All the news from the eve of The Festival presented by Magners

CHELTENHAM GROUND ‘IN LOVELY NICK’ AHEAD OF THE FESTIVAL

 

Just over 24 hours before The Festival™ presented by Magners 2019 gets underway, Cheltenham Clerk of the Course Simon Claisse discussed the current state of the ground and what he is expecting the weather to do over the next few days.

 

He said: “I was delighted after Nicky Henderson came in yesterday, having walked the course, saying that it was in lovely nick, Good to Soft, Soft in places. We had a bit of rain overnight – just a millimetre or two – but we expect a dry day through Monday, so we have left the official going description as Good to Soft, Soft in places.

 

“There is a forecast with strengthening signals for a fairly significant belt of rain coming through in the early hours of Tuesday morning lasting up until about noon, 10-12 millimetres, so the expectation is that that would turn the Hurdle, Chase and the Cross-Country courses soft for tomorrow.

 

“It should be a breezy but mostly dry afternoon, and beyond that for the rest of the week the winds remain blustery and we get a couple of millimetres of rain a day, so I wouldn’t expect much change to the soft ground through the week, with the exception possibly of the chase course on the Friday, which is opened up for the Gold Cup and always sits there marginally quicker. It’s not going to be [officially described as] Good ground, that’s for sure.”

 

He continued: “The mild winter has been fantastic for the course because instead of coming to the end of our first nine fixtures through to the end of January having raced on soft and heavy ground from the October meeting onwards, we have come into the six-week build-up period to The Festival in fantastic condition in terms of wear and tear out there.

 

“Ninety-five per cent of what we run on at The Festival we haven’t set foot on for 12 months. Obviously, where the courses intersect between the Old and New, those are in very different condition to this time last year when they were showing the wear, so we are really pleased with it.

 

“I’ve always said, though, that a dry autumn and winter doesn’t necessarily mean we will end up with quick conditions in March because things can change very quickly. Just under a fortnight ago when we were experiencing that very warm spell of temperatures up to 18 degrees, the courses were getting near to good to firm. While we were looking forward to rainfall doing the job for us, we thought with irrigation we’d still get to slow, good ground. We’ve had somewhere between 35-40 millimetres of rain in just that fortnight that has taken the ground to soft, so in many ways the dry winter, when you get that amount of significant rainfall in the build-up, almost becomes irrelevant.”

 

DECLARED RUNNERS FOR CHAMPION DAY – TUESDAY, MARCH 12


1:30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y £125,00

1 Al Dancer (FR) 6 11 7 Nigel Twiston-Davies Walters Plant Hire Ltd Sam Twiston-Davies

2 Angels Breath (IRE) 5 11 7 Nicky Henderson Walters Plant Hire & Ronnie Bartlett Nico de Boinville

3 Aramon (GER) 6 11 7 W. P. Mullins Ireland Supreme Horse Racing Club/Michael Songer P. Townend

4 Beaufort West (IRE) 5 11 7 Colin Tizzard Taylor & O’Dwyer Robbie Power

5 Brandon Castle h,ts 7 11 7 Neil King Mr I. A. Low & Mr J. S. English Bryony Frost

6 Elixir de Nutz (FR) 5 11 7 Colin Tizzard Mr Terry Warner Tom O’Brien

7 Felix Desjy (FR) 6 11 7 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Sean Flanagan

8 Grand Sancy (FR) h 5 11 7 Paul Nicholls Martin Broughton Racing Partners Harry Cobden

9 Itchy Feet (FR) 5 11 7 Olly Murphy Kate & Andrew Brooks Gavin Sheehan

10 Klassical Dream (FR) 5 11 7 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs J Coleman R. Walshg

11 Mister Fisher (IRE) 5 11 7 Nicky Henderson James and Jean Potter James Bowen

12 Normal Norman 5 11 7 John Ryan Mr Gerry McGladery Paddy Brennan

13 The Big Bite (IRE) 6 11 7 Tom George Mr N T Griffith & H M Haddock Noel Fehily

14 The Flying Sofa (FR) 6 11 7 Gary Moore Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Jamie Moore

15 Thomas Darby (IRE) 6 11 7 Olly Murphy Mrs Diana L. Whateley Richard Johnson

16 Tokay Dokey (IRE) 5 11 7 Dan Skelton Mr Colm Donlon Harry Skelton

17 Vision d’Honneur (FR) ts 5 11 7 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

18 Fakir d’Oudairies (FR) 4 10 13 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus J. J. Slevin

2:10pm Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y £175,000

1 Articulum (IRE) ts 9 11 4 Terence O’Brien Ireland Martin McDonagh/Paul G Murphy/M J Nixon David Mullins

2 Clondaw Castle (IRE) 7 11 4 Tom George J French, D McDermott, S Nelson, T Syder Ciaran Gethings

3 Duc des Genievres (FR) 6 11 4 W. P. Mullins Ireland Sullivan Bloodstock Limited P. Townend

4 Glen Forsa (IRE) 7 11 4 Mick Channon Mr T. P. Radford Jonathan Burke

5 Hardline (IRE) h 7 11 4 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Davy Russell

6 Kalashnikov (IRE) 6 11 4 Amy Murphy Mr Paul Murphy Jack Quinlan

7 Knocknanuss (IRE) 9 11 4 Gary Moore Hail Sargent Evans Jamie Moore

8 Lalor (GER) 7 11 4 Kayley Woollacott Mr D. G. Staddon Richard Johnson

9 Ornua (IRE) 8 11 4 Henry de Bromhead Ireland John J Phelan/Syed Momin Rachael Blackmore

10 Paloma Blue (IRE) 7 11 4 Henry de Bromhead Ireland C. Jones Robbie Power

11 Slate House (IRE) ts 7 11 4 Colin Tizzard Eric Jones, Geoff Nicholas, John Romans Harry Cobden

12 Us And Them (IRE) ts 6 11 4 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Burnham P & D Ltd J. J. Slevin

2:50pm Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f Weights raised 7lb £110,000

1 Lake View Lad (IRE) 9 11 12 N. W. Alexander Mr Trevor Hemmings Henry Brooke

2 Sizing Codelco (IRE) 10 11 11 Colin Tizzard Ann & Alan Potts Limited Tom O’Brien

3 O O Seven (IRE) bl 9 11 9 Nicky Henderson Mr Christopher Hanbury Nico de Boinville

4 Minella Rocco (IRE) ts, p 9 11 9 Jonjo O’Neill Mr John P. McManus Richie McLernon

5 Activial (FR) 9 11 8 Tom George Mr R. S. Brookhouse Tom Scudamore

6 Mister Whitaker (IRE) 7 11 8 Mick Channon Mr T. P. Radford Brian Hughes

7 Beware The Bear (IRE) bl 9 11 8 Nicky Henderson Mr G. B. Barlow Jeremiah McGrath

8 Magic of Light (IRE) p 8 11 8 Mrs J. Harrington Ireland Ann & Alan Potts Limited Robbie Power

9 Royal Vacation (IRE) bl 9 11 8 Colin Tizzard Mrs Jean R. Bishop Aidan Coleman

10 Noble Endeavor (IRE) p 10 11 7 Gordon Elliott Ireland Mr C. Jones Davy Russell

11 Crucial Role 7 11 7 (5lb ex) Dan Skelton Mr D. W. Fox Harry Skelton

12 Calipto (FR) 9 11 5 Venetia Williams Lady Bolton Charlie Deutsch

13 Singlefarmpayment h 9 11 3 Tom George Mr N T Griffith & H M Haddock Noel Fehily

14 Up For Review (IRE) 10 11 3 W. P. Mullins Ireland Andrea & Graham Wylie P. Townend

15 Give Me A Copper (IRE) ts 9 11 2 Paul Nicholls Done, Ferguson, Kyle, Mason & Wood Harry Cobden

16 Coo Star Sivola (FR) 7 11 2 Nick Williams Babbit Racing Lizzie Kelly (3)

17 Vintage Clouds (IRE) 9 11 1 Sue Smith Mr Trevor Hemmings Danny Cook

18 General Principle (IRE) ts 10 11 1 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

19 Willie Boy (IRE) p 8 11 1 Charlie Longsdon Kate & Andrew Brooks Jonathan Burke

20 Flying Angel (IRE) v 8 10 13 Nigel Twiston-Davies Mr R. J. Rexton Sam Twiston-Davies

21 Shantou Village (IRE) ts, p 9 10 13 Neil Mulholland Mrs Jane Gerard-Pearse Robert Dunne

22 Oldgrangewood ts 8 10 11 Dan Skelton Chris Giles & Sandra Giles Bridget Andrews

23 Catamaran du Seuil (FR) v 7 10 11 Dr Richard Newland Mr Michael P. Tudor Charlie Hammond (5)

24 Big River (IRE) ts 9 10 11 Lucinda Russell Two Black Labs Derek Fox

R25 Out Sam v,ts 10 10 11 Gordon Elliott Ireland Mr D Charlesworth

R26 Cogry 10 10 11 Nigel Twiston-Davies Graham and Alison Jelley

3:30pm Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) 2m 87y £450,000

1 Brain Power (IRE) p 8 11 10 Nicky Henderson Mr Michael Buckley Nico de Boinville

2 Buveur d’Air (FR) 8 11 10 Nicky Henderson Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

3 Espoir d’Allen (FR) 5 11 10 Gavin Cromwell Ireland Mr John P. McManus Mark Walsh

4 Global Citizen (IRE) 7 11 10 Ben Pauling The Megsons David Bass

5 Melon p 7 11 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs J. Donnelly P. Townend

6 Sharjah (FR) 6 11 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs S. Ricci Mr P. W. Mullins

7 Silver Streak (IRE) 6 11 10 Evan Williams Mr L. Fell Adam Wedge

8 Apple’s Jade (FR) ts 7 11 3 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

9 Laurina (FR) 6 11 3 W. P. Mullins Ireland Sullivan Bloodstock Limited R. Walsh

10 Verdana Blue (IRE) 7 11 3 Nicky Henderson Crimbourne Stud Davy Russell

4:10pm OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Registered as the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle)(Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y £120,000

1 Alletrix (IRE) h 6 11 5 Mrs J. Harrington Ireland Mrs S. Rowley-Williams Robbie Power

2 Benie des Dieux (FR) 8 11 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs S. Ricci R. Walsh

3 Cap Soleil (FR) 6 11 5 Fergal O’Brien Mrs S. A. Noott Paddy Brennan

4 Champayne Lady (IRE) ts 7 11 5 Alan Fleming Ireland Mr Rory Connell Donagh Meyler

5 Elimay (FR) 5 11 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mr John P. McManus Mark Walsh

6 Good Thyne Tara 9 11 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mr Nigel King Rachael Blackmore

7 Jester Jet 9 11 5 Tom Lacey Mrs T. P. James Robert Dunne

8 Lackaneen Leader (IRE) 7 11 5 Gordon Elliott Ireland Mrs C Walsh/Grant Mercer Davy Russell

9 Lady Buttons 9 11 5 Philip Kirby Mrs Jayne Sivills Thomas Dowson

10 Limini (IRE) 8 11 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs S. Ricci David Mullins

11 Mia’s Storm (IRE) p 9 11 5 Alan King The Maple Street Partnership Wayne Hutchinson

12 Momella (IRE) ts 7 11 5 Harry Fry Holt, Clark, Macnabb, Nugent & Robinson Noel Fehily

13 Roksana (IRE) 7 11 5 Dan Skelton Mrs Sarah Faulks Harry Skelton

14 Slowmotion (FR) bl 7 11 5 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

15 Stormy Ireland (FR) 5 11 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Sullivan Bloodstock Limited P. Townend

4:50 pm Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed Race) 2m 4f 63y Weights lowered 3lb £70,000

1 Highway One O One (IRE) 7 11 9 Chris Gordon Mr Anthony Ward-Thomas Tom Cannon

2 Red Indian 7 11 9 Kelly Morgan Mr J. R. Weatherby Ross Chapman

3 Cubomania (IRE) ts 6 11 9 Gordon Elliott Ireland Cubomania Syndicate Davy Russell

4 A Plus Tard (FR) 5 11 7 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Cheveley Park Stud Rachael Blackmore

5 Lough Derg Spirit (IRE) p 7 11 6 Nicky Henderson Grech & Parkin Nico de Boinville

6 Ben Dundee (IRE) ts 7 11 5 Gordon Elliott Ireland C. Jones Keith Donoghue

7 Tower Bridge (IRE) ts, p 6 11 5 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus J. J. Slevin

8 Militarian 9 11 5 Andrew Martin Mr Andrew J. Martin Mr James Martin (7)

9 Walt (IRE) v,ts 8 11 5 Neil Mulholland Mr Phil Simmonds Sam Twiston-Davies

10 The Russian Doyen (IRE) 6 11 5 Colin Tizzard The Gosden Mob Harry Cobden

11 Springtown Lake (IRE) 7 11 5 Philip Hobbs Tim Syder Richard Johnson

12 Roaring Bull (IRE) bl 6 11 4 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

13 Movewiththetimes (IRE) 8 11 4 Paul Nicholls Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

14 Riders Onthe Storm (IRE) 6 11 4 Tom J. Taaffe Ireland Mrs P Shanahan/Mrs J Magnier/J Carthy Brian Hughes

15 Huntsman Son (IRE) ts 9 11 4 (5lb ex) Alex Hales Mr C. W. Booth Kielan Woods

16 Shady Operator (IRE) 6 11 3 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus Mark Walsh

17 Good Man Pat (IRE) 6 11 3 Alan King Mr David Sewell Wayne Hutchinson

18 Solomn Grundy (IRE) 9 11 3 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Mr R. S. Brookhouse P. Townend

19 Quamino (GER) ts 6 11 2 Paul Nolan Ireland Manverton Limited B. J. Cooper

20 Dell Oro (FR) p 6 11 2 Gary Moore Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Joshua Moore

R21 Azzerti (FR) 7 11 1 Alan King McNeill Family and Prodec Networks Ltd

R22 Larry ts, p 6 11 0 Gary Moore Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Jamie Moore

5:30pm National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) 3m 7f 166y £125,000

1 Ballyward (IRE) 7 11 6 W. P. Mullins Ireland Andrea & Graham Wylie Mr P. W. Mullins

2 Beyond The Law (IRE) h,ts 7 11 6 M. F. Morris Ireland Ann & Alan Potts Limited Mr J. C. Barry

3 Chef des Obeaux (FR) p 7 11 6 Nicky Henderson Sullivan Bloodstock Limited Mr M. J. O’Hare

4 Clondaw Cian (IRE) p 9 11 6 Sophie Leech Mr G. Thompson Mr Damien Skehan

5 Discorama (FR) 6 11 6 Paul Nolan Ireland Thomas Friel/Andrew Gemmell Mr Barry O’Neill

6 Gun Digger (IRE) ts, p 7 11 6 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Ms L. O’Neill

7 Impulsive Star (IRE) p 9 11 6 Neil Mulholland Robert Waley-Cohen & Men Holding Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

8 Jerrysback (IRE) 7 11 6 Philip Hobbs Mr John P. McManus Mr D. G. Lavery

9 Johanos (FR) 8 11 6 Nigel Hawke Mark Phillips, Mrs Pumphrey and Partners Mr Kieren Buckley

10 Just Your Type (IRE) p 7 11 6 Charlie Longsdon Mr Tyrone Hanlon Mr Robert James

11 Le Breuil (FR) 7 11 6 Ben Pauling Mrs Emma Palmer Mr J. J. Codd

12 Mulcahys Hill (IRE) p 7 11 6 Warren Greatrex McNeill Family and Prodec Networks Ltd Mr N. McParlan

13 Ok Corral (IRE) 9 11 6 Nicky Henderson Mr John P. McManus Mr Derek O’Connor

14 Plantagenet p 7 11 6 Seamus Mullins Mrs P. de W. Johnson Mr Matthew Fielding

15 Skipthecuddles (IRE) p 8 11 6 Graeme McPherson TyroneForSam Miss Lilly Pinchin

16 Warthog (FR) ts 7 11 6 David Pipe Professor Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew Mr Richard Deegan

17 Whisperinthebreeze p 6 11 6 Mrs J. Harrington Ireland Ann & Alan Potts Limited Mr Finian Maguire

18 Atlanta Ablaze 8 10 13 Henry Daly The Last Man Standing Mr William Biddick

 


 

DECLARED RUNNERS FOR LADIES DAY – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13


 

1:30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered as the Baring Bingham) 2m 5f £125,000

1 Ask Dillon (IRE) 6 11 7 Fergal O’Brien 4 The Fun Partnership Sean Bowen

2 Battleoverdoyen (IRE) 6 11 7 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

3 Beakstown (IRE) ts 6 11 7 Dan Skelton Bryan Drew Harry Skelton

4 Brewin’upastorm (IRE) 6 11 7 Olly Murphy Mrs Barbara Hester Richard Johnson

5 Bright Forecast (IRE) 5 11 7 Ben Pauling The Aldaniti Partnership Nico de Boinville

6 Castlebawn West (IRE) 6 11 7 W. P. Mullins Ireland Rose Boyd/Mrs M Armstrong/J B Anderson P. Townend

7 Champ (IRE) 7 11 7 Nicky Henderson Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

8 City Island (IRE) ts 6 11 7 Martin Brassil Ireland Mrs B. Mulryan Mark Walsh

9 Dunvegan (FR) 6 11 7 P. A. Fahy Ireland G. Turner/Clipper Logistics Group Ltd David Mullins

10 Easy Game (FR) 5 11 7 W. P. Mullins Ireland Wicklow Bloodstock (Ireland) Ltd R. Walsh

11 Galvin (IRE) 5 11 7 Gordon Elliott Ireland Mr R. A. Bartlett Davy Russell

12 Jarveys Plate (IRE) 6 11 7 Fergal O’Brien The Yes No Wait Sorries Paddy Brennan

13 Notebook (GER) ts 6 11 7 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Rachael Blackmore

14 Sams Profile 5 11 7 M. F. Morris Ireland Michael O’Flynn/John F O’Flynn B. J. Cooper

15 Seddon (IRE) 6 11 7 Tom George McNeill Family Noel Fehily

16 Valdieu (FR) ts 6 11 7 Noel Meade Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Sean Flanagan

 

2:10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y £175,000

1 Count Meribel 7 11 4 Nigel Twiston-Davies Mr Charles C. Walker Mark Grant

2 Delta Work (FR) h,ts 6 11 4 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Davy Russell

3 Drovers Lane (IRE) 7 11 4 Rebecca Curtis Hyde Hill Moran Outhart and Trembath Sean Bowen

4 Mister Malarky 6 11 4 Colin Tizzard Wendy & Malcolm Hezel Robbie Power

5 Mortal (IRE) ts 7 11 4 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Rachael Blackmore

6 Now McGinty (IRE) p 8 11 4 Stuart Edmunds The Garratt Family Tom O’Brien

7 On The Blind Side (IRE) p 7 11 4 Nicky Henderson Mr A. D. Spence Noel Fehily

8 Santini 7 11 4 Nicky Henderson Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Nico de Boinville

9 The Worlds End (IRE) p 8 11 4 Tom George McNeill Family Paddy Brennan

10 Topofthegame (IRE) ts 7 11 4 Paul Nicholls Mr Chris Giles & Mr&Mrs P K Barber Harry Cobden

11 Top Ville Ben (IRE) h 7 11 4 Philip Kirby Harbour Rose Partnership Sean Quinlan

12 Drinks Interval ts 7 10 11 Colin Tizzard The Land Value Partnership Richard Johnson

 

2:50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 5f £100,000

1 Wicklow Brave 10 11 12 W. P. Mullins Ireland Wicklow Bloodstock (Ireland) Ltd Mr P. W. Mullins

2 Vision des Flos (FR) ts 6 11 11 Colin Tizzard Ann & Alan Potts Limited Robbie Power

3 William Henry (IRE) p 9 11 10 Nicky Henderson Walters Plant Hire Ltd Nico de Boinville

4 Scarpeta (FR) p 6 11 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Thurloe Thoroughbreds Ireland Limited Daniel Mullins

5 Farclas (FR) bl,ts 5 11 10 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud

6 Killultagh Vic (IRE) 10 11 9 W. P. Mullins Ireland Rose Boyd/Mrs M Armstrong/J B Anderson P. Townend

7 Lil Rockerfeller (USA) p 8 11 9 Neil King Davies Smith Govier & Brown Bryony Frost

8 Diamond Cauchois (FR) ts 8 11 9 Gordon Elliott Ireland Danny & Eamon Partnership

9 Cracking Smart (FR) ts, p 7 11 9 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud

10 Monbeg Theatre (IRE) ts, p 10 11 7 Jamie Snowden Tim Dykes & Lynda Lovell Page Fuller (3)

11 Bleu Berry (FR) 8 11 7 W. P. Mullins Ireland Luke McMahon David Mullins

12 Ballyandy 8 11 7 Nigel Twiston-Davies Options O Syndicate Sam Twiston-Davies

13 Brio Conti (FR) 8 11 5 Paul Nicholls The Gi Gi Syndicate Harry Cobden

14 Dancing On My Own (IRE) 5 11 4 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Sean Mulryan Rachael Blackmore

15 Burbank (IRE) p 7 11 0 Nicky Henderson Mr Trevor Hemmings Jeremiah McGrath

16 Canardier (FR) h 7 11 0 Dermot Anthony McLoughlin Ireland Slattery Bloodstock Ltd Robert Dunne

17 Apple’s Shakira (FR) h 5 10 13 Nicky Henderson Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

18 Knight In Dubai (IRE) ts 6 10 12 Dan Skelton Mr & Mrs Ben Houghton Harry Skelton

19 Highest Sun (FR) 5 10 12 Colin Tizzard Mr Ashley Head Tom O’Brien

20 Tully East (IRE) 9 10 11 Alan Fleming Ireland Mr Barry Connell Donagh Meyler

21 Eragon de Chanay (FR) v 5 10 11 Gary Moore Five Star Racing Group Joshua Moore

22 Uradel (GER) 8 10 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Luke McMahon R. Walsh

23 Erick Le Rouge (FR) 5 10 10 Mrs Jane Williams The Culverhill Racing Club Chester Williams (7)

24 Calie du Mesnil (FR) ts 7 10 8 W. P. Mullins Ireland Andrea & Graham Wylie Rachael Blackmore

25 Oscar Knight (IRE) 10 10 6 Thomas Mullins Ireland Mr John P. McManus Mark Walsh

26 Joke Dancer 6 10 5 Sue Smith Mrs Aafke Clarke Danny Cook

R27 Bold Plan (IRE) 5 10 3 Evan Williams Mr & Mrs William Rucker Adam Wedge

R28 Mahlervous (IRE) p 6 10 2 Warren Greatrex The Marvellous Partnership

 

3:30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y £400,000

1 Altior (IRE) 9 11 10 Nicky Henderson Mrs Patricia Pugh Nico de Boinville

2 Castlegrace Paddy (IRE) 8 11 10 P. A. Fahy Ireland Clipper Logistics Group Ltd Davy Russell

3 God’s Own (IRE) 11 11 10 Tom George Crossed Fingers Partnership Paddy Brennan

4 Hell’s Kitchen h,ts 8 11 10 Harry Fry Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

5 Min (FR) 8 11 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs S. Ricci R. Walsh

6 Ordinary World (IRE) 9 11 10 Henry de Bromhead Ireland C. Jones Rachael Blackmore

 

7 Politologue (FR) h,ts 8 11 10 Paul Nicholls Mr J. Hales Harry Cobden

8 Saint Calvados (FR) p 6 11 10 Harry Whittington Kate & Andrew Brooks Gavin Sheehan

9 Sceau Royal (FR) 7 11 10 Alan King Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Daryl Jacob

 

4:10pm Glenfarclas Chase (A Cross Country Chase) 3m 6f 37y £65,000

1 Amazing Comedy (FR) bl,ts 9 11 4 D. Cottin France Miss Louise Collet-Vidal Jonathan Plouganou

2 Aubusson (FR) 10 11 4 Mrs Jane Williams Mrs Jane Williams Chester Williams

3 Auvergnat (FR) bl 9 11 4 Enda Bolger Ireland Mr John P. McManus Donal McInerney

4 Ballycasey (IRE) 12 11 4 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs S. Ricci Mr P. W. Mullins

5 Bless The Wings (IRE) p 14 11 4 Gordon Elliott Ireland Adrian Butler/S P O’Connor Davy Russell

6 Devils Bride (IRE) ts 12 11 4 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Michele McArdle Rachael Blackmore

7 Fact of The Matter (IRE) ts, p 9 11 4 Jamie Snowden The Sandylini Racing Partnership Gavin Sheehan

8 Hurricane Darwin (IRE) 9 11 4 Alan Fleming Ireland Mr Barry Connell Donagh Meyler

9 Jarob 12 11 4 Gearoid O’Loughlin Ireland C. Jones Mark Enright

10 Josies Orders (IRE) bl 11 11 4 Enda Bolger Ireland Mr John P. McManus Mark Walsh

11 Kingswell Theatre p 10 11 4 Michael Scudamore Mr John J. Murray Tom Scudamore

12 Tea For Two 10 11 4 Mrs Jane Williams Mrs Jane Williams & Mr Len Jakeman Lizzie Kelly

13 Tiger Roll (IRE) bl,ts 9 11 4 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Keith Donoghue

14 Ultragold (FR) ts 11 11 4 Colin Tizzard Brocade Racing J P Romans Terry Warner Harry Cobden

15 Urgent de Gregaine (FR) ts, p 11 11 4 Emmanuel Clayeux France A. Rasquier Felix de Giles

16 Vyta du Roc (FR) 10 11 4 Nicky Henderson Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Daryl Jacob

 

4.50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Registered as the Fred Winter) (Grade 3) £80,000

1 Torpillo (FR) h 4 11 10 Nigel Twiston-Davies Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Daryl Jacob

2 Fine Brunello (FR) 4 11 8 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

3 Band of Outlaws (IRE) 4 11 8 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr Justin Carthy J. J. Slevin

4 Cracker Factory p 4 11 8 Alan King Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Sam Twiston-Davies

5 Chief Justice ts 4 11 8 Gordon Elliott Ireland Cheveley Park Stud

6 Got Trumped 4 11 7 Mrs J. Harrington Ireland Mr D. R. Scott Robbie Power

7 Fanfan du Seuil (FR) 4 11 5 Tom George Crossed Fingers Partnership Paddy Brennan

8 Beat The Judge (IRE) 4 11 4 Gary Moore Mr Ed Babington Joshua Moore

9 Our Power (IRE) 4 11 4 Alan King Walters Plant Hire & Potter Group Tom Cannon

10 Fox Pro (FR) 4 11 3 Mrs Jane Williams Mrs Jane Williams Lizzie Kelly (3)

11 Coko Beach (FR) 4 11 3 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud

12 Prabeni ts 4 11 3 Charlie Mann Mr D. W. Fox Jeremiah McGrath

13 Zizaneur (FR) 4 11 2 Philip Hobbs David Maxwell Racing Limited Mr David Maxwell (5)

14 Dogon ts 4 11 2 Paul Nicholls Middleham Park Racing LXXVIII& A&J Ryan Harry Cobden

15 Ciel De Neige (FR) 4 11 1 W. P. Mullins Ireland M. L. Bloodstock Limited R. Walsh

16 Lethal Steps p 4 11 0 Gordon Elliott Ireland Cheveley Park Stud

17 Star Max (GER) 4 11 0 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Rachael Blackmore

18 Oi The Clubb Oi’s 4 10 13 Ian Williams The Albatross Club Tom O’Brien

19 La Sorelita (FR) ts 4 10 13 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mr K. Alexander David Mullins

20 Praeceps (IRE) bl 4 10 12 Alan King Incipe Partnership Wayne Hutchinson

21 King d’Argent (FR) ts 4 10 12 Dan Skelton Andrew Dick and John Stevenson Harry Skelton

22 Maze Runner (IRE) bl 4 10 12 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs J. M. Mullins P. Townend

R23 Belargus (FR) 4 10 12 Nick Gifford Mr John P. McManus

R24 Idilico (FR) p 4 10 12 Ian Williams Mr Andrew Dick

 

5:30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race) (Grade 1) 2m 87y £75,000

1 Abacadabras (FR) 5 11 5 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud

2 Ask For Glory (IRE) 5 11 5 Paul Nicholls Mr Colm Donlon & Mr & Mrs P. K. Barber Harry Cobden

3 Envoi Allen (FR) 5 11 5 Gordon Elliott Ireland Cheveley Park Stud

4 Flic Ou Voyou (FR) 5 11 5 Paul Nicholls Mr Colm Donlon Sam Twiston-Davies

5 Jelski (GER) 5 11 5 Nigel Twiston-Davies Mr Trevor Hemmings Jamie Bargary

6 Master Debonair 5 11 5 Colin Tizzard The Gosden Mob & Sprayclad UK Robbie Power

7 Meticulous (IRE) ts 5 11 5 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr M. Tabor Donnacha O’Brien

8 Sempo (IRE) ts 5 11 5 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Martin. O’Sullivan Mr Derek O’Connor

9 Some Detail (IRE) 5 11 5 Nigel Hawke Milltown Racing Sean Bowen

10 Thor de Cerisy (FR) h 5 11 5 Michael Scudamore Mrs Lynne Maclennan Brendan Powell

11 Thyme Hill 5 11 5 Philip Hobbs The Englands and Heywoods Richard Johnson

12 The Glancing Queen (IRE) 5 10 12 Alan King Dingwall, Farrell, Hornsey & Murray Wayne Hutchinson

13 Blue Sari (FR) 4 10 11 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

14 Cascova (IRE) 4 10 11 Martyn Meade Chelsea Thoroughbreds – M.E.R Noel Fehily

M3.


POWER HOPING TO FILL AN IMPORTANT GAP IN HARRINGTON’S FESTIVAL CV

 

Robbie Power is hoping that last year’s G1 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle runner-up Supasundae can go one better on Thursday and thus fill a significant gap in trainer Jessica Harrington’s impressive CV at The Festival™ presented by Magners.

 

Harrington won the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase with Moscow Flyer in 2002 and 2003, the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle with Jezki in 2014 and the G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John two years ago, but she has yet to win a Stayers’ Hurdle.

 

Power, whose four Festival wins include that Gold Cup on Sizing John as well as the Coral Cup on Supasundae the same year, has a busy week ahead of him.

 

His first day rides include the fancied Leopardstown beginner’s chase winner Paloma Blue in the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase, but he has never ridden him before and concentrated on his rides later in the week when discussing his best chances.

 

He said: “Supasundae was second to Penhill last year, and there’s no Penhill to worry about this time. PaisleyPark could be a tough nut to crack, but apart from him it is wide open.

 

“Supasundae is very consistent and always runs his race, so I think he’s sure to go close. Jessie’s won all of the big ones bar the Stayers’ so it would be great to win that one for her.”

 

Power, who was speaking at Cheltenham after riding out under clear blue skies on a cold morning, added: “I’ve got four or five rides on each of the first three days and on Wednesday I think Vision Des Flos should have a good chance in the Coral Cup. He looked good last time at Fontwell, and it looks as if the wind op they gave him has improved him. I’m looking forward to him.

 

“The same day Got Trumped should have a decent chance in the Fred Winter, as he’ll appreciate the softer ground.”

 

Thursday is probably his best day, however, for besides Supasundae he has Lostintranslation in the G1 JLT Novices’ Chase and Walk To Freedom in the G3 Pertemps Final.

 

He said: “Lostintranslation was a good winner of The Dipper here on New Year’s Day and is a horse I really, really like and Walk To Freedom has run two really good races since he won at Navan in November. He’s got a lot of weight, but I think he has the class to carry it.”

 

Friday is his quietest day at present, but these things can change. He said: “I’m riding one of Colin Tizzard’s in the Albert Bartlett, although I’m not sure which one yet, but there’s not much else at the moment and I haven’t got a Gold Cup ride.”

 

Ruby Walsh, who is hoping to be top jockey at The Festival for a 12th time, was among the other jockeys out on the racecourse this morning and among those he partnered was Benie Des Dieux, who is a hot favourite to repeat last year’s win in tomorrow’s G1 OLBG Hurdle.

 

Walsh, who has nominated the mare as his best chance of the week, said: “Benie is in grand form this morning, but it is how she is tomorrow afternoon that matters.”


 

APPLE’S JADE HEADS BIG FIRST-DAY TEAM AS ELLIOTT BIDS FOR THIRD SUCCESSIVE TRAINERS’ TITLE

 

Gordon Elliott will have 10 runners on the first day of The Festival™ presented by Magners, but the stand-out is undoubtedly Apple’s Jade in the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle.

 

Dual Grand National winner Elliott was the Irish Independent Leading Trainer for a second successive year in 2018 with a record eight winners and has had 22 winners at The Festival™ since getting off the mark with Chicago Grey in 2011.

 

Elliott, whose team of “46 or 47” is the biggest he has brought to Cheltenham, said: “Apple’s Jade travelled over on Sunday and was in good form when she went out on the track with the rest of my team this morning.”

 

Running through the rest of his first-day runners, he added: “Felix Desjy and Vision d’Honneur are both in good form and should run well in the Supreme Novices’, and I couldn’t be happier with Hardline, who is in very good form for the Arkle.

 

“Northern Endeavour and General Principle, who won the Irish National last year, are both in good order for the Ultima, and all of my three in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap have chances in what looks a tough race.

 

“My last runner is Gun Digger in the National Hunt Chase. He disappointed last time but I’m hoping he runs well.”

 

Henry De Bromhead was among the other trainers out on the track supervising runners as they stretched their legs. He said: “We have a few runners and hopefully we have a few chances. Anything you send over you hope has a chance but inevitably you end up with a few disappointments, it is so competitive. There are plenty there with each-way chances. I couldn’t pick one above any other.”

 

WILL HENDERSON AND MCMANUS BE WALKING ON AIR?

 

The opening day of The Festival™ presented by Magners looks set to be a cracker tomorrow.

 

The focus of Tuesday is the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle. The brilliant Buveur D’Air, trained by Nicky Henderson, owned by J P McManus and ridden by Barry Geraghty, has won the past two runnings of the two-mile hurdling championship; can he become the first horse since the legendary Istabraq (1998-2000) to win three Champion Hurdles? It would be take both the trainer and the owner to a record eight successes in the race if he could.

 

But Buveur D’Air faces stiff opposition from the likes of the outstanding mare Apple’s Jade, whose trainer Gordon Elliott has been the leading handler at The Festival for the past two years. Elliott, however, has yet to capture a Unibet Champion Hurdle – and it would be a first in the race for Apple’s Jade’s jockey, Jack Kennedy, too.

 

The most successful trainer-jockey team in the history of The Festival – Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh – have won the first race of the meeting, the G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, five times apiece, combining to take the 2013, 2014 and 2015 contests. Will Klassical Dream give them yet another success in the race – or will local trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies score for the first time since Arctic Kinsman in 1994, courtesy of much-fancied Al Dancer?

 

The Mullins-Walsh record in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle is unparalleled – in the 11-year history of the G1 race, they have taken the spoils nine times, including six with the magnificent Quevega (2009-2014). They have a great chance of a 10th victory with Benie Des Dieux, last year’s winner and odds-on to pass the post in front again.

 

Whereas the “big guns” may have the upper hand throughout the meeting as a whole, there are always wonderful stories of small teams living the dream and tasting Cheltenham success. There would be no more popular winner tomorrow than Lalor, if he took the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase for Kayley Woollacott, who took over the training licence from her late husband Richard after he lost his life in tragic circumstances last year. Lalor will be ridden by reigning champion jockey Richard Johnson, who last took the Arkle aboard Captain Chris for his principal supporter, Philip Hobbs, in 2011.

 

 

 

BOLGER HOPING AUVERGNAT & JOSIE RESTORE ORDER

 

Irish trainer Enda Bolger is relishing the opportunity to challenge three-time Cheltenham Festival winner and Randox Health Grand National hero Tiger Roll in the £65,000 Glenfarclas Chase (4.10pm, 3m 6f 37y) over the Cross Country fences on Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 13 at The Festival™ presented by Magners.

 

Bolger, dubbed “the King of the Banks” is set to be doubly represented in the unique contest, courtesy of Auvergnat and Josies Orders. The former captured the valuable Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over an extended three miles in December and finished fourth to Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott, in the 2018 edition of the Glenfarclas Chase.

 

Josies Orders, the 2016 winner of Wednesday’s contest, was sixth to Tiger Roll last year and has already tasted success over the Cross Country fences at Prestbury Park this season at The November Meeting.

 

The 11-year-old son of Milan recorded a two-length success on his latest start in a Cross Country contest at Punchestown in February.

 

Bolger has won the Glenfarclas Chase on five occasions courtesy of Spot Thedifference (2005), Heads Onthe Ground (2007), Garde Champetre (2008 & 2009) and Josies Orders (2016). He reported today: “Our horses have travelled over well. We just had a walk of the track and it’s going to be good to soft, good in places, which shouldn’t affect any of our horses – I’m looking forward to it.

 

“I would say this year’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase is the best renewal of the race. Obviously, Tiger Roll is the one we all have to take on and is the standard bearer. There’s 32 fences to be jumped and we’re looking forward to the race.

 

“Auvergnat won a nice pot over Christmas at Leopardstown and we intentionally have kept him fresh for this event.

 

“Josies Orders also won nicely at Punchestown on his latest start. Both of the horses know their way around here well and we’re looking forward to good runs, but Tiger Roll is the horse you have to seriously respect.

 

“I haven’t had a winner at the Cheltenham Festival since On The Fringe won the Foxhunters three years ago.”

 

Bolger, has saddled eight winners at The Festival™ presented by Magners, with Elegant Lord (1996) and On The Fringe (2015 & 2016) capturing the £45,000 St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase (4.10pm, 3m 2f 70y). He looks to hold a live chance in this year’s renewal, staged on Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 15 with Stand Up And Fight, a winner of a hunter chase at Down Royal in December. The trainer continued: “Stand Up And Fight will be ridden by Derek O’Connor and we think he is a very nice horse.

 

“Being a seven-year-old, he is a relatively young horse for the Foxhunters. Wherever he finishes, I think he will be a better horse next season as this is his first run at Cheltenham, but we’re looking forward to running him.”

 

ALTIOR FACES EIGHT RIVALS AS HE BIDS FOR FOURTH WIN AT THE FESTIVAL™ AND TWO NEW RECORDS

 

Altior will face eight rivals, as he did in 2018, when he bids for a fourth Festival win in Wednesday’s G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.30pm), in which success would bring up two significant jumping records.

 

The winner of the G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2016), the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (2017) and the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chaseb (2018), Nicky Henderson’s nine-year-old beat Min by seven lengths in the last-named race 12 months ago and is unbeaten over obstacles.

 

If successful again on Wednesday Altior will claim outright the world record for the longest winning sequence over fences with a thirteenth success, and he will equal the the longest winning sequence over jumps (hurdles or fences) of 18 held by Big Buck’s, who also won four years running at the meeting. He will also take his earnings well past the £1-million mark.

 

Altior also beat Min by seven lengths in the 2016 Supreme Novices’, and the betting suggests he has no other rival to fear following Willie Mullins decision to save the eight-year-old’s stable-mates Footpad and Un De Sceaux for Thursday’s G1 Ryanair Chase, which Un De Sceaux won in 2017.

 

Sponsors Betway make Altior a 2/5 chance and have Min their clear second best at 4/1. It’s then 14/1 Alan King’s Sceau Royal, who was last seen finishing second in Wincanton’s G2 Kingwell Hurdle, and 22/1 the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue.

 

Three-time G1 winner God’s Own, who has twice been in the frame in the Queen Mother and will be making his fifth appearance at the meeting, is among the 33/1 chances, along with last year’s Arkle fourth Saint Calvados.

 

Harry Whittington is trying cheekpieces on Saint Calvados, who has been beaten twice since winning at Naas in November, and said: “He has been in great form since his trip to Leopardstown, where the ground was too quick for him and he didn’t jump with the same fluency.

 

“He has schooled fantastically and had a spin round Newbury which he really enjoyed. Soft ground will suit him and we couldn’t have him in better form at home this time, with the horses coming into good at just the right time. We are very hopeful that he will run a big race.”

 

ROYALS AND LIZ HURLEY TO PRESENT FESTIVAL TROPHIES

 

On the eve of The Festival™ presented by Magners, Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s Regional Director, Cheltenham & The South West, is looking forward to four superb days’ racing.

Asked which race he is most excited about, Renton replied: “The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup is absolutely fascinating. We’ve got the first and second from last year’s unbelievable contest, Native River and Might Bite, and with Presenting Percy, Clan Des Obeaux and others, it is an extraordinary race this year, so I’m probably looking forward to that most.”

 

Cheltenham continually strives to improve its facilities and the service it offers, and Renton said: “We’ve made a few changes in the past couple of days to some of the facilities to try to ensure they can withstand what is forecast to be a bit of a blustery few days, to reduce the exposure to the winds in the hope that we can have four cracking days’ racing. We have thought through every potential eventuality on the basis that the more one thinks and plans for events, the greater the likelihood that we can continue with a great four days. We might have a slightly soggy start to the meeting tomorrow, so we encourage racegoers to come dressed for the occasion!”

 

New facilities for 2019 include The Orchard, a new brand activation area, which hosts the likes of Bentley, Boodles, John Lewis, Magners and others.

 

Renton said: “It’s a bit of a change for us here and modelled a little on The Birdcage at Flemington Racecourse in Australia, and we plan to build that up in time to a large brand activation area. We look forward to all our brands having some nice activity there.

 

“And for the first time The Festival has its own on-course pub, The Horse & Groom, overlooking the final two fences of the racecourse. which offers hospitality packages to 300 racegoers a day with high-quality pub food and fixtures such as a jukebox in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.”

 

“The Princess Royal and the Duchess of Cornwall are due to present trophies to winning connections at The Festival this week – as is Liz Hurley, and we have a number of other celebrities coming to enjoy the racing and everything Cheltenham has to offer.”

 

 

 

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