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Tuesday, November 9, 2010



HOBBS HOPES MENORAH CAN PROVE A TOP HURDLER AT THE OPEN THIS WEEKEND




Philip Hobbs paraded his main hopes for The Open, the three-day Cheltenham meeting which kick starts the Jump season, at his Sandhill yard near Minehead in Somerset on Tuesday, November 9, during a Paddy Power/Cheltenham media stable visit.


He is hoping that the ground at the home of Jump racing does not become too soft as most of his contenders would prefer good or good to soft going.


On an overcast, breezy and showery morning, Hobbs talked about his great start to the current season: “Realistically, it is about having horses who are good enough. We have hopefully got some nice high-class horses for the better races and plenty of horses able to win ordinary races, so we are very fortunate in both departments. For whatever reasons, all trainers have good and bad spells and we have a very good spell at the moment, but it won’t last!

“I will have about a dozen at The Open but there are no good things. This is the first proper winter Jump meeting and Cheltenham is very special.

“We would love to see Menorah win the Greatwood on Sunday as then he would be on the way to the Champion Hurdle.”

Each year on this occasion, Paddy Power gives a charity bet of £500 to benefit Racing Welfare and Hobbs chose Menorah, with £250 each-way at the special price of 8/1.

Hobbs said: “Menorah is realistically priced. We hope he can perform very well and it will be very disappointing if he is not placed, so hopefully we won’t lose the lot.”

Hobbs is the fourth most successful current trainer at The Open since 1990, with 16 successes. He won the Paddy Power Gold Cup in 1989 with Joint Sovereignty and since then has had four thirds and two seconds in the famous handicap chase (2008-3rd Private Be, 2005-2nd Monkerhostin, 2004-3rd Monkerhostin, 2002-3rd Wave Rock, 1999-2nd Stormy Passage &1998-3rd Dr Leunt) but does not have an entry going forward this year. He has twice won the other feature at The Open, the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle on Sunday, thanks to Detroit City in 2006 and Rooster Booster in 2002.


The Open this year takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 12-14.



Hobbs talked about his contenders and the comments are below, underneath the write-up for each horse.


PHILIP HOBBS’ MAIN CONTENDERS AT THE OPEN 2010


DUNRAVEN STORM (IRE)
5 br g Presenting - Foxfire (Lord Americo)
Form: 101-11 Owner: Karola Vann Breeder: Violet Sweeney
Dunraven Storm has shown fine promise in his career to date, winning four of his five races since debuting in an Ascot bumper on November 21, 2009. That occasion saw the Presenting gelding defeat the useful Lush Life by half a length under Richard Johnson, who has ridden him in all but one of his races to date. Dunraven Storm did not reappear in public until the following March at the Cheltenham Festival when he was pitched into the Grade One Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Held up in rear under Tom O’Brien, he made progress down the hill before fading into 14th behind the impressive Cue Card. Dropped in class at Exeter on April 13, the five-year-old resumed winning ways with a three and three quarter length success over Shrewd Investment in the last of his three starts in National Hunt Flat Races. Exeter was also the scene of his first foray over hurdles and the gelding’s visit to the Devon track on October 7 again reaped a reward as he made all for an 11-length triumph in a two-mile, one-furlong novice contest, despite hanging left throughout most of the final half-mile. His latest run came at Ascot on October 30. Dunraven Storm led from after the second flight in the two-mile Cushman & Wakefield Novices’ Hurdle and maintained his advantage all the way to the line for a four-length verdict over another previous winner, Recession Proof. Dunraven Storm is aiming at the Grade Two Cheltenham Collection Sharp Novices’ Hurdle (Friday).

Jump Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 4; 2nd: 0; 3rd: 0; Win & Place Prize Money: £13,922

Hobbs said: “Dunraven Storm has won his two novice hurdles very well. The handicapper has given him a rating of 138, so he has really sent me note saying you cannot run in a handicap because you have to appear three times to run in those handicaps that he would be qualified for. He is likely to meet Cue Card in the novice hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday (the Grade Two Cheltenham Collection Sharp Novices’ Hurdle) but I think we will take that horse on providing the ground does not go soft. Dunraven Storm is a Presenting out of a Lord Americo mare which suggests he would not want it too soft. If the ground is good or good to soft, he will run. Of course, I am worried about Cue Card but someone has to take him on. Dunraven Storm’s owner won this race with Boychuk in 2005. We will find out how good he is on Friday - he won two of his three bumpers very well and the only time he was beaten was in the bumper at the Cheltenham Festival where he ran below form for some reason.”

SAFARI JOURNEY (USA)
6 ch h Johanesburg (USA) - Alvernia (USA) (Alydar (USA))
Form: 66311/U541354243603-1 Owner: Hill, Trembath, Bryan & Outhart Breeder: Juddmonte Farms Inc.

Safari Journey started his career on the Flat in France with trainer Tony Clout, making his debut in that sphere with an eighth placing behind subsequent Prix du Jockey Club hero Lawman in a Saint-Cloud juvenile maiden in November, 2006. Three seasons on the level in France yielded a claiming success at Longchamp, as well as handicap wins at Fontainebleau and Chantilly. Safari Journey moved to England and the Philip Hobbs stable in the summer of 2008. His first start over hurdles came at Perth in September, 2008, when he finished sixth behind subsequent Scottish Champion Hurdle victor Noble Alan. His first win over timber occurred the following April in a Wincanton handicap hurdle and he followed up five days later, on April 24, at Newton Abbott. His first chase start came at the same course three months later when he finished a distant fourth to Rippling Ring in an extended two-mile beginners’ chase. His next outing was in a Newton Abbott handicap chase on August 11, 2009, when he landed the spoils by 11 lengths from Enlightenment. The 2009/10 season saw Safari Journey post some decent efforts in novice and handicap chases. A good second to Snap Tie at The Showcase was followed by a fourth-place finish behind French Opera in the paddypower.com Handicap Chase at The Open. He was third to the same rival in the Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase at the International in December and was then sixth to Pigeon Island in the Grade Three Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase at The Festival in March, 2010. A below-par effort behind Chaninbar in an Aintree Grade Three on April 8 preceded another fair Cheltenham performance when the nine-length third of three to Woolcombe Folly in a novices’ chase on April 16. After a summer break, Safari Journey warmed up for the 2010/11 season with a spin on the Flat at Ascot on September 24. That effort (11th of 15) put him spot on for his seasonal return over fences in the Listed Byrne Group Handicap Chase over two miles and a furlong at Ascot on October 30. Sporting first-time blinkers, Safari Journey cruised to an impressive 12-length triumph over Fiendish Flame. Safari Journey’s target at The Open is the paddypower.com Handicap Chase (Friday).


Jump Race Record: Starts: 19; Wins: 4; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £57,538
Hobbs said: “He will run in the two-mile handicap chase on the Friday (the £40,000 paddypower.com Handicap Chase). The handicapper put him up a stone for winning last time at Ascot in first-time blinkers. We hope the blinkers were a big help and we are hoping they will make a big difference second time too. We wondered about using blinkers previously - sometimes over two miles, he did not travel and yet with the blinkers on he was running away throughout. Good to soft would be fine but he would not want conditions very soft.”

LACDOUDAL (FR)
11 gr g Cadoudal (FR) - Belfaster (FR) (Royal Charter (FR))
Form: 3/F11024/22321113224/161347221/644303/03863/47033-2
Owner: Carol Skan Breeder: Scea Terres Noires
Lacdoudal has been a grand servant to the Philip Hobbs stable since arriving from France and making a winning debut for the yard as a five-year-old at Kempton in March, 2004. He has had six further triumphs since then, including the 2005 running of the Listed Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow and a career highlight success in the Grade Three bet365 Gold Cup (formerly the Whitbread) at Sandown in April, 2006. The veteran has not won since that day but has posted numerous good efforts in defeat, including when finishing third in the 2009 and 2010 renewals of the bet365 Gold Cup. He has also exhibited class and versatility at Cheltenham down the years. Since defeating Joe’s Edge to win the Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase at Prestbury Park in January, 2005, he has claimed second in the 2005 Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival and third to Sir Oj in that year’s running of the Grade Three December Gold Cup. He was also second to Fondmort in the Grade Two Ryanair Chase at The Festival in 2006 and third to A New Story in last season’s Glenfarclas Handicap Chase over the cross country course, again at The Festival. Other notable efforts include a third under top-weight in the 2007 Grade Three Racing Post Chase and a runner-up finish to State Of Play in the betfair.com Handicap Chase at Aintree in April in 2006, when attempting to concede 24lb to that high-class rival. He made a pleasing seasonal return at The Showcase at Cheltenham on October 15, when 10 lengths second to Midnight Chase in the Sportingbet.com Handicap Chase over an extended three miles. Lacdoudal is likely to contest the Gelnfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase (Friday) but is also entered in the Morson Group Handicap Chase (Saturday).Jump Race Record: Starts: 44; Wins: 8; 2nd: 9; 3rd: 10; Win & Place Prize Money: £347,898

Hobbs said: “He is going to run in the cross country chase on Friday, though we did leave him in the long distance handicap chase on Saturday. He wants to run wherever the ground is best. The cross country course has not been watered so that is going to be the drier of the two courses by the look of it and hopefully he has a good chance of being placed. He ran well when third at The Festival in the cross country chase. He generally has been very consistent - he just does not go in soft ground. He ran very well in the bet365 Gold Cup after The Festival. His is the easiest horse in the world to ride and deal with - very straightforward. It is great when you have these horses who last so long.”






FROM DAWN TO DUSK
11 b g Afzal - Herald The Dawn (Dubassoff (USA))
Form: 1/908431/112443112/31/21/38313-3 Owner: Charles Lloyd-Baker
Breeder: Tweenhills Farm And Stud Ltd
From Dawn To Dusk has been a consistent stalwart for the Philip Hobbs stable since making a winning debut in a Chepstow bumper in April, 2004, when he had The Sawyer a length and a quarter back in second. After that promising start, From Dawn To Dusk’s career stalled for a period. He was not seen again until December, 2005 and then proceeded to register five straight defeats. But his fortunes changed in April, 2006, when he landed a Chepstow handicap hurdle off a mark of 85. He proceeded to complete a hat-trick with wins at Huntingdon in May and Worcester in October. He then contested two races in as many days at The Open in November, 2006, finishing runner-up in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle and then taking fourth in the Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle. December of that year brought a switch to fences and he got off the mark in that sphere when winning a novice chase at Exeter in March, 2007. The Afzal gelding maintained his form that spring before switching back to hurdles and winning a handicap hurdle at The Showcase in October, 2007. He was again on the mark at Cheltenham in April, 2008, when taking the Cheltenham Collection Handicap Hurdle. He disappointed when eighth to Poquelin in the 2009 running of the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham but was in cracking form at The Festival in March when he was beaten only two lengths into third behind Great Endeavour in the Grade Three Byrne Group Plate over two miles and five furlongs. The 11-year-old’s biggest career success came at Aintree three weeks later when he took the Listed John Smith’s Handicap Chase by eight lengths from Dom D’Orgeval. He then posted yet another game effort at Cheltenham on April 14, when third to the high-class Duc De Regniere in the Grade Two Masterson Holdings Silver Trophy Chase. From Dawn To Dusk made a pleasing return to action this season when third to Massini’s Maguire in the three-mile Listed United House Gold Cup Chase at Ascot on October 30. From Dawn To Dusk is owned by Cheltenham Racecourse director Charles Lloyd-Baker and is a half-brother to Grade One winner Planet Of Sound. His target at The Open is the £50,000 Morson Group Handicap Chase on the Saturday.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 26; Wins: 9; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 7; Win & Place Prize Money: £131,396

Hobbs said: “Dawn To Dusk probably won’t run because he is in the three-mile, three-furlong handicap chase and he wants good ground and we are not going to get it. He has been amazingly consistent throughout his career.”


CAPTAIN CHRIS (IRE)
6 b g King’s Theatre (IRE) - Function Dream (IRE) (Strong Gale)
Form: 4111-2 Owner: Diana Whateley
Breeder: Noreen Walsh

Captain Chris is out of the top-class mare Function Dream who enjoyed a hat-trick of Grade Two wins in the 2000/01 season, taking the Castleford Chase, Victor Chandler Chase and Game Spirit Chase. Captain Chris sold for 66,000 euros as a foal at Tattersalls Ireland in November, 2004, and resold at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale in June, 2007, when Aidan Murphy paid 250,000 euros to secure him. The King’s Theatre gelding made his racecourse debut for Philip Hobbs in a Kempton bumper on February 12, 2010, sporting the colours of Diana Whateley. Having finished fourth on that occasion, Captain Chris returned to the Sunbury venue on March 6 and trounced his rivals for a 20-length novice hurdle success. He was again on the mark at Kempton on March 23, with a 13-length triumph in a two-mile novices’ hurdle. Hobbs then sent Captain Chris to Cheltenham for the Gloucestershire Trainers’ Championship Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and a furlong on April 15 and the gelding completed his three-timer by an easy three and three quarter lengths over the smart Salden Licht. Captain Chris made his seasonal debut in the Grade Two totesport.com Persian War Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles at Chepstow on October 23, but he could not justify 7/4 favouritism as he crossed the line 10 lengths second to Silviniaco Conti. Captain Chris will contest one of the novice chases at The Open.

Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 3; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 0; Win & Place Prize Money: £19,656

Hobbs said: “He has schooled very well over fences since the Persian War Hurdle. He has run well on soft ground, though I would prefer better ground. I certainly hope that I have got some nice novice chasers this season. His main problem is his breathing. He will run with a tongue tie on Sunday (in the £30,000 two-mile The Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase) and hopefully that will help.”

MENORAH (IRE)
5 b g King’s Theatre (IRE) - Maid For Adventure (IRE) (Strong Gale)
Form: 1121212- Owner: Diana Whateley Breeder: E Grant & Anna Brislane
Menorah enjoyed a fantastic first season over hurdles, capped by a gutsy head verdict over Get Me Out Of Here in the Grade One Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival in March. The path to that Cheltenham triumph started on August 3 when Menorah made a winning debut in a Naas bumper for his then trainer Tom Mullins. The King’s Theatre gelding had sold for 48,000 euros as a foal at Tattersalls Ireland in November, 2005, but it is a fair bet that he changed hands for a lot more when making the move to trainer Philip Hobbs and the ownership of Diana Whateley shortly after that triumph. His British debut resulted in a two-mile novice hurdle victory at Warwick on November 11, but he was beaten 10 lengths by Bobby Ewing when stepped up to just short of two and a half miles at Doncaster on December 11. A return to two miles at Kempton on December 26 saw him post an impressive 12-length success. He prepared for The Festival with an outing in a novices’ hurdle at Ascot on February 20, again over two miles, when he gamely attempted to give 10lb to smart Lush Life. A blunder at the final flight, combined with the weight differential, resulted in defeat by a length and three quarters. After seeing off Get Me Out Of Here at Cheltenham, Menorah ended his campaign at Aintree on April 9, in the Grade Two John Smith’s Top Novices’ Hurdle. After taking the lead entering the straight, he was overhauled close home and came second, a neck behind General Miller. The £100,000 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Sunday) is Menorah’s target at The Open.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 7; Wins: 4; 2nd: 3; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £90,928
Hobbs said: “He is very, very well. We are very happy with him. It is a bit of a worry that Get Me Out Of Here ran disappointingly at Ascot the other day and other bits of form from the race have not stacked up but he is in very good form himself. He is only five and we hope he has improved from last season. He will run in the Greatwood Hurdle with top-weight. If he cannot win a handicap off 151 then he is not going to win the (Stan James) Champion Hurdle. I would not want it very soft though good to soft is fine. We had a couple of blips with him last season - he is very genuine horse but he does want a strong pace, which is a reason why we have not run him in anything else this season. He got beat at Ascot and Doncaster when there was no pace. We knew he was going to be good when he won his first race at Warwick. He is massively different from both Detroit City and Rooster Booster. Detroit City (winner of the Greatwood in 2006) was a great big strong boat and Rooster Booster (2002) was very keen. This horse is just very straightforward and easy in every way. He would definitely jump fences when we want to, while the others probably would not have done. He may be jumping them sooner rather than later if he gets beaten on Sunday.”


NEARBY
6 b g King’s Best - Contiguous (USA) (Danzig (USA))
Form: P06212-18863242-0111 Owner: Andy Ash Breeder: Juddmonte Farms Ltd
Won a 10-furlong maiden in March, 2007, at Fontainebleau in France and was second in a Chantilly Listed race over the same trip the following month from five starts on the Flat. He then joined the Hobbs stable but took time to get used to British hurdles, winning on his fifth start - a maiden hurdle at Newton Abbot - in March, 2009. After finishing second in a novice handicap hurdle at Stratford, he regained the winning thread in a Wincanton novice hurdle in May, 2009. He tried handicap hurdles from November, 2009, but found the company too hot at Sandown and Newbury from November, 2009, but managed to get in the frame four times that season - at Taunton, Newbury, Aintree and Perth - before disappointing at Aintree in May, 2010. Since then, there has been nothing but success, somewhat to the surprise of his trainer. Conditional jockey Chris Davies, a grandson of trainer Milton Bradley, has been in the saddle for the wins at Bangor (October 9 by nine lengths), Aintree (October 23 by three lengths) and Wincanton (November 6 by six lengths), claiming 7lb each time. The most recent success came in course record time in the Grade Two totescoop6 Elite Limited Handicap Hurdle but Hobbs thinks that Cheltenham might not suit his charge. Nearby’s rating has leapt from 125 to 150 (including a 5lb penalty on Sunday). He is entered in the £100,000 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Sunday) at The Open.


Jump Race Record: Starts: Starts: 18; Wins: 5; 2nd: 4; 3rd:1; Win & Place Prize Money: £66,132
Hobbs said: “I don’t think he will run as soft ground at Cheltenham won’t suit him - that is the problem. He has a 5lb penalty on Sunday in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. He has gone up 9lb to 154 from his Wincanton victory so in future he is 4lb worse off, which is not he end of the world. Having said that, there is no handicap hurdle he can run in until the Tote Gold Trophy (in early February) so there is something wrong with the programme. The only other races he can run in are the Fighting Fifth, the International or the Christmas Hurdle. It is bonkers but we have to wait for the Tote Gold Trophy, otherwise he could blow his handicap mark. He has improved staggeringly - we were asking ourselves what we did wrong last season and what we did right this season - we don’t really know. Chris Davies who has done well on him has been here for two years - he can do 9st 12lb. We have Giles Hawkins and Matt Griffiths here as well as conditionals and they are ahead of him in the pecking order which is decided by how long lads have been here, how successful they are or how well they ride and how well they behave.”


GO ALL THE WAY (IRE)
5 b g Milan - King’s Rose (IRE) (King’s Ride)
Form: 2- Owner: Ann & Alan Potts Breeder: Brian Gleeson
Go All The Way showed a great deal of promise on his sole start to date in a Punchestown bumper over two miles on April 22. Trained at the time by John Kiely, the gelding ran green but still finished second of 23 behind Bishopsfurze, who had previously landed a similar contest at Fairyhouse and finished seventh to Cue Card in the Grade One Weatherbys Champion Bumper at The Festival. Following that run, Go All The Way was offered for purchase at Doncaster’s Spring Horses In Training Sale in May. Philip Hobbs went to £310,000 to see off agent Tom Malone and secure the five-year-old on behalf of Ann and Alan Potts. Go All The Way will bid to clinch a first success when he lines up for the Cleanevent Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Sunday).

Race Record: Starts: 1; Wins: -; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £1,699

Hobbs said: “He has only run once and he was second in a bumper in Ireland. He runs in the bumper at Cheltenham on Sunday. He is a big strong horse by Milan and very much a potential chaser. I think he will be going novice hurdling after Sunday whatever happens. He cost a lot of money but you know how much it was because he went through the sale ring, while there are plenty of others who have been bought for an awful lot more not through the sale ring at other yards. He will have that price tag every time he runs, which is unfortunate in a way as a lot of people are put off buying at the sales because of that.”

KARTANIAN (IRE)
4 b g Kalanisi (IRE) - Katiykha (IRE) (Darshaan)
Form: 11 Owner: Louisville Syndicate III Breeder: HH The Aga Khan’s Studs Sc
Kartanian has a perfect career record of two wins from two starts, having landed bumpers at Worcester and Chepstow this autumn. His debut came at the former over two miles on September 24, when he defeated Representingceltic by two and three quarter lengths, despite hanging and running green. Kartanian’s second start came on October 9 when, carrying an 8lb penalty, he ran on readily to land an extended two-mile contest by two and a half lengths from Golden Chieftain. The Kalanisi gelding represents top-class breeding from the Aga Khan Studs, being a half-brother to Group Two winner and Group One Oaks third Katiyra, from the further family of Derby winner Shahrastani. His Listed-winning dam, Katiykha, clinched a Royal Ascot success in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap. The Cleanevent Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Sunday) is the proposed target for Kartanian.

Race Record: Starts: 2; Wins: 2; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £3,245

Hobbs said: “This horse cost less than a tenth of what the other one did and hopefully is very good too. He has won both his bumpers - softer ground will help him as it will slow the others up a bit. We want to have a go and he gets a 4lb penalty, which is not too bad. He came from the Aga Khan but never ran on the Flat - he was too big and backward. We have had him for 18 months. I am sure he will want two and half miles over hurdles.”




PHILIP HOBBS

Born July 26, 1955, and one of Britain’s leading jump trainers, Philip Hobbs took out a training licence with only nine horses in 1985. His first runner, North Yard at Exeter in August, 1985, was a winner and there has been no looking back.

He is based at Sandhill near Minehead, Somerset, and tasted big-race success as early as 1986/87 when Bonanza Boy was one of the season's top novice hurdlers. Putting behind him the disappointment of losing that horse to Martin Pipe, he has gone on to take other important prizes with horses such as Joint Sovereignty (1989 Paddy Power Gold Cup), Moody Man (1990 Imperial Cup , 1990 County Hurdle), Dreams End (1994 Swinton Hurdle), Dr Leunt (1999 Racing Post Chase), What's Up Boys (2001 Hennessy Gold Cup, 2nd 2002 Grand National), Flagship Uberalles (2001 Tingle Creek Chase, 2002 Queen Mother Champion Chase), Gunther McBride (2002 Racing Post Chase), Rooster Booster (2002 Greatwood Hurdle, 2003 Champion Hurdle), One Knight (2003 RSA Chase), Monkerhostin (2004 Coral Cup, December Gold Cup, 2008 bet365 Gold Cup), Detroit City (2006 JCB Triumph Hurdle, 2006 John Smith’s Anniversary 4YO Hurdle, 2006 Greatwood Hurdle, 2006 International Hurdle), Massini’s Maguire (Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle), (Dream Alliance (2009 Coral Welsh National), Planet Of Sound (2009 Haldon Gold Cup, 2010 Punchestown Gold Cup) and Menorah (2010 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle).


His success is even more apparent in numerical terms. He reached a century for the first time in the 1999/2000 campaign, eventually finishing the season with 118 wins. He has reached the 100-winner mark nine times and last season enjoyed 86 wins and over £1.1 million in prize money.

So far this season, he has amassed 42 winners (up to & including November 7) and over £350,000 in prize money. He has trained 13 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including a double this year with Menorah (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) and Copper Bleu (Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase).

Hobbs made four appearances in the Grand National as a professional jockey in the 1980s and, although one of the best horses he rode was West Tip, he didn't get the leg up on him in the National, with those four rides resulting in two falls, one ninth place and an 11th. That last attempt was in 1986 on Northern Bay in the final weeks of his 160-win career as a jockey, when his much more successful training career was already under way. Hobbs has subsequently saddled two horses to be placed in the John Smith’s Grand National - Samlee (3rd) in 1998 and What's Up Boys (2nd) in 2002.


Richard Johnson rides many of his horses, helped by Tom O’Brien and Rhys Flint plus conditionals and amateurs.


The trainer’s success is not restricted to jump racing as he saddled Detroit City to win the 2006 Cesarewitch and Unleash to land the 2003 Northumberland Plate. Hobbs has a degree in agriculture and is married to Sarah. They have three daughters - Caroline, Katherine and Diana.


PHILIP HOBBS’ 13 SUCCESSES AT THE FESTIVAL
Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle: 1990 Moody Man, 2002 Rooster Booster
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase: 1996 Kibreet
Coral Cup: 2000 What’s Up Boys, 2004 Monkerhostin
Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase: 2002 Flagship Uberalles
Stan James Champion Hurdle: 2003 Rooster Booster
RSA Chase: 2003 One Knight
JCB Triumph Hurdle: 2004 Made In Japan, 2006 Detroit City
Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle: 2007 Massini’s Maguire
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle : 2010 Menorah
Jewson Novices’ Handicap Hurdle: 2010 Copper Bleu




GOING

Chase and Hurdle courses: GOOD TO SOFT
Cross Country course: GOOD

The forecast is for dry weather until Thursday with some showers then and during the meeting.


For further information, please contact Andy Clifton, Communications Manager at Cheltenham Racecourse, on 07876 330090, or visit the website at www.cheltenham.co.uk


THE PADDY POWER GOLD CUP
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 remain), final declaration stage 10.00am, November 11. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Sunday, November 7. May not include some overseas form.


Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
1212U-2 POQUELIN (FR) 7-11-12 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
211113- LONG RUN (FR) 5-11-06 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
10/1341- MAD MAX (IRE) 8-11-05 Carole Skipworth & Paul Murphy Nicky Henderson
1P14P-2P CHANINBAR (FR) 7-11-03 Watts, Middleham Park, Thompson, Naylor Milton Harris
13F212-1 TCHICO POLOS (FR) 6-11-01 (5lb ex) Chris Giles Paul Nicholls
0PFU-13 FINGER ONTHE PULSE (IRE) 9-10-11 J P McManus Tom Taaffe IRE
F/U056-F GWANAKO (FR) 7-10-10 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
2F1F16-1 LITTLE JOSH (IRE) 8-10-08 Tony Bloom Nigel Twiston-Davies
011300-5 THE SAWYER (BEL) 10-10-08 D R Fear Bob Buckler
4F/016F-0 CAN'T BUY TIME (IRE) 8-10-07 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
12310-1 EDGBRIAR (FR) 810-07 D Allen Paul Webber
U360UP-3 TATENEN (FR) 6-10-05 The Stewart Family Richard Rowe
15/1F43-3 CATCH ME (GER) 8-10-05 J P O'Shea Edward O'Grady IRE
41R-3202 DANCING TORNADO (IRE) 9-10-04 J P McManus Michael Hourigan IRE
0/31441- GREAT ENDEAVOUR (IRE) 6-10-04 David Johnson David Pipe
415312- SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE) 7-10-01 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
0-11110 PASSATO (GER) 6-10-01 P Ponting Jo Davis
151P3-2 AWESOME GEORGE 6-10-00 Gwen Meacham Alan King
35P-621 FISHER BRIDGE (IRE) 7-10-00 P R Syndicate Noel Meade IRE
P/113F6-3 DOOR BOY (IRE) 7-9-13 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
21411-0 PICKAMUS (FR) 7-9-13 Neville Statham & Family Henry Daly
0F4112 GONEBEYONDRECALL (IRE) 7-9-12 Noel Glynn Noel Glynn IRE
2F510-3 PIGEON ISLAND 7-9-11 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
2/P40/0-0 IL DUCE (IRE) 10-9-08 Mrs Peter Prowting Alan King
23402-6 RORY BOY (USA) 5-9-07 Colin Cornes Nigel Twiston-Davies
4/P1P-41 JUST SMUDGE 8-9-06 Sastastic Partnership Venetia Williams
26 five-day confirmations
5 Irish-trained

PADDY POWER GOLD CUP - Paddy Power bet: 100/30 Long Run, 4 Great Endeavour, 6 Sunnyhillboy, 8 Catch Me, 10 Mad Max, 12 Poquelin, 16 Little Josh, Pigeon Island, Tchito Polos, 20 Chaninbar, Edgbriar, The Sawyer 25 Can't Buy Time, Tatenen, 33 Finger Onthe Pulse, Gwanako, ll Duce, 40 Dancing Tornado, Door Boy, Fisher Bridge, Passato, Pickamus, 50 Awesome George, Gonebeyondrecall, Rory Boy, 66 Just Smudge.








THE GREATWOOD HANDICAP HURDLE
Class 1, Grade 3, £100,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.20pm, Cheltenham, Sunday, November 14, 2010. For four year olds and upwards, two miles and a half furlong. Penalties, after October 31, a winner of a hurdle race 5lb. No penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed October 26, entries released October 27 (48 entries), weights revealed Wednesday, November 3, six-day confirmation stage November 8 (25 remain), final declaration stage 10.00am, November 12. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including Sunday, November 7. May not include some overseas form.


Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
121212- MENORAH (IRE) 5-11-12 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
242-0111 NEARBY 6-11-11 (5lb ex) Andy Ash Philip Hobbs
111112-0 GET ME OUT OF HERE (IRE) 6-11-11 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
2500-21 ANY GIVEN DAY (IRE) 5-11-08 Tim Leslie Donald McCain Jnr
1/12U14- GENERAL MILLER 5-11-07 Henry Ponsonby Nicky Henderson
53113- SANCTUAIRE (FR) 4-11-07 Jared Sullivan Paul Nicholls
P0512-32 ISSAQUAH (IRE) 8-11-06 Mr & Mrs J M Davenport Malcolm Jefferson
50-1131 ASTRACAD (FR) 4-11-01 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
12314-6 ORSIPPUS (USA) 4-11-00 Sandra Smith Michael Smith
1/2311- LUSH LIFE (IRE) 5-11-00 Michael Buckley Nicky Henderson
131030- MANYRIVERSTOCROSS (IRE) 5-10-13 Mrs M C Sweeney Alan King
0/0023-6 ARCALIS 10-10-13 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
105/6-51 SALUTE HIM (IRE) 7-10-10 Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited Tony Martin IRE
4/04403-6 LESLINGTAYLOR (IRE) 8-10-09 Marie Taylor John Quinn
350-2311 FAR AWAY SO CLOSE (IRE) 5-10-09 Gigginstown House Stud Paul Nolan IRE
6-13521 ST DEVOTE (FR) 5-10-08 Dubs V's Culchies Syndicate Eoin Griffin IRE
41050-2 TARKARI (IRE) 5-10-07 Clive Cook & Irving Struel Evan Williams
13104-2 OLOFI (FR) 4-10-07 R&L Channing S&F Roberts McNeill Family Tom George
00-23 FIULIN 5-10-05 Robin Geffen Evan Williams
1P14P-2P CHANINBAR (FR) 7-10-04 Watts, Middleham Park, Thompson, Naylor Milton Harris
52010-0 MAJAALES (USA) 7-10-03 S Nelson, J Bowen-Rees, D O'Donohoe Tom George
0001- PUZZLEMASTER 4-10-02 Mr & Mrs Rory Sweet Hughie Morrison
1110- BOTHY 4-10-02 Dan Gilbert Brian Ellison
6010/0-0 CULCABOCK (IRE) 10-10-02 Elizabeth Ferguson Lucinda Russell
31B101- SURE JOSIE SURE (FR) 5-10-02 Jo Tracey David Pipe
25 five-day confirmations
3 Irish-trained

Greatwood Handicap Hurdle - Paddy Power bet: 5/1 Sanctuaire, 6 Menorah, 7 General Miller, Get Me Out Of Here, Manyriverstocross, 11 Sure Josie Sure, 14 Olofi, 16 Any Given Day, Far Away So Close, Salute Him, 20 Fiulin, Majaales, Orsippus, 25 Lush Life, Tarkari, 33 Astracad, St Devote, 40 Bothy, Chaninbar, Culcabok, Issaquah, Puzzlemaster, 50 Arcalis, Leslingtaylor.


DAVIS HOPING FOR GOOD SHOW FROM PASSATO

Passato rocketed up the handicap this summer when landing a four-timer and Jo Davis’ charge heads to Cheltenham on Saturday, November 13, for his stiffest test yet, a tilt at The Open’s feature event, the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup (2.30pm) for which he is a 40/1 chance with the sponsor.


The £150,000 contest over an extended two and a half miles has attracted plenty of high-class contenders and Passato’s trainer is under no illusions about the task facing the six-year-old, whose biggest triumph to date came in the Listed Lord Mildmay Memorial Chase at Newton Abbot on August 21.


Champion jockey Tony “AP” McCoy took the ride on Passato last time when the Lando gelding’s winning streak ended with a below-par seventh of 17 behind Edgbriar over the course and distance in the ZEturf.com Handicap Chase at The Showcase in October, a race that was not run to suit.

Davis, who trains at East Garston, revealed: “Passato improved a lot through the summer and he has earned his place in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. He’s off a nice weight and I think last time he never got going. He didn’t jump off handy as he likes to and was always chasing the pace. He doesn’t enjoy running like that but AP was very complimentary afterwards and said he ran a lot better than his finishing position suggested and that he will definitely win off his mark again.



“He doesn’t like to race like that, he loves to have his daylight. It doesn’t matter who’s riding him, when he is surrounded by horses and not able to fire at his fences, he doesn’t travel. He has to be where he feels confident and happy otherwise he won’t lay up, and that just depends on him getting a good possie to start with.


“Realistically, it’s a whole different ball game now. He’s taking on the likes of Long Run and it’s a stiff ask but he will go there and do his best. I know it’s a handicap but Passato’s at the top of his game and a lot of those horses will have improvement in them.


“We are limited as to where we can go with him because there aren’t many 0-150 races about and he would have to carry too much weight in 0-145 races. He’s tiny so doesn’t carry the weight very well.


“I am hoping that Tom O’Brien can do 10st 1lb to ride him on Saturday and the horse will go and have a nice day out. Realistically, we’re going there for the owners - it’s a good day out for them and we might as well give it a go while we’ve got him at this standard.”


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