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Thursday, November 11, 2010


Mr Big heads to the £25,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (3.00pm) at The Open tomorrow, Friday, November 12, having negotiated the daunting banks and fences of the famous Velka Pardubice in the Czech Republic on his most recent outing.

The nine-year-old completed the remarkable Czech cross country chase in 12th place. That was an improvement on the 14th position he achieved in 2009, after which he clinched fourth in that year’s renewal of the three-mile, seven-furlong Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.

Trainer Charlie Mann is hoping that the Eurobus gelding can post another fine effort off the back of his most recent Czech adventure, although he faces stiff competition with Irish handler Enda Bolger, successful six times in the race, responsible for three of the 11 runners, among them last year’s victor Garde Champetre and runner-up Heads Onthe Ground. Set to make his debut over Cheltenham’s cross country course is the Colin Tizzard-trained Joe Lively. The high-class 11-year-old has a fine record at Cheltenham and landed the Grade Two Letheby & Christopher Chase in January, 2009, and was last seen finishing 10th in the Grand National at Aintree in April.

Mann revealed today: “Mr Big is not at all well in at the weights tomorrow but he is good round there, he jumps well. Noel (Fehily) loves riding around there and we know he will get round but when he’s taking on horses like Joe Lively at level weights, he’s hardly thrown in, but, he jumps round there, so he goes for the race and the owners and I will enjoy the day out.”

Mann continued: “They’re saying the ground is slightly quicker on the cross country course at Cheltenham and he would be all right on that. He goes on pretty much any ground but not when it’s a road like it was on his last start.

“I wouldn’t say he enjoyed that experience in the Pardubice - he got round but the ground was way too quick for him, it was like the A4. You have to go out there a week before so you’re in the lap of the gods as to what’s going to happen with the ground. It was far too fast for him but he will be fine with the going at Cheltenham.”

Enda Bolger also saddles Freneys Well as he seeks a seventh victory following the triumphs of Fiftysevenchannels (1997), Spot Thedifference (2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007) and Garde Champetre (2009).

The field is also made up of Sizing Australia, third to Garde Champetre last year, Lucky Luk, Changing Course, Flintoff, Lacdoudal and Pass Me By.

Friday’s feature contest is the £40,000 Paddypower.com Handicap Chase (2.25pm) over two miles, which has attracted a field of 12, headed by top-weight Safari Journey, while the £25,000 Grade Two Cheltenham Collection Novices’ Hurdle (1.50pm) over an extended two miles sees last season’s impressive Grade One Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner Cue Card bid to extend his unbeaten record against seven smart rivals.

Kicking off the day’s proceedings is the extended three-mile £14,000 The Irish Times Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (1.15pm), which was won last year by subsequent Grade Three Racing Post Chase hero Razor Royale and has 12 declared runners.

The card is completed by two enthralling contests, the £10,000 Arkle Bookshop Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (3.35pm) over two miles, five furlongs, and the £15,000 Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase (4.05pm) over about half a furlong shorter, which has been won in recent times by subsequent Grade One totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Denman (2006) and Imperial Commander (2007). The latter contest has 10 declared runners, including the top-class hurdlers Time For Rupert and Reve De Sivola.


Final declarations have been made for the feature race of The Open and the first major contest of the new Jump season, the £150,000 Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup, which takes place on Saturday, November 13, at Cheltenham.

A bumper field of 20, the joint second-highest ever for the extended two and a half mile handicap chase, is set to go to post with all of the main protagonists having stood their ground.

Heading the field is Nicky Henderson-trained Long Run, one of the most exciting horses to have emerged in recent seasons and the current 100/30 market leader with Paddy Power. His trainer Nicky Henderson, who is seeking a second Paddy Power Gold Cup success following Fondmort (2003), also has a live chance with Mad Max (8/1).

The Paddy Power Gold Cup is one of the few races champion trainer Paul Nicholls has yet to add to his CV but he has three runners this year, including top-weight Poquelin (14/1), who beat all bar Tranquil Sea in the 2009 renewal, as well as recent Haldon Gold Cup scorer Tchico Polos (14/1) and Gwanako (33/1).

Great Endeavour, the 9/2 second favourite with Paddy Power, is set to make his seasonal reappearance following his victory in the Grade Three Byrne Group Plate at The Festival in March on his final start last season. The six-year-old will be bidding to give trainer David Pipe his first Paddy Power Gold Cup success, a race his father Martin trained the winner of no less than eight times between 1987 and 2005.

Nigel Twiston-Davies is the only current trainer to have sent out more than one winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, having scored with Tipping Tim (1992) and Imperial Commander (2008) and the locally-based handler has three chances in 2010 including Pigeon Island (16/1), successful in the Grade Three Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase at The Festival in 2010, recent Carlisle scorer Little Josh (16/1) and Rory Boy (66/1). Jonjo O’Neill could also keep the prize in Gloucestershire as he saddles Sunnyhillboy (8/1), runner-up to Great Endeavour at The Festival, and Can’t Buy Time (33/1).

Tranquil Sea broke a 29-year barren spell for Irish-trained horses in the Paddy Power Gold Cup when successful in 2009 and there are four challengers from the other side of the Irish Sea this time around. Catch Me (8/1) represents the same combination of trainer Edward O’Grady and jockey Andrew McNamara who were successful with Tranquil Sea and comes into the race on the back of a pleasing seasonal reappearance behind Captain Cee Bee at Naas last month, while Galway Plate victor Finger Onthe Pulse (16/1), trained by Tom Taaffe, is the mount of champion jockey AP McCoy from four J P McManus-owned contenders. Completing the Irish challenge are Dancing Tornado (40/1) and Gonebeyondrecall (50/1).

A horse with winning form over the course and distance already this season is Edgbriar (25/1) who took the ZEturf.com Handicap Chase at The Showcase on October 16.

Class 1, Grade 3, £150,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.30pm, Cheltenham, Saturday, November 13, 2010. For four year olds and upwards, two miles, four and a half furlongs. Penalties: after October 31, a winner of a chase 5lb. No penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed October 26, entries revealed October 27 (53 entries), weights revealed Wednesday, November 3, five-day confirmation stage November 8 (26 remained), final declaration stage 10.00am, November 11 (20 declarations). Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Wednesday, November 10. May not include some overseas form.

Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer/Jockey
1) 1212U-2 POQUELIN (FR) 7-11-12 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls/Ian Popham (5)
2) 211113- LONG RUN (FR) 5-11-06 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson/Mr Sam Waley-Cohen (5)
3) 10/1341- MAD MAX (IRE) 8-11-05 Carole Skipworth & Paul Murphy Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty
4) 13F212-1 TCHICO POLOS (FR) 6-11-01t (5lb ex) Chris Giles Paul Nicholls/Noel Fehily
5) 0PFU-13 FINGER ONTHE PULSE (IRE) 9-10-11t J P McManus Tom Taaffe IRE/A P McCoy
6) F/U056-F GWANAKO (FR) 7-10-10 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls/Nick Scholfield
7) 2F1F16-1 LITTLE JOSH (IRE) 8-10-08 Tony Bloom Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies (3)
8) 011300-5 THE SAWYER (BEL) 10-10-08 D R Fear Bob Buckler/Nathan Sweeney (7)
9) 4F/016F-0 CAN'T BUY TIME (IRE) 8-10-07 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill/Dougie Costello
10) 12310-1 EDGBRIAR (FR) 8-10-07p D Allen Paul Webber/Dominic Elsworth
11) 15/1F43-3 CATCH ME (GER) 8-10-05 J P O'Shea Edward O'Grady IRE/Andrew McNamara
12) 41R-3202 DANCING TORNADO (IRE) 9-10-04 J P McManus Michael Hourigan IRE/Adrian Heskin (5)
13) 0/31441- GREAT ENDEAVOUR (IRE) 6-10-04 David Johnson David Pipe/Timmy Murphy
14) 415312- SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE) 7-10-01 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill/Richie McLernon (3)
15) 0-11110 PASSATO (GER) 6-10-01t P Ponting Jo Davis/Jamie Moore
16) 151P3-2 AWESOME GEORGE 6-10-00 Gwen Meacham Alan King/Charlie Huxley (3)
17) P/113F6-3 DOOR BOY (IRE) 7-10-00 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson/Brian Hughes
18) 0F4112 GONEBEYONDRECALL (IRE) 7-10-00v Noel Glynn Noel Glynn IRE/Andrew Lynch
19) 2F510-3 PIGEON ISLAND 7-10-00b Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies/Paddy Brennan
20) 23402-6 RORY BOY (USA) 5-10-00 Colin Cornes Nigel Twiston-Davies/Aidan Coleman

20 declarations
4 Irish-trained


Long Run 100/30
Great Endeavour 9/2
Sunnyhillboy 8/1
Catch Me 8/1
Mad Max 8/1
Tchico Polos 14/1
Poquelin 14/1
Pigeon Island 16/1
Finger Onthe Pulse 16/1
Little Josh 16/1
Edgbriar 25/1
The Sawyer 25/1
Can't Buy Time 33/1
Gwanako 33/1
Dancing Tornado 40/1
Door Boy 50/1
Passato 50/1
Awesome George 50/1
Gonebeyondrecall 50/1
Rory Boy 66/1

Each Way Odds - 1/4 Places 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


The going at Cheltenham is currently:

Chase & Hurdles Course - Good, Good to Soft in places

Cross Country Course - Good to Firm, Good in places

The current forecast is for mostly dry conditions over the three days of The Open, with the chance of a few showers.


The nominations for the 2010 Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars, are revealed today.

The Cartier Racing Awards recognise excellence in horseracing and are split into eight categories for the year’s top horses, including the particularly coveted Cartier Horse Of The Year. The awards are determined by points earned in Pattern races combined with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists headed by Brough Scott, as well as votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph.

European horseracing’s most prestigious accolades will be announced and presented for the 20th time on Tuesday, November 16, during a glittering ceremony before an invited audience in the ballroom of London’s Dorchester Hotel.

An embargoed media release listing the winners will be issued on the morning of Tuesday, November 16 - please do not contact the winners beforehand as they do not know they have won.

This year has provided some truly memorable horseracing and the nominations, in alphabetical order, for the 2010 Cartier Racing Awards are as follows:

Cartier Horse Of The Year:
Canford Cliffs
Twice Over

Cartier Older Horse:
Rip Van Winkle
Twice Over

Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt:
Canford Cliffs
Cape Blanco
Dick Turpin

Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly:
Lillie Langtry
Music Show
Snow Fairy
Special Duty

Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt:
Dream Ahead
Wootton Bassett

Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly:
Laughing Lashes
Misty for Me
White Moonstone

Cartier Stayer:
Celtic Celeb
Rite of Passage
Sans Frontieres

Cartier Sprinter:
Lady of the Desert
Sole Power

The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to recognise the achievements of racehorses in Europe. The awards also include the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award Of Merit for the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 18-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.

The Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award Of Merit, has in the past been won by John Oxx, Sheikh Mohammed, Henry Cecil, Khalid Abdulla, John Magnier, H H Aga Khan, Frankie Dettori and Lester Piggott (please find a full list of previous winners at the end of this release).

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