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Friday, March 17, 2006



Edward Gillespie, Cheltenham’s managing director, said: “It has been great that people for the last four days have been going round saying how wonderful it is to be here. That is what this place means to people.

“It has been a very difficult season for everybody but it is terrific that the prize money has been well distributed at The Festival.

“There have been some great results, dreams accomplished and some sadness - that is The Festival.

“I am very sorry for those people who lost horses here. We are aware that we are very much in the spotlight and yesterday was as difficult as I can remember. We thought we were over significant loss of horses - it had not been on the agenda in recent seasons.

“Once again jump racing has proved that it is in excellent shape and we look forward to welcoming people back on March 13, 2007.”

Today’s attendance came to 67,512, up from 66,767 last year, which is the highest total since 1989 for totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup day.

Attendances for the other three days were also up

55,426 (55,184 - 2005)

55,083 (54,850)

54,962 (54,817)

Total 2006 - a new record for The Festival
232,983 (231,618)


The 2006 Cheltenham Festival produced a record tote on-course cash turnover of £10,850,942 - an increase of £578,644 on the 2005 figure of £10,272,298.

Today’s on-course cash turnover was £3,518,334, an increase of 11 per cent on the 2005 figure of £3,166,585.

There was a pool of £540,467 for the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, the highest ever win pool for a single race and surpassing the previous best in the 2004 Grand National.

Two £1 tickets missed out on a terrific end to the Cheltenham Festival when their selections were beaten in the last leg of the totejackpot. The players had Studmaster and Khetaam running for them but could only watch in despair as Desert Quest romped away. It means there is £200,267 rollover in the jackpot at Uttoxeter tomorrow.



There were a record 10 wins for Irish-trained raiders at the 2006 Festival, beating last year’s previous best of nine successes, when The Festival was run over four days for the first time although it was not quite enough to match the British tally of 14 victories.

The Irish raiders won the feature totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle and Queen Mother Champion Chase for a second successive year.

Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle - NOLAND (Paul Nicholls GB)
The Irish Independent Arkle Chase - VOY POR USTEDES (Alan King GB)
Smurfit Champion Hurdle - BRAVE INCA (Colm Murphy IRE)
William Hill National Hunt Handicap Chase - DUN DOIRE (Tony Martin IRE)
Sporting Index Handicap Chase - NATIVE JACK (Philip Rothwell IRE)
Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - SHAMAYOUN (Charles Egerton GB)

Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle - NICANOR (Noel Meade IRE)
Royal & SunAlliance Chase - STAR DE MOHAISON (Paul Nicholls GB)
Queen Mother Champion Chase - NEWMILL (John Murphy IRE)
Coral Cup - SKY’S THE LIMIT (Edward O’Grady IRE)
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase - YOU’RE SPECIAL (Ferdy Murphy GB)
Weatherbys Champion Bumper - HAIRY MOLLY (Joe Crowley IRE)

Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase - REVEILLEZ (James Fanshawe GB)
Ryanair Chase - FONDMORT (Nicky Henderson GB)
Ladbrokes World Hurdle - MY WAY DE SOLZEN (Alan King GB)
Racing Post Plate - NON SO (Nicky Henderson GB)
Letheby & Christopher NH Chase - HOT WELD (Ferdy Murphy GB)
Pertemps Final - KADOUN (Michael O’Brien IRE)

JCB Triumph Hurdle - DETROIT CITY (Philip Hobbs GB)
Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle - BLACK JACK KETCHUM (Jonjo O’Neill GB)
totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup - WAR OF ATTRITION (Mouse Morris IRE)
Christie’s Foxhunter Chase - WHYSO MAYO (Raymond Hurley IRE)
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase - GREENHOPE (Nicky Henderson GB)
Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle - DESERT QUEST (Paul Nicholls GB)

Winning Racing Post Trainer and Jockey - Quotes

Henderson and Walsh Take Titles
On an emotional day for his family, Nicky Henderson claimed the Racing Post Festival Trainers’ Award. Henderson had three winners, two seconds and one third place to take the title ahead of Paul Nicholls.

“It’s always a great week, it’s always special, but the most special victory was in the second last event,” said Henderson, referring to Greenhope’s victory in the race dedicated to his father, the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase.

This was the eighth occasion that Henderson has topped the trainers’ table, and his total of winners at The Festival now numbers 31, but the trainer could offer no clues as to why his form at Cheltenham has been so consistently brilliant.

“When we had two horses run well on the first day and get beaten I thought it was going to be a hard week. Why does it go so well here? I don’t know. Maybe the horses have diaries,” he said

Henderson achieved his eighth title in spite of the absence of a number of stable stars. “The horses have done so well this year, because one or two of the A team have been missing,” he said.

The Racing Post Festival Rider’s Award was won by Ruby Walsh, whose victory on Desert Quest in the final race, gave him three wins and three second places at The Festival, edging out Tony McCoy on countback. McCoy finished with three firsts, two second and four third places.

“I thought when Black Jack Ketchum won [with McCoy on board] I had no chance, but if you throw enough darts you should hit the bull,” said Walsh

The Festival was not all smooth sailing for Walsh: “There have been ups and downs throughout the week. We were obviously disappointed with Kauto Star but we had to be happy with Denman. What a horse he is going to be next year!”



JOCKEY 1st 2nd 3rd

Ruby Walsh 3 3 -
Tony McCoy 3 2 4
Mick Fitzgerald 2 2 1
Barry Geraghty 2 1 3
Robert Thornton 2 - 1
Paul Carberry 2 - -
Mr Richard Harding 2 - -
Richard Johnson 1 2 2
Paddy Brennan 1 1 1
Davy Russell 1 1 -
Conor O’Dwyer 1 - 1
Andrew McNamara 1 - -
Mr Damien Murphy 1 - -
Tom Ryan 1 - -
Andrew Tinkler 1 - -
Brian Byrnes - 2 -
David Casey - 1 1
Mr J T McNamara - 1 1
Mr William Biddick - 1 -
Tony Dobbin - 1 -
Tom Doyle - 1 -
Jason Maguire - 1 -
Johnny Murtagh - 1 -
Mr Colman Sweeney - 1 -
Sam Thomas - 1 -
Mr Paul Tobin - 1 -
Miss Nina Carberry - - 2
Dominic Elsworth - - 1
Marcus Foley - - 1
Richard Kiely - - 1
Carl Llewellyn - - 1
Timmy Murphy - - 1
Mr Mark O’Hare - - 1
Tom Scudamore - - 1



TRAINER 1st 2nd 3rd

Nicky Henderson 3 2 1
Paul Nicholls 3 1 1
Alan King 2 - 1
Ferdy Murphy 2 - -
Philip Hobbs 1 3 -
Mouse Morris IRE 1 1 -
Charles Egerton 1 - 2
Michael O’Brien IRE 1 - 1
Jonjo O’Neill 1 - 1
Joe Crowley IRE 1 - -
James Fanshawe 1 - -
Raymond Hurley IRE 1 - -
Tony Martin IRE 1 - -
Noel Meade IRE 1 - -
Colm Murphy IRE 1 - -
John Murphy IRE 1 - -
Edward O’Grady IRE 1 - -
Philip Rothwell IRE 1 - -
Eric McNamara IRE - 2 -
Venetia Williams - 2 -
Enda Bolger IRE - 1 1
Willie Mullins IRE - 1 1
Sean Aherne IRE - 1 -
Liam Burke IRE - 1 -
Charles Byrnes IRE - 1 -
Tom George - 1 -
Nick Gifford - 1 -
Michael Halford IRE - 1 -
Jessica Harrington IRE - 1 -
Arthur Moore IRE - 1 -
Nicky Richards - 1 -
Ted Walsh IRE - 1 -
Paul Webber - 1 -
Martin Pipe - - 2
Sue Smith - - 2
Henry Daly - - 1
Thierry Doumen FR - - 1
Ian Ferguson IRE - - 1
Dessie Hughes IRE - - 1
Henrietta Knight - - 1
Margaret Mullins IRE - - 1
Christy Roche IRE - - 1
Charlie Swan IRE - - 1
Tom Taaffe IRE - - 1
Nigel Twiston-Davies - - 1
Nick Williams - - 1



Race 3 - totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup -
Initial Winning Quotes

War Of Attrition capped a superb week for the Irish when running out an impressive winner of the Blue Riband of chasing, the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. Owned by Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, trained by Mouse Morris and ridden by Conor O’Dwyer, the seven-year-old had two and a half lengths to spare over Hedgehunter at the finish with Forget The Past seven lengths back in third, to give the Irish a historic 1-2-3 on St Patrick’s Day.

An elated Mouse Morris said afterwards: “He’s put up a cracking performance.

“This horse has a high cruising speed and lots of class.

“He has travelled well throughout and Conor has given him a peach of a ride - even though he’s an old fella!”

War Of Attrition had not previously won beyond two and three quarter miles. Morris continued: “You can never be confident going into a race like this and we rode him to get the trip.

“I walked the course earlier today and told Conor I didn’t mind if he came up the inside or ran on the outside - the only place I didn’t want him to be was in the middle as that was where the ground was most cut up.”

War Of Attrition finished second in the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle two years ago behind Brave Inca and last year finished seventh in the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy.

The trainer added: “The Supreme of a couple of years ago has certainly worked out well and last year his preparation wasn’t brilliant for the Arkle.

“I won’t be making a statement about where he goes next - I can’t even think about while all this is going! Lets get today out of the way first and enjoy the moment!

“Cheltenham feels like home for me.”

The totesport Gold Cup win was Mouse Morris’s sixth Cheltenham Festival victory.

Prices for a repeat win for War Of Attrition in 2007 include 7/1 (Stan James,Cashmans), 6/1 (Boylesports, Ladbrokes) and 5/1 (Paddy Power).

Race 3 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup
jockey and owner press conferencequotes

O’Dwyer Puts Retirement On Hold

Jockey Conor O’Dwyer, whose fortieth birthday is just over three weeks away, put any thoughts of retirement on hold following the victory of War Of Attrition in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.

“Hopefully the horse will be back here next year and I’d hate to be at home watching it on the telly,” said the jockey.

O’Dwyer, who has now won two Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdles and two totesport Cheltenham Gold Cups, was full of praise for the horse: “He jumped absolutely impeccably and the way he jumped the last two fences was unbelievable.

Hedgehunter was the danger and O’Dwyer was aware that the Willie Mullins-trained horse was closing. “I saw the colours [of Hedgehunter] coming, but the way my horse jumped the second last nothing was going to go by him,” said O’Dwyer.

Owner Michael O’Leary, the Ryanair boss, led the plaudits for trainer Mouse Morris. “I think you have to look at the way that Mouse has handled the horse. He was always determined that we took the slow road and every decision he’s made has been correct,” said O’Leary.

“There have been remarkably few Irish trainers who have won a Cheltenham Gold Cup,” he added.

Although the horse was competing in the blue riband race of the National Hunt season, O’Leary did not feel under any pressure.

“I would have been more worried at a point to-point than I was here today. I think we were under much more pressure last year in the Arkle when he was the Irish banker.”


“It was easy to ride him - even the last two fences he stood off, he just loves his racing and loves his jumping.

“This is even better than the first one! (Imperial Call in 1996) Fair play to Mouse Morris and Michael O’Leary - they made the decision to come here with him and it paid off.

“War Of Attrition just travelled very well, jumped super and had a great run. I had him very wide but he’s a novice and I didn’t want to get him too tight down the inner.

“He did everything I wanted and everywhere I wanted to go he was able to go, which was a huge plus. He gave me 100 per cent today.”

“He’s a horse I’ve always held in very high regard. If you go back two years to his Supreme Novices’ run with Brave Inca - you can’t get any better form than that! This is just magical! Unbelievable!”

“It was amazing! What a training performance by Mouse Morris and what a ride by Conor!

“My brother Eddie bought this horse about four years ago and always thought he had a chance in this race - I thought he was dreaming! It’s fantastic! He’s well-named - like his owner, always causing trouble!”

“It was a marvellous run and a super race. An excellent training performance - you couldn’t wish for more.

“We were wondering whether he should be here or shouldn’t be here - but the trainer said he earned it. To be second to War Of Attrition is great - he’s a super horse and my congratulations go to Michael O’Leary.”

“It is very disappointing but he is a very decent horse and has come back in one piece and I am sure he will win plenty more races. I cannot see him running in the Grand National off top-weight but he is in the three-mile conditions chase at Aintree (the Betfair Bowl) and the Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan which has £500,000 for the winner.”

Timmy Murphy, who was unseated by Celestial Gold in the totesport Gold Cup, has been stood down for the day. He is shaken and has soft tissue bruising but otherwise is all right.



Fittingly on St Patrick’s Day, Irish-trained horses filled the first three places in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup as Hedgehunter came home two and a a half lengths behind War Of Attrition with Forget The Past in third and French raider L’Ami in fourth.

Hedgehunter will now head to Aintree, bidding to win his second successive John Smith’s Grand National. “I was never as delighted to finish second in a race as I was today,” said the runner-up’s trainer Willie Mullins. “He got a fantastic ride, maybe the pace was a bit too strong in the first half mile but he got into it nicely.

“I was seriously thinking of withdrawing him beforehand as I was so disappointed with how Mister Hight ran in the first race but I couldn’t really give myself any reason to take him out. I’d fancied the winner for this race since November and little did I think then that we’d be second to him, he’s a great Gold Cup winner.

“Hedgehunter lost a shoe so I hope he comes back alright but he’s 10, he’s fit and he’s a hardy horse and can take his racing well so all being well it will be on to Aintree.”

Jockey Ruby Walsh added: “He ran a blinder and I thought I might get there going into the last but the winner stayed on too well.”

Anne-Marie Cullen, daughter of trainer Michael O’Brien, was delighted with Forget The Past’s effort. “We were thrilled, the winner just had one gear too many for our fellow. He’ll be entered in the Irish National but he could be an ideal English National horse next year as he wants further.”

Francois Doumen, trainer of fourth-placed L’Ami, hopes to be back at Cheltenham in 12 months time. “He had a hard time laying up with them early on, having to do long ones and exert himself. He was flying at the end with plenty in hand and wasn’t tired.

“He’s only seven and perhaps he’s still a little tender but he should be an ideal Gold Cup horse next year. Softer ground is the key to him but you don’t really get that at Cheltenham but he will be better with a bit more experience. He looked so well today that I may consider Aintree.”

Jockey Mick Fitzgerald added: “They went too quick for him early on.”

Michael Hourigan, trainer of beaten favourite Beef Or Salmon, said: “I probably have to believe what people say about this horse and Cheltenham now. He just didn’t perform today and I don’t really have any excuses. There are plenty of good races for him back in Ireland and he will run in the Heineken Gold Cup at Punchestown and then go to grass. I don’t know if we will come back here again.”

Race 3 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup
unplaced quotes

Hourigan Bites The Bullet

Beef Or Salmon’s fourth failure in the totesport Gold Cup has finally convinced his trainer Michael Hourigan that the horse does not act on the Cheltenham course.

“I have to believe the people know, that he just doesn’t like it here. I just spoke to the owners and said maybe we shouldn’t bring him back here any more,” said Hourigan, of the race favourite.

“There was no excuses, he was off the bridle too early,” said Hourigan and his jockey Paul Carberry agreed. “He was never travelling. The ground did not suit him,” said Carberry.

Hourigan was not too despondent, though. “He’s a very good horse and he’ll still win a couple more Group Ones for me. But we’ll have to find another one to come back here,” he said.

Monkerhostin, who had vied for ante-post favouritism, was never travelling like a potential winner. “He made a mistake early on, but no excuses, he just wasn’t good enough,” said trainer Philip Hobbs.

There was no joy for Jonjo O’Neil’s Iris’s Gift either. Champion jockey Tony McCoy pulled up the horse. “We were in a good position for a circuit then struggling when he came off the bridle. The way he jumped the last ditch, if I’d have carried on he would have fallen,” said McCoy.

Andrew Thornton, jockey of Sir Rembrandt, thought the good ground might have been the reason his horse, who was seventh, did not get in the frame. “In last year’s ground, he would have got in the money, but on this ground he was always tapped for toe,” he said.


Grade 1 (Class 1) 3m 2f 110y New Course, £400,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ Weights 5yo 11st; 6yo+ 11st 10lb Allowances mares 7lb Entries 64 pay £450 First forfeit 39 pay £900 Confirmed 28 pay £450 Penalty value 1st £228,080; 2nd £85,560; 3rd £42,840; 4th £21,360; 5th £10,720; 6th £5,360

1 WAR OF ATTRITION (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Mouse Morris IRE 7-11-10 Conor O'Dwyer 15/2
2 HEDGEHUNTER (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Willie Mullins IRE 10-11-10 Ruby Walsh 16/1
3 FORGET THE PAST (Sean Mulryan) Michael O'Brien IRE 8-11-10 Barry Geraghty 9/1
4 L'AMI (FR) (Jim McCarthy) Francois Doumen FR 7-11-10 Mick Fitzgerald 10/1
5 TAKE THE STAND (IRE) (David Robbins Frank Ridge) Peter Bowen 10-11-10 Tony Dobbin
6 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) (Martin St Quinton) Philip Hobbs 9-11-10 Richard Johnson
7 SIR REMBRANDT (IRE) (A Hordle) Robert Alner 10-11-10 Andrew Thornton
8 ROYAL EMPEROR (IRE) (Widdop Wanderers) Sue Smith 10-11-10 Dominic Elsworth
9 ROYAL AUCLAIR (FR) (Clive Smith) Paul Nicholls 10-11-10 Christian Williams
10 KINGSCLIFF (IRE) (Arnie Sendell) Robert Alner 9-11-10 Robert Walford
11 BEEF OR SALMON (IRE) (Joe Craig) Michael Hourigan IRE 10-11-10 Paul Carberry 4/1f
12 TIKRAM (Mike Charlton & Roger Sargent) Gary Moore 9-11-10 Jamie Moore
13 JOES EDGE (IRE) (Chemipetro Ltd) Ferdy Murphy 9-11-10 Keith Mercer
14 BILLYCASSIDY (IRE) (R Owen & P Fullager) Peter Bowen 10-11-10 Graham Lee
15 IZNOGOUD (FR) (The County Stores And Avalon Surfacing) Martin Pipe 10-11-10 Tom Scudamore
16 CORNISH REBEL (IRE) (Graham Roach) Paul Nicholls 9-11-10 Joe Tizzard
17 OLLIE MAGERN (Roger Nicholls) Nigel Twiston-Davies 8-11-10 Carl Llewellyn
18 LORD OF ILLUSION (IRE) (P Kennedy) Tom George 9-11-10 Jason Maguire
P IRIS'S GIFT (Robert Lester) Jonjo O'Neill 9-11-10 Tony McCoy
P LIMERICK BOY (GER) (Favourites Racing III) Venetia Williams 8-11-10 Sam Thomas
P ONE KNIGHT (IRE) (R Gibbs) Philip Hobbs 10-11-10 Paddy Brennan
U CELESTIAL GOLD (IRE) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 8-11-10 Timmy Murphy

Non-runners: Astonville, Turnium
22 ran
Time: No official time
Distances: 2 1/2, 7, 3/4, 1/2, 1/2, 1 1/2, 3, nk, 2, 3/4, 17, 1 1/2, 7, 5, 1/2, 10, 5
Breeder: Bridget Murphy
Breeding: br g Presenting - Una Juna (IRE)
Tote: Win; £7.50 Places; £2.80, £4.00, £2.70 Exacta; £218.10

Winning Trainer: MICHAEL (MOUSE) MORRIS Date of birth: 4/4/1951 Based: Everardsgrange, Fethard, Co Tipperary Date of first licence: 1980 Previous Occupation: Jockey, won Irish Grand National and Queen Mother Champion Chase (twice) Cheltenham Festival Wins (6): Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1990 Trapper John), Christie’s Foxhunter (1986 Attitude Adjuster), Queen Mother (1986 Buck House), Letheby & Christopher Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1983 Buck House), Grand Annual (2005 Fota Island), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2006 War Of Aattrition) Aintree Festival wins: Mumm Mildmay Novices’ Chase (1998 Boss Doyle), John Smith’s Red Rum Handicap Chase (2005 Fota Island) Other major wins: Punchestown Chase (1993 Cahervillahow), Champion Novices’ Hurdle (1998 His Song), West Yorkshire Hurdle (2000 Boss Doyle), Intervet Trophy Handicap Chase (2000 Foxchapel King), Ulster Champion Chase (2001 Foxchapel King), Ericsson Chase (2001 Foxchapel King), Paddy Power Chase (2004 Keepatem), Swordleston Cup Novice Chase (2005 War Of Attrition), Clonmel Oil Chase (2005 War Of Attrition), Normans Grove Chase (2006 Fota Island) Horses in Training (1984-2005): 45, 45, 44, 43, 38, 30, 43, 38, 38, 36, 33, 35, 41, 38, 36, 31, 37, 34, 21, 32, 27; 23 Winners in Britain (2000/01-2004/05): 3; 1; 2; 0; 2 Wins In Britain This Season: 1

Winning Jockey: Conor O'Dwyer Date of birth: April 8, 1966, County Wexford Background: Had his first pony at the age of nine. Went to the Racing Apprentice Centre in Kildare, aged 14. Apprenticed to Frank Oaks on the flat but rising weight prompted him to take out a conditional licence. Joined Francis Flood for whom he was Ireland’s champion conditional in 1988 Cheltenham Festival Winners: (4) totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (1996 Imperial Call, 2006 War Of Attrition), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (2004 & 2005 Hardy Eustace) Other Big Race Wins: Martell Cognac Melling Chase (1998 Opera Hat, 2002 and 2003 Native Upmanship), Martell Red Rum Handicap Chase (1998 Jeffell), Barton and Guestier Top Novices Hurdle (1999 Joe Mac), LADBROKE HURDLE (1990 Redundant Pal), IRISH HENNESSY GOLD CUP (1996 Imperial Call), MIDLANDS GRAND NATIONAL (1992 Laura’s Beau), Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase (2005 War Of Attrition), Clonmel Oil Chase (2005 War Of Attrition) Wins In Britain This Season: 1

(Updated after this year’s race)

1. The totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most valuable non-handicap chase in Britain. The total prize money for the 2006 running was £400,000, up from £350,000 in 2005. The first Cheltenham Gold Cup was a three-mile Flat race in 1819, won by a Mr Bodenham’s Spectre. The chase as we now know it was introduced in 1924, and won that year by Red Splash. The winning prize money was just £700.

2. This year saw the joint biggest Gold Cup field ever, as 22 went to post. Since the race was first run in 1924 there has only ever been more than 20 runners one other time - in 1982 when Silver Buck defeated 21 rivals.

3. Golden Miller holds the record for the most Gold Cup victories, with five consecutive wins from 1932-36. The race is fiercely competitive - so much so that before Best Mate in 2002, 2003 and 2004, the last horse to win more than once was L’Escargot in 1970 and 1971.

4. Golden Miller’s owner, Dorothy Paget, is also the most successful owner in the race with an amazing seven victories, with Roman Hackle (1940) and Mont Tremblant (1952) adding to Golden Miller’s five wins.

5. The most successful trainer is Tom Dreaper, who won five Gold Cups with three separate horses, namely Prince Regent (1946), Arkle (1964-66) and Fort Leney (1968).

6. Tony McCoy’s Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle/totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup double in 1997 on Make A Stand and Mr Mulligan was the 11th time that the big-race double has been landed by one jockey in the same year. The other jockeys to have achieved the feat were Dick Rees (1929), Tom Cullinan (1930), Ted Leader (1932), Bill Stott (1933), Gerry Wilson (1935), Aubrey Brabazon (1949 and 1950), Tim Molony (1953), Fred Winter (1961) and Norman Williamson (1995).

7. Alderbrook and Master Oats in 1995 enabled Norman Williamson and Kim Bailey to join a very select group of jockey and trainer partnerships who have won both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup in the same year. The other partnerships were Tom Cullinan and Jack Anthony in 1930, Ted Leader and Basil Briscoe in 1932, Bill Stott and Basil Briscoe in 1933, and Aubrey Brabazon and Vincent O’Brien in both 1949 and 1950.

8. Dawn Run is the only horse to have won both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup. She was successful in 1984 and 1986 respectively.

9. The longest-priced winner of the Gold Cup is Norton’s Coin, who started at 100/1 in 1990, while the shortest-priced winner was Arkle, the 1/10 favourite in 1966.

10. The last grey Gold Cup winner was Desert Orchid in 1989.

11. totesport has sponsored the Cheltenham Gold Cup since 1980.

12. In the Gold Cup's history only six horses have won more than once, and the most recent of them is Best Mate in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The others were L'Escargot (1970/71) Easter Hero (1929/30), Golden Miller (1932/33/34/35/36), Cottage Rake (1948/49/50) and Arkle (1964/65/66). Their successes were all in consecutive years.

13. The last 25 runnings (including 2006) have seen eight 9-year-olds, seven 8-year-olds, five 10-year-olds and five 7-year-olds be successful. The last horse over the age of 10 to win was 12-year-old What A Myth in 1969.

14. Seven of the last 25 favourites have justified the market confidence - Kicking King last year, Best Mate in 2003 and 2004, Master Oats in 1995, Desert Orchid in 1989, Dawn Run in 1986 and Bregawn in 1983. Six of the last seven favourites have reached the frame or won - See More Business was fourth in 2000, Florida Pearl third in 1999 and Dorans Pride third in 1998.

15. The four Irish-trained winners in the last 25 runnings were War Of Attrition this year, Kicking King last season, Imperial Call in 1996 and Dawn Run 10 years before that. Irish-trained horses did better between 1946 and 1977 when 16 successes were achieved. The Irish have now won the Gold Cup 21 times and this is meant to be the first time they have had the first three home. The only French–trained winner was The Fellow in 1994 while there has also been a Welsh-trained victor in Norton’s Coin (1990).


Robert Alner (Kingscliff, Sir Rembrandt)
2005-3 Sir Rembrandt 12/1
2004-2 Sir Rembrandt 33/1
1998-1 COOL DAWN 25/1

Peter Bowen (Ballycassidy, Take The Stand)
2005-2 Take The Stand 25/1
2005-8 Ballycassidy 80/1

Philippe Cottin FR (Astonville, Turnium)
No previous runners

Francois Doumen (L’Ami)
2004-5 First Gold 12/1
2003-P First Gold 33/1
1995-U Val D'Alene 10/1
1995-U Algan 16/1
1994-1 THE FELLOW 7/1
1993-4 The Fellow 5/4 Fav
1992-2 The Fellow 7/2
1991-2 The Fellow 28/1
1988-4 Nupsala 8/1

Tom George ( Lord Of Illusion)
No previous runners

Philip Hobbs (Monkerhostin, One Knight)
2002-5 What’s Up Boys 33/1

Michael Hourigan IRE (Beef Or Salmon)
2005-PU Beef Or Salmon 5/1
2004-4 Beef Or Salmon 10/1
2003-F Beef Or Salmon 5/1
2000-6 Dorans Pride 40/1
1999-8 Dorans Pride 11/2
1998-3 Dorans Pride 9/4 Fav
1997-3 Dorans Pride 10/1
1994-8 Deep Bramble 20/1

Gary Moore (Tikram)
No previous runners

Mouse Morris IRE (War Of Attrition)
2002-9 Foxchapel King 12/1
1993-13 Cahervillahow 14/1

Willie Mullins IRE (Hedgehunter)
2004-8 Alexander Banquet 80/1
2002-6 Alexander Banquet 12/1
2002-11 Florida Pearl 10/1
2000-2 Florida Pearl 9/2
1999-3 Florida Pearl 5/2 Fav

Ferdy Murphy (Joes Edge)
2005-PU Truckers Tavern 100/1
2004-PU Truckers Tavern 22/1
2003-2 Truckers Tavern 33/1
1999-5 Addington Boy 66/1
1993-5 Sibton Abbey 22/1

Paul Nicholls (Cornish Rebel, Royal Auclair)
2005-4 Royal Auclair 40/1
2005-6 Strong Flow 5/1
2003-4 Valley Henry 14/1
2003-8 See More Business 16/1
2002-3 See More Business 40/1
2002-P Shotgun Willy 25/1
2000-4 See More Business 9/4 Fav
1999-4 Double Thriller 9/1
1998-C See More Business 11/2
1995-P Deep Bramble 14/1

Michael O’Brien IRE (Forget The Past)
No previous runners

Jonjo O’Neill (Iris’s Gift)
2004-6 Keen Leader 10/1

Martin Pipe (Celestial Gold, Iznogoud)
2005-7 Celestial Gold 9/2
2005-9 Therealbandit 16/1
2005-PU Venn Ottery 200/1
2005-PU Tiutchev 50/1
2004-7 Therealbandit 15/2
2003-9 You’re Agoodun 50/1
2003-12 Modulor 200/1
2002-8 Cyfor Malta 25/1
2002-P Shooting Light 10/1
2000-F Gloria Victis 13/2
1999-P Unsinkable Boxer 14/1
1998-7 Challenger Du Luc 20/1
1998-C Indian Tracker 150/1
1998-P Cyborgo 10/1
1997-5 Challenger Du Luc 16/1
1997-8 Cyborgo 12/1
1996-P Lord Relic 100/1
1995-3 Miinnehoma 20/1
1994-7 Miinnehoma 11/1
1994-9 Run For Free 11/1
1994-11 Chatam 33/1
1994-P Capability Brown 200/1
1993-2 Rushing Wild 11/1
1993-8 Run For Free 11/1
1993-11 Chatam 10/1
1992-5 Carvill's Hill Evens Fav
1990-8 Bonanza Boy 15/2
1989-4 Bonanza Boy 15/2
1988-3 Beau Ranger 33/1

Sue Smith (Royal Emperor)
2000-P The Last Fling 16/1

Nigel Twiston-Davies (Ollie Magern)
1996-5 Young Hustler 25/1
1995-5 Young Hustler 33/1
1994-3 Young Hustler 20/1
1993-10 Tipping Tim 25/1

Venetia Williams (Limerick Boy)
2000-5 Lake Kariba 150/1
1999-P Teeton Mill 7/2
(CO - carried out, F - fell, PU - pulled up, UR - unseated rider)


Paddy Brennan (One Knight)
First totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Paul Carberry (Beef Or Salmon)
2005-P Beef Or Salmon 5/1
2004-3 Harbour Pilot 20/1
2003-3 Harbour Pilot 40/1
2000-2 Florida Pearl 9/2
1999-8 Doran’s Pride 11/2

James Davies (Astonville)
First totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Tony Dobbin (Take The Stand)
2005-2 Take The Stand 25/1
2004-P Truckers Tavern 22/1
2000-P Go Ballistic 16/1
1999-2 Go Ballistic 66/1
1997-4 Go Ballistic 50/1

Dominic Elsworth (Royal Emperor)
First totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Mick Fitzgerald (L’Ami)
2004-P Irish Hussar 16/1
2003-11 Marlborough 20/1
2002-12 Bacchanal 6/1
2000-4 See More Business 9/4 fav
1998-F Rough Quest 14/1
1997-2 Rough Quest 12/1
1994-P Capability Brown 200/1

Barry Geraghty (Forget The Past)
2005-1 KICKING KING 4/1 fav
2004-6 Keen Leader 10/1
2003-4 Valley Henry 14/1
2002-6 Alexander Banquet 12/1

Richard Johnson (Monkerhostin)
2003-5 Behrajan 14/1
2002-13 Looks Like Trouble 9/2 fav
1999-7 Escartefigue 11/1

Graham Lee (Ballycassidy)
2005-5 Grey Abbey 15/2
2000-UR Tullymurry Toff 100/1

Carl Llewellyn (Ollie Magern)
2002-P Go Ballistic 66/1
1999-9 Senor El Betrutti 50/1
1998-4 Senor El Betrutti 33/1
1995-5 Young Hustler 33/1
1994-3 Young Hustler 20/1

Tony McCoy (Iris’s Gift)
2005-9 Therealbandit 16/1
2004-7 Therealbandit 15/2
2003-9 You’re Agoodun 50/1
2002-P Shooting Light 10/1

2000-F Gloria Victis 13/2
1999-P Unsinkable Boxer 14/1
1998-P Cyborgo 10/1
1997-1 MR MULLIGAN 20/1
1996-4 Barton Bank 16/1
1995-7 Beech Road 100/1

Jason Maguire (Lord Of Illusion)
First totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Keith Mercer (Joes Edge)
First totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Jamie Moore (Tikram)
2005-P Venn Ottery 200/1

Timmy Murphy (Celestial Gold)
2005-7 Celestial Gold 9/2
2004-4 Beef Or Salmon 10/1
2003-F Beef Or Salmon 5/1
2002-P Shotgun Willy 25/1
2000-P Ever Blessed 14/1
1998-CO See More Business 11/2

Conor O’Dwyer (War Of Attrition)
2002-11 Florida Pearl 10/1
1998-11 Go Ballistic 12/1
1997-P Imperial Call 4/1 fav
1996-1 IMPERIAL CALL 9/2

Tom Scudamore (Iznogoud)
2005-10 Astonville 500/1

Sam Thomas (Limerick Boy)
First totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Andrew Thornton (Sir Rembrandt)
2005-3 Sir Rembrandt 12/1
2004-2 Sir Rembrandt 33/1
1998-1 COOL DAWN 25/1

Joe Tizzard (Cornish Rebel)
2003-8 See More Business 16/1
2002-3 See More Business 40/1
1999-4 Double Thriller 9/1

Robert Walford (Kingscliff)
First totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Ruby Walsh (Hedgehunter)
2005-6 Strong Flow 5/1
2004-8 Alexander Banquet 80/1
2003-6 Commanche Court 8/1
2002-2 Commanche Court 25/1
2000-UR Rince Ri 33/1

James White (Turnium)
First totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Christian Williams (Royal Auclair)
2005-4 Royal Auclair 40/1


Rank outsiders Astonville and Turnium, both trained in France by Philippe Cottin for owner Fergus Wilson, are non runners in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup having failed Jockey Club veterinary inspections this morning.

“I went and saw the horses in their boxes at 8.30am this morning and they seemed fine to my eyes but at 11.30am we were told they had failed the vet, who said they were lame,” said Wilson. “The trainer has gone back to France and they are just here with their lads, who couldn’t see what was wrong them. We’re all terribly disappointed and I think Cheltenham racecourse are as well.”

There has been debate in the media as to whether the pair should be allowed to line-up in the big race and Wilson added: “This is the first time that there were going to be 24 runners in the Gold Cup and with that many horses running off level weights you have to accept that they can’t all be of the same ability.

“We have to ask the question whether we want to return to the days I remember of Arkle and Mill House and four runners in the Gold Cup when obviously the average ability of each runner was far higher.

“I think there should be some minimum qualification for running in the race but if you make it 140 for example then Astonville was rated 142 last year

“But Astonville has beaten Beef Or Salmon (who pulled up) in the race before and has been very good in his time, he beat Baracouda off level weights in France and he has also beaten horses such as Bounce Back, Cenkos and Iris Bleu. The horses we try and buy would have a rating that would get them into the Grand National off a weight between 10st 4lb and 10st 6lb

“People criticised us when we brought Modular over but he made the running that helped Best Mate set a record time. Revenue is important for the sport so I would like to think we have helped in that respect by having runners.

“Astonville and Turnium are now going off to a farm in Devon and will be sold as point-to-pointers. Astonville should be top-class in that world having finished 10th in a Gold Cup.

“The British Horseracing Board and Jockey Club have been extremely helpful and I am meeting Greg Nichols, the BHB’s chief executive, at 4pm today.”

Astonville failed to complete his first two starts this season and finished tailed off in Tuesday’s Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle while Turnium has been pulled up in all three starts this season, including the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle.




Memories of Rooster Booster came flooding back as Detroit City, another grey sporting owner Terry Warner’s colours, led home a 1-2 for trainer Philip Hobbs in the JCB Triumph Hurdle when finishing five lengths clear of Fair Along.

“The visor helped him today, he’s very genuine but he’s a horse that needs more than two miles,” said Hobbs. “But when there was all that trouble at the start he stood there unperturbed like an old sheep.

“I was surprised that Fair Along went off at 25/1 as he had some of the best form in the race and it probably helped Detroit City when he made the running, but that was not intentional.

“Detroit City will be running over three miles before too long, I can’t see him being quick enough for the Champion Hurdle next year, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle or novice chasing would be more likely.

“He could go for the two and a half mile novice hurdle at Aintree and Punchestown is a strong possibility but I’d like to run him before then if possible. But in the short term Aintree would be ideal for Fair Along.

“We got Detroit City in July or August and he is totally different from Rooster Booster other than being grey. He already wants more than two miles and weighs a lot more, he’s be over 500 kilos whereas Rooster Booster was around 470.”

Jockey Richard Johnson added: “I just pointed him in the right direction really. Two miles is plenty short enough - he really just outstayed everything from turning in. He’s a real tough horse and Terry Warner has got another very good one. We’ve had a quiet week so far but it always makes a lot of difference to get a winner.”

Owner Terry Warner said: “He’s not unlike Rooster Booster to look at. He’s a nice big strong horse and will probably go on and make a nice chaser in time - but I want to win the Champion Hurdle again with him first! It’s great and I can’t believe what he’s done. He gets two and a half miles on the Flat so he’ll be better over longer distances. He stayed on very well and won it comfortably in the end.”

Race 1 JCB Triumph Hurdle
Placed horses quotes
Fair Along So Strong

The Philip Hobbs stable kept everyone happy in the JCB Triumph Hurdle, with not only Terry Warner, owner of the winner Detroit City in jubilant mood, but Alan Peterson, owner of the runner-up Fair Along, also absolutely delighted.

“We are new owners over the past three or four years and I think that Sarah and Philip are just the best,” said Peterson.

Fair Along soon made the pace, as the horse invariably does.

”We did that here in November when the horse won and people said we couldn’t do it for a second time, but we almost did didn’t we? For a moment I thought we might hold out,” said Peterson.

Peterson admitted that he had backed both horses, adding that : “Half the stable was on us, half on Detroit City.”

Blazing Bailey, who finished as fast as any up the final hill to take third place, has been transformed by the switch to hurdling.

Lesley Field, speaking for the three-woman syndicate Three Line Whip, said: “He’s only rated 58 on the Flat, but when he started hurdling he just loved it. We only bought the horse in October and here we are in the winner’s enclosure at Cheltenham.”

Field also paid credit to trainer Alan King, who is enjoying a fabulous Cheltenham. “We’ve certainly joined the stable in form,” she said.

Race 1 - JCB Triumph Hurdle - Ground


Richard Johnson, rider of the winner Detroit City: “Good ground.”

Carl Llewellyn, rider of Mahogony Blaze: “Good.”

Ruby Walsh, rider of Mister Hight: “Good.”

Barry Geraghty, rider of Oh Calin: “On the soft side of good.”

David Casey, rider of Overlut: “Good enough.”

Christian Williams, rider of Turko: “Quick enough. It’s drying out all the time.”


Grade 1 (Class1) 2m 1f New Course, £100,000 guaranteed For 4yo+ Weights 11st Allowances fillies 7lb Entries 116 pay £120 First forfeit 75 pay £240 Confirmed 34 pay £120 Penalty value 1st £57,020; 2nd £21,390; 3rd £10,710; 4th £5,340; 5th £2,680; 6th £1,340

1 DETROIT CITY (USA) (Terry Warner) Philip Hobbs 4-11-00 Richard Johnson 7/2f
2 FAIR ALONG (GER) (Alan Peterson) Philip Hobbs 4-11-00 Paddy Brennan 25/1
3 BLAZING BAILEY (Three Line Whip) Alan King 4-11-00 Robert Thornton 14/1
4 PACE SHOT (IRE) (Richard Green) Gary Moore 4-11-00 Jamie Moore 100/1
5 AFSOUN (FR) (Million In Mind Partnership) Nicky Henderson 4-11-00 Mick Fitzgerald 5/1
6 TURKO (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 4-11-00 Christian Williams
7 MAHOGANY BLAZE (FR) (Lorna Berryman) Nigel Twiston-Davies 4-11-00 Carl Llewellyn
8 MISTER HIGHT (FR) (Peter Garvey) Willie Mullins IRE 4-11-00 Ruby Walsh
9 FIRST ROW (IRE) (Busted Sofa Syndicate) Dessie Hughes IRE 4-11-00 Paul Carberry
10 OH CALIN (FR) (Sean Mulryan) Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR 4-11-00 Barry Geraghty
11 RESTORATION (FR) (Mrs P Sloan) Noel Meade IRE 4-11-00 Davy Russell
12 LINNET (GER) (Cockbury Court Partnership) Ian Williams 4-10-07 Graham Lee
13 LOVE ANGEL (USA) (Ronald Brimacombe) John Bridger 4-11-00 Rodi Greene
14 NIGHT BRIDGE (IRE) (O Finetto) John Joseph Murphy IRE 4-11-00 Andrew McNamara
15 OVERLUT (FR) (Paul Green) Francois Cottin FR 4-11-00 David Casey
F BREATHING FIRE (Howard Spooner) Jessica Harrington IRE 4-11-00 Denis O'Regan
U KASBAH BLISS (FR) (Henri de Pracomtal) Francois Doumen FR 4-11-00 Tony McCoy

17 ran
Time: No official time
Distances:5, 1, 3 1/2, 4, 1, 1 1/2, 1, 8, 2, 2 1/2,, 11, 6, 8, 22
Breeder: E Kelly
Breeding: gr or ro g Kingmambo
Tote: Win; £4.20 Places; £1.50, £5.20, £2.10, £12.80 Exacta;£113.30

Winning Trainer: PHILIP HOBBS Based: Sandhill, Bilbrook, Minehead, Somerset Date of Birth: 26/7/55 Riding Career: Professional NH 1975-86, rode 160 winners Date of first trainer’s licence: August 1, 1985 Wins this season: Cheltenham Festival wins: (10) Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (1990 Moody Man, 2002 Rooster Booster), Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup Handicap (1996 Kibreet), Coral Cup H’cap Hurdle (2000 What’s Up Boys, 2004 Monkerhostin), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2002 Flagship Uberalles), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (2003 Rooster Booster), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2003 One Knight), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2004 Made In Japan, 2006 Detroit City) Other Major wins: John Smith’s Topham Chase (1997 Bells Life, 2001 Gower-Slave), John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (1996 Pleasure Shared),, Barton & Guestier Hcap Hurdle (1999 Papo Kharisma), John Smith’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Phardante Flyer, 2001 Ilico II, 2002 In Contrast), John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase (2000 Bells Life), John Smith’s XO 4yo Hurdle (2000 Lord Brex), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2001 What’s Up Boys), Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase (1989 Joint Sovereignty), William Hill Handicap Hurdle (1998 Polar Prospect), Racing Post Chase (1999 Dr Leunt, 2002 Gunther McBride, 2005 Farmer Jack), Edinburgh Woollen Mill Champion Novices’ Chase (1999 Bouchasson), Hennessy Gold Cup (2001 What’s Up Boys), Totesport Becher Chase (1997 Samlee), Rehabilitation Of Racehorses H’cap Hurdle (2002 Rooster Booster), Vodafone Gold Cup (2005 Supreme Prince), Haldon Gold Cup (2005 Monkerhostin), Concord At jet.com Juv Nov’s Hurdle (2005 Fair Along), Anglo Irish Bank Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Boychuk) Horses in Training (1990-2005): 44; 53; 60; 52; 47; 65; 72; 80; 81; 81; 82; 99; 108; 112; 112; 105 Number of Winners (1990/91-2004/05): 33; 51; 37; 64; 86; 77; 64; 71; 84; 120; 82; 119; 134; 121; 121 Winners this Season: 87

Winning Jockey: Richard Johnson Date of birth: 21/07/77, Madley, Hereford Background: Parents Keith and Sue have a farm in Madley. Joined David Nicholson, aged 16 First winner 30 April 1994, Rusty Bridge, Exeter Number of Wins (1993/94-2004/2005): 1; 12; 53; 102; 120; 133; 143; 161; 132; 147; 186; 135 Cheltenham Festival wins: (12) Bonusprint Stayers’ Hurdle (1999 Anzum), Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup H’cap Chase (2000 Dark Stranger, 2003 Young Spartacus), Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup (2000 Looks Like Trouble), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2002 Flagship Uberalles), County Hurdle (2002 Rooster Booster), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (2003 Rooster Booster), Royal & Sunalliance Chase (2003 One Knight), Cathcart Chase (2003 La Landiere), Coral Cup (2004 Monkerhostin), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2004 Made in Japan, 2006 Detroit City) Leading Rider At the Festival: 2002 (2). Other Big Race Wins: John Smith’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (1997 Midnight Legend, 2000 Phardante Flyer, 2002 In Contrast, 2005 Mighty Man), Belle Epoque Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (1997 Forest Ivory), Martell Cup Chase (1998 Escartefigue), Heidsieck Monopole Mildmay Novices’ Chase (1999 Spendid, 2001 What’s Up Boys), Glenlivet Anniversary 4yo Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Lord Brex), John Hughes Trophy Chase (2001 Gower-Slave), James Nicholson Wine Merchant Champion Chase (2000 Looks Like Trouble), Tingle Creek Trophy (2000 Flagship Uberalles), Welsh National (1999 Edmond), Racing Post Chase (2000 Gloria Victis, 2001 Young Spartacus, 2002 Gunter Mcbride, 2005 Farmer Jack), Tote Silver Cup (2002 Behrajan), Bula Hurdle (2002 Rooster Booster), Pendil Novices’ Chase (2003 Hand Inn Hand), Pillar Property Chase (2003 Behrajan), Scottish Champion Hurdle (2003 in Contrast), BMW Chase (2003 Flagship Uberalles), Betfair.com Rendlesham Hurdle (2004 Monkerhostin), Red Square Vodka Champion Hurdle Trial (2004 Rooster Booster), Bonusprint.com Gold Cup (2004 Monkerhostin), Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (2004 Florida Pearl), Aon Chase (2004, Shooting Light, 2005 Farmer Jack), Haldon Gold Cup (2005 Monkerhostin) Wins This Season: 142


Race 2 Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle
Winners quotes

Jonjo’s Pick-me-up

If Jonjo O’Neil was disappointed to be absent from The Festival today, at home suffering from flu, he had the perfect pick-me-up when Black Jack Ketchum scooted home in the Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle.

“It’s such a shame that the person most responsible can’t be here, but this’ll cheer him up,” said Derrick Smith, husband of the owner Gay. Their children Zara, Dwayne and Paul completed the family representation as they were presented with the winner’s trophy by the Princess Royal.

Derrick Smith admitted that the family did not have too many doubts during the race. “This is what we expected and there wasn’t really wasn’t any moment when we were worried. Everything went to plan.

“To be honest I would have been cheering the winner up the hill if it hadn’t been our horse as it was such a good performance,” said Smith, adding that future plans for the horse now had to embrace Aintree and Punchestown. “We could go anywhere now;” he said.

Smith’s smile would have been broad enough without an investment on the horse, but the former trader for Ladbrokes admitted that he did have “ a small wager” on his wife’s horse.

The winning jockey on the even-money favourite, Tony McCoy, went to the head of the Racing Post Festival Jockey’s Championship, with the success being his third of The Festival this year.

McCoy recalled “The first day I won on him at Uttoxeter he won a very average race but I said to Carl Llewellyn, ‘this is a machine!’. He’s got a great attitude and never gets bothered.

“I was in front a little bit early but he travelled and jumped well and I knew if I got him over onto the running rail that would keep his mind on the job.

“I’m delighted for Jonjo because he’s not very well - although I’d say he’s feeling a little bit happier now! He’s done a brilliant job with this horse to win six out of six - it’s a great training performance.”

Race 2 - Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle - Placed Quotes


Powerstation and Travino filled second and third place respectively in the Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle behind impressive winner Black Jack Ketchum.

The second had already seen the back end of Black Jack Ketchum when chasing that horse home at The Open meeting at Cheltenham in November.

A delighted Charles Byrnes said afterwards: “He’s come here after a break and has run very well.

“He’s run right up to his November running with Black Jack Ketchum and I would be keen to take the winner on if he goes to Aintree, as I think he would get an 8lb penalty there.

“We will also think about Punchestown as well and see where we go from there.”

Back in third was Travino, who thrilled his trainer Mags Mullins.

Ms Mullins said: “I am delighted with that run.

“He’s a chaser in the making. He travelled over well and he will going home in great shape with a good run under his belt.

“It’s also good that he now has some experience of Cheltenham and hopefully we will back next year for something like the Royal & SunAlliance Chase.

“I think we came up against a real good one in Black Jack Ketchum.”


Grade 2 (Class 1) 3m New Course, £75,000 guaranteed For 4yo+ Weights 4yo 10st 12lb; 5yo+ 11st 7lb Allowances fillies and mares 7lb Entries 114 pay £90 First forfeit 74 pay £180 Confirmed 44 pay £90 Penalty value 1st £42,765; 2nd £16,042.50; 3rd £8,032.50; 4th £4,005; 5th £2,010; 6th £1,005

1 BLACK JACK KETCHUM (IRE) (Gay Smith) Jonjo O'Neill 7-11-07 Tony McCoy Evens f
2 POWERSTATION (IRE) (Fat Frog Syndicate) Charles Byrnes IRE 6-11-07 Davy Russell 9/1
3 TRAVINO (IRE) (P Kilroy) Margaret Mullins IRE 7-11-07 Barry Geraghty 6/1
4 BACK TO BID (IRE) (West Coast Pinner Syndicate) Noel Meade IRE 6-11-07 Denis O'Regan 33/1
5 SHOUETTE (IRE) (O Finetto) John Joseph Murphy IRE 6-11-00 Andrew McNamara 100/1
6 DREAM ALLIANCE (The Alliance Partnership) Philip Hobbs 5-11-07 Richard Johnson
7 KARANJA (D Staddon) Victor Dartnall 7-11-07 Paddy Brennan
8 ZIPALONG LAD (IRE) (Walters Plant Hire Ltd) Peter Bowen 6-11-07 Tony Dobbin
9 OSCAR PARK (IRE) (George Ward) Colin Tinkler 7-11-07 Tom Doyle
10 JEREMY CUDDLE DUCK (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Nigel Twiston-Davies 5-11-07 Carl Llewellyn
11 FIVE COLOURS (IRE) (Knightsbridge Bc & J Sigler) Alan King 6-11-07 Robert Thornton
12 MISTER TOP NOTCH (IRE) (Marie Cronin) Davy Fitzgerald IRE 7-11-07 Conor O'Dwer
13 ITS A DREAM (IRE) (Mrs R Murdoch & David Murdoch) Nicky Henderson 6-11-07 Mick Fitzgerald
14 SCREENPLAY (The Horse Players) Sheena West 5-11-07 Jamie Goldstein
15 IT'S THE LIMIT (USA) (Linda Goldsworthy & Susan O’Connor) Keith Goldsworthy 7-11-07 Lee Stephens
16 ASK THE GATHERER (IRE) (Toni Tipper) Mark Pitman 8-11-07 Paul Moloney
17 TOOFARBACK (IRE) (Mrs M Cahill) Noel Meade IRE 6-11-07 Paul Carberry
P SUPER LORD (IRE) (Wally Sturt) Jim Old 8-11-07 Jason Maguire
P SMILEAFACT (Waterworth Waggott Jessop Batty Wiggam) Barbara Waring 6-11-07 Ben Hitchcott
Non-runner: Alderbrook Girl
19 ran
Time: No official time
Distances: 9, 3, 1, 1 1/4, 3, 1 1/2, 1 1/2, 2 1/2, 9, 11, 9, 3 1/2,1/2, dist, 5, 7
Breeder: E Morrissey
Breeding: b g Oscar (IRE) - Cailin Supreme (IRE)
Tote: Win; £2.00 Places; £1.40, £3.20, £1.80 Exacta; £17.30

Winning Trainer: JONJO O’NEILL Born: April 13, 1952 Based: Jackdaws Castle, Gloucestershire Career: former National Hunt jockey Cheltenham Festival wins (11): Pertemps Final (1991 Danny Connors, 2003 Inching Closer, 2004 Creon); National Hunt Chase (1995 Front Line, 2002 Rith Dubh, 2003 Sudden Shock, 2004 Native Emperor); Vincent O’Brien County H’cap Hurdle (2000 Master Tern), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2003 Spectroscope), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Black Jack Ketchum) Other Big Race Wins: John Smith’s V.S. Hcap Chase (2000 Radiation, 2002 Carbury Cross, 2003 Master Tern), John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle (2002 Sudden Shock); John Smith’s XO Anniversary 4YO Hurdle (2002 Quazar), Cordon Bleu Handicap Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon), John Smith’s Topham Chase (2003 Clan Royal), John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Iris’s Gift), John Smith’s Champion Standard National Hunt Flat Race (2003 Classic Native), John Smith’s Laurel Pub Company Liverpool Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle (2004 Rhinestone Cowboy), Tripleprint Gold Cup (1999 Legal Right), Totesport Silver Cup (2000 Legal Right), Totesport Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle (2002 Native Emperor), Kingwell Hurdle (2003 Rhinestone Cowboy), Challow Hurdle (2002 Coolnagorna), Reynoldstown Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Welsh National (2002 Mini Sensation), Totesport Becher Chase (2003 Clan Royal), Edward Hanmer Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Greatwood Hurdle (2005 Lingo), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Black Jack Ketchum), Cleeve Hurdle (2006 Fire Dragon) Horses in Training (1996-2005): 53; 59; 59; 78; 78, 75, 98, 90, 95; 94 Number of Winners (1995/96-2004/05): 18; 17; 32; 38; 44; 58; 113; 114; 102; 96 Wins this Season: 94

Winning Jockey: Anthony Peter McCoy Date of Birth: 04/05/74 First Winner: Thurles, 26/03/92 (First winner in Britain: 07/09/94, Exeter, Chickabiddy) Apprenticeship: Four years with Jim Bolger. Cheltenham Festival Wins: (18) GRAND ANNUAL CHASE (1996 Kibreet, 1998 Edredon Bleu), IRISH INDEPENDENT ARKLE CHASE (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve, 2004 Well Chief), SMURFIT CHAMPION HURDLE (1997 Make A Stand, 2006 Brave Inca), TOTE GOLD CUP (1997 Mr Mulligan), CATHCART CHASE (1998 Cyfor Malta, 2002 Royal Auclair) Pertemps Final (1998 Unsinkable Boxer), VINCENT O’BRIEN COUNTY HURDLE (1998 Blowing Wind), GERRARD SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE (1999 Hors La Loi III), THE MILDMAY OF FLETE CHALLENGE CUP HCAP CHASE (1999 Majadou), QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (2000 Edredon Bleu), WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER (2003 Liberman), JEWSON NOVICES’ HANDICAP CHASE (2006 Reveillez), BRIT INSURANCE NOVICES’ HURDLE (2006 Black Jack Ketchum) Leading Rider at The Festival: 1997 (3), 1998 (5). Other major wins: KING GEORGE VI CHASE (2002 Best Mate), SCOTTISH GRAND NATIONAL (1997 Belmont King), REHEARSAL CHASE (1996 Belmont King), PADDY POWER GOLD CUP (1998 Cyfor Malta, 2000 Lady Cricket, 2001Shooting Light), PILLAR PROPERTY CHASE (1999 Cyfor Malta), TRIPLEPRINT GOLD CUP CHASE (1998 Northern Starlight), EXTRAMAN HENRY VIII NOVICES’ CHASE (1998 Dines), MILDMAY & CAZALET HCAP CHASE (1999 Eudipe), LONG DISTANCE HURDLE (1999 Galant Moss, 2003 Deano’S Beano, 2004 Baracouda), SCILLY ISLES NOVICES’ CHASE (2000 Upgrade, 2003 Tarxien), FIRST NATIONAL GOLD CUP H’CAP CHASE (2000 Upgrade, 2001 Wahiba Sands), CHALLOW HURDLE (2001 Classified), GAME SPIRIT CHASE (2002 Lady Cricket), TOTE GOLD TROPHY (2002 Copeland), LONG WALK HURDLE (2002 Deano’s Beeno, 2004 Baracouda), RENDLESHAM HURDLE (2003 Deano’s Beano), RITZ CLUB ASCOT CHASE (2003 Tiutchev), CLEEVE HURDLE (2003 Classified), SUNDERLANDS IMPERIAL CUP (2003 Korelo), FINALE JUVENILE HURDLE (2004 Phar Bleu), POWERS GOLD CUP (2005 Like-A-Butterfly), SCOTTISH CHAMPION HURDLE (2005 Genghis), PETERBOROUGH CHASE (2005 Impek), FELTHAM NOVICES’ CHASE (2005 Darkness), DECEMBER FESTIVAL HURDLE (2005 Brave Inca), AIG EUROPE CHAMPION HURDLE (2006 Brave Inca) Winners 1994/5-2004/05:74,175, 189,253,186,245,191, 289, 257, 209, 199 Wins this season: 164


Race 4 - Christie’s Foxhunter Chase - Winning Quotes


Whyso Mayo became the 10th Irish-trained winner of The Festival in 2006, thereby creating a new record number of wins for horses hailing from the Emerald Isle.

The winner is trained by Raymond Hurley, who trained the 1996 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Call for the latter part of his career.

An elated Hurley said after the race: “That was nerve-racking! But we always knew he was good enough.

“Things didn’t go right for him last time at Leopardstown on the day of the Hennessy, but he hasn’t been over-raced this year and we just had to get him here.

“This has been the target all year. He was given a brilliant ride by Damian - he has his own way of riding the horse and getting him to jump. The horse stays and gallops and once he jumped the last it was going to take something special to beat him.

“From the first time I sat on him, I knew there was something special about this horse - he’s just fantastic and I thought that Cheltenham would suit him.

“Today was the plan for him, although he might also go to Punchestown.

“This horse always gives his all and is a real superstar at home.”

Hurley continued: “I used to train for Lisselan Farms but had to give up as my back was so bad.

“I started training again on my own with some point to pointers and this is now my third season.”

Winning jockey Mr Damian Murphy, enjoying a first Festival success, added: “I gave him a serious chance today - I was cantering at Leopardstown last time when he unseated me at the third last.

“I kept him wide and let him see his fences today. We went a nice gallop and he missed a few early on but he was super! I’m just trying to take it all in - I never thought I’d get the chance to ride a winner at The Festival but he proved me wrong!”


(Class 2) 3m 2f 110y New Course, £40,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ which, since December 31, 2003, and before February 27, 2006, have been placed first or second on tow occasions in a hunters’ chase in GB/Ire or have won open chases at point-to-point meetings (ie. Gentlemens, Ladies or Mixed Open Races) in GB/Ire or have won one open chase at a point-to-point in GB/Ire and have been placed first or second in a hunters’ chase Weights 5yo+ 11st 4lb; 6yo+ 12st Allowances mares 7lb Entries 46 pay £65 Confirmed 38 pay £135Penalty value 1st £24,008; 2nd £7,500; 3rd £3,748; 4th £1,876; 5th £936; 6th £472

1 WHYSO MAYO (IRE) (Kathleen O’Driscoll) Raymond Hurley IRE 9-12-00 Mr Damien Murphy 20/1
2 FIRST DOWN JETS (IRE) (J O’Mahoney) Liam Burke IRE 8-12-00 Mr Colman Sweeney 66/1
3 JOE BLAKE (IRE) (Ronnie Bartlett) Ian Ferguson IRE 11-12-00 Mr Mark O'Hare 14/1
4 BOTHAR NA (IRE) (Mrs Michael O’Dwyer) Willie Mullins IRE 7-12-00 Mr Kevin Power 14/1
5 SAVATI (FR) (Roy Wilson) Roy Wilson IRE 6-12-00 Mr William Rankin 25/1
6 TELEMOSS (IRE) (Alix Stevenson) Nicky Richards 12-12-00 Miss Rose Davidson
7 RAREGEM (Mrs J Alford) Mike Biddick 8-12-00 Mr William Biddick
8 GATSBY (IRE) (Mrs J Powell) John Groucott 10-12-00 Mr Julian Pritchard
9 DROMBEAG (IRE) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 8-12-00 Mr J T McNamara
10 BOSHAM MILL (The Windy Millers) Philip Hobbs 8-12-00 Mr Tom O'Brien
11 BEDTIME BOYS (Mary Samworth) Holly Campbell 9-12-00 Mr Joe Docker
12 COBRECES (Mr & Mrs D Borradaile) Lucia Borradaile 8-12-00 Mr Jamie Snowden
13 NO RETREAT (NZ) (Mark & Amanda Harris) John Groucott 13-12-00 Mr William Hill
14 KESTICK (C Rush) Becky Kennen 11-12-00 Miss Tabitha Cave
15 FOLY PLEASANT (FR) (Nick Shutts) Karen Waldron 12-12-00 Mr Richard Burton
16 VINNIE BOY (IRE) (J Burbidge) Ollie Bush 9-12-00 Miss Polly Gundry
17 IRILUT (FR) (Robert Waley-Cohen) Robert Waley-Cohen 10-12-00 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
18 CAMDEN CARRIG (IRE) (J Phillips) Simon Bloss 11-12-00 Mr Nick Phillips
19 CAUGHT AT DAWN (IRE) (Martin Weston) Martin Weston 12-12-00 Mr Tom Weston
F CRACKING DAWN (IRE) (Peter Bonner) Sally Alner 11-12-00 Mr Michael Miller
F BONEYARROW (IRE) (Joseph Comerford) Eoin Griffin IRE 10-12-00 Mr Jamie Codd
P HARBOUR PILOT (IRE) (Kays Syndicate) Noel Meade IRE 11-12-00 Miss Nina Carberry 11/4f
P SWINCOMBE (Kate Digweed) Sara Hickman -12-00 Mr Andrew Hickman
P DOUBLE ANGE (FR) (David Parker) Katie Baimbridge 8-12-00 Mr Harry Fowler

24 ran
Time: 6m 36.12s
Distances: 1, 1 1/4, 3 1/2, 3/4, 1/2, 1/2, 1/2, 2 1/2, 1 1/4, nk, 5, 1 1/4, 2, hd, 3/4, 1/2, 6, 5
Breeder: Kathleen O’Driscoll
Breeding: b g Kasmayo - Why Cry
Tote: Win; £31.10 Places; £6.90, £21.30, £5.20 Exacta; £1227.20

Winning Trainer: Raymond Hurley Based: Clonakilty, County Cork Background: Briefly trained former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Call but relinquished his licence for a period because of back problems First Winner: Runaway Renegade, Listowel, April 19, 1998 Cheltenham Festival Wins: (1) Christie’s Foxhunters’ Chase (2006 Whysomayo) Other Major Wins: John Durkan Memorial Chase (1998 Imperial Call), Heineken Gold Cup (1999 Imperial Call) Wins In Britain This Season: 1

Winning Jockey: Mr Damien Murphy Cheltenham Festival Wins: (1) Christie’s Foxhunters’ Chase (2006 Whysomayo) Wins In Britain This Season: 1


Race 5 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup
Winning trainer quotes

Henderson Wins One For Dad

Although already successful twice at The Festival 2006, there was no race that trainer Nicky Henderson wanted to win more than that dedicated to his father Johnny, who died just over two years ago.

“I knew what I was trying to do. This was always my objective. This was always the plan,” said the emotional trainer, after Greenhope had stormed home to victory under jockey Andrew Tinkler.

“Fairy tales don’t often work, and obviously this was very, very special,” said Henderson, whose handkerchief spent more time out of his pocket than in it after the race. Henderson’s brother and sister were both present to witness the victory.

“I thought we were a bit short of options coming down the hill but he was always going well. Andrew’s given him a wonderful ride. Mick made the choice and got it wrong today. The whole family’s here - sisters and brothers and everybody so it’s very special.”

To give himself the best possible chance, Henderson had four horses in the race, Tysou, Caracciola and Tanikos taking their places alongside Greenhope at the start. “Obviously Mick [Fitzgerald, the stable jockey] had first choice,” said Henderson. But Fitzgerald choose Tysou (pulled up).

Nevertheless, Henderson was aware that Greenhope, who was sixth in the race last year, had the potential to put in a big run. “You can’t just make two-mile chasers and I knew I had some good ones. We had some problems with him, but he has talent,” he said.

Henderson’s father was a prime mover in the creation of the Racecourse Holdings Trust which bought Cheltenham and set in motion the modernisation of the facilities. “Cheltenham and I owe him an awful lot. Cheltenham for his help in putting the racetrack back on its feet...and he certainly put me on my feet,” said Henderson.

Andrew Tinkler declared: “Unbelievable! He jumped for fun and travelled and Mick said to me whatever you do just save down the hill. He’s fought all the way to the line and pricked his ears. It’s nice to have a winning partner and makes up for the last two days. I’d swap anything for that - it was amazing.”

Arthur Moore, trainer of the runner-up Tiger Cry, commented: "That was a super run - he jumped brilliantly. He has just found one too good on the day. He will now most likely go for a two-mile handicap chase at the Irish Grand National meeting at Fairyhouse."


Grade 3 (Class 1) 2m 110y New Course, £75,000 guaranteed For 5yp+ Weights raised 11lb Minimum Weight 10st Penalties after Feb 26, a winner of a class 3 chase 3lb; of a class 1 or 2 chase 6lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Tysou’s handicap mark 147 Entries 84 pay £95 Confirmed 50 pay £280 Penalty value 1st £42,765; 2nd £16,042.50; 3rd £ 8,032.50; 4th £4,005; 5th £2,010; 6th £1,005

1 TYSOU (FR) (Bill Brown) Nicky Henderson 9-11-12 Mick Fitzgerald
F ANDREAS (FR) (Mark Tincknell) Paul Nicholls 6-11-09 Ruby Walsh 4/1f
6 GROUND BALL (IRE) (J P McManus) Charlie Swan IRE 9-11-08 Tony McCoy
8 CARACCIOLA (GER) (Piers Pottinger) Nicky Henderson 9-11-07 Marcus Foley
5 DAVENPORT DEMOCRAT (IRE) (P M Racing Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 8-11-07 Barry Geraghty
12 DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM (IRE) (The Dream On Partnership) Paul Webber 10-11-05 Tom Doyle
7 GREEN TANGO (Mrs Strachan, Gabb, Lady Barlow & Harford) Henry Daly 7-11-04 Richard Johnson
10 BAMBI DE L'ORME (FR) (Mr & Mrs John Poynton) Ian Williams 7-11-02 Graham Lee
4 NYRCHE (FR) (Tony Fisher & Jeni Fisher) Alan King 6-11-02 Robert Thornton
14 KALCA MOME (FR) (Miss I Du Pre) Philip Hobbs 8-11-01 Paddy Brennan
U FLYING SPIRIT (IRE) (Richard Green (Fine Paintings)) Gary Moore 7-11-01 Jamie Moore
2 TIGER CRY (IRE) (C Jones) Arthur Moore IRE 8-10-13 David Casey
F BLEU SUPERBE (FR) (Peter Deal, A Hirschfield & J Tyndall) Venetia Williams 11-10-11 Sam Thomas
1 GREENHOPE (IRE) (Lynn Wilson Giles Wilson Martin Landau) Nicky Henderson 8-10-11 Andrew Tinkler 20/1
16 STRIKE BACK (IRE) (Commonstown Racing Syndicate) Jessica Harrington 8-10-10 Niall Madden
13 MARCEL (FR) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 6-10-10 Rodi Greene
F SHARP RIGGING (IRE) (The Sharpshooters) Alex Hales 6-10-09 Jimmy McCarthy
19 LIBERTY SEEKER (FR) (M Sawers) Alan Swinbank 7-10-08 Davy Russell
P PORTAVADIE (Ashleybank Investments Ltd) Malcolm Jefferson 7-10-07 Tony Dobbin
11 TANIKOS (FR) (Studwell Two Partnership) Nicky Henderson 7-10-02 Sam Curling (5)
22 TRIBAL DISPUTE (Jennifer Pallister) Tim Easterby 9-10-06 David O'Meara
9 ZUM SEE (IRE) (Aslex Syndicate) Noel Meade IRE 7-10-05 Paul Carberry
3 MADISON DU BERLAIS (FR) (Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds II) Martin Pipe 5-10-04 Tom Scudamore

Non-runner: Le Volfoni
23 ran
Time: 3m 54.83s
Distances: 2, 1, 1 1/4, 3/4, 1/2, 1, 1, 1 1/4, 3/4, 10, 8, 1 1/4, 4
Breeder: Gay O’Callaghan
Breeding: b g Definite Article - Unbidden Melody (USA)
Tote: Win; Places; Exacta;

Winning Trainer: NICHOLAS JOHN HENDERSON Based: Seven Barrows, Lambourn, Hungerford, Berkshire Date of birth:10/12/50 Date of first licence: July (1978) Previous Occupation/Apprenticeship: Amateur jockey, assistant to Fred Winter 1975-78 Cheltenham Festival wins (31): County (1997 Barna Boy, 1993 Thumbs Up), Kim Muir (1990 Master Bob, 2002 The Bushkeeper, 2005 Juveigneur), Racing Post Plate - formerly Mildmay (1985,1986 The Tsarevich, 2005 Liberthine, 2006 Non So), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal), Cathcart (1994 Raymylette, 1990 Brown Windsor, 1999 and 2000 Stormyfairweather), Supreme Novices H (1986 River Ceiriog, 1992 Flown), Queen Mother (1992 Remittance Man), Arkle (1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986, 1987 See You Then),Triumph (1985 First Bout, 1987 Alone Success, 1999 Katarino), William Hill National Hunt H’cap Chase (2000 Marlborough), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2005 Trabolgan) Ryanair Chase (2006 Fondmort), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2006 Greenhope) Aintree Festival wins: Mumm Melling Chase (1992 Remittance Man), John Smith’s MILDMAY NOVICES’ CHASE (1991 Sparkling Flame, 2003 Irish Hussar), John Hughes Memorial Chase (1990 Wont Be Gone Long), John Smith’s Handicap Chase (2004 Lord Of The River) Other major wins include: Haldon Gold Cup Chase (1993/94/95 Travado), First National Bank Gold Cup (1994 Raymylette, 2003 Iris Royal), Peterborough Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 1993 & 1995 Travado), Feltham Novices’ Chase (1991 Mutare, 1997 Fiddling The Facts), Victor Chandler Chase (1996 Big Matt, 2004 Isio, 2006 Tysou), Agfa Diamond Chase (1996 Amtrak Express), Scottish Champion Hurdle (1986 River Ceiriog), BMW Handicap Chase (1998 Big Matt), West Yorkshire Hurdle (1999 Silver Wedge), Gerry Feilden Hurdle (1999 Bacchanal), Totesport Gold Trophy Hcap Hurdle (1998 Sharpical, 2000 and 2004 Geos, 2001 Landing Light), AON Chase (2002 Bacchanal), Tripleprint Gold Cup (2002 Fondmort, 2003 Iris Royal), Ladbroke Hurdle (2002 Chauvinist), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2003 Fondmort), Racing Post Chase (2004 Marlborough), Vodafone Gold Cup (2004 Isio), Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (2005 Trabolgan), Finale Juvenile Hurdle (2005 Blue Shark) Horses in Training (1984-2005): 56, 45, 56, 66, 76, 67, 66, 72, 71, 71, 65, 64, 69, 80, 83, 84, 91, 115, 114, 116, 113, 105 Number of Winners (1982/83-2004/05): 40, 43, 40, 46, 67, 40, 43, 41, 49, 52, 53, 48, 45, 47, 58, 54, 73, 67, 81, 92, 69, 79; 53 Wins this Season: 72

Winning Jockey: Andrew Charles Tinkler Born: May 3, 1985 Based: c/o Nicky Henderson, Seven Barrows, Lambourn, Hungerford, Berkshire. Background: Son of trainer and former jump jockey Colin Tinkler. Spent school holidays riding out for Martin Pipe, Philip Hobbs, David Nicholson, Malcolm Jefferson, Ferdy Murphy and in the US Michael Dickinson. Rode his first winner on his first ride in public, aged 16, at odds of 100/1 First winner: Nafith (Royal Bank of Scotland Claiming Stakes for Amateur Riders, May 4, 2001) First Professional Ride: Volano (Samantha Holdsworth Handicap Hurdle, Aintree, May 16, 2003) Cheltenham Festival Wins: (1) Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2006 Greenhope) Other Notable Races won: Burton & Smith Amateur Derby Handicap (2003 Red Lion) Number of Wins (2002/03-2004/05): 6; 43; 31 Riding Weight: 9st 3lb Wins this Season: 25


Race 6 - Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle - Winning Quotes


Trainer Paul Nicholls ended The Festival 2006 as he began it, with a winner, when Desert Quest landed the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle.

The winning came home two and a half lengths clear of Noble Request, giving the Ditcheat handler his third winner of The Festival. It was also the third winner over the four days for jockey Ruby Walsh.

Nicholls commented: “He did it nicely.

“He is a very good horse and is genuine.

“What he needs now is a nice summer break and then come back next season at somewhere like Wincanton. I think he could make up into a really decent hurdler and maybe even a Champion Hurdle contender.”

Looking back on the week, the handler added: “It’s been a great week with three winners.

“We’ve had one or two silly mishaps with things like Andreas falling early and Kauto Star is still a bit sore, but that is only to be expected.”

Harry Findlay, son of winning owner Maggie Findlay, added: “David Loder advised me to buy the horse and I said the deal was only on if Roger Federer wins the US Open and he won on the Sunday.

“It was a lot of money - I think about £100,000 bang on.”

Successful jockey Ruby Walsh said: “He’s a classy horse - well placed and well trained. I followed Mick Fitzgerald through and got a great run.

“There have been a few ups and downs this week - Andreas and Kauto Star hit the floor and Denman ran his heart out - but riding for a top yard makes it all easier.”


Grade 3 (Class1) 2m 110y New Course, £65,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ which, before Feb 12, have been placed first second or third in a hurdle Minimum weight 10st Penalties after Feb 26, a winner of a hurdle 4lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Admiral’s handicap mark 147 Entries 129 pay £75 Confirmed 81 pay £225 Penalty value 1st £37,063; 2nd £13,903.50; 3rd £6,961.50; 4th £3,471; 5th £1,742; 6th £871

1 DESERT QUEST (IRE) (Maggie Findlay) Paul Nicholls 6-10-10 Ruby Walsh 4/1jf
2 NOBLE REQUEST (FR) (Karola Van) Philip Hobbs 5-10-11 Richard Johnson 25/1
3 ADAMANT APPROACH (IRE) (Greenstar Syndicate) Willie Mullins IRE 12-10-06 Richard Kiely (7) 50/1
4 PIRATE FLAGSHIP (FR) (Mr & Mrs Mark Woodhouse) Paul Nicholls 7-10-01 Paddy Brennan 10/1
5 KHETAAM (IRE) (Mrs J Hurley) Noel Meade IRE 8-10-04 Paul Carberry 10/1
6 BORORA (Mrs E Clarke) Richard Lee 7-10-06 Tom Doyle
7 LORD HENRY (IRE) (Karola Vann) Philip Hobbs 7-9-13 Mr Tom O'Brien (5)
8 BOB JUSTICE (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 10-10-09 Tony Dobbin
9 GRANDE JETE (SAF) (Lee Westwood A Chandler J J Hindley) Nicky Henderson 9-10-09 Mick Fitzgerald
10 STUDMASTER (Mothership Racing Club) Jessica Harrington IRE 6-11-08 Tom Treacy 4/1jf
11 HIGH DAY (Sean Murphy) Ferdy Murphy 6-10-02 Keith Mercer
12 CHIEF YEOMAN (B Moore & E Stephens) Venetia Williams 6-11-05 Sam Thomas
13 POWER ELITE (IRE) (Des Sharkey) Noel Meade IRE 6-11-05 Niall Madden
14 DUSKY WARBLER (Mike Charlton & Roger Sargent) Gary Moore 7-11-00 Jamie Moore
15 ARCH REBEL (USA) (Peter Garvey) Noel Meade IRE 5-10-11 Denis O'Regan
16 HOWLE HILL (IRE) (Mrs J Brown, R Benton, R Devereux, R Lucas) Alan King 6-11-03 Wayne Hutchinson
17 LUNAR CRYSTAL (IRE) (Teddington Racing Club) Martoin Pipe 8-10-06 Tom Scudamore
18 PERLE DE PUCE (FR) (Robert Waley-Cohen) Nicky Henderson 7-10-07 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen (7)
19 MISS ACADEMY (FR) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 5-10-00 Andrew Glassonbury (7)
20 FONTANESI (IRE) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 6-10-08 Rodi Greene
21 SPORAZENE (IRE) (Ged Mason) Paul Nicholls 7-11-12 Christian Williams
22 HAWADETH (Bill Hinge & Paul Jackson) Victor Dartnall 11-10-04 Mr J Doyle (7)
23 ACAMBO (GER) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 5-10-07 Barry Geraghty
24 ADOPTED HERO (IRE) (Neil Jones) Howard Johnson 6-9-13 Brian Hughes (5)
25 ENHANCER (Gallagher Equine Ltd) M McGrath 8-10-03 David Casey
26 PUBLICAN (IRE) (J P McManus) Pat Fahy IRE 6-10-11 Tony McCoy
27 ADMIRAL (IRE) (Willie McKay) Richard Guest 5-11-02 John Flavin (10)
F BUCK WHALEY (IRE) (Barry Connell) Jonjo O'Neill 6-10-02 Davy Russell - deceased
P DALARAM (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 6-10-13 Graham Lee
Non-runner: Goldbrook (vet’s certificate)
29 ran
Time: No official time
Distances: 2 1/2, 3 1/2, 1, 1 1/4, nk, 1 1/4, 1/2, 2 1/2, nk, 1 1/4, hd, 1/2, nk, hd, 1 1/2, 1, 1/2, sh, hd, nk, 2 1/2, 3, 10, 4, 4, 19
Breeder: Ballygallon Stud
Breeding: b g Rainbow Qquest (USA) - Jumilla (USA)
Tote: Win; £5.00 Places; £2.40, £6.30, £11.10, £2.80 Exacta; £117.60

Winning Trainer: PAUL NICHOLLS Date of birth: 17/05/62 Based: Heighes House, Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset Date of first trainer’s licence: 01/11/91 Previous Occupation: Professional jockey 1980-89. Rode 130 winners including Hennessy Gold Cup (1986 & 87), Irish Gold Cup (1988), Welsh Grand National (1987) Cheltenham Festival Wins: (13) Irish Independent Arkle Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2003 Azertyuiop), Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business), Christie’s Foxhunter Chase (2004 Earthmover, 2005 Sleeping Night), Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother), Aanglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2006 Star de Mohaison) Other Major Wins Include: Martell Maghull Novices’ Chase (2003 Le Roi Miguel), Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Garde Champetre), Mitsubishi Shogun Ascot Chase (2000 Rockforce),Game Spirit Chase (2000 Flagship Uberalles, 2005 Azertyuiop), Aon Chase (2000 See More Business, 2001 Shotgun Willy, 2003 Valley Henry), Scottish Champion Hcap Hurdle (1999 Fadalko), Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase (1995 Captain Khedive, 1999 Fadalko, 2002 Azertyuiop, 2003 Thisthatandtother) William Hill Haldon Gold Cup Chase (1998 Lake Kariba, 1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2004 Azertyuiop), Charlie Hall Chase (1999 and 2000 See More Business), King George VI Chase (1997, 1999 See More Business), Rehearsal Chase (1996 Belmont King, 1997 and 1998 See More Business), Scottish Grand National (1997 Belmont King), Pillar Chase (1998, 2001 See More Business), Feltham Novices’ Chase (1993 See More Indians), attheraces Gold Cup (2001 & 2003 Ad Hoc), totesport Bula Hurdle (2003 Rigmarole), Peterborough Chase (2004 Le Roi Miguel), Challow Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Cornish Rebel, 2006 Denman), Coral Welsh National (2004 Silver Birch, 2005 L’Aventure), Tingle Creek Chase (2005 Kauto Star), Tolworth Hurdle (2006 Noland),, Pendil Novices’ Chase (2006 Napolitain), Vodafone Gold Cup (2006 Cornish Sett) 1000th Domestic Winner: Noble Action (Bumper, Folkestone, November 15, 2004) First Trainer to Saddle Six Winners on One Card: Saturday, January 21, 2006, at Wincanton Horses in Training (1997-2005): 52; 60; 66; 65; 78; 105; 106; 121; 126 Number of Winners (1992/03-2004/05): 20; 29; 28; 53; 56; 82; 110; 71; 83; 136; 152; 127; 152 Wins this Season: 130

Winning Jockey: Ruby Walsh Born: May 14, 1979 First Winner: Siren Song, Gowran Park, July 25, 1995 Cheltenham Festival Wins (11): Weatherbys Champion Bumper (1998 Alexander Banquet, 2005 Missed That), Mildmay Of Flete (2002 Blowing Wind), Irish Independent Arkle (2003 Azertyuiop), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2004 Azertyuiop), Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran), County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest), Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother) Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), William Hill Trophy (2006 Dun Doire) Leading Rider at The Festival: 2004 (3), 2006 (3). Other Major wins: JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL (2000 Papillon (His first National ride), 2005 Hedgehunter); MARTELL MELLING CHASE (2001 Fadalko); MARTELL COGNAC MAGHULL NOVICES’ CHASE (2003 Le Roi Miguel); MARTELL COGNAC AINTREE HURDLE (2003 Sacundai); MARTELL MERSEY NOVICES’ HURDLE (2004 Garde Champetre); JOHN SMITH’S NUSSL SEFTON NOVICES’ HURDLE (2005 Asian Maze); HEINEKEN GOLD CUP (1999 Imperial Call, 2000 Commanche Court); IRISH GRAND NATIONAL (2000 Commanche Court, 2005 Numbersixvalverde); TINGLE CREEK TROPHY (2002 Cenkos); HENNESSEY COGNAC GOLD CUP (2003 Strong Flow); FELTHAM NOVICES’ CHASE (2003 Strong Flow); HENRY VIII NOVICES’ CHASE (2003 Thisthatandtother); SWORDLESTOWN CUP NOVICE CHASE (2003 Le Roi Miguel); CHALLOW NOVICES’ HURDLE (2003 Cornish Rebel, 2006 Denman); BETFRED GOLD CUP (2003 Ad Hoc); RACING POST CHASE (2004 Marlborough); HALDON GOLD CUP (2004 Azertyuiop); PETERBOROUGH CHASE (2004 Le Roi Miguel); GAME SPIRIT CHASE (2004, 2005 Azertyuiop); CORAL WELSH NATIONAL (2004 Silver Birch);; WAYWARD LAD NOVICES’ CHASE (2005 Hoo La Baloo); STAN JAMES CHRISTMAS HURDLE (2005 Feathard Lady) Number of Wins in Britain (1998/99-2004/05): 1; 1; 5; 13; 77; 62; 81 Other Details: Son of Ted Walsh, former leading Irish amateur rider who is now a trainer and broadcaster in Ireland. Divides his time riding for Paul Nicholls in Britain and Willie Mullins in Ireland. Wins in Britain This Season: 52



Today the action is again on the New Course where the going remains:


Simon Claisse, Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham, said this morning: “The forecast is for mainly dry conditions today with warmer temperatures of around five or six degrees Celsius.

“A fresh strip of ground will be used today. We had half a millimetre of rain overnight and the temperature got down to minus one degrees Celsius earlier this morning.

“There was a mixed reaction from jockeys yesterday as to how the ground was riding, with some saying it was riding on the slow side of good and some saying it was slightly on the fast side of good.

“We have had positive comments this week from trainers and the course has stood up well, following on from what has been a difficult winter.

“The racing has been terrific this week and I look forward to another good day today.”


In the opening JCB Triumph Hurdle, Mister Hight is on the drift with Paddy Power and is out to 7/2 (from 100/30) with Paddy Power. The same Irish firm have seen some money for First Row, who is now 12//1 (from 16/1),

The second race of the afternoon is the Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle where the favourite Black Jack Ketchum is into 11/10 (from 5/4) with Paddy Power. Ladbrokes have seen money in the same race for Travino who is into 7/1 (from 8/1).

In the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, Sir Rembrandt is Ladbrokes best-backed horse of the day each-way but is holding at 33/1. William Hill have seen money come for War Of Attrition who is into 13/2 (from 8/1) with fellow Irish raider Forget The Past into 11/1 (from 14/1). Paddy Power have eased Beef Or Salmon out a point to 5/1 and have also increased the odds on War Of Attrition to 13/2 (from 11/2) and Celestial Gold to 14/1 (from 10/1).

Sharp Rigging is attracting supporters in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase and is into 10/1 (from 14) with William Hill and Paddy Power. Nyrche has come into 20/1 (from 25/1) with Ladbrokes in the same race.

In the concluding Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, Studmaster is into 6/1 (from 7/1) with Ladbrokes while Paddy Power have seen money for Desert Quest who is now 5/1 (from 6/1), Grande Jete who is now 9/1 (from 12/1), Pirate Flagship who is now 12/1 (from 16/1) and Noble Request who is into 25/1 (from 33/1).


In the JCB Triumph Hurdle, Detroit City is attracting support and is into 4/1 (from 9/2) with Coral and Boylesports. First Row has been clipped into 12/1 (from 16/1) with Cashmans and 11/1 (from 16/1) with totesport. Kasbah Bliss is now 6/1 (from 13/2) with Cashmans and 11/2 (from 6/1) with Boylesports.

Black Jack Ketchum continues to be popular in the Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle and is now 11/10 (from 5/4) with Cashmans. In the same race, Mister Top Notch is now 25/1 (from 33/1) with Boylesports.

Forget The Past is still attracting support in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup and is now 10/1 (from 16/1) with Cashmans, 10/1 (from 14/1) with totesport and 12/1 (from 14/1) with both Skybet and Coral. Others coming in for support in the Blue Riband of chasing include War Of Attrition who is into 7/1 (from 8/1) with Coral and 6/1 (from 7/1) with Boylesports. totesport have seen money for Sir Rembrandt who is now 25/1 (from 33/1) while Cornish Rebel is now 16/1 (from 20/1) with Sky Bet and Royal Emperor is into 66/1 (from 80/1) with the same firm. Boylesports have changed the price on Beef Or Salmon, who is now 5/1 (from 11/2) while the same horse is out to 6/1 (from 5/1) with Paddy Power.

In the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase, favourite Harbour Pilot is into 5/2 (from 3/1) with Boylesports while totesport have trimmed Raregem to 18/1 (from 25/1).

In the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase, Sharp Rigging continues to attract the money and is now 9/1 (from 12/1) with totesport, 10/1 (from 14/1) with both Sky Bet and Boylesports. Nyrche is now 16/1 (from 25/1) with Coral while Andreas is into 11/2 (from 6/1) with Boylesports.

Horses attracting money in the concluding race of The Festival, the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, include Studmaster who is now 11/2 (from 13/2) with totesport and 5/1 (from 7/1) with Boylesports. Grand Jete is into 9/1 (from 11/1) with totesport, 10/1 (from 12/1) with Coral and 9/1 (from 12/1) with Boylesports. Boylesports have also seen support for Desert Quest who is now 9/2 (from 6/1) and each-way money for outsider Enhancer who is now 50/1 (from 100/1). Cashmans have cut Arch Rebel to 16/1 (from 20/1) in the same race.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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