Entries for the final four of the 25 contests to close at The Festival 2008 are revealed today, including the new Grade Two David Nicholson Mares Hurdle, run on Friday, March 14.
There are a total of 31 entries in the extended two and a half mile contest including the Bowe family’s new star Sweet Kiln and a powerful quintet from Nicky Henderson’s stable - Amaretto Rose, Chomba Womba, Shatabdi, My Petra and Doubly Guest.
But there would be no more poignant winner than Theatre Girl, trained by David Nicholson’s long-term former assistant Alan King.
“The intention is to run. She did very well when a close second at Doncaster against Nicky's (Henderson) mare - Chomba Womba,” said King. "Theatre Girl is a smashing mare. She was a good bumper horse last season and, while she is only a novice this season, the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle looks the logical route to go. She has never raced beyond two miles yet but we all feel that two and a half miles might help her.
"She had entries in the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Ballymore Properties Novices' Hurdle but this seems the race - she is an 8/1 chance - fourth in the betting - and is entitled to be there. Of course I would love to win the first running of the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle but that is not the reason she is in the race.”
Irish-trained raiders have won 12 of the 15 runnings of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper and account for 19 of the 47 entries this year including Zaarito, trained by Colm Murphy, while Willie Mullins, who has saddled five previous winners, has four entered including Apt Approach, an impressive winner at Gowran Park on February 16, and Lilywhitedancer.
The home team includes the David Pipe-trained Big Eared Fran, who was sold after winning his only start for trainer Tor Sturgis, and Gold Award, who looks set to be the Queen’s first ever Festival runner (see next page).
The four-mile Peter O’Sullevan National Hunt Chase has a new title this year to celebrate the 90th birthday of “The Voice Of Racing”. There are 56 entries, including 18 from Ireland while the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase has 43 entered including last year’s victor Drombeag and 10 from Ireland, among them the rapidly improving Agus A Vic.
The Weatherbys Champion Bumper on Wednesday, March 12, is likely to see the first ever runner owned by the Queen run at The Festival, in the shape of the Nicky Henderson-trained Gold Award, who has won both his previous starts at Fakenham and Ascot.
Although the Queen – who could also be represented by the Henderson-trained Barbers Shop in the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase on Thursday, March 13 – has owned top-level Flat horses for more than half a century, and won four out of the five Classics, she has only had jumpers running in her colours since the death of the Queen Mother in March, 2002.
Sir Michael Oswald, who manages the Queen’s jump horses, said today: “The plan is to run Gold Award in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at The Festival.
“He is a very well-bred horse - bred for the Flat. When in training with Sir Michael Stoute, he was big, weak, flat-sided, slow maturing and he quite understandably couldn’t run him on the Flat as a three-year-old. He went up to the stud at Sandringham, where they did a very good job looking after him and brought him on slowly. David Dunger rode him on the stud and he gradually began to fill out and look a bit stronger.”
After joining Lambourn-based Henderson, the five-year-old scored by nine lengths on his debut at Fakenham on January 14 and followed up with a two-length victory at Ascot on February 16 and he has taken the latest success in his stride.
“He has come out of his Ascot run very well,” added Oswald. “He’s a bit green still. We ran him at Fakenham because, at that point, there had been a lot of very wet weather and it’s a very well-drained course - it was about the only place in England you could run him - and he needed to have a race because he was ready for a race.
“I wasn’t sure that he’d get around the bends - it’s a fairly tight course - but he did it perfectly happily. He was a little bit green when he hit the front but he was very well ridden by Mick Fitzgerald, who kept him beautifully balanced. Then he went to Ascot, where Felix De Giles rode him beautifully, and he beat, what I believe to be, a very good horse. Again, he was a shade green when he hit the front.
“Her Majesty has so much to do that she won’t be going to see him run at the Cheltenham Festival. She has a terrific lot on her plate at the moment but the race will be recorded for her to watch.”
Cheltenham Festival 2008 Merchandise
Several new items including exclusive Kauto Star and Denman t-shirts
Where does your allegiance lie? Are you for Kauto Star or Denman? The official range of Festival 2008 merchandise offers fans of both horses the chance to show which one they favour to win the totesport Gold Cup with exclusive t-shirts celebrating jumping’s two superstar chasers, Kauto Star and Denman.
At this year’s Festival, the Cheltenham Superstore will be selling t-shirts dedicated to each horse, the colours and design of which are inspired by the silks of their owners. The official souvenir t-shirt comes in two shades of blue and features both chasers together against a backdrop with The Festival 2008 slogan, ‘There is only one’.
Among the range of new products available is the limited edition Festival 08 jacket. The 2007 version of this stylish, warm and waterproof jacket was a sell-out and this year’s bespoke design features the sponsor’s logo and race title of the principal Championship race each day.
It is also apt that in the year that anticipation ahead of the running of the Gold Cup stands comparison with that of 1964 and the great clash between Arkle and Mill House, the Cheltenham Superstore will be selling a new DVD entitled, Arkle Portrait Of A Legend. The DVD tells the incredible story of the greatest steeplechaser of the modern era and is a moving tribute to the legend known in Ireland simply as ‘Himself’.
The Cheltenham Superstore, which features the ranges of both the Cheltenham Collection and Jockey Club Racing, is also pleased to announce a further two brand new products. The Cheltenham Jute Bag for Life, fully lined and finished with a fine Cheltenham trim and luxury cord handle, is great for shopping but also perfect for picnics and car boots at the races. Other new items for this year’s Festival are individually numbered Cheltenham metal Members Badge key rings.
The full range of official merchandise from the Cheltenham Collection and Jockey Club Racing can be viewed and ordered online at www.cheltenham.co.uk. Or racegoers can take home a special memento of their day at The Festival by visiting the Cheltenham Superstore outlets on course.
THE WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER
Grade 1, Class A, Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, 5.20pm, Wednesday, March 12, 2008, total prize fund £50,000, two miles and half a furlong, for four, five and six-year-olds only which have not run under any recognised Rules of Racing, except National Hunt Flat races or Irish National Hunt Flat races. Horses are not to have run in more than four National Hunt Flat races and, before February 25, 2008, must have been placed first, second, third or fourth in such a race. Weights: 4-y-o: 10st 11lb, 5-y-o and 6-y-o: 11st 5lb, fillies and mares allowance 7lb. Entries closed February 26 (47 entries), entries released February 28, six-day confirmation stage Thursday, March 6, final declaration stage 10.00am Tuesday, March 11. Form figures correct up to and including the racing of Monday, February 25, 2007.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
1 ABOUKIR BAY (IRE) 4 Roger Brookhouse David Pipe
1 APT APPROACH (IRE) 5 Greenstar Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
1 BIG EARED FRAN (IRE) 5 Thomas Barr David Pipe
11 CHARITY LANE (IRE) 5 M R Johnson Gary Moore
1 COCKLESHELL ROAD (IRE) 5 Eamonn Duignan Edward O'Grady IRE
1 COCKNEY TRUCKER (IRE) 6 Karola Vann Philip Hobbs
141 CORKAGE (IRE) 5 The Scarth Racing Partnership Lucinda Russell
211 CORSKEAGH ROYALE (IRE) 5 Queen Maeve Racing Club Noel Meade IRE
11 COTTAGE OAK (IRE) 5 Pat Sloan Noel Meade IRE
1 COUSIN VINNY (IRE) 5 Festival Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
2 CYBORG 4 Jeff Smith David Elsworth
0-611 DRIVE ON REGARDLES (IRE) 5 Ten Grand Too Much Partnership Willie Mullins IRE
621 DUKE OF BURGUNDY (FR) 5 Alan Baxter Jennie Candlish
1 ENDLESS INTRIGUE (IRE) 4 Dr Ronan Lambe Dermot Weld IRE
1 EXPLANATION 4 Sir Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld IRE
53 FFOS LAS DIAMOND (IRE) 4 Walters Plant Hire Ltd Helen Lewis
2 FOSTERS CROSS (IRE) 6 Pat O'Donovan Tom Mullins IRE
2-105 FRESH AIR AND FUN (IRE) 5 McGrath, Beighton, Griffin, Hancock Jonjo O'Neill
5-11 GENUINE PEARL (IRE) 6 Seamus Ross Ted Walsh IRE
11 GOLD AWARD 5 The Queen Nicky Henderson
4 GOODWILL PHIL 4 Goodwill Hunting Greg Chung
150 HELLFIRE CLUB 5 Malcolm Denmark Carl Llewellyn
1 HORNER WOODS (IRE) 6 Howard Spooner Jessica Harrington IRE
21 JOKERS LEGACY (IRE) 6 The Wife Thinks I'm Working Partnership Victor Dartnall
1 KEKI BUKU (FR) 5 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
11 KINGSTON LANE (IRE) 6 Malcolm Denmark Carl Llewellyn
12 LIE FORRIT (IRE) 4 J W McNeill William Amos
1 LILYWHITEDANCER (IRE) 6 Sarsfields Racing Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
421 LORD GENEROUS 4 Walters Plant Hire Ltd Helen Lewis
1 MAHONIA (IRE) 5 Messrs Lewis, Deal, Holder, Tincknell, Warner Paul Nicholls
1/-2 NEW DANCER 6 Mrs R G Hillen Kevin Ryan
3125 OSCAR DAN DAN (IRE) 6 Mrs P Duffin Tom Mullins IRE
55-41 PADDY LIVE (FR) 5 A Barnes Mark Peill
261 PINEAU DE RE (FR) 5 Barry Connell Philip Fenton IRE
1 PRINCE GEENO (IRE) 5 The Arthur White Partnership David Pipe
0-1 PUYOL (IRE) 6 John Mulhern John Mulhern IRE
31 QUARTETTO (GER) 4 A Torrens Mervyn Torrens IRE
230 RAGDOLLIANNA 4 D M & Mrs M A Newland Jean-Rene Auvray
20-2 RANDOLF (IRE) 6 Alistair Charlton George Charlton
1 ROCK STEADY (IRE) 5 Thomas Barr Edward O'Grady IRE
3 ROCKITEER (IRE) 5 Michael O'Flynn & John Nesbitt Henry Daly
23 SANTO STEFANO (IRE) 6 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
0-133 SHOREACRES (IRE) 5 David Nash Brendan Powell
15 THE OLD PRETENDER (IRE) 5 Bryan & Philippa Burrough Carl Llewellyn
031 TIMISVAR (IRE) 6 Mrs A M Donnelly James Leavy IRE
231 YOUNGSTOWN (IRE) 5 Jon Glews & Peter Knight Donald McCain Jnr
111 ZAARITO (IRE) 6 Victoria Syndicate Colm Murphy IRE
Weatherbys Champion Bumper - Analysis
A top-class entry of 47 has been received for the £50,000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper, run over an extended two miles at Cheltenham on Wednesday, March 12.
Willie Mullins, who both trained and rode the winner of this race in 1996 and has subsequently saddled four more winners, is responsible for four of the 19 Irish-trained entries. His team is headed by wide-margin debut Gowran Park winners Apt Approach and Lilywhitedancer, while the improving dual winner Drive On Regardles is also entered along with debut Punchestown winner Cousin Vinny.
Irish-trained runners have been successful in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper 12 times since the race was introduced in 1992 and Colm Murphy looks to have a strong contender in three-time winner Zaarito. The unbeaten six-year-old was a comfortable winner on his debut at Kilbeggan in June, before following up at Tipperary in October, when he had subsequent Grade Three novice hurdle winner Glenrock Leader back in fourth. His most recent success came at Naas on February 9, when he raced clear of the field inside the final furlong to record an impressive victory under the double winner’s penalty.
Other challengers of note from across the Irish Sea include Noel Meade’s pair of Corskeagh Royale and Cottage Oak, Dermot Weld’s smart duo of Endless Intrigue and Explanation, Ted Walsh’s dual winner Genuine Pearl and Edward O’Grady’s Cockleshell Road, who had Drive On Regardles back in sixth when winning at Fairyhouse on December 2.
The last-named trainer has also entered Rock Steady, who won his bumper at Fairyhouse in December when in the care of Henry de Bromhead before being sold and will carry the same colours as Big Eared Fran, a Danehill gelding who was successful on his only start at Sandown on November 10 for trainer Tor Sturgis. He now comes from the stable of David Pipe, along with Aboukir Bay and Prince Geeno.
Nicky Henderson has entered impressive dual winner Gold Award, who will be the Queen’s first Cheltenham Festival runner. Too backward to run on the Flat when in the care of Sir Michael Stoute, Gold Award comprehensively won on his debut at Fakenham on January 14, before following up at Ascot on February 16.
Howard Johnson has entered Santo Stefano, who was runner-up to Time Electric when trained by Mag Mullins before – after being bought for £180,000 at a sale at Cheltenham in January - finishing third for his new connections at Newcastle on February 23.
Other entries of note from home are Paul Nicholls’ easy Chepstow winner Mahonia and Donald McCain Jnr’s Bangor winner Youngstown, while Carl Llewellyn’s trio is headed by Kingston Lane, a two-time winner at Chepstow, and is completed by Hellfire Club and The Old Pretender.
WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER PAST RESULTS
2007-WINNER-CORK ALL STAR 5-11-05 Owner-Cathal Ryan; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-11/2
2ND Sophocles 4-10-11 Owner-Mrs A Donnelly; Trainer-James Leavy IRE; Jockey-Miss Pauline Ryan; SP-40/1
3RD Aranleigh 5-11-05 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Tony Mullins IRE; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-8/1
24 ran, Time-3m 47.90s Dist-1¼, 1½ 4/1 Fav Mad Fish (8th)
2006-WINNER-HAIRY MOLLY 6-11-05 Owner-F T B Syndicate; Trainer-Joe Crowley IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-33/1
2ND Pressgang 4-10-11 Owner-Mrs Anthony West; Trainer-Paul Webber; Jockey-Tom Doyle; 20/1
3RD Kicks For Free 5-11-05 Owner-Mark Tincknell; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-5/1
23 ran, Time-3m 46.70s Dist-hd, 1: 5/2 Fav Equus Maximus (12th)
(Weatherbys Champion Bumper since 1997, Bi Group Festival Bumper 1996, Prestige Medical Festival Bumper 1995, Bromsgrove Industries Festival Bumper 1994, Guinness Festival Bumper 1993, Tote Festival Bumper 1992)
Year Winner Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP Ran
2007 Cork All Star 5-11-05 Cathal Ryan Jessica Harrington IRE Barry Geraghty 11/2 24
2006 Hairy Molly 6-11-05 F T B Syndicate Joe Crowley IRE Paul Carberry 33/1 23
2005 Missed That 6-11-05 Violet O=Leary Willie Mullins IRE Ruby Walsh 7/2F 24
2004 Total Enjoyment 7-10-12 It Will Never Last Synd. Tom Cooper IRE Jim Culloty 7/1 24
2003 Liberman 5-11-06 David Johnson Martin Pipe Tony McCoy 2/1F 25
2002 Pizarro 5-11-06 Edward Wallace Edward O=Grady IRE Jamie Spencer 14/1 23
2001 Race Cancelled - foot & mouth
2000 Joe Cullen 5-11-06 Jackie Mullins Willie Mullins IRE Charlie Swan 14/1 17
1999 Monsignor 5-11-06 Malcolm Denmark Mark Pitman Brendan Powell 50/1 25
1998 Alexander Banquet 5-11-06 M Swarbrick Willie Mullins IRE Mr Ruby Walsh 9/1 25
1997 Florida Pearl 5-11-06 Violet O=Leary Willie Mullins IRE Richard Dunwoody 6/1 25
1996 Wither Or Which 5-11-06 Robert Sinclair Willie Mullins IRE Mr Willie Mullins 11/4 24
1995 Dato Star 4-10-12 Kath Riley & Joe Donald Malcolm Jefferson Mark Dwyer 7/2 21
1994 Mucklemeg 6 11 05 J P McManus Edward O'Grady IRE Charlie Swan 7/2F 36
1993 Rhythm Section 4 10 11 Robert Sinclair Homer Scott IRE Paul Carberry; 16/1 24
1992 Montelado 5 11 13 Ollie Hannon Pat Flynn IRE Richard Dunwoody 8/1 23
WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER FACTS & FIGURES
1. The first winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper was Montelado, who achieved what is thought to be the unique feat of winning two consecutive Festival races. The Bumper, now run on Wednesday, was originally the last race of the Festival. Montelado went on to win the opening race of the 1993 Festival, the Trafalgar House Supreme Novices' Hurdle, which is now sponsored by Anglo Irish Bank.
2. Irish-trained runners have a great record in the race, accounting for 12 of the 15 winners. Willie Mullins has incredibly saddled five of the last 11 winners.
3. The three horses to have kept the trophy at home were Dato Star in 1995, Monsignor, who sprang a 50/1 surprise in 1999, and Liberman, who gave Martin Pipe his first and only win in the race in 2003.
THE PETER O’SULLEVAN NATIONAL HUNT STEEPLECHASE CHALLENGE CUP (AMATEUR RIDERS’ NOVICES’ STEEPLECHASE)
Class 2, £75,000 Total prize fund, 4.40pm, Wednesday, March 12, 2008. About four miles. For novice five-year-olds and upwards. To be ridden by Category B Amateur Riders or Category C Qualified Riders. Weights: 5-y-o 11st 5lb; 6-y-o and upwards 11st 7lb; Mares allowed 7lb. Penalties: a winner of a steeplechase prior to April 29, 2007, 4lb; A winner of a steeplechase after April 28, 2007, 4lb; Of two such races 7lb. Entries closed February 26 (56 entries), entries released February 28, six-day confirmation stage Thursday, March 6, final declaration stage 10.00am Tuesday, March 11. Form figures correct up to and including the racing of Monday, February 25, 2007
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
2F6U2P AKA JAKE (IRE) 9 T J Nagle Jnr T J Nagle Jnr IRE
343/-242 AUTUMN RED (IRE) 8 Dodson & Partners Paul Webber
1P-1311 BACK ON LINE (IRE) 8 ROA Arkle Partnership Venetia Williams
122443 BADGERLAW (IRE) 8 Lynn Wilson Jessica Harrington IRE
P6-5011 BALLYGALLEY BOB (IRE) 7 Andrew Cohen Oliver Sherwood
4232/-41 BEANTOWN (IRE) 10 Eoin A Barry Sean Aherne IRE
0-12311 BEAT THE BOYS (IRE) 7 New Club Ladies Nigel Twiston-Davies
46-2325 COUNTESS TRIFALDI (IRE) 8 Woolf & Wilkinson Michael Scudamore
04063P DESERT TOMMY 7 Jeff Sadik Jeff Sadik
516-F44 DINNIE FLANAGAN (IRE) 8 P J Hughes Developments Ltd Paul Blockley
312-331 DOUBLE EAGLE 6 Dr G M Thelwall Jones Donald McCain Jnr
000-42 DOUBLE INTRUDER (IRE) 7 Hinge, Searchfield & Tamburro Victor Dartnall
F1PP40 DREUX (FR) 6 Valerie Courtney Thomas Cooper IRE
045-2PP FIRTH OF FORTH (IRE) 8 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
0-0233F FOREST LEAVES (IRE) 8 Legal Access Syndicate Edward O'Grady IRE
62U3P1 GEORGES BOY (IRE) 10 Peter Jones Peter Jones
00-0001 GILLIGANS HALL (IRE) 8 Thomas Gilligan Willie Mullins IRE
0//444-B2 GONE MISSING 9 Oliver Carter Oliver Carter
01-122P HERE'S JOHNNY (IRE) 9 The Big Boys Toys Partnership Victor Dartnall
00F523 HIGH TECH MADE (FR) 8 R F Bailey Charles Egerton
312136 ICE TEA (IRE) 8 Sandicroft Stud Donald McCain Jnr
320P-33 IN ACCORD 9 T F F Nixon Henry Daly
1-2 LEADING ATTRACTION (IRE) 7 Jan Smith Paul Nicholls
2-03113 LEADING AUTHORITY (IRE) 7 Robert and Sarah Tizzard Colin Tizzard
6P3453 LYDON HOUSE 9 Michael Lydon Fergus Hanley IRE
4-4P131 MA YAHAB 7 M J Pilkington Venetia Williams
12324/-1 MENCHIKOV (FR) 8 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
111224 MILLARDS LAD (IRE) 9 Terry Evans Aaron Bateman
6-41U34 MINELLA TIPPERARY (IRE) 7 J & B Gibbs & Sons Ltd Philip Hobbs
3-112F3 MY IMMORTAL 6 Major P Arkwright & Mrs I C Sellars David Pipe
33-0132 NACADOUR (FR) 7 The West Coast Syndicate David Pipe
2P42U4 NICHE MARKET (IRE) 7 G Regan Bob Buckler
2P024-2 NOBODY TELLS ME (FR) 7 Brian Kilpatrick David Pipe
121P/2-3 NOR'NOR'EAST (IRE) 10 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
621P62 OLAY OLAY (IRE) 8 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
1-20322 OLD BENNY 7 Trevor Hemmings Alan King
120-121 ORNAIS (FR) 6 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
0200-4P OULART 9 Ged Pierse Dessie Hughes IRE
231134 OVER THE CREEK 9 David Johnson David Pipe
0-F02B5 PARROT CAY (IRE) 9 Helen Walsh Ted Walsh IRE
433-143 PASS IT ON (IRE) 9 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
0004/-60 PONDHILL LAD (IRE) 8 Camilus Slevin Frances Slevin IRE
5/-25163 RIMSKY (IRE) 7 D J & S A Goodman Nigel Twiston-Davies
41-F4 SANDHURST (IRE) 8 Cyril Kiernan Edgar Byrne IRE
012655 SECRETOFSHAMBHALA (IRE) 9 Michael J McGinley Thomas Mullins IRE
10-0P41 SHERWOODS FOLLY 6 Trevor Hemmings Henry Daly
02225P SIZING AUSTRALIA (IRE) 6 Alan Potts Henry de Bromhead IRE
006 SUMMER SEEDS (IRE) 5 Dermot Desmond Ted Walsh IRE
21314P THE KING OF ANGELS (IRE) 6 J C & S R Hitchins Jonjo O'Neill
4-01F56 THE RISKY VIKING (IRE) 9 Gale Force Two Nick Williams
14640 THEDANCINGDEMON (USA) 7 Mrs Alurie O'Sullivan Eugene O'Sullivan IRE
TOBY JUG 7 Laura Hourigan Michael Hourigan IRE
264235 TOP CLOUD (IRE) 7 Trevor Hemmings Ferdy Murphy
610-24F TOPLESS (IRE) 7 J & S Baigent Paul Keane
165423 WAR OF THE WORLD (IRE) 6 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
15212F WHATABOUTYA (IRE) 7 J P McManus Noel Meade IRE
56 Entries, 18 Irish-Trained
Peter O’Sullevan National Hunt Chase - Analysis
The Peter O’Sullevan National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, named to honour racing’s most famous commentator’s 90th birthday, has attracted 56 entries, which includes 18 from Ireland. The race is for amateur riders and is run over four miles on Wednesday, March 12.
Among David Pipe’s four entries is Over The Creek, who has taken well to the larger obstacles this season, winning two of his six starts and posting a placing of fourth or better in the rest. The Pond House handler’s team is completed by the useful My Immortal, Nobody Tells Me and Nacadour.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has entered both dual novice chase winner Ornais and lightly-raced Leading Attraction.
Alan King is set to be represented by Old Benny, who has been placed on all three starts over fences this season. "He was second at Newbury the other day to Ornais and it is the logical place for him as he stays very well,” said King.
Jonjo O’Neill, winner of four of the last six renewals of this race, most recently with Butler’s Cabin 12 months ago, has entered five for the £75,000 contest. His team includes promising chaser Nor’Nor’East, formerly Irish-based pair of Olay Olay and Firth Of Forth, along with The King Of Angels and Pass It On.
The Irish contingent includes Sean Aherne’s Beantown, who has only raced twice since finishing a close second to Hot Weld in the 2006 renewal of this race. Since making his comeback fourth on New Year’s Eve, he scored an easy victory in Navan on January 26, when he had Parrot Cay, the seven-length runner-up, and Gilligans Hall behind.
Henry de Bromhead has entered Sizing Africa, while other leading Irish challengers include Noel Meade’s Whataboutya, Dessie Hughes’ former Festival winner Oulart and Jessica Harrington’s Badgerlaw.
Other notable entries from Britain include Victor Dartnall’s Here’s Johnny, Ferdy Murphy’s Top Cloud and Philip Hobbs’ Minella Tipperary.
Venetia Williams has entered both Back On Line and Ma Yahab and Nigel Twiston-Davies has both Beat The Boys and Rimsky among the 56 entries. Nicky Henderson has entered Menchikov, who was a winner on his first outing of the season on February 6 on his chasing debut.
PETER O’SULLEVAN NATIONAL HUNT CHASE FACTS & FIGURES
1. The National Hunt Chase has been run more times than any other race at The Festival, and is in its 138th year in 2008. Until the 1930s, only the Grand National was more important than the National Hunt Chase in the jump calendar. The race had been run at a number of venues until it became a part of the new two-day National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham in 1911. It had also been run at Cheltenham in 1904 and 1905.
2. The four-mile National Hunt Chase is the longest race run at The Festival. The race has been reduced in distance by a furlong this year and reverts back to the old course.
3. The race is usually one of the best supported at The Festival, with very competitive fields each year. The largest post-war field size is 37 (1948) and the smallest 13 (1993). There is now a safety limit of 20 runners.
4. Flimsy Truth, a 33/1 chance, set a record post-war time of 8 mins 11.09 secs in 1998 but that was beaten by Relaxation in 2000, who scored in 8 mins 0.60s.
5. Flimsy Truth is not the longest priced post-war winner - that honour goes to Topsham Bay, successful in 1990, and 2005 winner Another Rum, who were both returned at 40/1. Castledermot, 6/4 favourite in 1949, is the shortest-priced victor.
6. The contest is run in honour of Sir Peter O’Sullevan. The former BBC commentator and “Voice Of Racing” celebrates his 90th birthday on March 3. It was at his request that “Sir” was not included in the race title.
7. The race has proved a good guide to future success in recent seasons. Last year’s winner Butler’s Cabin subsequently won the Irish Grand National while 2006 victor Hot Weld landed a memorable double in 2007 by collecting the Scottish National and the Betfred Gold Cup in the space of a week. 2007 John Smith’s Grand National victor Silver Birch finished fourth in 2004.
PETER O’SULLEVAN NATIONAL HUNT CHASE CHALLENGE CUP PAST RESULTS
2007-WINNER-BUTLER’S CABIN 7-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr Alan Berry; SP-33/1
2ND Character Building 7-12-00 Owner-Mrs E Wright; Trainer-John Quinn; Jockey-Mr Derek O’Connor; SP-7/1
3RD Countess Trifaldi 7-11-00 Owner-C Wilkinson; Trainer-Michael Phillips IRE; Jockey-Mr Colman Sweeney; SP-100/1
19 ran, Time-8m 38.70s; Dist-¾, 10 2/1 Fav Gungadu (Fell)
2006-WINNER-HOT WELD 7-11-11 Owner-S Hubbard Rodwell; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Mr Richard Harding; SP-33/1
2ND Beantown 8-11-07 Owner-Eoin Barry; Trainer-Sean Aherne IR; Jockey-Mr Paul Tobin; SP-40/1
3RD Far From Trouble 7-11-11 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-7/2 Fav
22 ran, Time-8m 33.20s; Dist-nk, 1
2005-WINNER-ANOTHER RUM 7-11-07 Owner-Ronald Lilley; Trainer-Ian Duncan IRE; Jockey-Mr Mark O=Hare; SP-40/1
2ND Caislean Ui Cuain 9-11-11 Owner-Seamus O=Farrell; Trainer-Jim Lambe IRE; Jockey-Mr J P O=Farrell; SP-150/1
3RD Control Man 7-12-00 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Mr Gordon Elliott; SP-11/1
20 ran, Time-8m 49.90s; Dist-7, 2 100/30 Fav Point Barrow (5th)
2004-WINNER-NATIVE EMPEROR 8-11-11 Owner-J C, J R & S R Hitchins; Trainer-Jonjo O=Neill; Jockey-Mr Robert Widger; SP-5/1 Jt Fav
2ND Celestial Gold 6-11-11 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Mr Ashley Farrant; SP-33/1
3RD Drombeag 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O=Neill; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-8/1
22 ran, Time-8m 12.10s; Dist-1:, 6 5/1 Jt Fav Silver Birch (5th)
2000-WINNER-RELAXATION 8-12-00 Owner-Sir Philip Payne-Gallwey and Mrs Vicky Wiggin; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Mr Mark Bradburne; SP-8/1
2ND-Inch Rose 6-11-13 Owner-E Hunston, P White and Mrs V Griffiths; Trainer-Noel Chance; Jockey-Mr Tom Doyle; SP-9/1
3RD-Mister One 9-12-07 Owner-Colin Tizzard; Trainer-Colin Tizzard; Jockey-Mr J D Moore; SP-11/2
21 ran, Time-8m 0.60s, Dist-6, 5 4/1 Fav Fandango De Chassy (PU)
1999-WINNER-DEEJAYDEE 7-12-00 Owner- Mrs M Devine; Trainer-Michael Hourigan IRE; Jockey-Mr Tony Martin; SP-13/2
2ND-Riot Leader 9-12-07 Owner-Mrs & Mrs D A Gamble; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Mr Alan Dempsey; SP-10/1
3RD-Spot Thedifference 6-12-04 Owner-Mrs S Bolger; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr Paul Moloney; SP-13/2
21 ran, Time-8m 33.7s, Dist-nk, 6 6/1 Fav Derrymore Mist (4th)
1998-WINNER-WANDERING LIGHT 9-12-7 Owner- Anne Duchess of Westminster; Trainer-Tim Forster; Jockey-Mr Rupert Wakley; SP-10/1
2ND-Thatswhatithought 6-12-0 Owner-Joy Valentine; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Mr Ruby Walsh; SP-20/1
3RD-Torduff Express 7-12-7 Owner-Two Plus Two; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Mr Joe Tizzard; SP-7/1
24 ran, Time-8m 21.1s, Dist-16, 7 100/30 Fav Farfadet V (BD)
1997-WINNER-FLIMSY TRUTH 11-12-07 Owner-Martin Weston; Trainer-Martin Weston; Jockey-Mr Mike Harris; SP-33/1
2ND-Vol Par Nuit 6-12-04 Owner-D O McIntyre; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Mr Thierry Doumen;SP-13/2
3RD-Robsand 8-12-00 Owner-Sir Brian McGrath; Trainer-Toby Balding; Jockey-Mr Andrew Balding; SP-9/1
23 ran, Time-8m 11.09s, Dist-13, 27 6/1 Fav Random Harvest (PU)
1996-WINNER-LOVING AROUND 8-11-13 Owner-Lord Tavistock; Trainer-Edward O=Grady IRE; Jockey-Mr Philip Fenton; SP-10/1
2ND-Fellow Countryman 9-12-07 Owner-A D Wardall; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Mr Marcus Armytage; SP-10/1
3RD-Class of Ninetytwo 7-12-07 Owner-Lord Cadogan; Trainer-Tim Forster; Jockey-Mr Jim Culloty; SP-3/1 Fav
22 ran, Time-8m 34.7s, Dist-13, 6
1995-WINNER-FRONT LINE 8-12-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O=Neill; Jockey-Mr John Berry; SP-7/1
2ND-Keano 6-12-00 Owner-Midavon Partnership; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Mr Sean Mulcaire; SP-8/1
3RD-Lacken Cross 7-12-04 Owner-John J Howlett; Trainer-Aidan O=Brien IRE; Jockey-Mr Henry Cleary; SP-7/1
25 ran, Time-8m 55.5s, Dist-dist, 7 13/2 Fav Extra Special (PU)
1994 WINNER CHRISTMAS GORSE 8 12 04 Owner David Stoddart; Trainer Nick Gaselee; Jockey Mr Marcus Armytage; SP 14/1
2ND Extra Special 9 12 00 Owner Robert Ogden; Trainer Gordon Richards; Jockey Capt Adam Ogden; SP 25/1
3RD Nearly Splendid 9 12 04 Owner & Trainer Roy Stevens; Jockey Mr Tom Greed; SP 14/1
19 ran Time 8m 36.8s, Dist 32, 4 11/4 Fav Front Line (PU)
PETER O’SULLEVAN NATIONAL HUNT CHASE CHALLENGE CUP (AMATEUR RIDERS) ROLL OF HONOUR
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2007 Butler’s Cabin 7-12-00 Mr Alan Berry Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 33/1 19
2006 Hot Weld 7-11-11 Mr Richard Harding Ferdy Murphy S Hubbard Rodwell 33/1 22
2005 Another Rum 7-11-07 Mr Mark O=Hare Ian Duncan IRE Ronald Lilley 40/1 20
2004 Native Emperor 8-11-11 Mr Robert Widger Jonjo O=Neill J C, J R & S R Hitchins 5/1JF 22
2003 Sudden Shock 8-11-07 Mr Denis Cullen Jonjo O=Neill Darren Mercer 25/1 24
2002 Rith Dubh 10-11-11 Mr J T McNamara Jonjo O=Neill J P McManus 10/1 26
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Relaxation 8-12-00 Mr Mark Bradburne Henry Daly Sir Philip Payne-Gallwey/Vicky Wiggin 8/1 21
1999 Deejaydee 7-12-00 Mr Tony Martin Michael Hourigan IRE Mrs M Devine 13/2 21
1998 Wandering Light 9-12-07 Mr Rupert Wakley Tim Forster Anne Duchess of Westminster 10/1 24
1997 Flimsy Truth 11-12-07 Mr Micky Harris Martin Weston Martin Weston 33/1 23
1996 Loving Around 5-11-06 Mr Philip Fenton Edward O=Grady IRE Lord Tavistock 10/1 22
1995 Front Line 8-12-07 Mr John Berry Jonjo O'Neill J P McManus 7/1 25
1994 Christmas Gorse 8-12-04 Mr Marcus Armytage Nick Gaselee David Stoddart 14/1 19
1993 Ushers Island 7-12-04 Mr Noel Wilson Howard Johnson Bob Bowden 15/2 13
1992 Keep Talking 7-12-07 Mr Marcus Armytage Tim Thomson Jones Jim Joel 5/2F 24
1991 Smooth Escort 7-12-00 Mr Tony Martin Di Haine A F Budge (Equine) Ltd 7/1 18
1990 Topsham Bay 7-12-00 Mr Paul Hacking David Barons Michael Marsh 40/1 25
1989 Boraceva 6-12-07 Mr Seamus Mullins Toby Balding Duke of Atholl 4/1F 21
1988 Over The Road 7-12-04 Mr Tom Costello Terry Casey John Upson 10/1 28
1987 Mighty Mark 8-12-07 Mr Jimmy Walton Frank Walton Frank Walton 8/1 30
1986 Omerta 6-12-07 Mr Lorcan Wyer Homer Scott IRE Mrs J McMorrow 9/4F 22
1985 Northern Bay 9-12-04 Mr Tony Fowler Tom Bill Twycross Frozen Food Centre Ltd 12/1 20
1984 Macks Friendly 7-12-07 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins IRE John Mulhern 11/4 18
1983 Bit Of A Skite 7-12-00 Mr Frank Codd Edward O'Grady IRE J P McManus 5/1F 29
1982 Hazy Dawn 7-12-07 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins IRE R Daniels 8/1 26
1981 Lucky Vane 6-12-07 Mr Stephen Bush Toby Balding Bridget Swire 13/1 21
1980 Waggoners Walk 11-12-04 Mr Tony Fowler Caroline Mason George Mason 10/1 23
1979 Artic Ale 8-12-00 Mr John Fowler Dan Moore IRE Anthony Robinson 20/1 25
1978 Gay Tie 5-11-09 Mr John Fowler Mick O'Toole IRE Dr P Morrissey 10/1 17
1977 Alpenstock 10-12-04 Mr Dick Saunders Stan Mellor Harron Thompson 14/1 21
1976 Sage Merlin 8-12-07 Mr Peter Greenall Jack Hardy John Bingham 5/2F 22
1975 Abandoned (course waterlogged)
1974 Mr Midland 7-12-04 Mr Mouse Morris Edward O=Grady IRE B Naughton 7/2 17
1973 Foreman 7-12-01 Mr Bill Shand Kydd Tom Jones R Dean 11/2F 25
1972 Charley Winking 7-12-00 Mr Derrick Scott Leslie Scott Leslie Scott 20/1 23
1971 Deblin=s Green 8-11-07 Mr Derek Edmunds George Yardley George Yardley 9/2F 20
1970 Domason 7-12-01 Mr Robert Alner Harry Dufosee Harry Dufosee 10/1 18
1969 Lizzy The Lizard 10-12-00 Mr Grant Cann Tony Hartnoll Tony Hartnoll 10/1 35
1968 Fascinating Forties 9-11-07 Mr Michael Dickinson George Owen Lord Leverhulme 9/1 22
1967 Master Tammy 9-11-07 Mr Brian Fanshawe George Guilding George Guilding 100/7 24
1966 Polaris Missile 7-11-09 Mr John Thorne John Thorne John Thorne 100/6 29
1965 Red Vale 11-12-00 Mr George Small Albert Piper Mrs C Smith 100/8 26
1964 Dorimont 10-12-01 Mr Charles Vaughan Tom Taaffe IRE M A Walshe 4/1 30
1963 Time 8-12-00 Mr Ian Balding Willie Stephenson John Cheatle 8/1 35
1962 Go Slow 7-12-07 Mr George Small Albert Piper Mrs I R Millar 10/1 26
1961 Superfine 8-12-04 Sir William Pigott-Brown Frank Cundell I Kerwood 10/1 33
1960 Proud Socks 8-12-00 Mr H Thompson Vivian Bishop Vivian Bishop 100/6 22
1959 Sabaria 8-12-00 Mr John Lawrence Bob Turnell Bob Turnell 5/2F 17
1958 Spud Tamson 7-12-04 Mr Geordie Dun Tommy Dun Mrs T D C Dun 13/2 28
1957 Kari Sou 8-12-00 Mr Alan Lillingston Archie Thomlinson Archie Thomlinson 100/6 24
1956 Rosana III 7-12-00 Mr G Everitt G Everitt G Everitt 9/1 22
1955 Reverend Prince 9-12-00 Mr C Pocock P Dufosee P Dufosee 33/1 26
1954 Quare Times 8-12-04 Mr Bunny Cox Vincent O=Brien IRE Mrs R Smyth 5/2F 26
1953 Pontage 7-12-04 Mr Bunny Cox Dan Moore IRE Lady Honor Svejdar 9/4F 22
1952 Frosty Knight 6-12-00 Mr Charles Straker Ian Straker Ian Straker 15/2 19
1951 Cushendun 6-12-04 Mr Peter Chisman Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 10/1 18
1950 Ellesmere 7-12-07 Mr Atty Corbett Ken Cundell Lord Bicester 100/30F 26
1949 Castledermot 7-12-07 Lord Mildmay Vincent O'Brien IRE Mrs Harry Keogh 6/4F 17
1948 Bruno II 8-12-03 Major Guy Cunard William Anstruther-Gray William Anstruther-Gray 20/1 37
1947 Maltese Wanderer 8-12-03 Major Dermot Daly Tom Yates G J Wells 6/1 20
1946 Prattler 11-12-03 Major Dermot Daly Tom Yates E Manner 33/1 20
THE CHRISTIE’S FOXHUNTER CHASE CHALLENGE CUP
Class 2, Total Prize Fund £40,000. 4.00pm, Friday, March 14, 2008, three miles and two and a half furlongs. For five-year-olds & upwards which since December 31, 2005, & before February 25, 2008, have been placed first or second on two occasions in a hunters’ steeple chase in Great Britain or Ireland or have won two Open steeple chases at Point-to-Point Meetings (i.e. Gentlemens, Ladies or Mixed Open Races) in Great Britain or Ireland or have won one Open steeple chase at a Point-to-Point Meeting in Great Britain or Ireland and have been placed first or second in a hunters’ steeple chase. Weights: 5-y-o 11st 12lb; 6-y-o & up 12st; mares allowed 7lb. Entries closed February 26 (43 entries), entries revealed February 28, six-day confirmations March 8, final declaration 10.00am Thursday, March 13, 2008. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, February 25, 2008. Does not include point-to-point form.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
212-11 AGUS A VIC (IRE) 7 Mr E Poynton Patrick Martin IRE
ALERT THE EARTH (IRE) 8 Earthlings Syndicate Roy Wilson IRE
11F00-P AMICELLI (GER) 9 Lord Daresbury Cherry Coward
1U2-115 ANSHAN SPIRIT (IRE) 10 Roger Green Roger Green
5/33644- ARCTIC TIMES (IRE) 12 Trevor Hemmings Eugene O'Sullivan IRE
33-1404 BEAUCHAMP ORACLE 11 E C Everall Steve Flook
UP/-1 BON ACCORD 8 I R Mann Alan Hill
122/FP-1 CHRISTY BEAMISH (IRE) 11 M Mann Paul Jones
1F/50-P2 CLIMATE CONTROL (IRE) 12 Kevin Smith John Paul Brennan IRE
04/310-2 COBRECES 10 David & Lucia Borradaile Lucia Borradaile
150P-22 CORNISH REBEL (IRE) 11 Halewood International Ltd Lisa Williamson
0/50030/- DANAEVE (IRE) 13 Nigel Benstead Nigel Benstead
44/04-21 DANTE'S BACK (IRE) 10 Mandy Hand Mandy Hand
10F0/16- DROMBEAG (IRE) 10 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
3620P6- DUN AN DORAS (IRE) 12 Mrs J F Bury Tom Illsley
6051/3-5 EXTENDED FAVOUR (IRE) 11 Peter Maher Norman Cassidy IRE
222-626 FOREVER EYESOFBLUE 11 Wilma Wright Richard Wright
41 FRENCH THYNE (IRE) 9 Mrs A McMillen Ian Ferguson IRE
32-1053 GALLIK DAWN 10 Perry Adams Alan Hollingsworth
3/450F5//- GAYE TRIGGER 10 Richard Barber Richard Barber
0644//U/F- GOLDEN JACK (FR) 14 Michelle Taylor Michelle Taylor
65/2-3F2 HIP POCKET (IRE) 12 The Nomoremonkeys Club William Kinsey
110-2 HONOURABLE SPIDER 9 E M G Roberts Suzy Bull
13-2F IN THE LOOP (IRE) 10 Hillwillies Syndicate Roy Wilson IRE U20/14-P IRILUT (FR) 12 Robert Waley-Cohen Robert Waley-Cohen
304-10P KNIFE EDGE (USA) 13 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
000-0P2 LORD OF ILLUSION (IRE) 11 Sharon Nelson Tom George
100P-11 LOU DU MOULIN MAS (FR) 9 The Hon Mrs Townshend Paul Nicholls
60/03/04- MAN FROM HIGHWORTH 9 John Manners John Manners
31/651-4 MEL IN BLUE (FR) 10 Robert Waley-Cohen Robert Waley-Cohen
0-14 MOSCOW MAUI (IRE) 8 Sue Ann McManus Enda Bolger IRE
52/1211- NATIAIN 9 June Brown Alistair Brown
2PU RAILWAY RANGER 7 Gaelforce Racing Robert Tyner IRE
242/1-U2 REFLECTED GLORY (IRE) 9 Caroline Robinson Caroline Robinson
30-1111 RISK ACCESSOR (IRE) 13 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
4/-U ROBBERS GLEN (IRE) 8 Valerie Jackson Valerie Jackson
3//-21 SOUTHWESTERN (IRE) 9 The Exmoor Partners Camilla Scott
00052 TAKEYOURPICK (IRE) 7 Niall Connolly Gerry Cully IRE
520P-12 THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 12 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
6000//1-P THOMPSONS WOOD (IRE) 10 Thomo's Monday Club Debby Ewing
F///051-2 TINARANA LORD (IRE) 11 Mrs B L Shaw Gary Hanmer
224311 TRIBAL VENTURE (FR) 10 Aiden Murphy Philip Hobbs
34/4-311 TWENTY DEGREES 10 Michael Hawker & S O'Connor Alison Dare
Christie=s Foxhunter Chase - Analysis
Racing’s most prestigious hunter chase, the £40,000 Christie’s Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup, run over the Gold Cup course of an extended three miles and two furlongs on Friday, March 14, at Cheltenham, has attracted 43 entries, including 10 from Ireland.
With three entered, last year’s winning trainer Jonjo O’Neill has the most runners in the race at this stage. His trio is headed by Drombeag, successful in this race 12 months ago, Knife Edge and Risk Accessor, winner of his last four starts. The lightly-raced first-named has yet to run this season, but a similar tactic was applied successfully last year.
The raiding team from Ireland is headed by the Pat Martin-trained Agus A Vic, who followed up a good maiden win with an equally comprehensive winners’ of two victory in late 2006. This season, he has won two from two, beating a good field that included runner-up Climate Control and fourth home Moscow Maui at Leopardstown on February 10, while In The Loop was second to him at Down Royal on Boxing Day, when Climate Control pulled-up.
Alert The Earth, a convincing winner at Down Royal on February 27, has now secured six of his seven starts this year and is a second entry from Roy Wilson’s stable along with In The Loop.
Top Irish pointer Arctic Times, who runs in the colours of Trevor Hemmings and has won 27 of his 37 career starts between the flags, has been entered by Eugene O’Sullivan, while Robert Tyner has entered Railway Ranger, who was in contention when unseating three out behind Agus A Vic at Leopardstown.
Paul Nicholls, successful twice in this race in the last four years, has entered Lou Du Moulin Mas and former high-class chaser Thisthatandtother, who was second to Twenty Degrees at Fakenham on February 15 after winning his first start in this sphere. Nicholls’ first-named entrant has won both of his starts this season, beating Honourable Spider on his seasonal debut.
Others of note from home include Alan Hill’s Bon Accord, Paul Jones’ Christy Beamish and Richard Barber’s top pointer Gaye Trigger.
CHRISTIE=S FOXHUNTER CHASE FACTS & FIGURES
1. The Christie=s Foxhunter Chase is one of the oldest races at the Festival. The first running in 1904 was won by the 6/4 favourite Palmy Boy, owned and ridden by Mr J Widger. It is now the richest and most prestigious hunter chase of the season, worth a total of £40,000.
2. In 2008, Christie=s, the international auctioneers and valuation experts, will be sponsoring the race for the 30th year (including the 2001 cancelled contest).
3. Since 1946 six horses have won the Foxhunter Chase twice although no horse has won it three times. The Callant won in 1956 and 1957, Whinstone Hill in 1958 and 1960, Colledge Master in 1961 and 1962, Double Silk in 1993 and 1994, Fantus in 1995 and 1997 and Earthmover in 1998 and 2004.
4. Caroline Beasley became the first female jockey to win a race at The Festival when successful on Eliogarty in the 1983 Christie=s Foxhunter Chase. Since then the race has been won four times by women - Katie Rimell on Three Counties in 1989, Polly Curling on Fantus in 1995 , Fiona Needham in 2002 on Last Option and Rilly Goschen on Earthmover in 2004.
5. Three of the five 13-year-olds to have been successful at The Festival since 1946 have come in the Christie=s Foxhunter Chase - Earthmover in 2004, Merry, who dead-heated in 1953 and Greenwood in 1950. The other two 13-year-olds to have won were Approval in the 1959 Vincent O=Brien County Hurdle and Willie Wumpkins in the 1981 Pertemps Final. They are the oldest horses to have succeeded at The Festival in this period.
CHRISTIE’S FOXHUNTER CHASE
2007-WINNER-DROMBEAG 9-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-20/1
2ND Whyso Mayo 10-12-00 Owner-Kathleen O’Driscoll; Trainer-Ray Hurley IRE; Jockey-Mr Damien Murphy; SP-2/1 Fav
3RD Ned Kelly 11-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Mr Kevin Power; SP-20/1
24 ran, Time-6m 46.60s, Dist-½, 15
2006-WINNER-WHYSO MAYO 9-12-00 Owner-Kathleen O=Driscoll; Trainer-Ray Hurley IRE; Jockey-Mr Damien Murphy; SP-20/1
2ND First Down Jets 9-12-00 Owner-J B O=Mahoney= Trainer-Liam Burke; Jockey-Mr Colman Sweeney; SP-66/1
3RD Joe Blake 11-12-00 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Ian Ferguson IRE; Jockey-Mr Mark O=Hare; SP-14/1
24 ran, Time-6m 42.70s, Dist-1, 13 11/4 Fav Harbour Pilot (PU)
2005-WINNER-SLEEPING NIGHT 9-12-00 Owner-David & F A Jackson; Trainer-Paul Nicholls: Jockey-Mr Colman Sweeney; SP-7/2 Fav
2ND Foly Pleasant 11-12-00 Owner-Nick Shutts; Trainer-Nick Shutts; Jockey-Mr Richard Burton: SP-20/1
3RD Placid Man 11-12-00 Owner-Tim Jones and Partners; Trainer-Alex Embiricos; Jockey-Alex Embiricos; SP-14/1
24 ran, Time-6m 50.3s, Dist-:, 11
2004-WINNER-EARTHMOVER 13-12-00 Owner-Roger Penny; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Miss Rilly Goschen; SP-14/1
2ND Never Compromise 9-12-00 Owner-Dermot Desmond; Trainer-Ted Walsh IRE; Jockey-Mr Alan Crowe; SP-9/2
3RD County Derry 11-12-00 Owner-G T Lever; Trainer-Jeremy Scott; Jockey-Mr Neil Harris; SP-16/1
24 ran, Time-6m 57.10s, Dist-4, 12 3/1 Fav Lord Atterbury (PU)
1997-WINNER-FANTUS 10-12-00 Owner-John Keighley; Trainer-Richard Barber; Jockey-Mr Tim Mitchell; SP-10/1
2ND-Cab On Target 11-12-00 Owner-N Hurst; Trainer-Mary Reveley; Jockey-Mr Stephen Swiers; SP-4/1 Fav
3RD-What A Hand 9-12-00 Owner-F A Bonsal; Trainer-Edward O=Grady IRE; Jockey-Mr Philip Fenton; SP-6/1
18 ran, Time-6m 44.5s, Dist-1:, 11
1996-WINNER-ELEGANT LORD 8-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr Enda Bolger;
2ND-Cool Dawn 8-12-00 Owner-Dido Harding; Trainer-Robert Alner; Jockey-Miss Dido Harding; SP-9/2
3RD-Kerry Orchid 8-12-00 Owner-Peter Curling; Trainer-Edward O=Grady IRE; Jockey-Mr Philip Fenton; SP-12/1
17 ran, Time-6m 51.0s, Dist-6,7
1995-WINNER-FANTUS 8-12-00 Owner-John Keighley; Trainer-Richard Barber; Jockey-Miss Polly Curling; SP-8/1
2ND-Holland House 9-12-00 Owner-Edward Knight; Trainer-Patrick Chamings; Jockey-Mr Charlie Vigors; SP-50/1
3RD-Elegant Lord 7-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr Tony Martin; SP-13/8 Fav
13 ran, Time-7m 7.7s, Dist-20, 8
CHRISTIE=S FOXHUNTER CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR
(Christie=s Foxhunter Chase 1979 onwards, 1978-1974 no sponsor, 1973-72 ASun Alliance and London@ Foxhunter Challenge Cup)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2007 Drombeag 9-12-00 Mr J T McNamara Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 20/1 24
2006 Whyso Mayo 9-12-00 Mr Damien Murphy Ray Hurley IRE Kathleen O=Driscoll 20/1 24
2005 Sleeping Night 9-12-00 Mr Colman Sweeney Paul Nicholls David & FA Jackson 7/2 F 24
2004 Earthmover 13-12-00 Miss Rilly Goschen Paul Nicholls Roger Penny 14/1 24
2003 Kingscliff 6-12-00 Mr Richard Young Sally Alner Arnie Sendell 11/4F 24
2002 Last Option 10-12-00 Mrs Fiona Needham Robin Tate Robin Tate 20/1 20
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Cavalero 11-12-00 Mr Alex Charles-Jones John Manners John Manners 16/1 24
1999 Castle Mane 7-12-00 Mr Ben Pollock Caroline Bailey Charles Dixey 9/2 24
1998 Earthmover 7-12-00 Mr Joe Tizzard Richard Barber Roger Penny 3/1 11
1997 Fantus 10-12-00 Mr Tim Mitchell Richard Barber John Keighley 10/1 18
1996 Elegant Lord 8-12-00 Mr Enda Bolger Enda Bolger J P McManus 3/1F 17
1995 Fantus 8-12-00 Miss Polly Curling Richard Barber John Keighley 8/1 13
1994 Double Silk 10-12-00 Mr Ron Treloggen Reg Wilkins Reg Wilkins 2/5F 5
1993 Double Silk 9-12-00 Mr Ron Treloggen Reg Wilkins Reg Wilkins 12/1 18
1992 Rushing Wild 7-12-00 Mr Justin Farthing Richard Barber John Keighley 9/1 24
1991 Lovely Citizen 8-12-00 Mr Willie O=Sullivan Eugene M O=Sullivan IRE Eugene J O=Sullivan 14/1 18
1990 Call Collect 9-12-00 Mr Ray Martin John Parkes James Clements 7/4F 15
1989 Three Counties 12-12-00 Miss Katie Rimell Mercy Rimell Katie Rimell 6/1 16
1988 Certain Light 10-12-00 Mr Paul Hacking Jean Campbell Jean Campbell 10/1 9
1987 Observe 11-12-00 Mr Charlie Brooks Fred Winter R Bott (Wigmore St) Ltd 14/1 14
1986 Attitude Adjuster 6-12-00 Mr Ted Walsh Mouse Morris IRE Sue Magnier 10/1 14
1985 Elmboy 7-12-00 Mr Alan Hill Norman Mawle Norman Mawle 10/1 17
1984 Venture To Cognac 11-12-00 Mr Oliver Sherwood Fred Winter Nat Sherwood 7/1 21
1983 Eliogarty 8-12-00 Miss Caroline Beasley Barry Kelly IRE Caroline Beasley 3/1F 16
1982 The Drunken Duck 9-12-00 Mr Brod Munro-Wilson Brod Munro-Wilson Brod Munro-Wilson 12/1 19
1981 Grittar 8-12-00 Mr Dick Saunders Frank Gilman Frank Gilman 12/1 17
1980 Rolls Rambler 9-12-00 Mr Oliver Sherwood Fred Winter B Braziel 9/4 7
1979 Spartan Missile 7-12-00 Mr John Thorne John Thorne John Thorne 9/4F 10
1978 Timmie=s Battle 7-12-00 Mr Peter Greenall Arthur Stephenson G Deverell 7/2 17
1977 Long Lane 9-11-11 Mr Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd 9/4F 16
1976 False Note 10-11-09 Mr Bryan Smart John Horton John Horton 11/4F 16
1975 Real Rascal 12-11-10 Mr George Hyatt Barbara Surman Barbara Surman 8/1 16
1974 Corrie Burn 8-12-00 Mr Ian Williams George Fairbairn Joanna Fairbairn 20/1 16
1973 Bullocks Horn 10-12-00 Lord Oaksey Bob Turnell Mrs E Barker 5/1 20
1972 Credit Call 8-12-00 Mr Chris Collins Arthur Stephenson Chris Collins 7/4F 9
1971 Hope Again 9-11-07 Mr Richard Smith Denis Windell Denis Windell 16/1 18
1970 Highworth 11-11-07 Mr R H Woodhouse R H Woodhouse R H Woodhouse 15/2 13
1969 Queens Guide 8-11-07 Mr G Wade Willie Wade Willie Wade 10/1 10
1968 Bright Beach 8-11-11 Mr Charlie Macmillan Geordie Dun Geordie Dun 5/1 12
1967 Mulbarton 11-12-00 Mr Nick Gaselee I H Pattullo I H Pattullo EvsF 13
1966 Straight Lady 10-11-07 Mr Richard Shepherd William Shepherd William Shepherd 100/8 21
1965 Woodside Terrace 12-11-07 Mr R Woodhouse R Woodhouse R Woodhouse 33/1 19
1964 Freddie 7-11-07 Mr Alan Mactaggart Reg Tweedie Reg Tweedie 1/3F 10
1963 Grand Morn II 9-12-00 Mr R Bloomfield G Shepheard G Shepheard 15/2 20
1962 Colledge Master12-12-00 Mr Laurie Morgan Laurie Morgan Laurie Morgan 9/2 17
1961 Colledge Master11-12-00 Mr Laurie Morgan Laurie Morgan Laurie Morgan 7/2 17
1960 Whinstone Hill 11-12-00 Mr Bobby Brewis Bobby Brewis Bobby Brewis 11/8F 15
1959 Some Baby 10-12-00 Mr John Thorne Tim Rootes Tim Rootes 100/8 15
1958 Whinstone Hill 9-12-00 Mr Bobby Brewis Bobby Brewis Bobby Brewis 7/1 16
1957 The Callant 9-12-00 Mr John Scott-Aiton Stewart Wight C D Scott 10/11F 9
1956 The Callant 8-12-00 Mr John Scott-Aiton Stewart Wight C D Scott 11/8F 17
1955 Abandoned (snow)
1954 Happymint 9-12-00 Mr Danny Moralee Stewart Wight Danny Moralee 7/1 21
1953 DH Dunboy II 9-12-00 Mr Charlie Scott P Bruce Miss P Bruce 3/1F 22
1953 DH Merry 13-12-00 Mr Gay Kindersley Alec Kerr John Baillie 100/7 22
1952 Parasol II 7-12-00 Mr Ivor Kerwood A Walton A Walton 8/1 19
1951 Halloween 6-12-00 Mr Dickie Smalley Bill Wightman Captain Dick Smalley 11/8F 26
1950 Greenwood 13-12-00 Mr John Stuart-Evans J T Evans J T Evans 100/7 25
1949 Abandoned (frost)
1948 State Control 8-12-00 Mr Harry Llewellyn Harry Llewellyn Harry Llewellyn 7/2F 38
1947 Lucky Purchase 9-12-00 Mr John Nichols Sidney Banks Sidney Banks 7/1 26
1946 Iloilo 9-12-00 Mr Harry Freeman-Jackson Harry Freeman-Jackson Mrs Harry Freeman-Jackson 6/1 16
THE DAVID NICHOLSON MARES HURDLE RACE
Class 1, Grade 2, £100,000 Total prize fund, 5.10pm, Friday, March 14, 2008. Two miles about four and a half furlongs. For four-year-olds and upwards, Fillies and Mares only. Weights: 4-y-o 10st 5lb; 5-y-o and upwards 11st. Penalties: after September 30, 2006, a winner of a Class 2 weight-for-age hurdle race or Class 1 handicap hurdle race 3lb; of a class 1 weight-for-age hurdle race 5lb. Entries closed February 26 (31 entries), entries revealed February 28, six-day confirmations March 8, final declaration 10.00am Thursday, March 13, 2008. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, February 25, 2008. Does not include point-to-point form.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
0/1113-P AMARETTO ROSE 7 Shade Oak Stud Nicky Henderson
00F121 AMBER BROOK (IRE) 7 The Yes No Wait Sorries Nigel Twiston-Davies
4110-14 ANNIE'S ANSWER (IRE) 8 R G Makin Jane Makin
14 ARTLESS (USA) 5 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
324-111 BLAEBERRY 7 Lady Bland Emma Lavelle
13-33P5 CEOPERK (IRE) 9 Willjoman Partnership David Wintle
00P023 CHICAGO VIC (IRE) 9 Timothy Cahill Eric McNamara IRE
213-111 CHOMBA WOMBA (IRE) 7 Mr & Mrs Richard Kelvin Hughes Nicky Henderson
4102 DARAZ ROSE (IRE) 7 Mrs L J Robins Norma Pook
144 DOUBLY GUEST 4 The Ting Tong Partnership Nicky Henderson
120-FP0 EN LA CRUZ (FR) 5 Sir Robert Ogden Jonjo O'Neill
5140-2P FIRST FEERIE (FR) 5 N M Watts & N P Horsfall Noel Chance
06///2133- IRST THOUGHT 10 Oliver Carter Oliver Carter
12-2333 GASPARA (FR) 5 P McMahon David Pipe
14-13P6 HELENS VISION 5 W D Morris Helen Lewis
212121 KRUGUYROVA (FR) 5 Ronald Brimacombe Charles Egerton
321531 LA VECCHIA SCUOLA (IRE) 4 John Connor Graham Brown Jim Goldie
10-12F1 LABELTHOU (FR) 9 GDM Partnership Emma Lavelle
404-146 LOUNAOS (FR) 5 Martine Griffin Eoin Griffin IRE
32-33P1 MAGICAL LEGEND 7 R H Kerswell Liam Corcoran
11-1016 MISSIS POTTS 7 James & Jean Potter Philip Hobbs
063-312 MY PETRA 5 Mr & Mrs Richard Kelvin Hughes Nicky Henderson
0-51120 MY VALLEY (IRE) 6 Ballyboggan Racing Syndicate Pat Fahy IRE
100-113 ONE GULP 5 Bobby McAlpine Paul Webber
3-12366 PISTOL FLASH (IRE) 6 John Mulhern John Mulhern IRE
31-6123 REFINEMENT (IRE) 9 Michael Tabor Jonjo O'Neill
F130-55 SHATABDI (IRE) 6 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
441-0PP SILVER CHARMER 9 Brian, Gwen, Terri & Kelly Griffiths Stuart Howe
2-12212 SWEET KILN (IRE) 9 James Bowe Michael Bowe IRE
322-122 THEATRE GIRL 5 Let's Live Racing Alan King
0-23121 WHITEOAK (IRE) 5 Brendan Richardson Donald McCain Jnr
DAVID NICHOLSON MARES HURDLE RACE FACTS AND FIGURES
1. This year sees the inaugural running of the Grade Two David Nicholson Mares Hurdle, named in memory of the legendary Cotswold-based jockey and trainer, who passed away in August, 2006.
2. “The Duke” enjoyed five successes at The Festival as a jockey between 1963 and 1973, but is best known for his 17 victories as a trainer, including successes in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase (1994 & 1995 Viking Flagship), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Anzum 1999) and totesport Gold Cup (1988 Charter Party).
3. Nicholson became the first trainer for more than 50 years to saddle three winners in a day at The Festival when Putty Road (Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle), Viking Flagship (Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase) and Kadi (Racing Post Plate) all triumphed on March 15, 1995.
David Nicholson Mares Hurdle Race – Analysis
The inaugural running of the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle, an extended two and a half mile hurdle on Friday, March 14 at Cheltenham, has attracted a strong entry of 31, including five from Ireland.
With five entered, Nicky Henderson has the most engaged at this stage and his team is headed by Chomba Womba, who has won her three starts since being bought for £160,000 at a sale at Cheltenham racecourse in April, having won five races in Ireland. Her most recent success came in a Grade Two mares’ event at Doncaster, where she was stepping back from two and a half miles to an extended two miles. On that occasion, she was three quarters of a length too good for Alan King’s staying-on Theatre Girl, while Annie’s Answer finished fourth.
Henderson’s team also includes Amaretto Rose, a winner of four of her seven career starts who was pulled-up on her first run since finishing third in last year’s Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, while My Petra, Shatabdi and Doubly Guest complete his team. My Petra has been successfully campaigned over fences this season, following up a beginners’ chase victory with a good second to The Irish Independent Arkle Chase favourite Noland.
David Pipe has entered tough performer Gaspara, who rattled off a quartet of wins last season, culminating in success in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at The Festival. She has yet to score this season, but has run some good races in defeat.
The Irish-trained quintet is headed by Michael Bowe’s prolific winner Sweet Kiln and Eoin Griffin’s Lounaos. The former’s most recent of her nine wins came at Leopardstown in the Grade Two Christmas Hurdle, while Lounaos was a winner at Limerick on Boxing Day before finishing fourth in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown for the second year in a row.
The challenging team is completed by Eric McNamara’s Chicago Vic, Pat Fahy’s My Valley and John Mulhern’s Pistol Flash.
Others of note from home are Emma Lavelle’s Labelthou and Jonjo O’Neill’s pair of Refinement and En La Cruz, while Philip Hobbs has entered Missis Potts.