip Hobbs 1 - 2
Enda Bolger IRE 1 - -
Michael Hourigan IRE 1 - -
Robert Stronge 1 - -
Tom George - 1 -
Arthur Moore IRE - 1 -
Charles Byrnes - 1 -
Nicky Richards - 1 -
Tom Hogan IRE - - 1
Tony Martin IRE - - 1
Nigel Twiston-Davies - - 1


1st 2nd 3rd
Brian Harding 1 1 -
Richard Johnson 1 - 1
Denis O’Reagan 1 - 1
Mr J T McNamara 1 - -
Mr Robert Quinn 1 - -
Shane Walsh 1 - -
Timmy Murphy - 2 -
David Casey - 1 -
Martin Ferris - 1 -
Mr Robbie McCarthy - 1 -
Dave Flannery - - 1
Mr Tom Greenall - - 1
Carl Llewellyn - - 1
Tony McCoy - - 1


Two miles and half a furlong, Class A, Grade 2 £30,000 guaranteed For 4yo+ Weights 11st. Penalties: a winner of a Class D hurdle 4lb; of a Class A-C hurdle 7lb. Allowances: fillies and mare 7lb. Entries: 19 pay £140. Penalty value: 1st £17,106; 2nd £6,417; 3rd £3,213; 4th £1,602; 5th £804; 6th £402.

1 BOYCHUK (IRE) (Diana Whately) Philip Hobbs 4-11-00 Richard Johnson 8/1
2 BUENA VISTA (IRE) (Matt Archer & The Late Jean Broadhurst) Martin Pipe 4-11-07 Timmy Murphy 9/4f
3 TWO MILES WEST (IRE) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 4-11-07 Tony McCoy 7/2
4 CROW WOOD (Marie Taylor) John Quinn 6-11-00 Russ Garritty
5 NATAL (FR) (Monica Hackett) Paul Nicholls 4-11-07 Ruby Walsh
6 FRENCH ACCORDION (IRE) (Padraig Brady) Paul Nolan IRE 5-11-07 Barry Geraghty
7 DANEHILL DIAMOND (IRE) (Seamus O’Farrell) Michael Joseph Fitzgerald IRE 6-10-07 Mr James O'Farrell
8 LAGO D'ORO (Lady Maria Coventry) Dr Philip Pritchard 5-10-11 Tom Phelan
9 OFF SPIN (Michael Stoddart) Paul Webber 5-11-00 Tom Doyle
10 RIMSKY (IRE) (D & S Goodman) Nigel Twiston-Davies 4-11-07 Carl Llewellyn

Distances: 2, 2.5, 1.25 3, 18, 10, 1.25 hd, 8
Breeding: b g Insan - Pointe Fine
Breeder: Robert Donaldson
Tote: Win; £8.30 Places; £2.40, £1.70, £1.50 Exacta; £20.70

Winning trainer: PHILIP HOBBS Based: Sandhill, Bilbrook, Minehead, Somerset Date of Birth: 26/7/55 Riding Career: Professional NH 1975-86, rode 160 winners Date of first trainer’s licence: August 1, 1985 Wins this season: Cheltenham Festival wins: (9) Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (1990 Moody Man, 2002 Rooster Booster), Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup Handicap (1996 Kibreet), Coral Cup H’cap Hurdle (2000 What’s Up Boys, 2004 Monkerhostin), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2002 Flagship Uberalles), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (2003 Rooster Booster), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2003 One Knight), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2004 Made In Japan) Aintree Festival wins: John Smith’s Topham Chase (1997 Bells Life, 2001 Gower-Slave), John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (1996 Pleasure Shared),, Barton & Guestier Hcap Hurdle (1999 Papo Kharisma), John Smith’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Phardante Flyer, 2001 Ilico II, 2002 In Contrast), John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase (2000 Bells Life), John Smith’s XO 4yo Hurdle (2000 Lord Brex), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2001 What’s Up Boys) Wins (1990/91-2004/05): 33; 51; 37; 64; 86; 77; 64; 71; 84; 120; 82; 119; 134; 121; 121 Horses in training (1990-2005): 44; 53; 60; 52; 47; 65; 72; 80; 81; 81; 82; 99; 108; 112; 112; 105 Other major wins:Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase (1989 Joint Sovereignty), William Hill Handicap Hurdle (1998 Polar Prospect), Racing Post Chase (1999 Dr Leunt, 2002 Gunther McBride, 2005 Farmer Jack), Edinburgh Woollen Mill Champion Novices’ Chase (1999 Bouchasson), Hennessy Gold Cup (2001 What’s Up Boys), Totesport Becher Chase (1997 Samlee), Rehabilitation Of Racehorses H’cap Hurdle (2002 Rooster Booster), Vodafone Gold Cup (2005 Supreme Prince) Wins this season: 56

Winning Jockey: Richard Johnson Date of birth: 21/07/77 First winner 30 April 1994, Rusty Bridge, Exeter Number of Wins (1993/94-2004/2005): 1; 12; 53; 102; 120; 133; 143; 161; 132; 147; 186; 135 Cheltenham Festival wins: (11) BONUSPRINT STAYERS’ HURDLE (1999 Anzum), MILDMAY OF FLETE CHALLENGE CUP H’CAP CHASE (2000 Dark Stranger, 2003 Young Spartacus), TOTE CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP (2000 Looks Like Trouble), QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (2002 Flagship Uberalles), COUNTY HURDLE (2002 Rooster Booster), SMURFIT CHAMPION HURDLE (2003 Rooster Booster), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2003 One Knight), Cathcart Chase (2003 La Landiere), CORAL CUP (2004 Monkerhostin), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2004 Made In Japan) Aintree Festival wins: BARTON & GUESTIER TOP NOVICES’ HURDLE (1997 Midnight Legend, 2000 Phardante Flyer), Belle Epoque Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (1997 Forest Ivory), Martell Cup Chase (1998 Escartefigue), Heidsieck Monopole Mildmay Novices’ Chase (1999 Spendid, 2001 What’s Up Boys), Glenlivet Anniversary 4yo Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Lord Brex), John Hughes Trophy Chase (2001 Gower-Slave), JOHN SMITH’S TOP NOVICES’ HURDLE (2005 Mighty Man) Other big race wins: JAMES NICHOLSON WINE MERCHANT CHAMPION CHASE (2000 Looks Like Trouble), WELSH NATIONAL (1999 Edmond), RACING POST CHASE (2000 Gloria Victis, 2001 Young Spartacus, 2002 Gunter McBride, 2005 Farmer Jack), TOTE SILVER CUP (2002 Behrajan), betfair.com RENDLESHAM HURDLE (2004 Monkerhostin), HENNESSY COGNAC GOLD CUP (2004 Florida Pearl) Wins This Season: 81


Three miles and half a furlong, Class E, £15,000 added For 5yo+ Rated 0-135. Weights raised 6lb Minimum weight 10-0 Penalties: after October 29th a winner of a chase 7lb, Lord Who’s handicap mark 129. Entries: 34 pay £75. Penalty value: 1st £10,533.50; 2nd £3,290.62; 3rd £1,644.44; 4th £823.10; 5th £410.67; 6th £207.09.

1 GETOUTWHENYOUCAN (IRE) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 5-10-11 Mr Robert Quinn (7) 5/2f
2 BEE AN BEE (IRE) (Stan Moore) Tom George 8-10-10 Mr Robbie McCarthy (7) 5/1
3 WILLIE JOHN DALY (IRE) (D Peppiatt) Philip Hobbs 8-11-11 Mr Tom Greenall 8/1
4 YOU OWE ME (IRE) (C Cornes ) Nigel Twiston-Davies 8-10-09 Mr Gerald Tumelty (7)
5 FASGO (IRE) (F Smith) Paul Nicholls 10-11-5 Mr Colman Sweeney
6 JIVER (IRE) (The Yes-No-Wait Sorries) Michael Scudamore 6-10-10 Miss Nina Carberry
7 DIX VILLEZ (FR) (Gigginstown House Stud) Paul Nolan IRE 6-10-12 Mr Aidan Fitzgerald
P LORD WHO (IRE) (Jacqueline Costello) Pat Doyle IRE 8-11-12 Mr J T McNamara
P MAMIDEOS (IRE) (Silkword racing Parnership) Tom George 8-10-07 Mr Jamie Snowden (3)

Distances: 9, 5, 2, 12, 5, dist
Breeding: gr g Old Vic - Galice Du Soleil
Breeder: M. J. Halligan
Tote: Win; £2.90 Place; £1.60, £1.80, £2.40 Exacta; £15.00

Winning trainer: MARTIN CHARLES PIPE Date of birth: 29/5/45 Date of first licence: 1977 Previous occupation: Amateur rider, shop manager for father, bookmaker David Pipe Cheltenham Festival wins: (34) JCB Triumph Hurdle (1981 Baron Blakeney, 1995 Kissair), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1994 Balasani, 1996 Cyborgo), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (1997 Make A Stand, 1993 Granville Again), Coral Cup (2002 Ilnamar, 1997 Big Strand, 1993 Olympian), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (1991 Rolling Ball, 1992 Miinnehoma), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (1991 Omerta, 2003 Royal Predica, 2004 Maximize), Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle (1989 Sayfar's Lad, 1990 Regal Ambition), Letheby & Christopher Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1989 Sondrio, 1999 Hors La Loi III), Cathcart (1991 Chatam, 1996 Challenger Du Luc, 1998 Cyfor Malta, 2002 Royal Auclair), Irish Independent Arkle (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve, 2004 Well Chief, 2005 Contraband), Mildmay of Flete (1997 Terao, 1999 Majadou, 2000 Dark Stranger, 2002 Blowing Wind), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (1998 Blowing Wind, 2005 Fontanesi), Pertemps Final (1998 Unsinkable Boxer), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2003 Liberman) Other major wins: John Smith’s Grand Nationaal (1994 Miinnehoma), Welsh National (1993 Riverside Boy, 1992 Run For Free, 1991 Carvill's Hill, 1988 & 1989 Bonanza Boy), Scottish Grand National (1993 Run For Free), Paddy Power Gold Cup (1987 Beau Ranger, 1996 Challenger Du Luc, 1998 Cyfor Malta, 2000 Lady Cricket, 2001 Shooting Light, 2002 Cyfor Malta, 2004 Celestial Gold), Hennessy Gold Cup (1991 Chatam, 1988 Strands Of Gold), betfred Gold Cup (1995 Cache Fleur, 2004 Puntal), Totesport Gold Trophy (1997 Make A Stand, 2002 Copeland), Tripleprint Gold Cup (1993 Fragrant Dawn, 1998 Northern Starlight), Long Walk Hurdle (1992 Vagog, 2002 Deano’s Beeno), cantorsport.co.uk Silver Cup (2001 Shooting Light, 2003 Horus), Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase (2004 Our Vic) Wins (1974/75-2004/05): 1, 5, 5, 2, 6, 12, 14, 20 23, 32, 51, 79, 106, 129, 208, 224, 230, 224, 194, 126, 137, 176, 212, 208, 187, 243, 168, 235, 190, 175, 193 Number of horses in training (1984-2005): 28, 38, 65, 60, 62, 108, 107, 131, 120, 81, 122, 66, 91, 94, 106, 136, 146, 103, 140, 165, 165, 158 Wins This Season: 57

Winning Jockey: Robert Quinn Age: 22 Background: His brother John Quinn trains at the Curragh in Ireland. Suffered a life threatening broken neck and cannot get a licence to ride in Ireland. Works for Martin Pipe. First Cheltenham winner: Getoutwhenyoucan (paddypower.com Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase, November 11, 2005) Career Wins: 3


Two Miles Class B, £25,000 added For 5yo+ Minimum weight 10-0 Penalties: after October 29th a winner of a chase 5lb, Armaturk’s handicap mark 155. Entries: 24 pay £110. Penalty value: 1st £17,021.58; 2nd £5,027.93; 3rd £2,513.97; 4th £1,258.34; 5th £627.81; 6th £315.26.

1 BOLD BISHOP (IRE) (Gay Smith) Jonjo O'Neill 8-10-00 Brian Harding 8/1
2 TIGER CRY (IRE) (C Jones) Arthur Moore IRE 7-10-02 David Casey 6/1
3 MADE IN JAPAN (JPN) (Terry Evans) Philip Hobbs 5-10-10 Richard Johnson 14/1
4 TYSOU (FR) (W Brown) Nicky Henderson 8-10-07 Marcus Foley
5 ARMATURK (FR) (Trevor Hemmings) Paul Nicholls 8-11-12 Christian Williams
6 ANDREAS (FR) (Mark Tincknell) Paul Nicholls 5-11-01 Ruby Walsh 7/2f
7 BAMBI DE L'ORME (FR) (Mr & Mrs John Poynton) Ian Williams 6-10-09 Tony McCoy
8 ONE CORNETTO (IRE) (Carrie Zetter-Wells) Lawrence Wells 6-10-01 Leighton Aspell
9 SEEBALD (GER) (The Macca & Growler Partnership) Martin Pipe 10-11-07 Tom Scudamore
10 FULL IRISH (IRE) (D Stronach) Len Lungo 9-10-11 Jim Crowley

Distances: 2.5, .75, 1, 4, 6, 2, .75, 8, 1 1/4
Breeding: b g Religiously - Ladybojangles
Breeder: C. Cunningham-Hogg
Tote: Win; £9.20 Place; £2.70, £2.20, £2.90 Exacta; £76.20

Winning trainer: JONJO O’NEILL Born: April 13, 1952 Based: Jackdaws Castle, Gloucestershire Career: former National Hunt jockey Cheltenham Festival wins: (10) Pertemps Final (1991 Danny Connors, 2003 Inching Closer, 2004 Creon); National Hunt Chase (1995 Front Line, 2002 Rith Dubh, 2003 Sudden Shock, 2004 Native Emperor); Vincent O’Brien County H’cap Hurdle (2000 Master Tern), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2003 Spectroscope), bonusprint.com Stayers’ Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift) Horses in Training (1996-2005): 53; 59; 59; 78; 78, 75, 98, 90, 95; 94 Number of Winners (1995/96-2004/05): 18; 17; 32; 38; 44; 58; 113; 114; 102; 96 Other Big Race Wins: Tripleprint Gold Cup (1999 Legal Right), Totesport Silver Cup (2000 Legal Right), Totesport Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle (2002 Native Emperor), Kingwell Hurdle (2003 Rhinestone Cowboy), Challow Hurdle (2002 Coolnagorna), Reynoldstown Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Welsh National (2002 Mini Sensation), Totesport Becher Chase (2003 Clan Royal), Edward Hanmer Chase (2003 Keen Leader) Aintree Festival wins: John Smith’s V.S. Hcap Chase (2000 Radiation, 2002 Carbury Cross, 2003 Master Tern), John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle (2002 Sudden Shock); John Smith’s XO Anniversary 4YO Hurdle (2002 Quazar), Cordon Bleu Handicap Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon), John Smith’s Topham Chase (2003 Clan Royal), John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Iris’s Gift), John Smith’s Champion Standard National Hunt Flat Race (2003 Classic Native), John Smith’s Laurel Pub Company Liverpool Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle (2004 Rhinestone Cowboy) Wins this season: 49

Winning Jockey: Brian Harding Date of Birth: 26/09/72 Cheltenham Festival wins: (1) QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (1998 One Man) Aintree Festival wins: MUMM MILDMAY NOVICES’ CHASE (1996 Addington Boy) Other Major wins: SPORTING INDEX CROSS COUNTRY CHASE (1995 & 1996 McGregor The Third), SPORTING INDEX SELECT CROSS COUNTRY CHASE (1998 McGregor The Third), PERTEMPS FIGHTING FIFTH HURDLE (2003 The French Furze) Wins (1997/98): 17 General: Out of action for almost a year after sustaining serious head injuries froma fall at Newcastle in December 1996. In May, 1998, replaced Russ Garrity as number one jockey to Micky Hammond at Middleham. Wins (1992/93-2004/05): 2; 7; 12; 30; 7; 17; 39; 39; 32; 15; 23; 23; 30 Wins This Season: 14


Three miles and seven furlongs, Class B, £30,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ which, after August 1st 2003, have been placed first, second or third in a chase (hunters’ chases included), or have won two open chase at point-t-point meetings; horses are to be schooled over the cross country course prior to running. Weights: 5yo 10st 9lb; 6yo+ 10st 10lb. Penalties: after August 1st, 2003, a winner; of a class F chase 3lb; of a class E chase 6lb; of a class D chase 9lb;of a class A to C chase 12lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Entries: 20 pay £145. Penalty value: 1st £18,789; 2nd £5,550; 3rd £2,775; 4th £1,389; 5th £693; 6th £348.

1 SPOT THEDIFFERENCE (IRE) (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 12-11-08 Mr J T McNamara 13/8f
2 LORD JACK (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Nicky Richards 9-11-08 Brian Harding
3 OH MY LORD (IRE) (A Shiels) Tony Martin IRE 7-11-02 Denis O’Regan
4 L'AVENTURE (FR) (C Harriman) Paul Nicholls 6-10-12 Paddy Brennan
5 IL DE BOITRON (FR) (Clonakilty Racing Club) Thomas O'Leary IRE 7-11-08 Davy Russell
6 LUZCADOU (FR) (A Chappel) Ferdy Murphy 12-11-08 Alan O'Keeffe
7 HAPPY HUSSAR (IRE) (Mrs T Pritchard) Dr Philip Pritchard 12-11-02 Dr Philip Pritchard
8 WILDFIELD RUFO (IRE) (Carol Holroyd) Kate Walton 10-11-05 Jim Crowley
9 HISTORG (FR) (Jim McCarthy) Ferdy Murphy 10-10-10 Tom Dreaper
10 NATIVE RAY (IRE) (Noreen Hayes) Noreen Hayes IRE 11-11-05 David Casey
11 MULTI TALENTED (IRE) (David Cox) Lawrence Wells 9-11-02 Mr Justin Morgan
12 PARDINI (USA) (Prevention & Detection (Holdings) Ltd) Milton Harris 6-11-02 Sam Stronge
F18 GRUMPY STUMPY (The Yes-No-Wait Sorries) Nigel Twiston-Davies 10-11-05 Carl Llewellyn
P GOOD STEP (IRE) (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 7-11-08 Conor O'Dwyer

Distances: 2.5, 2,.5, 11, 3, 15, 5, nk, 11, dist, 12
Breeding: b g Lafontaine - Spotted Choice
Breeder: Fenlon Bros
Tote: Win; £2.70 Place; £1.40, £2.60, £2.60 Exacta; £15.70

Winning trainer: ENDA BOLGER Born: April 21, 1963 Based: Howardstown House, Bruree, County Limerick, Ireland Cheltenham Festival Wins (2): Christies Foxhunter (1996 Elegant Lord), Sporting Index Cross Country Handicap Chase (2005 Spot Thedifference) Big Race Wins Include: Sporting Index Cross Country Chase (2004, 2005 Spot Thedifference) Wins in Britain this season: 1

Winning Jockey: John Thomas McNamara Other Details: Leading Irish amateur and point-to-point rider. Rode Samual Wilderspin to victory in Thomas Pink Amateur Chase at Cheltenham in November 2001. First Winner: Daske Abbey, Naas, May 5, 1997 Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): National Hunt Chase (2002 Rith Dubh) Big Race Wins Include: Tote Scoop 6 Lanzarote Hurdle (2003 Non So), Sporting Index Cross Country Chase (2004, 2005 Spot Thedifference) Wins in Britain This Season: 2



Three miles and half a furlong, Class B, £15,000 added For 5yo+ Weights: 5yo 10st 13lb; 6yo+ 11st. Penalties: after April 23rd 2005, a winner of a Class D to H chase 5lb; of 2 chases or a Class A to C chase 8lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Entries: 22 pay £75. Penalty value: 1st £10,427.89; 2nd £3,080.24; 3rd £1,540.13; 4th £770.90; 5th £384.62; 6th £193.14.

1 CHURCH ISLAND (IRE) (B Craig) Michael Hourigan IRE 6-11-08 Denis O’Regan 12/1
2 CELTIC SON (FR) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 6-11-08 Timmy Murphy 8/13f
3 RED GEORGIE (IRE) (M Wareing) Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-11-05 Carl Llewellyn
4 FISHERMAN JACK (Graham Smith) Graham Smith 10-11-00 Jodie Mogford
F14 BOB BOB BOBBIN (Sarah Tizzard) Colin Tizzard 6-11-00 Joe Tizzard
F18 BLUE BUSINESS (Angela Tincknell) Paul Nicholls 7-11-00 Ruby Walsh
P BATTLING BUSTER (IRE) (G Regan) Bob Buckler 8-11-00 Ben Hitchcott

Distances: 8, dist, dist
Breeding: Erins Isle - Just Possible
Breeder: J. S. Bolger
Tote: Win; £9.00 Place; £2.50, £1.30 Exacta; £21.00

Winning Trainer: MICHAEL HOURIGAN Born: December 8, 1947 Based: Lisaleen, Patrickswell, County Limerick, Ireland Date of First Trainer’s Licence: 1975 Cheltenham Festival Wins: (2) National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Chase (1999 Deejaydee), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1995 Dorans Pride) Other Big Race Wins: Lexus Chase (2002, 2004 Beef Or Salmon), James Nicholson Chase (2004 Beef Or Salmon), Heineken Gold Cup (2004 Beef Or Salmon), Hennessy Gold Cup (1998 Dorans Pride, 2003 Beef Or Salmon) Horses in Training (2004-05): 70; 64

Winning Jockey: Denis O’ Regan First winner at Cheltenham: Church Island (Steel Plate and Sections Novices’ Chase, November 11, 2005).


Two miles and five furlongs, Class E, £12,000 added For 4yo+ Rated 0-115. Minimum weight 10-0. Penalties: after October 29th, a winner of a hurdle 7lb. Anatar’s handicap mark 115. Allowances: riders who, prior to November 8, 2005, have not ridden more than 20 winners under any Rukes of Racing 3lb; more than 10 such winners 5lb; any such winner 7lb; those riding for their own stable allowed an additional 3lb. Entries: 57 pay £60. Penalty value: 1st £9,582.39; 2nd £2,830.50; 3rd £1,415.25; 4th £708.39; 5th £353.43; 6th £177.48.

1 WATER KING (USA) (Hellyer, Clark, St Quinton) Robert Stronge 6-10-12 Shane Walsh (6) 50/1
2 MOUFTARI (USA) (Getting Grey Syndivate) Charles Byrnes IRE 4-10-02 Martin Ferris (3) 14/1
3 NEWTOWN DANCER (IRE) (Cool Out Syndicate) Tom Hogan IRE 6-11-01 Dave Flannery (6) 66/1
4 MOUSESKI (M Dare) Paul Nicholls 11-11-01 Liam Heard (8) 4/1f
5 ASTYANAX (IRE) (A Taylor) Nicky Henderson 5-10-10 Sam Curling (3)
6 PARDON WHAT (N Powell) Sean Lycett 9-10-10 Tom Phelan
7 HELM (IRE) (Richard Rowe Racing Partnership) Richard Rowe 4-11-02 Paddy Aspell
8 ANATAR (IRE) (Eminence Grise Partnership) Martin Pipe 7-11-04 Andrew Glassonbury (8)
9 ARGENT OU OR (FR) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 4-10-07 Tom Malone (3)
10 GOOD THYNE JACK (IRE) (J Doherty) Eric McNamara IRE 7-10-00 Brian Byrnes (6)
11 MICHAELS DREAM (IRE) (Mrs Michael Paver) Noel Wilson 6-11-04 Tom Dreaper (3)
12 NASSARO (IRE) (B Healy) Michael Halford IRE 5-11-09 Tom Ryan
13 BETTER THINK AGAIN (IRE) (J Doherty) Susan Finn IRE 11-11-06 Billy Lee
14 MONTEVIDEO (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-05 Mark Walsh
15 DOUBLE DIZZY (Martyn Forrester) Bob Buckler 4-11-05 William Kennedy
16 OXYBAU (FR) (S Keys) Tom Taaffe 6-11-02 IRE Shane McGovern (3)
17 ALLSTAR LEADER (IRE) (Seamus O’Farrell) Michael Joseph Fitzgerald IRE 8-11-00 Johnny Allen (3)
18 SIR WALTER (IRE) (J Parfitt) Dai Burchell 12-10-05 Adam Pogson (3)
F9 KILGOWAN (IRE) (The Ferandlin Peaches) Ian Williams 6-11-09 Owyn Nelmes
P TAKE A DROP (IRE) (In The Rough Syndicate) Seamus O'Farrell IRE 10-10-07 Sean McDermott (3)
P MARTOVIC (IRE) (D Halsall) Kim Bailey 6-10-11 Mark Nicolls
P MISS SKIPPY (Lymington Arms Racing Partnership) Tony Newcombe 6-10-12 Paddy Merrigan
P LORD OF ILLUSION (IRE) (P Kennedy) Tom George 8-11-05 Paul O'Neill
P GAN EAGLA (IRE) (T Hywel Jones) Venetia Williams 6-11-01 Liam Treadwell (3)

Distances:.5, 13, 1.5, 8, 1.25 .75, 4, 3.5, .75, 5, 3.5,.5, 3.5, 2.5, dist, 1.5, dist
Breeding: b g Irish River - Brookshield Baby
Breeder: Skymarc Farm inc. & Castlemartin Stud
Tote: Win; £69.10 Place; £10.20, £3.30, £6.30, £2.10 Exacta; £1902.60

Winning trainer: ROBERT MAYNARD STRONGE Born: May 30, 1961 Based: Woods Folly, Beedon Common, Newbury, Berkshire Date of First Trainer’s Licence: 1995 - previously Permit Holder 1993 - 1995 Horses in Training (1996-2005): 11; 13; n/r; 6; n/r; n/r, 19, 14, 14, 9 Number of Winners over Jumps (1998/99-2004/05): 5; 6; 5; 11; 7; 4; 0 Number of winners this season: 2

Winning Jockey: Shane Walsh Born: Tipperary, September 20, 1983 Based: Joined Robert Stronge in autumn of 2005. Previously with Emma Lavelle, Cottage Stables, Little Hatherden, Andover, Hampshire. Number of Wins (2002/03-2004/05): 2; 0; 4 Wins This Season: 11


The North West Masters, the innovative new two-day festival of racing staged at Haydock Park and Aintree, promises to provide a feast of high-quality action with 14 races worth a combined total of over £500,000 spread throughout the weekend.

Haydock kicks off the action on Saturday, November 19, with the new Grade One £150,000 Betfair Chase providing the highlight, while Aintree will host the concluding day on Sunday, November 20, featuring the £100,000 totesport Becher Chase run over three miles, three furlongs of the Grand National course.

The thrilling spectacle of the Grand National fences will be seen twice on the day, as the six quality supporting races are headed by the prestigious £60,000 totepool Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over an extended two miles, five furlongs of the world famous course.

Aintree Clerk of the Course Andrew Tulloch said today: “The National course, which hasn't been used since the John Smith’s Grand National in April, is currently good to soft, soft in places, and the Mildmay and Hurdle courses would be good to soft.

"We are forecast more rain on and off over the weekend but what rain we've had, the ground has taken it very well and the Mildmay and Hurdle courses will be racing on fresh ground following our October meeting."

This year, the totesport Becher Chase and the totepool Grand Sefton Handicap Chase are held on the same day for the first time. The last time the Grand National course staged two races on the same card was in November, 1994, but Tulloch does not have any concerns.

He said: “It won't be a problem. In the old days they used to run the Topham Trophy and the Fox Hunters’ on the Thursday of the Grand National meeting.

"We've geared up specifically for this and we will actually have more groundstaff in attendance for this meeting than for the Grand National.

"Our guys will put the National course back for the second race and we're very grateful to have teams of groundstaff coming from Haydock, Carlisle, Cartmel, Nottingham and Bangor who will look after the Mildmay while we're racing over that.

"I'm looking forward to what will be a very exciting day's racing. This is serious prize money that we're offering now - the totesport Becher Chase is worth £100,000 and the totepool Grand Sefton £60,000.”

Lucinda Russell is looking forward to saddling Strong Resolve in the totesport Becher Chase and is happy with the nine-year-old after his second in a hurdle race at Ayr on November 6.

Russell said: “He definitely goes for the Becher Chase. The hurdle race has freshened him up and he's well in himself. I was very happy with his last run.

“He'll probably go straight to Chepstow for the Welsh National after the Becher Chase, and then on to the John Smith’s Grand National.”

The Scottish-based trainer is unconcerned about the going for her charge, who completed the course when 17th to Hedgehunter in last season's John Smith’s Grand National. He will be ridden by Peter Buchanan.

She said: “He can go on anything but I wouldn't want it as heavy as it was at Carlisle a couple of runs back. Just on the soft side will be fine.”

The Francois Doumen-trained Innox, seventh in last season's John Smith's Grand National, has the Becher Chase as a probable target.

The nine-year-old ran in the Grade Two Grand Steeple-Chase d'Enghien at Enghien on his seasonal bow last month and could take in the totesport Becher Chase en route to the John Smith's Grand National.

Frank Berry, racing manager to owner J. P. McManus, said: “Innox is in good form and he's a big possible for the Becher Chase. He runs at Cheltenham on Saturday (tomorrow) so we'll know after that.

“He has a choice of a race at Sandown or the Becher Chase so which way he goes depends on how he gets on at the weekend.

“The hope would be that he'll go for the John Smith’s Grand National again. He ran quite well there last season and hopefully we can get him back there.”

Haydock's quality seven-race card on Saturday, November 19, features the inaugural Grade One Betfair Chase and the £150,000 contest, the first leg of the Betfair Million, boasts strong support, including the £70,000 betfairpoker.com Handicap Hurdle over an extended two miles, seven furlongs, the richest race of its kind in Britain.

Saltburn trainer Keith Reveley will be chasing that pot with Tees Components who ran a fine third to Inglis Drever in the John Smith's Hurdle at Wetherby last month.

Reveley said of the 10-year-old: “He's in good form and he ran very well at Wetherby last time. He's fine and I'm pleased with him.

“It's such a big prize that I was thinking of running Rambling Minster but decided not to run two against each other. The softer the better for Tees Components.”

Reveley, who could field a solid team on the day, revealed: “I plan to run Hernando's Boy in the four-year-old handicap but he may be out of the handicap if Faasel runs, so we'll see when the entries come out.

“I hope to have a couple of runners in the Jump versus Flat jockeys challenge race. I have Into The Shadows who won at Huntingdon the other day and I'd like to run October Mist, if I can arrange for Tony Culhane to ride. He's been to school him at home.

"Obviously, I don't have anything for the big race but hopefully it will be a great day and I plan to be there, all being well."

The Drink J. W. Lees Bitter Jump v Flat Jockeys Handicap Hurdle over two miles will see Eddie Ahern captain an all-star team of Flat jockeys that consists of newly-crowned champion Jamie Spencer, former champion Kevin Darley, Neil Callan, Dane O'Neill and Tony Culhane.

The jump jockeys will be announced nearer the date but Carl Llewellyn will captain the six-strong team.

Haydock Clerk of the Course Kirkland Tellwright said: “It will work on a points basis, the same as the challenge we had in May and the prize is one of honour and glory.

"It has yet to be confirmed but I imagine it will be 12 points for a win down to one point for finishing last. I should think it will be zero points for anyone who doesn't complete."

Tellwright reported: “The current going is soft, heavy in places. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that with Bangor, Carlisle, Stratford and everywhere being off, we've had the same rain.

“The next few days are a mixture of a dry day then a wet day and we're going to get an average of five millimetres every other day. I would be hopeful of the ground improving from where it is at the moment.

"It has been unseasonably wet but it has only got to improve from the current weather for the ground to cheer up a bit.

"So far this season we've only had three steeplechases around the chase course so, while we've had two days racing over the hurdles course, the chase course is in near virgin condition."

Tellwright is thrilled by the response to the North West Masters and particularly the exciting first running of the three-mile Betfair Chase.

He said: "Apart from War Of Attrition, I'm not aware of any of the big guns not coming for the Betfair Chase. Of the seasoned horses, the rest are making positive noises.

"That's a vindication for us of our policy of taking two Grade Two races, pooling resources, stepping up the prize money and creating a new Grade One race.

"It's a positive step for Haydock Park and there’s everything to shoot for."


Haydock, Saturday, November 19, 2005

12.45pm £20,000 Drink J. W. Lees Bitter Jump v Flat Jockeys Handicap Hurdle 2m

1.20pm £25,000 Gordon Plant Memorial Newton Novices’ Hurdle 2m

1.50pm £70,000 betfairpoker.com Handicap Hurdle 2m 7f 110yds

2.20pm £150,000 Betfair Chase 3m

2.50pm £25,000 Casino 36 Classic Hurdle (Limited Handicap) 2m

3.25pm £20,000 Edward Hanmer Memorial Handicap Chase 2m

3.55pm £2,500 Bert Stafford Memorial National Hunt Flat Race 2m

Aintree, Sunday, November 20, 2005

1.05pm £15,000 Weatherbys Bank Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle 2m 110yds

1.40pm £60,000 totepool Grand Sefton Handicap Chase 2m 5f 110yds

2.15pm £25,000 William Hill/Stanleybet Children In Need Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f

2.50pm £100,000 totesport Becher Chase 3m 3f

3.20pm £15,000 Intersky Novices’ Chase 2m

3.50pm £10,000 Ennis Construction Novices’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f

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