All the news from Ladies Day 2019

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM,

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

RACING GOES AHEAD AT CHELTENHAM TODAY

 

 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - Racing at Cheltenham today will go ahead following a precautionary inspection.

 

The strength of the winds has now moderated on the forecast allowing Simon Claisse, Clerk of the Course, to give the green light early in order to provide certainty to racegoers and participants before many journeys begin. We will continue to monitor the weather forecast moving forward.

 

Simon Claisse, Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham and South West Head of Racing for The Jockey Club, said this morning: “We are delighted that the weather conditions have changed from the initial forecasts and the prospect of higher wind speeds and gusts have receded.

 

“We are looking forward to a fantastic day’s racing on the Old Course with the feature race the £400,000 G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.”

 

 


 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

SIMON CLAISSE TALKS GOING AND WEATHER AT 9AM

 

Ladies Day goes ahead after the forecast very strong winds did not materialise.

 

On the morning of the second day of The Festival™ presented by Magners, Cheltenham’s Clerk of the Course Simon Claisse commented: “If you look at the clock, the ground yesterday wasn’t as slow as some of the riders were suggesting.

 

“It was Soft yesterday and it has been dry overnight, so we have left it as Soft all round today on the Chase and Hurdle courses, and Soft, Heavy in places on the Cross Country course.

 

“The anticipated winds didn’t materialise overnight; the forecast winds for the rest of the morning and for the afternoon have subsided a little, and it should be a mainly dry afternoon. There could be the odd shower and it will be blustery. Showers are forecast for the next couple of days.”

 

Asked whether, in the light of the possible cancellation of today’s racing due to the very strong winds that were predicted, he had been able to get any sleep last night, Claisse replied: “I should think about two hours, the same as the night before. On Monday night I wasn’t sleeping because of the wind – last night I wasn’t sleeping because it wasn’t so windy! I got here about 4.45am this morning, and it was quite calm, which is the way it has stayed.”

 

Discussing the state of the track, Claisse said: “I’m very happy with the way the course has gone back together after yesterday’s racing. We’ve got something like 80 treaders out there at the moment and they will be hard at work until about an hour before racing.”

 

The action switches from the Old Course to the New Course tomorrow, St Patrick’s Thursday.

 

NON-RUNNERS AT 9.30AM

 

2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

26 JOKE DANCER (Going)

 

4.10pm Glenfrclas Cross Country Chase

8 HURRICANE DARWIN (IRE) (Self Certificate, Not Eaten Up)

 

4.50pm Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

9 BEAT THE JUDGE (IRE) (Going)

 


 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

ONCE-A-YEAR PUNTER COLLECTS RECORD £182,568 FOR SINGLE £2 PLACEPOT LINE

 

The £182,567.80 collected from a single £2 bet on day one of The Festival™ supported by Magners made a once-a-year gambler the biggest winning on-course toteplacepot punter in the history of the bet.

 

The man, on an annual coach trip to the meeting with friends, selected just one horse in each race with the help of a friend who followed racing more closely and expected he might collect “a couple of hundred quid”. However, the net pool of £958,481.10 was shared by just 10.50 winning units, producing a dividend of £91,283.10 to a £1 stake, only a few hundred pounds short of the biggest-ever dividend.

 

The winning punter said: “It wasn’t until the second-last race that my friend said ‘You’re still in with a chance’. We came in a couple of times after the sixth race to cash it in. We thought it might be a couple of hundred quid or something like that but it wasn’t ready, so we went out to bet on the last race. We were lucky enough win again on that!

 

“We came back in afterwards and handed over the ticket. The lady behind the counter… her face just dropped. I asked her how much and she very discreetly showed us. We still didn’t really believe it.”

 

He added: “I looked at the horses before racing and whatever took my fancy I put in my Placepot. My friend, who knows a bit about racing, advised me.

 

“We’ve been coming for years and the occasion is fantastic. We’ve been doing it this way for years and nothing’s changed. We just do a Placepot and our individual bets and then enjoy the racing. The Tote staff are really good and friendly and welcoming and everyone has been great.

 

“My daughter is soon to go to university, so that will help, and my son is going on holiday so I think I will be upgrading him to first class.”

 

Other on-course winners at Cheltenham included two customers who each collected £36,513.56 for a 40p share, having played in 10p unit stakes, while there were numerous 20p and 10p winners.

 

One of those celebrating was Emma Knight, in the Chez Roux restaurant as a treat for her 13th wedding anniversary. She collected over £18,000 and said: “We come every year to the Festival and I always have a Placepot, but usually go out in the last race! It’s been an amazing day.”

 

The selections of Tuesday’s £182,567.80 winning toteplacepot ticket holder:

 

Race 1 Klassical Dream – WON

Race 2 Duc Des Genievres – WON

Race 3 Beware The Bear – WON

Race 4 Melon – 2nd

Race 5 Stormy Ireland – 2nd

Race 6 A Plus Tard – WON


 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

CHAMPION DAY, TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2019

 

The Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award – Standings after Champion Day

 

Trainer   1st   2nd    3rd

Willie Mullins IRE 2  2   1

Henry de Bromhead IRE 1  -   -

Gavin Cromwell 1  -   -

Nicky Henderson  1  -   -

Ben Pauling  1  -   -

Dan Skelton  1  -   -

Joseph O’Brien IRE -  2   -

Olly Murphy  -  1   1

Paul Nolan IRE -  1   -

Sue Smith  -  1   -

Nick Alexander -  -   1

Gordon Elliott IRE -  -   1

Philip Hobbs  -  -   1

Terence O’Brien IRE -  -   1

Evan Williams  -  -   1

NetJets Leading Owner Award –

Standings after Champion Day

 

Owner  1st  2nd    3rd

J P McManus  1  1   1

Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd 1  1   -

George Barlow 1  -   -

Cheveley Park Stud 1  -   -

Joanne Coleman 1  -   -

Sarah Faulks  1  -   -

Emma Palmer  1  -   -

Trevor Hemmings -  1   1

Burnham P & D Ltd -  1   -

Mrs J Donnelly -  1   -

Thomas Friel/Andrew Gemmell -  1   -

Diana Whateley -  1   -

Kate & Andrew Brooks -  -   1

Chris Jones  -  -   1

L Fell  -  -   1

Nigel King  -  -   1

Martin McDonagh/Paul Murphy/M J Nixon -  -   1

 

888 Prestbury Cup – Standings after Champion Day

 

Great Britain 3

Ireland 4

 

 

Tu53.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

The Festival™ presented by Magners 2019 – winners

 

Champion Day – Tuesday, March 12, 2019

 

1:30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y £125,000

KLASSICAL DREAM (FR) Joanne Coleman 5-11-07 Willie Mullins IRE/Ruby Walsh 6/1

 

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

DUC DES GENIEVRES (FR) Sullivan Bloodstock Limited 6-11-04 Willie Mullins IRE/Paul Townend 5/1

 

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

BEWARE THE BEAR (IRE) George Barlow 9-11-08 Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath 10/1

 

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

ESPOIR D’ALLEN (FR) J P McManus 5-11-10 Gavin Cromwell IRE/Mark Walsh 16/1

 

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

ROKSANA (IRE) Sarah Faulks 7-11-05 Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton 10/1

 

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

A PLUS TARD (FR) Cheveley Park Stud 5-11-07 Henry de Bromhead IRE/Rachael Blackmore 5/1 Fav

 

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

LE BREUIL (FR) Emma Palmer 7-11-06 Ben Pauling/Mr Jamie Codd 14/1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

DECLARED RUNNERS FOR GOLD CUP DAY – FRIDAY, MARCH 15

 


1:30 pm JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y £125,000

1 Adjali (GER) 4 11 0 Nicky Henderson Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Daryl Jacob

2 Authorizo (FR) ts 4 11 0 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

3 Coeur Sublime (IRE) 4 11 0 Gordon Elliott Ireland C. Jones Davy Russell

4 Ecco 4 11 0 Paul Nicholls Mr Colm Donlon Harry Skelton

5 Gardens of Babylon (IRE) ts, p 4 11 0 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

6 Hannon (IRE) ts 4 11 0 John McConnell Ireland Mr D. Kierans David Noonan

7 Nelson River 4 11 0 Tony Carroll CCCP Syndicate Harry Bannister

8 Pentland Hills (IRE) 4 11 0 Nicky Henderson Owners Group 031 Nico de Boinville

9 Pic D’orhy (FR) ts 4 11 0 Paul Nicholls Mrs Johnny de la Hey Sam Twiston-Davies

10 Quel Destin (FR) 4 11 0 Paul Nicholls Martin Broughton & Friends Harry Cobden

11 Runrized (FR) 4 11 0 W. P. Mullins Ireland Clipper Logistics Group Ltd David Mullins

12 Sir Erec (IRE) 4 11 0 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus

13 Tiger Tap Tap (GER) 4 11 0 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs S. Ricci R. Walsh

14 French Made (FR) 4 10 7 W. P. Mullins Ireland Exors of the Late Mrs M. McManus P. Townend

 

2:10pm Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y Weights raised 7lb £100,000

1 Mohaayed ts, p 7 11 12 Dan Skelton Mrs June Watts Bridget Andrews

2 We Have A Dream (FR) 5 11 11 Nicky Henderson Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Daryl Jacob

3 Western Ryder (IRE) bl 7 11 9 Warren Greatrex Albatross Club/Bryan Drew & Friends Harry Teal (5)

4 Mr Adjudicator 5 11 8 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mr David Bobbett P. Townend

5 Ch’tibello (FR) 8 11 5 Dan Skelton The Can’t Say No Partnership Harry Skelton

6 Lisp (IRE) 5 11 4 Alan King Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Wayne Hutchinson

7 Whiskey Sour (IRE) 6 11 3 W. P. Mullins Ireland Luke McMahon R. Walsh

8 Leoncavallo (IRE) bl 7 11 3 Dr Richard Newland ValueRacingClub.co.uk Sam Twiston-Davies

9 Mister Fizz p 11 11 3 Miss Imogen Pickard Mrs Margaret J. Wilson Lorcan Williams (5)

10 Mitchouka (FR) 5 11 1 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Davy Russell

11 Pingshou (IRE) bl,ts 9 11 1 Colin Tizzard Ann & Alan Potts Limited Robbie Power

12 Sternrubin (GER) p 8 10 13 Philip Hobbs Mr Terry Warner Micheal Nolan

13 Crooks Peak 6 10 11 (5lb ex) Philip Hobbs Mr Andy Tilley Richard Johnson

14 Capitaine (FR) ts 7 10 10 Paul Nicholls Martin Broughton & Friends 2 Harry Cobden

15 Cut The Mustard (FR) h 7 10 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Sullivan Bloodstock Limited Noel Fehily

16 Eclair de Beaufeu (FR) 5 10 9 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

17 Due Reward (IRE) 6 10 9 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Rachael Blackmore

18 Storm Rising (IRE) bl 6 10 8 Dr Richard Newland M Albon & M P Tudor Charlie Hammond (5)

19 Countister (FR) 7 10 6 Nicky Henderson Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

20 High Expectations (FR) 8 10 6 Gordon Elliott Ireland Mr M. Wasylocha Denis O’Regan

21 Monsieur Lecoq (FR) 5 10 5 Mrs Jane Williams Mrs Jane Williams Lizzie Kelly (3)

22 Thistle Do Nicely (IRE) 5 10 5 Jamie Snowden Appletree Stud, M Gumienny & A Signy Gavin Sheehan

23 Magic Dancer ts, p 7 10 3 Kerry Lee Mark E Smith & The Magic Partnership Richard Patrick (3)

24 Brex Drago (ITY) p 7 10 2 Gavin Cromwell Ireland Marhan Ltd

25 Ar Mest (FR) 6 10 0 Gary Moore Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Jamie Moore

26 Chieftain’s Choice (IRE) bl 10 10 0 Kevin Frost Curzon House Partnership & Friends

 

2:50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered as the Spa Novices’ Hurdle) 2m 7f 213y £125,000

1 Allaho (FR) 5 11 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Cheveley Park Stud R. Walsh

2 Ask Ben (IRE) 6 11 5 Graeme McPherson Turf Club 2018 and Graeme McPherson Kielan Woods

3 Aye Aye Charlie ts 7 11 5 Fergal O’Brien All Four One Paddy Brennan

4 Birchdale (IRE) 5 11 5 Nicky Henderson Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

5 Cap York (FR) 7 11 5 Noel Meade Ireland Gigginstown House Stud B. J. Cooper

6 Commander of Fleet (IRE) 5 11 5 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

7 Darlac (FR) p 6 11 5 Colin Tizzard Mrs G. C. Pritchard Robbie Power

8 Derrinross (IRE) ts 8 11 5 J.P.Dempsey Ireland Mrs M Furlong/Mrs N Dempsey/J P Dempsey Luke Dempsey

9 Dickie Diver (IRE) 6 11 5 Nicky Henderson Mr John P. McManus Aidan Coleman

10 Dinons (FR) 6 11 5 Gordon Elliott Ireland Mr T. O’Driscoll Davy Russell

11 Dorrells Pierji (FR) 6 11 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Sullivan Bloodstock Limited Noel Fehily

12 First Approach (IRE) p 6 11 5 Noel Meade Ireland Mrs Patricia Hunt Sean Flanagan

13 Lisnagar Oscar (IRE) 6 11 5 Rebecca Curtis Racing for Fun Sean Bowen

14 Minella Indo (IRE) 6 11 5 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Mr Barry Maloney Rachael Blackmore

15 Nadaitak p 5 11 5 Ben Pauling The Megsons Nico de Boinville

16 Rhinestone (IRE) ts 6 11 5 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus

17 Rockpoint 6 11 5 Colin Tizzard John and Heather Snook Tom Scudamore

18 Stoney Mountain (IRE) 6 11 5 Henry Daly Mr Trevor Hemmings Richard Johnson

19 Alsa Mix (FR) h 7 10 12 Alan King Mrs June Watts Wayne Hutchinson

20 Salsaretta (FR) 6 10 12 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs S. Ricci P. Townend

 

3:30pm Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y £625,000

1 Al Boum Photo (FR) 7 11 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs J. Donnelly P. Townend

2 Anibale Fly (FR) ts 9 11 10 A. J. Martin Ireland Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

3 Bellshill (IRE) 9 11 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Andrea & Graham Wylie R. Walsh

4 Bristol de Mai (FR) 8 11 10 Nigel Twiston-Davies Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Daryl Jacob

5 Clan des Obeaux (FR) 7 11 10 Paul Nicholls Mr&Mrs P.K.Barber,G.Mason,Sir A Ferguson Harry Cobden

6 Definitly Red (IRE) 10 11 10 Brian Ellison Phil & Julie Martin Danny Cook

7 Double Shuffle (IRE) h 9 11 10 Tom George Crossed Fingers Partnership Jonathan Burke

8 Elegant Escape (IRE) 7 11 10 Colin Tizzard Mr J. P. Romans Tom O’Brien

9 Invitation Only (IRE) 8 11 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Andrea & Graham Wylie Mr P. W. Mullins

10 Kemboy (FR) 7 11 10 W. P. Mullins Ireland Supreme Racing/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp David Mullins

11 Might Bite (IRE) 10 11 10 Nicky Henderson The Knot Again Partnership Nico de Boinville

12 Native River (IRE) p 9 11 10 Colin Tizzard Brocade Racing Richard Johnson

13 Presenting Percy ts 8 11 10 Patrick G. Kelly Ireland Philip J. Reynolds Davy Russell

14 Thistlecrack 11 11 10 Colin Tizzard John and Heather Snook Tom Scudamore

15 Yala Enki (FR) 9 11 10 Venetia Williams Hills of Ledbury (Aga) Charlie Deutsch

16 Shattered Love (IRE) ts 8 11 3 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy

 

4:10pm St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase 3m 2f 70y £45,000

1 Ardkilly Witness (IRE) 13 12 0 Miss K. L. Smith Mr Tim Thirlby Mr William Thirlby

2 Asockastar (IRE) p 11 12 0 Daniel John Bourne Mr Daniel John Bourne Mr Barry O’Neill

3 Balnaslow (IRE) 12 12 0 Graham John McKeever Ireland Margaret A. Simpson Mr P. W. Mullins

4 Caid du Berlais (FR) ts 10 12 0 Mrs Rose Loxton Donlon, Doyle, MacDonald & C. Barber Mr William Biddick

5 Chosen Dream (IRE) ts 11 12 0 Graham John McKeever Ireland Margaret A. Simpson Mr M. J. O’Hare

6 Coastal Tiep (FR) p 7 12 0 S. R. B. Crawford Northern Ireland Jetmac Syndicate Mr B. G. Crawford

7 Cousin Pete ts 11 12 0 Mrs Elizabeth Brown Mrs Scilla Phillips Mr Nick Phillips

8 Dont Do Mondays (IRE) 12 12 0 Mrs Libby Lawson Ms Laura Maloney Mr O. Wedmore

9 Double Whammy bl 13 12 0 Iain Jardine Alex & Janet Card & Partner Mr T. Hamilton

10 Haymount (IRE) ts, p 10 12 0 T. Ellis Docker, Morris-Lowe, Howlett, Wills Miss Gina Andrews

11 Hazel Hill (IRE) 11 12 0 Philip Rowley Mrs D. Williams Mr Alex Edwards

12 Just Cause (IRE) 9 12 0 J. P. Owen Mr T. C. O. Gredley Mr Jack Andrews

13 One Conemara (IRE) p 11 12 0 Mrs C. A. Coward Mr J. W. Nellis Mr John Dawson

14 Pacha du Polder (FR) 12 12 0 Paul Nicholls The Stewart Family Miss Harriet Tucker

15 Road To Rome (IRE) 9 12 0 J. J. O’Shea Mr Graham William Briscoe Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

16 Samanntom (IRE) ts, p 11 12 0 P. M. J. Doyle Ireland Mrs Mary Doyle Miss Susie Doyle

17 Shantou Flyer (IRE) bl,ts 9 12 0 Richard Hobson David Maxwell Racing Limited Mr David Maxwell

18 Some Are Lucky (IRE) 8 12 0 S. Curling Ireland G. A. Spain Mr G. Spain

19 Southfield Theatre (IRE) bl 11 12 0 Mrs Sara V. Bradstock Southfield Racing Miss Lily Bradstock

20 Stand Up And Fight (IRE) 7 12 0 Enda Bolger Ireland Mr John P. McManus Mr Derek O’Connor

21 Sybarite (FR) 13 12 0 Miss V. Collins Miss Sarah A. Dawson Miss Lilly Pinchin

22 Timewaitsfornoone (IRE) 7 12 0 Alan Fleming Ireland Mr Barry Connell Mr Richard Deegan

23 Top Wood (FR) v,ts 12 12 0 Kelly Morgan Mr J. R. Weatherby Miss Tabitha Worsley

24 Ucello Conti (FR) ts 11 12 0 Gordon Elliott Ireland Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede

 

4:50pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y Weights raised 3lb £110,000

1 Forest Bihan (FR) p 8 11 12 Brian Ellison Phil & Julie Martin Danny Cook

2 Gino Trail (IRE) p 12 11 11 Kerry Lee Mrs Jan Smith Richard Johnson

3 Le Prezien (FR) ts 8 11 10 Paul Nicholls Mr John P. McManus Barry Geraghty

4 Magic Saint (FR) 5 11 8 Paul Nicholls Mr and Mrs J. D. Cotton Harry Cobden

5 Bun Doran (IRE) 8 11 7 Tom George Crossed Fingers Partnership Paddy Brennan

6 Diakali (FR) v 10 11 6 Gary Moore Mr Nick Peacock Joshua Moore

7 Tree of Liberty (IRE) 7 11 6 Kerry Lee Mr Mark E. Smith Richard Patrick (3)

8 Whatswrongwithyou (IRE) h 8 11 4 Nicky Henderson 5 Hertford Street Racing Club Nico de Boinville

9 Caid du Lin (FR) ts, p 7 11 3 Dr Richard Newland Foxtrot Racing Sam Twiston-Davies

10 Theflyingportrait (IRE) ts 10 11 3 Jennie Candlish The Mere Partnership Sean Quinlan

11 Top Gamble (IRE) ts, p 11 11 2 Kerry Lee Walters Plant Hire & Potter Group Mark Enright

12 Champagne At Tara 10 11 2 Jonjo O’Neill Mr John P. McManus Jonjo O’Neill Jr. (5)

13 Mind’s Eye (IRE) 7 11 1 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Rachael Blackmore

14 Mr Medic 8 11 0 Robert Walford The White Hart Company James Best

15 Theo (IRE) h 9 10 12 Dr Richard Newland P Jenkins & Partner Charlie Hammond (5)

16 Marracudja (FR) ts 8 10 12 Dan Skelton Hools & Forces Partnership Harry Skelton

17 Croco Bay (IRE) p 12 10 12 Ben Case Lady Jane Grosvenor Kielan Woods

18 Not Another Muddle 8 10 11 Gary Moore Saloop Jamie Moore

19 Brelan d’As (FR) ts 8 10 9 Paul Nicholls Mr John P. McManus Bryony Frost

20 All Set To Go (IRE) bl,ts 8 10 7 Kevin Frost C & D Racing

R21 Yorkist (IRE) ts 11 10 6 Dan Skelton Mike and Eileen Newbould Bridget Andrews

R22 Foxtail Hill (IRE) 10 10 4 Nigel Twiston-Davies Options O Syndicate Jamie Bargary

 

5:30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 56y £70,000

1 Early Doors (FR) 6 11 10 Joseph Patrick O’Brien Ireland Mr John P. McManus Jonjo O’Neill Jr.

2 Acapella Bourgeois (FR) h 9 11 9 W. P. Mullins Ireland Slaneyville Syndicate Ricky Doyle

3 If You Say Run (IRE) ts, p 7 11 6 Paul Nicholls Highclere T’Bred Racing If You Say Run Bryony Frost

4 Mr Antolini (IRE) 9 11 5 Nigel Twiston-Davies Alan & Sally Coney Jordan Nailor

5 Getareason (IRE) 6 11 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Sullivan Bloodstock Limited Liam Gilligan

6 Dallas des Pictons (FR) 6 11 5 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud

7 Coolanly (IRE) 7 11 5 Fergal O’Brien Five Go Racing Connor Brace

8 Style de Garde (FR) h 5 11 5 Nicky Henderson Highclere Thoroughbred Racing – Style Ned Curtis

9 Defi Bleu (FR) 6 11 4 Gordon Elliott Ireland Gigginstown House Stud

10 Pym (IRE) 6 11 3 Nicky Henderson Mrs Patricia Pugh Richard Patrick

11 Daybreak Boy (IRE) 6 11 3 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Mr John Patrick Byrne Donal McInerney

12 Garo de Juilley (FR) ts 7 11 3 Sophie Leech Mr G. Thompson Sean Houlihan

13 Discordantly (IRE) 5 11 3 Mrs J. Harrington Ireland The Odd Fellows Partnership Conor Orr

14 Cartwright bl 6 11 2 Gordon Elliott Ireland Reddytorun Syndicate Fergus Gregory

15 Mount Mews (IRE) 8 11 2 Donald McCain Mr Trevor Hemmings Danny McMenamin

16 Big Time Dancer (IRE) 6 10 13 Jennie Candlish Andy Bell Anna Noble Arnie Flower Ross Chapman

17 Le Musee (FR) 6 10 11 Nigel Hawke Dragonfly Racing Tom Buckley

18 Not That Fuisse (FR) 6 10 10 Dan Skelton Mr Colm Donlon William Marshall

19 Sakhee’s City (FR) p 8 10 9 Philip Kirby Mrs Jayne Sivills Thomas Dowson

20 Doctor Dex (IRE) 6 10 8 Tom George Crossed Fingers Partnership Lorcan Williams

21 Burrows Park (FR) 7 10 7 Venetia Williams Venetia Williams Racehorse Syndicate III Hugh Nugent

22 Casa Tall (FR) h 5 10 7 Tom George Racing Ventures, Sharon, Dermot & David Kieron Edgar

23 Kapgarry (FR) 6 10 6 Nigel Twiston-Davies Options O Syndicate Stan Sheppard

24 Champagne Court (IRE) 6 10 5 Jeremy Scott Mr I F Gosden and Mr DJ Coles

R25 Sky Khan ts, p 10 10 5 Lucinda Russell The Ormello Way Blair Campbell

R26 Honest Vic (IRE) v 6 10 5 Henry Daly Carole Daly & Partners

 

W10.

 

DONOGHUE READY FOR TIGER TO ROAR

 

Jockey Keith Donoghue is relishing the opportunity to partner three-time Cheltenham Festival winner and Randox Health Grand National hero Tiger Roll, who targets a fourth victory at The Festival™ presented by Magners in today’s £65,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (4.10pm).

 

Trained by Gordon Elliott, Tiger Roll has captured the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle (2014), the G2 National Hunt Chase (2017) and last year’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, with Donoghue aboard, at The Festival. The nine-year-old son of Authorized went on to land the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree in April under Davy Russell, but Donoghue has been delighted with the nine-year-old son of Authorized’s preparation ahead of today’s unique contest.

 

Tiger Roll was an impressive victor of the Boyne Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs on his latest start and the jockey is relishing the prospect of recording another success at The Festival™ presented by Magners aboard the well-supported favourite.

 

He said this morning: “Tiger Roll is in great form. We gave him a pop over a couple of the hedges earlier this morning and he did it well.

 

“The ground being quite slow won’t necessarily inconvenience him. It was soft when he won this race last year, so the ground is not much of a worry today.

 

“This is the place where you want to be riding and it’s exciting. You want to be coming to Cheltenham on a horse which has a live chance.

 

“If we get a nice run around like we did last year and a bit of luck, then hopefully he can win again. You could arguably say he is a better horse this year, having won a Grand National and now a Boyne Hurdle.

 

“This horse gave me my first Cheltenham Festival winner and he’ll always mean a lot to me – there are not too many like him.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W5.

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

CHAMPION DAY, TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2019

 

WALSH PHILISOPHICAL OVER BENIE

 

Ruby Walsh was philosophical when discussing the final flight fall of the Willie Mullins-trained 10/11 favourite Benie Des Dieux in yesterday’s G1 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at The Festival™ presented by Magners on ITV’s The Opening Show this morning.

 

Benie Des Dieux, the defending champion in the two mile and four furlong event, had the race at her mercy before her fall at the last, which drew similarities with Annie Power’s tumble in the same race in 2015 under Walsh.

 

Reflecting on yesterday’s contest, the Irish jockey said: “These things happen – it is racing and today is a new day. I would not have done anything differently on Benie Des Dieux.

 

“She went on a perfect stride and I could only put her in the right place to take off. I can’t organise her feet where to land and it is just one of those things.

 

“Benie Des Dieux took off at the right time and the had right height, but she just unfortunately didn’t land.

 

“It’s just happened again [Annie Power] – that’s sport and these things happen.”

 

Walsh had started the day in the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure aboard Klassical Dream, also trained by Mullins, the ready victor of the G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

 

Looking back on the success, he continued: “Cheltenham is a very special place and it was great to get back into the winner’s enclosure here.”

 

Walsh, who has ridden a record 59 winners at The Festival, partners Min in today’s feature contest, the £400,000 G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. The eight-year-old son of Walk In The Park has finished second to the mighty Altior in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2016) and last year’s Champion Chase, but Walsh is relishing the chance to take on Nicky Henderson’s charge once again in the two-mile event.

 

He said: “Min looks fantastic. We are taking on a great horse in Altior, but you need to take these great horses on.

 

“Min is in wonderful order and anything can happen in a horse race. There would be no shame in chasing Altior home and we have to give it a go. We weren’t sure whether to run him in the Ryanair or in the Champion Chase, but we’ve decided to stick to two miles.”

 

Uradel has been well-supported in the run-up to The Festival for the £100,000 G3 Coral Cup (2.50pm), but Walsh is wary of underfoot conditions ahead of the two miles and five furlong handicap hurdle. In the opening £125,000 G1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, he partners Easy Game, who bids to make it three wins from his last three starts.

 

Discussing both horses, he added: “Uradel is in great order, but I would not be certain about Uradel on this tacky ground. With this wind, the ground is going to dry a lot and even throughout the day yesterday, it dried and had got way tackier. It could turn into a gluepot and more rain would do it no harm. I think that might not suit Uradel, but may help the slower ones like Killultagh Vic and Scarpeta.

 

“Easy Game has an each-way shout, but this a big step-up for him. The trip will suit him, but he hasn’t probably competed at the sort of level as those towards the top of the market.”

 

 

W3.


 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

CAN THE RIVER RUN GOLD AGAIN?

 

Sixteen runners will go to post in Friday’s G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, the high point of the Jump racing season. It will be the largest field since 2015, when the Mark Bradstock-trained Coneygree took the £625,000 race from 15 rivals.

 

Native River, victorious in a thrilling contest last year, bids to become one of only eight horses ever to win more than one Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. Trained by Colin Tizzard, he will once again be ridden by the champion jockey, Richard Johnson.

 

Native River triumphed in an epic duel with Might Bite in 2018, and Nicky Henderson’s charge is set to line up again under Nico de Boinville, who already has one Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup on his mantelpiece, courtesy of Coneygree. Might Bite has failed to shine so far this season and is available at odds of around 12/1, whereas Native River is considered a 4/1 chance.

 

Favouritism, however, is the preserve of Presenting Percy, who spearheads the Irish challenge at around 7/2. The Pat Kelly-trained eight-year-old, the ride of Davy Russell, won last year’s G1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at The Festival by seven lengths and was also successful in 2017 in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle. He has only run once – over hurdles – this season, so it will be fascinating to see whether he is as good as the market thinks he is.

 

One horse that has clearly proved himself on the track this winter is Clan Des Obeaux, trained by four-time Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning handler Paul Nicholls and available at around 9/2. If the G1 King George VI Chase and G2 Denman Chase hero gives Nicholls a fifth success in the race, he will equal Tom Dreaper’s record as the contest’s winning-most trainer. Twenty-year-old Harry Cobden will be in the saddle, seeking a first Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup success.

 

Irish maestro Willie Mullins may have 63 Festival winners to his credit, but they do not include a Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup – he has been second six times. This year he has four shots at the goal, with Kemboy (David Mullins) and Bellshill (Ruby Walsh) the most fancied of the quartet, which also includes Al Boum Photo (Paul Townend) and Invitation Only, the mount of Mullins’ amateur rider son Patrick. Bellshill has already taken two Gold Cups – at Punchestown and Leopardstown – while Kemboy scored in a G1 at Leopardstown over three miles on his last appearance.

 

Kemboy was fourth in the 2018 G1 JLT Novices’ Chase at The Festival, and the winner that day, Gordon Elliott’s Shattered Love (Jack Kennedy), is back at Cheltenham on Friday. Shattered Love hasn’t won since, but perhaps a return to the scene of her last triumph will do the trick. She is the only mare in the race and, if successful, would become the first of her sex to win the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup since Dawn Run in 1986 and only the fifth in the history of the race.

 

The remaining Irish representative is Anibale Fly, trained by Tony Martin for J P McManus and ridden by Barry Geraghty. He was third in this race behind Native River and Might Bite last year, and finished fourth in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree a month later. Geraghty knows what it feels like to ride a Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup winner; he was aboard Kicking King in 2005 and Bobs Worth in 2013.

 

Closer to home, two Gloucestershire-based runners will attract plenty of support. Nigel Twiston-Davies was successful in the three-mile championship race with Imperial Commander in 2010, and Bristol De Mai represents him and jockey Daryl Jacob this time. The eight-year-old has won the past two renewals of the G1 Betfair Chase at Haydock, but fell last time out in the King George VI Chase at Kempton and his best run at Cheltenham was back in 2016, when he finished second in the G1 JLT Novices’ Chase. And Tom George runs Double Shuffle (Jonathan Burke), who, although he has regularly picked up placings in good races, hasn’t won since taking a handicap chase at Kempton in December 2016.

 

More fancied are Elegant Escape and Thistlecrack, who complete Native River’s trainer Colin Tizzard’s trio. Tom O’Brien takes the ride on Elegant Escape, this season’s Welsh Grand National winner, who finished third to Presenting Percy in the G1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase in 2018. Thistlecrack, victorious in the G1 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle in 2016 and the King George VI Chase at Kempton later that year, as well as many other top races, looked nearly back to form when second to Clan Des Obeaux in the King George VI Chase in December. Tom Scudamore will, as ever, be in the saddle.

 

The Brian Ellison-trained Definitly Red (Danny Cook) has been in good form this season, with G2 wins at Aintree and Wetherby, although he was beaten when odds-on in a two-horse race at Kelso last time out.

 

The field is completed by Yala Enki, trained by Venetia Williams and ridden by Charlie Deutsch. The nine-year-old was third in the Welsh Grand National, five and a quarter lengths behind Elegant Escape, in December.

 

DAY THREE TRENDS AND LANDMARKS

 

Ireland has won seven of the eight runnings of tomorrow’s G1 JLT Novices’ Chase, which was introduced to the programme in 2011 and elevated to G2 status in 2014. Willie Mullins has been responsible for four of those winners and he runs Voix Du Reve (Ruby Walsh), Real Steel (Paul Townend) and Pravalaguna (Danny Mullins).

 

Davy Russell has ridden the last three winners of the G3 Pertemps Network Final, including leading Magners Gold Cup candidate Presenting Percy (2017), but at present he has no ride in this year’s race.

Ireland has won the race for the last three years, but only eight times since the first running in 1974.

 

Only two Pertemps favourites have finished in the first six in the last 10 years. Fingal Bay (9/2 in 2014) was the only winning favourite in that time.

 

Albertas Run (2010 and 2011) is the only dual winner of the G1 Ryanair Chase to date, but Un De Sceaux (2017 winner) and Balko Des Flos (2018) both have the opportunity to join him.

 

Paul Nicholls won two of the first three runnings of the Ryanair Chase with Thisthatantother (2005) and Taranis (2007), but he has not won it since. He saddles four-time Cheltenham winner Frodon.

 

The field of 18 that has been declared for the G1 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle is the biggest since 2006, when My Way De Solzen won a 20-runner affair.

 

Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle favourite Paisley Park was a first G1 winner for both Emma Lavelle and Aidan Coleman when successful in the JLT Hurdle at Ascot in December. Lavelle has had two Festival winners and Coleman one.

 

Veteran Faugheen has run only three times at Cheltenham, capturing the G1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in 2014 and the Unibet Champion Hurdle in 2015 and finishing sixth in the Champion Hurdle last year. He has won both of his completed races over the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle distance of three miles and beat last year’s winner Penhill at Punchestown in April. No horse has won both the Unibet Champion Hurdle and Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle.

 

Ireland has won the last three runnings of the G3 Brown Advisory & Merriebell Plate. Only last year’s winner The Storyteller, who carried 11st 4lb, has won with more than 10st 13lb in the last 10 years. He was only the seventh winning favourite since the race was first run in 1951.

 

Paul Nicholls usually has multiple representatives in the Brown Advisory & Merriebell Plate but he has yet to win it. He runs Modus and Romain De Senam.

 

Willie Mullins has won all three runnings of the G2 National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Dawn Run Mares Novices’ Hurdle, the race celebrating his father Paddy’s Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup winner. All three winners were hot favourites, but none of the stable’s seven runners this time is likely to be market leader.

 

Jamie Codd, who won Tuesday’s National Hunt Chase on Le Breuil, has won four of the last ten runnings of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase. He rides Measureofmydreams for Gordon Elliott, for whom he was successful on Cause Of Causes in 2016.

 

 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

CHANCE TO BUY A RELATIVE OF UNIBET CHAMPION HURDLE WINNER ALLEN

 

A cast of potential champions comes under the hammer at Cheltenham tomorrow when Tattersalls’ Festival Sale takes place at 6.15pm in the winner’s enclosure.

 

The event has become a feature of The Festival™, and offers racehorse owners the chance to invest in young, lightly-raced horses who have run once or twice as a way of advertising their credentials. For the past two years turnover has reached £3m, and the average price 12 months ago was in excess of £158,000 when two horses topped the sale with valuations of £330,000. Feel My Pulse has not run since, but Andy Dufresne won in style at Down Royal in January and is entered to run again at Limerick on Saturday for trainer Gordon Elliott.

 

The majority of tomorrow’s 24-strong catalogue has taken part in an Irish point-to-point, but there are two British pointers and a Newcastle bumper winner.

 

One whose profile was given an additional update yesterday was Enjoy D’Allen (Lot 18), who comes from the family of Unibet Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D’Allen. Four-year-old Enjoy D’Allen was second on his point-to-point debut last month then romped to an easy win at Tinahely. Trained by Peter Flood, he cost €50,000 as an unbroken three-year-old (also known as a store horse), and will certainly sell for more tomorrow.

 

Others to note include Linelee King (Lot 6), who was another impressive winner at Tinahely, scoring for Colin Bowe’s stable, and the Pat Turley-trained filly My Whirlwind (Lot 9), who raced through a snowstorm to win at Ballycahane – her relatives include dual Ryanair Chase winner Albertas Run. Sporting John (Lot 10) opened his account at Borris House for Matthew Flynn O’Connor – his dam was a half-sister to the dam of top hurdler Oscar Whisky – Telmesomethingirl (Lot 21) won at Ballinaboola for Colin Bowe, and following her into the ring is Farouk D’Alene (Lot 22). His busy week has included winning on debut at Belclare on Sunday before crossing the sea to take his chance in the sales ring.

 

Tom Lacey sold four-year-old Interconnected for £220,000, a record for a British pointer, at this sale last year, and he returns with Ramillies (Lot 14) who scored at Bishops Court in Devon recently, while Presence Of Mind (Lot 15) won on Sunday at Charlton Horethorne for the team of jockey Charlie Poste and his partner, Fran Nimmo.

 

Full details of all lots can be found at tattersallscheltenham.com

 

PUNTERS HOPING TIGER ROARS AFTER DAY ONE DISASTER

 

Bookmakers reigned supreme on day one of The Festival™ presented by Magners following a number of surprising results at Prestbury Park. In the feature race of the day, the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle, favourite Apple’s Jade (7/4f) was sixth, defending champion Buveur D’Air (11/4) fell at the third hurdle and Laurina (5/2) could only finish fourth, with 16/1 shot Espoir D’Allen, pulling off an unlikely victory. Meanwhile, punters were left crestfallen in the G1 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle following the final-flight fall of 10/11 favourite Benie Des Dieux, which evoked memories of Annie Power’s tumble in the same race in 2015, both of which were ridden by Ruby Walsh. There was just one winning favourite yesterday with A Plus Tard (5/1) landing the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase.

 

Day two of The Festival 2019 sees the mighty Altior bid to equal Big Buck’s’ record of 18 consecutive wins over Jumps in the feature race, the £400,000 G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.30pm). Nicky Henderson’s superstar is unbeaten in three starts at The Festival having captured the G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2016), the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (2017) and last year’s Champion Chase. He bids to emulate another Henderson-trained inmate, Sprinter Sacre, in landing the G1 renewal twice. The nine-year-old son of High Chaparral is a solid 4/9 favourite with the sponsor. Min has chased home Altior in both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and last year’s Champion Chase, but he has proved popular at 100/30 from 7/2 with Betway.

 

In the opening contest of the day, the £125,000 G1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (1.30pm), the Olly Murphy-trained Brewin’upastorm is the one for each-way money. He fell at the final flight on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham when holding every chance and ground conditions are in his favour. He is a 13/2 shot from 8/1 with Coral. Willie Mullins’ Easy Game is an 11/1 chance from 14/1 with Betway following two comfortable victories at Navan.

 

Despite incurring a setback in the build-up to the G1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (2.10pm), the Nicky Henderson-trained Santini has been well-supported this morning for the £175,000 contest. The seven-year-old son of Milan pulled off a shoe in a racecourse gallop last week, but has long been earmarked as a potential Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup contender of the future. Santini is 3/1 from 7/2 with Betway and Unibet for today’s three-mile event.

 

The ultra-competitive £100,000 G3 Coral Cup (2.50pm) looks a tricky puzzle for punters to solve, with Closutton handler Willie Mullins responsible for six of the 25 runners. Killultagh Vic, trained by Mullins, has been the one for money, constricting in price to 9/1 from 14/1 with the sponsor. The 10-year-old son of Old Vic was a fine third to Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park in January. The unexposed Highest Sun recorded a decisive success at Chepstow on his latest start for Colin Tizzard and is 14/1 from 18/1 with Coral.

 

Randox Health Grand National hero Tiger Roll bids to record a fourth success at The Festival™ presented by Magners and he is a solid 6/5 market leader for the £65,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (4.10pm). Opposition to him in the betting has emerged from two French challengers, Urgent De Gregaine, who is 10/1 from 12/1 with Coral and David Cottin’s Amazing Comedy, a 22/1 chance from 40/1 with Betway.

 

Six of the last seven winners have been 25/1 or bigger in the two-mile £80,000 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (4.50pm). However, that hasn’t stopped punters getting behind the Joseph O’Brien-trained Band of Outlaws, who is the solid 5/1 favourite from 6/1 with Betway, following an emphatic success at Naas last time out.

 

In the concluding contest of the day, the £75,000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (5.30pm), the Paul Nicholls-trained Ask For Glory, an impressive winner at Chepstow in December has been well-supported into 11/2 from 13/2 with both Coral and Betway.

 

Market Movers

 

1.30pm G1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – Brewin’Upastorm 13/2 from 8/1 (Coral) & Easy Game (11/1 from 14/1 (Betway)

2.10pm G1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase – Santini 3/1 from 7/2 (Betway & Unibet)

2.50pm G3 Coral Cup – Killultagh Vic 9/1 from 14/1 (Coral) & Highest Sun 14/1 from 18/1 (Coral)

3.30pm G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – Min 100/30 from 7/2 (Betway)

4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase – Urgent De Gregaine 10/1 from 12/1 (Coral) & Amazing Comedy 22/1 from 40/1 (Betway)

4.50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Band Of Outlaws 5/1 from 6/1 (Betway)

5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper – Ask For Glory 11/2 from 13/2 (Betway & Coral)

 

ALTIOR AND ALLEN HOG HEADLINES

 

Altior and Espoir D’Allen hog today’s racing press headlines, as journalists focus on two championship races.

 

Espoir D’Allen has his won, having landed yesterday’s G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle, and now it is Altior’s turn as he bids for the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – he is unbeaten in 17 races and on the cusp of taking his winnings past £1m, just the sort of achievements that give writers a chance to flex their superlatives.

 

Marcus Armytage, writing in The Daily Telegraph, is unequivocal about Altior’s chance, stating: “He is the nearest thing to a certainty this week,” while the Daily Mirror’s racing special shows a photo of Espoir D’Allen hurdling the final flight, plus the headline ‘Go all Alt’, followed by the sub-head ‘Henderson’s superstar ready to equal Big Buck’s record’. That is a reference to Big Buck’s modern-day record of 18 successive wins over jumps.

 

‘Alt on his own’ screams the front-page headline on the Daily Star’s racing special, while the Daily Express raves ‘Altior on course to make history’, and prints a photo of the horse winging Cheltenham’s water jump.

 

Altior must be special, because in terms of today’s press coverage he is keeping a legend – a word not to be used lightly – off the front page. Tiger Roll bids to win his fourth Cheltenham Festival race, and his second Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, a fabulous achievement topped up by victory in last year’s Randox Health Grand National. David Carr, writing in the Racing Post, finds an unusual angle with which to link Altior and Tiger Roll, reminding readers that both horses started with a win in Lincolnshire at Market Rasen.

 

Ed Chamberlin, ITV Racing’s front man, is a committed fan of Tiger Roll, and in his guest column in The Daily Telegraph he writes: “His CV is unusual, ridiculous and brilliant in equal measure.” The Racing Post prints a photo of Tiger Roll and the headline ‘Tiger feat’.

 

Yesterday’s hero, Espoir D’Allen, vies for column inches with Altior, and it is his Unibet Champion Hurdle win that is celebrated on the back page of the Western Daily Press. Winning trainer Gavin Cromwell combines training with farriery, which gives tabloids the chance to headline his win as ‘A shoe-in for Gav’, (Daily Star).

 

Cromwell tells the Daily Mail’s Marcus Townend: “I shod Apple’s Jade last week . . . I genuinely thought she would win [finished sixth].” A photo of Espoir D’Allen dominates the cover of The Sun’s ‘Favourite’, a 16-page racing special, but turn one page and you find Altior featuring alongside a column written by his jockey, Nico De Boinville. He writes: “I sometimes have to pinch myself that I get the leg up on a legend like Altior.”

 

The Daily Telegraph fronts its racing pullout with a photo of woe for fans of Ruby Walsh and Benie Des Dieux, who are pictured crumpling to the floor with the G1 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at their mercy. ‘Ruby is the fall guy once again’ runs the headline, a reference to the jockey’s near identical tip up on Annie Power in the 2015 Unibet Champion Hurdle. ‘Fall of the champions’ is The Times’ take alongside a full-page shot of Benie Des Dieux’s joust with gravity, and the same paper prints a photo of Espoir D’Allen’s jockey, Mark Walsh, looking slightly uncomfortable as actress Liz Hurley embraces him following his big win.

 

The Guardian’s thorough coverage of day one reveals why A P McCoy was seen sporting a black eye, one he gained during a football match. “A young lad from school, George, nutted me, turning,” says McCoy. He should have stuck to riding novice chasers.

 

The Festival’s first-day card was visited by a cornucopia of British weather, generating scenes that provided happy snappers with a raft of celebrity-spotting opportunities, splashing in the rain or soaking up the sun. ’Brolly good show for the racegoers’ claims the Daily Express, the Daily Mirror’s page 3 is headlined ‘Stars take the rains at races’, while The Sun opts for ‘Chelting Down’. ‘Fallers at the first drench’ is the Daily Star’s assessment, but the Daily Mail gets ahead of itself with the headline ‘Cheltenham washout’.

 

The Festival has a good record of defying the odds – Storm Gareth had little chance.

 

KEY RUNNERS IN FRIDAY’S MAIN SUPPORTING RACES

 

Sir Erec, who sustained a stone bruise at home last week, will face 13 opponents when he bids to justify short-priced favouritism in Friday’s £125,000 G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle.

 

A G2 third behind Stradivarius at Ascot in October for Aidan O’Brien, Sir Erec has won both of his races since being switched to the stable of O’Brien’s son Joseph, beating stable-mate Gardens Of Babylon, who reopposes here, by six lengths in the G1 Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown last time.

 

Paul Nicholls saddles three in the race, with Harry Cobden opting for G1 winner Quel Destin, Sam Twiston-Davies riding high-class former French hurdler Pic D’Orhy, and Harry Skelton picking up the rider on Ecco.

 

Willie Mullins also saddles three runners, with Ruby Walsh choosing Tiger Tap Tap. Nicky Henderson, the race’s most successful trainer with six wins, and Gordon Elliott have two each.

 

Henderson has two of the market leaders for the £125,000 G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, a wide-open affair for which 20 runners have been declared.

 

He won the race with subsequent G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth in 2011 and saddles the unbeaten Birchdale (Barry Geraghty) and Dickie Diver (Aidan Coleman), both of whom are owned by J P McManus, who also has Rhinestone with Joseph O’Brien.

 

Willie Mullins, who won the Albert Bartlett with subsequent G1 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle winner Penhill in 2017, saddles Allaho (Ruby Walsh), Dorrells Pierji (Noel Fehily) and the mare Salsaretta (Paul Townend).

 

 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

CITY ISLAND A FESTIVAL FIRST FOR RACE SPONSOR MULRYAN AND TRAINER MARTIN BRASSIL

 

8/1 chance City Island delivered an unforgettable Festival first for Ballymore’s founder and chief executive Sean Mulryan and also for trainer Martin Brassil, who plotted a course for the six-year-old which kept him out of the top grade until the day that mattered most.

 

Mulryan, whose wife Bernadine is the registered owner and described winning as “absolutely brilliant”, was thrilled and said: “It’s a dream come true. It’s my first winner in Cheltenham at The Festival, and to win our own race is very special. This is a magic place, and to win any race here is fantastic. We are very happy.”

 

He added: “Martin is fantastic. He aimed the horse at this race all the season and gave him an easy campaign, so he was very fresh.”

 

Brassil, who won the Randox Health Grand National with Numbersixvalverde in 2006 and trained dual Grade One winner Nickname, but victory here gave him huge satisfaction.

 

He said: “It’s been a long time coming, but you need good horses. I wanted to bring the horse here unbeaten and then I thought we might have a chance of doing something good.

 

“He’s a precocious sort of horse compared to some of those big, strong chasing types, and he’d pleased us every time.

 

“He was improving as he came along, but whether he was good enough to have his first Graded race in this place we didn’t know. It’s great to have a Festival winner on the CV. It’s wonderful.”

 

He added: “It was a very good performance. I was hoping that he might do something like that, but you never know because a lot of dreams are shattered here and luckily ours weren’t.

 

“I liked him from the first time we did a swinging canter with him. He was weak enough and we gave him time. He had his first run at the Punchestown festival, when he was second in a bumper, and won a couple of weeks later.

 

“Sean likes to go to meetings like Galway and Listowel, so we put him by for Galway, when he won his maiden hurdle, but subsequently lost it. He went to Leopardstown at Christmas for a stiffer test and I ran him back over two miles just to sharpen the pencil for here and he won again.

 

“Then he won a novice at Naas, which left him spot on for here – we were hoping that it did anyway. The only anxious moment was running down to the second last, when he got a little bit tight, but he got himself out of it and he battled it out well from the last.

 

“This is the Olympics of National hunt racing and it’s all championship stuff.”

 

WALSH IS A CITY-SLICKER

 

Mark Walsh rode his second Grade One winner at the 2019 Festival™ when partnering City Island to victory in the G1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

The victory complemented Walsh’s win on Espoir D’Allen in yesterday’s G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle, as he and City Island (8/1) pulled away to win by two lengths from Champ (9/2) with Bright Forecast (25/1) a further two and a quarter lengths adrift in third.

Walsh said of the Martin Brassil-trained winner: “They went a good gallop and I was happy with my position the whole way. I got into a nice little position coming down to the third-last hurdle, and while it became a little bit rough at that point I got a nice run through to the second-last and he went on up the hill.”

Reflecting on that incident after the third-last, when six horses were more or less level for the lead, Walsh said: “Bryan [Cooper, on Sam’s Profile] was half a length up on me and wanted a bit more room and for a moment I was the meat in a sandwich. It didn’t cost me as I still won the race, and it’s just race-riding.

 

“We had gone a good gallop and it was his first Grade One race. I didn’t want to put him in the race too early, so took my time early in mid-division. Once I got into the clear he proved very game and put his head down and galloped to the line.

“I don’t think he’s quick enough for a Champion Hurdle, but he will definitely stay three miles and I can see him being a possible Stayers’ Hurdle type. He’s a chaser for the future.

“Things are going well and hopefully I can bag a few more winners before the week’s out.”

 

1.30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) £125,000

1 City Island (Bernardine Mulryan) Martin Brassil IRE 6-11-07 Mark Walsh 8/1

2 Champ (J P McManus) Nicky Henderson 7-11-07 Barry Geraghty 9/2

3 Bright Forecast (The Aldaniti Partnership) Ben Pauling 5-11-07 Nico de Boinville 25/1

 

3/1 fav Battleoverdoyen (PU)

16 ran

Distances: 2, 2¼

Time: 5m 6.03s

Tote Win: £9.00        Places: £2.90, £2.10, £7.40   Exacta: £54.20

 

Martin Brassil – 1st winner at The Festival

Mark Walsh – 3rd winner at The Festival

 

CHAMP IS BEATEN

 

Nicky Henderson looked deflated after the well-fancied Champ, who appeared to be cruising coming round the final bend into the finishing straight, took second place in the G1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. The J P McManus-owned seven-year-old, who is named after the former multiple champion jockey Sir A P McCoy, finished two lengths behind the Martin Brassil-trained 8/1 winner, City Island, at 9/2.

 

“He’s run a good race and travelled very well,” said Henderson. “He did nothing wrong. He was a bit keen at times but jumped well. He could go again; that was only his third run of the year.”

 

Ben Pauling, hoarse from celebrating his victory with Le Breuil in yesterday’s National Hunt Chase, was delighted with Bright Forecast’s third place at 25/1. He finished two and a quarter lengths behind Champ under Nico de Boinville.

 

Pauling said: “He looked a bit outpaced early doors. They’ve gone a right gallop and he’s stayed every yard of the [two-mile, five-furlong] trip. It was a super ride from Nico. The horse was absolutely flying at the death and he’s going to be a very exciting one for the future.

 

“He’s just a shell of a horse at the moment. This is only his fourth start under Rules; it’s not bad really.”

 

De Boinville added: “He’s run a great race. He made up plenty of ground in the closing stages.

 

“We were hoping he could finish in the places, so to achieve that is brilliant.”

 

GOING AFTER THE FIRST

 

Mark Walsh, partner of the 8/1, two-length winner City Island, said: “Dead and tacky going.”

 

Barry Geraghty, jockey of second-placed 9/2 chance Champ, said: “Dead.”

 

Nico De Boinville, partner of the third Bright Forecast (25/1), said: “Dead and tacky.”

 

Richard Johnson, on board fourth home Brewin’upastorm, said: “Soft and tacky.”

 

Sean Bowen, on Ask Dillon, said: “It is soft and tacky.”

 

Jack Kennedy, rider of Battleoverdoyen, said: “Dead and tacky.”

 

Paul Townend, rider of Castlebawn West, said: “Dead.”

 

David Mullins, on board Dunvegan, said: “Soft.”

 

Davy Russell, rider of Galvin, said: “We would call it tacky.”

 

Paddy Brennan, partner of Jarveys Plate, said: “Soft and holding.”

 

Rachael Blackmore, on board Notebook, said: “Tacky.”

 

Bryan Cooper, partner of Sams Profile, said: “Dead.”

 

Noel Fehily, jockey of Seddon, said: “Dead and tacky.”

 

Sean Flanagan, rider of Valdieu, said: “Dead.”

 

 

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LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

TOPOFTHEGAME – THE NEW DENMAN?

 

Ditcheat trainer Paul Nicholls evoked memories of the great Denman when describing 4/1 shot Topofthegame, who produced a superb performance to land the £175,000 G1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase.

 

Ridden brilliantly by Harry Cobden, the imposing son of Flemensfirth, jumped superbly throughout the three-mile event and travelled powerfully into contention entering the home straight.

 

Topofthegame produced a superb leap at the last and kept on gamely up the Cheltenham hill to see off the persistent Santini (3/1), trained by Nicky Henderson in a thrilling finish to score by a half-length. Gordon Elliott’s Delta Work, the 15/8 favourite, was a further length and three-quarters behind in third.

 

Topofthegame, owned by Paul Barber and Chris Giles, runs in the colours of Denman, who landed the 2007 RSA Chase, before going on to capture Jump racing’s Blue Riband event, the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2008.

 

Nicholls, registering his 44th winner at The Festival overall, his first of the week and his third success in the RSA Chase (Star De Mohaison 2006 & Denman 2007), said: “Topfothegame is a very smart horse. He has not been the easiest to train but, on his day, he is good. I haven’t said too much to Harry about how to ride him – I left it to him and just told him to take his time whatever he does – and he gave the horse an absolutely brilliant ride.

 

“I think if you replayed the Kempton race [second, Kauto Star Novices’ Chase], he would probably win. That’s taking nothing away from the winner but that’s racing – Harry is learning all the time and the horse is a still a big baby, who is learning now.

 

“He is nearly 18 hands, he is massive, and is not the easiest to train because he is a light horse. I didn’t want to go to the Reynoldstown, give him a hard race and leave it behind there.

 

“I just had to try and get the balance right – get him ready for here and not too light – and we have always believed that he would be a serious, serious horse.

 

“I knew the plan, I knew what Harry would do and have one go, and it just opened up nicely for him. He jumped really, really well just in behind, which was a brave route to go as you don’t want anything to go wrong.

 

“That jump at the last showed how much energy he had left in the tank. He still doesn’t do a whole heap in front but he did enough.”

 

“For Paul Barber and Chris Giles, today was the only day that we trained him for. The next target will be the Gold Cup next year. Like Clan and those other young horses that we have got, it’s really exciting to have them but Rome wasn’t built in a day and we have to let them develop quietly.”

 

Discussing Topofthegame’s similarities with the mighty Denman, nicknamed “The Tank”, Nicholls continued: “He is not unlike Denman. We’re really excited to have him. He is rated pretty much the same as Denman was at this stage of his career. Denman was a grinder and this horse has plenty of boot. He travels well and jumps well – he is only going to get better.”

 

Topfothegame earned a quote of 8/1 with Paddy Power for next year’s Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.

 

2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y

 

1 Topofthegame (Paul Barber & Chris Giles) Paul Nicholls 7-11-04 Harry Cobden 4/1

2 Santini (Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes) Nicky Henderson 7-11-04 Nico de Boinville 3/1

3 Delta Work (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 6-11-04 Davy Russell 15/8f

Time: 6m 17.26s

12 ran

Distances: ½, 1¾

Tote Win: £4.30 Places: £1.60, £1.50, £1.60 Exacta: £14.90

 

Paul Nicholls – 44th winner at The Festival

Harry Cobden – 2nd winner at The Festival

COBDEN ON TOPOFTHEGAME

 

Topofthegame’s G1 £175,000 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase victory got jockey Harry Cobden off the mark for The Festival™ presented by Magners 2019. It was his second Festival winner – he rode Kilbricken Storm to take the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2018 for Colin Tizzard – and his first for his retained stable, that of Paul Nicholls.

 

The Nicholls-trained seven-year-old, a 4/1 chance, won by half a length from Santini, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville.

 

It was Topofthegame’s second Festival appearance – he was only beaten a neck in the Coral Cup last year.

 

Cobden said: “I didn’t want to get there too soon.
“Topofthegame travelled into the race great and I wanted to make sure I got two good jumps, and that’s what I got, then he galloped up that hill. He won really well. He winged the last couple of fences, and he’s only just got the confidence to do that – before he’d find a way to back out of it. He got it right at the last and it probably sealed the deal.

 

“We’ve done a lot of schooling at home and outside, and he seems a different horse to Kempton [he finished second in the G1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase on Boxing Day]. It was probably just immaturity that got him beaten that day, rather than getting there too soon. Today he galloped right the way to the line. He’s changed a lot mentally. There were no signs of him stopping today. He’s a top staying novice, isn’t he, and jumping like a really good horse now.

 

“He is a beast; probably the biggest horse I have ridden. He’s only just growing into himself and improving all the time. We have got a lot of good horses back home now, and it is lovely for the owners, Chris Giles and Mr Barber.”

 

BARBER THRILLED BY TOP

 

Paul Barber, the proud joint owner of the Paul Nicholls-trained Topofthegame (4/1), the half-length the winner of the 2019 renewal of the G1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase,spoke about the race in the winner’s enclosure.

 

“Harry[Cobden jockey] did it to perfection! I couldn’t have done it better myself.” stated Barber.

 

“I have enjoyed every second of the race, I have a few people here, and I am absolutely thrilled.

 

“He was going so well. He is so big and he just lollops along, pops over the fences. He made it look easy.

 

“We didn’t want to hit the front too soon because he can nod his head in the air and say I have done the lot.

 

“Anthony Bromley bought him at the sales at Liverpool.

 

“We have had a very lucky time with him and I can’t wait to walk up for the prize.”

 

Asked about Topofthegame going for the Magners Gold Cup in 2020, Barber said: “I have got one this year (Clan Des Obeaux). We will see what happens, let’s hope he is in one piece tomorrow, then the next day, the next week, next year. You know how difficult to keep these horses in one piece.

 

“Topofthegame is 17.3 hands. I can’t measure him – I can measure all the other horses, but he is too tall for me.”

 

SANTINI RUNS SO WELL AFTER FOOT ISSUES

 

Britain pulled a one-two back on Ireland in the 888 Prestbury Cup when the Paul Nicholls-trained Topofthegame held off a sustained bid from Santini, representing Nicky Henderson’s stable, in the G1 RSA Novices’ Chase.

 

That took the score between the two countries to 5 – 4 in Ireland’s favour.

 

Santini (3/1) has been suffering from some well-publicised foot problems since pulling a shoe off in a work session at Newbury ten days ago, and he lost the same shoe during today’s race, in which he finished half a length behind the 4/1 winner. A further length and three-quarters behind was Delta Work (15/8f).

 

Henderson said of Santini: “It’s been a very long 10 days, but we got here, and that was thanks to everybody who did a brilliant job at home. We have no excuses, but it’s not been easy and it’s not been an ideal preparation.

 

“After the Feltham [in which Santini finished second, one place behind Topofthegame] we all said these are the two horses who could be for the RSA. He’s a lovely big horse and his life is in front of him.”

 

Nico De Boinville: “He’s run well, jumped well and did everything right. I’m pleased with that.”

 

ELLIOTT’S SPIRITS LIFTED BY DELTA WORK’S FINE THIRD

 

Gordon Elliott had a disappointing first day at Cheltenham, and saw the strongly-fancied Battleoverdoyen (3/1 favourite) pulled up in the opening race of day two, but his spirits were lifted considerably by the close third behind two market rivals of Delta Work (15/8 favourite) in the G1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase.

 

Elliott, who has topped the trainers’ table at the last two Festivals, said: “We are in the winner’s enclosure after a rough week, so it feels like a winner just getting in here. It’s a long week though and we’ll keep our heads up and keep going.

 

“He’s a nice horse and he didn’t disgrace himself.”

 

This looked a particularly hot RSA Chase and jockey Davy Russell agreed.

 

Russell, who was top jockey at last year’s Festival but is still awaiting his first winner of 2019, said: “It was a competitive race and the main protagonists battled it out. His jumping was a bit sloppy at times, but he’s still a novice and there’s plenty of time to work on it.”

 

Colin Tizzard was delighted with fourth-placed Mister Malarky, who has improved no end this season. He said: “He’s a stayer and has improved massively over the season. It’s almost unbelievable what he’s doing now compared to what he was doing last season.

 

“He’s got great wind and he stayed on behind some very good horses. He beat some good horses too. We are happy to be in the winner’s enclosure after a very good RSA.  Robbie (Power) thought he’d improved from Ascot, and I think so too.”

 

GOING CHANGE

 

The going changed before the first race to Soft, Good to Soft in places (from Soft)

 

 

FIRST RACE RESULT

 

1.30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f

 

1 City Island (Bernardine Mulryan) Martin Brassil IRE 6-11-07 Mark Walsh 8/1

2 Champ (J P McManus) Nicky Henderson 7-11-07 Barry Geraghty 9/2

3 Bright Forecast (The Aldaniti Partnership) Ben Pauling 5-11-07 Nico de Boinville 25/1

 

Time 5m 6.03s

 

3/1 fav Battleoverdoyen (PU)

 

16 ran

 

Distances: 2, 2¼

g

Tote Win: £9.00        Places: £2.90, £2.10, £7.40   Exacta: £54.20

 

Martin Brassil – 1st winner at The Festival

Mark Walsh – 3rd winner at The Festival

 

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LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

WILLIAM WARMS NICO UP

 

Nico de Boinville’s victory in the G32, £100,000 Coral Cup aboard the Nicky Henderson-trained William Henry was the perfect warm-up for his ride in the next race on Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite Altior.

 

William Henry, owned by Dai Walters, to whom de Boinville’s first ever Festival winner Whisper – who also won the Coral Cup, in 2014 – belonged, beat the Willie Mullins-trained Wicklow Brave by a short-head at 28/1.

 

De Boinville said: “That was a good training performance. He’s only had one run this season and he pulled up. Wind op, and then to come here and do that was some performance.

 

“William Henry found an awful lot and that wind operation through January helped him. I just had in mind that sometimes horses that have had wind ops take a bit of time to realise mentally that they can go through with it again, so I didn’t want to get after him too much down the hill, and I was just happy to sit and let him fill up until we turned in, and then I could have a go at it.
“I wasn’t quite sure [if I had got there]. You have an inkling. Patrick Mullins [rider of Wicklow Brave], what a gentleman he is and a real sporting man.
“I had a lovely tow around by Ruby [Walsh, aboard 13/2 favourite Uradel, who finished seventh] – I thought wherever Ruby sits, I am going to sit in behind – and we had a dream position. On this ground particularly, you can bide your time and hopefully they have a few gears at the end.”

 

Owner Dai Walters said: “Nicky said that it would be too soft for William Henry but I told him to just run him. After yesterday [when his Al Dancer was the beaten joint- favourite in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, finishing 10th, and 6/1 chance Angel’s Breath finished seventh in the same race] – the same thing happened a couple of years ago when I thought that Oscar Whisky was going to win the Supreme and then Whisper won this race.
“I came here this morning not thinking I would win anything because I had two favourites yesterday but it’s horse racing, and that is what keeps you in it.”

 

WILLIAM SO BRAVE IN HEADING WICKLOW FOR CORAL CUP WIN  

 

Nicky Henderson saddled his second winner at this year’s Cheltenham Festival when William Henry came with a very late run to capture the Coral Cup.

 

Ridden by Nico De Boinville in the colours of well-known racehorse owner Dai Williams, William Henry (28/1) – who had been fourth in the race 12 months ago – finished with a rattle to deny top-weight Wicklow Brave (28/1) by a short-head, and there was another half a length back to third-placed Ballyandy (14/1). Brio Conti (10/1) was fourth.

 

Reflecting on the race, and William Henry’s late-late finish, Henderson said: “Halfway down the hill I was thinking ‘It’s not going to be today, Nico’. When he came in he said he was following Ruby [Walsh, on seventh-placed Uradel] through – Nico knows his fractions and so does Ruby – and they knew where they were.

 

“William Henry is high enough in the handicap and we often think he should be chasing, but he hasn’t really taken to that game. He has to go right-handed over fences and when we ran him here the first time he nearly ended up in the car park after two fences. That was a waste of time.

 

“We’ve had to revert to hurdling, but when you win races like that you don’t mind. He pays his way and he gives Dai a lot of pleasure – he’s named after his father.”

 

Henderson added: “We always think our handicappers have too much weight, but they are often pretty exposed. This horse won the Lanzarote Hurdle last year and he came here with a fair bit of weight which meant he had a bit to do.

 

“I wasn’t sure about the ground, but he was fourth in the race last year and Whisper has won it for Dai, so it has been a lucky race.

 

“It was a good performance off 11st 10lb – Wicklow Brave has 11st 12lb – so class probably tells even in these sort of races.

 

“He was making it up quick enough to get there but it was just where the line was going to be. It was on the last stride. He hasn’t really run this season but Hannah rides him every day and knows him well – he has done plenty of work, but he is better off going right-handed.”

 

2.50pm Coral Cup (Grade 3) 2m 5f

1 William Henry (Walters Plant Hire Ltd) Nicky Henderson 9-11-10 Nico de Boinville 28/1

2 Wicklow Brave (Wicklow Bloodstock Ireland Ltd) Willie Mullins IRE 9-11-10 Mr Patrick Mullins 28/1

3 Ballyandy (Options O Syndicate) Nigel Twiston-Davies 8-11-07 Sam Twiston-Davies 14/1

4 Brio Conti (The Gi Gi Syndicate) Paul Nicholls 8-11-05 Harry Cobden 10/1

Time 5m 8.4s

11/2 fav Uradel (7th)

25 ran

Distances: sh, ½, 1½

Tote Win: £41.00      Places: £8.00, £6.80, £4.20, £2.30 Exacta: £1,069.10

Nicky Henderson – 62nd winner at The Festival

Nico de Boinville – 8th winner at The Festival

 

WICKLOW OH SO BRAVE IN DEFEAT

 

Jockey Patrick Mullins was pleased with the performance of top-weight Wicklow Brave (28/1) who was beaten a short-head in the £100,000 Coral Cup by Nicky Henderson’s William Henry (28/1).

 

Wicklow Brave, trained by Patrick’s father Willie Mullins, travelled stylishly into contention in the home straight and took the lead approachingthe final flight. However, William Henry, ridden by Nico De Boinville, ran on strongly up the hill to get up close home.

 

The rider said: “Wicklow Brave has run a great race.

 

“The plan was to drop out and he jumped fantastic all the way. He really enjoyed passing horses, but I was just left in front too early at the last hurdle.

 

“He has run a brilliant race under top-weight.

 

“However, it is a great run from the horse, he really enjoyed the step up in trip and the change in tactics.

 

“Wicklow Brave has been a marvellous horse who has been successful on the flat, gone down to Melbourne and even won handicaps here – he is a remarkable horse.”

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Ballyandy (14/1) was a half-length back in third and his jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: “That was a superb run. It’s the wrong result but we were only beaten half a length in a great finish. We’ll find something up at Aintree hopefully.”

 

Harry Cobden, aboard the fourth home Brio Conti (10/1), a further length and a half back in fourth, commented: “Brio Conti travelled a bit too well down the hill and took me there when I didn’t really want to be there.

 

“He kept galloping but the others finished a little bit quicker. It was a lovely run though, and the owners are delighted.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

MAGNIFICENT ALTIOR

 

Altior (4/11 favourite) returned to emotional scenes and two spontaneous rounds of ‘three cheers’ after possibly the most dramatic win of his career in the G1 Queen Mother Champion Chase, in which he looked in serious trouble when challenged on either side by Sceau Royal and Politologue at the last.

 

It was his second win in the race and his fourth successive victory at the Festival, and in winning he added two significant records to his extraordinary CV. It was his 13th successive win over fences, claiming outright the world record for the longest winning sequence over fences, and his 18th Jump race victory, equalling the record of fellow four-time Festival winner Big Buck’s.

 

In winning by a length and three quarters and the same from Politologue and Sceau Royal, the Nico de Boinville-ridden chaser made harder work of it than expected, but he is renowned for his strong finish and owner Patricia Pugh always had faith in him.

 

She said: “I think he was headed, but we always know that he’s going to come back. It was closer than you would like, but he’s just such a powerful athlete and he got there in the end.”

 

This sixth win in the race for Nicky Henderson equalled trainer Tom Dreaper’s record, and it put him back upsides Willie Mullins on 63 wins at the head of The Festivals all-time record.

 

Relief was his immediate emotion, and the trainer said: “It’s nice when it’s over. It’s like hitting your head against a brick wall. The only nice bit is when it stops.

 

‘When you see the crowd like that around the winner’s enclosure it’s like going back to the Sprinter Sacre days and it was great that he was here this morning and they gave him a great welcome. How lucky are we, to retire one and then find another. You can’t believe it’s possible really and it makes it all worthwhile. He’s some star.

 

“They’ve both done their bits for us, and I think for racing too. It’s lovely when people take to horses like that and they genuinely become public horses. We are lucky to have these horses but they come with health warnings.”

 

Asked what was going through his mind when Sceau Royal joined Altior at the last, seemingly going the better, he replied: “I thought ‘hells bells we’ve got trouble here’, but it’s amazing how he picked up. He knew what he had to do. We’ll think about where we go now, but Nico said that more than anything Altior hated the ground. The ground was against him.

 

“Last year he wasn’t ready to come back at Aintree and so we waited for Sandown, and I think that’s probably what we’ll do, and then we’ll sit down over the summer and think about things. But we will seriously think about the King George.

 

“It’s nice to break records, but then you wake up in the night and realise it is insignificant compared to what Winx has done.”

 

Henderson paid tribute to the part played by the team behind Altior at home and to jockey Nico De Boinville.

 

He said: “The whole team is what it is all about and they have been brilliant. Their real work was getting Santini here whereas this fellow has been more straightforward this year.

 

“Nico started with us as an amateur and he was known as Sprinter’s work rider. That’s where he made his name, but now he’s made it right and properly at the top, as he did look in trouble.”

 

“ALTIOR THE GREATEST I’VE RIDDEN”

 

Nico De Boinville was full of praise for the mighty Altior who equalled Big Buck’s’ record of 18 straight wins in a gripping renewal of the £400,000 G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, his second successive victory in the event.

 

Nicky Henderson’s charge, the 4/11 favourite, tracked the pacesetter Saint Calvados in the early stages of the two-mile event, but made a bad mistake at the water jump midway through the contest.

 

Heading the field turning for home, the nine-year-old son of High Chaparral was challenged by the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue (11/1) and Alan King’s Sceau Royal (16/1) in the home straight.

 

Altior put in a slow leap at the last and was headed on the run for home. However, despite looking in trouble, the nine-year-old son of High Chaparral displayed his trademark grit and tenacity to rally strongly up the Cheltenham hill and come clear to score by a length and three-quarters in the two-mile chasing championship. Politologue finished second, with a further length and three-quarters back to Sceau Royal in third.

 

De Boinville registering his third victory in the race overall (Sprinter Sacre 2016 & Altior 2018), was effusive in his praise of Altior, who now holds the outright world record for the longest winning sequence over fences with a 13th success. The gelding also took his earnings well past the £1-million mark with today’s success.

 

De Boinville registering a ninth success at The Festival in total and a 38.5/1 double following William Henry’s 28/1 success in the Coral Cup earlier this afternoon, said: “Altior is an absolutely warrior. We were just slightly coming unstuck on that ground. We had a bit of a miss-communication at the water jump, when he wanted to go long and I wanted him to come in and pop because I didn’t want him to get too exuberant over those fences and waste too much energy.

 

“We definitely went half a length down after the last, but he just seemed to find this extra gear. I don’t know where it comes from – he is just a phenomenal athlete. I think he doesn’t know how to lose at the moment. Long may it continue!

 

“I think everyone wanted to do us a tow and come and have one go at us, so I had nothing in front of me. It’s not ideal – as you saw at Ascot, Altior is not the best out in front but he can do it if he wants to. Luckily, Gavin Sheehan [Saint Calvados] went on and gave me a bit of a tow but I would say that we were just dossing slightly. I jumped the last and you just keep kicking. I trust in that gear and we will know when that extra gear is not there because it won’t happen like that. We will have to see – maybe the sharpness of the track is not suited to him as well but the ground was definitely not ideal.”

 

The prospect of stepping Altior up in trip has been a talking point all season and De Boinville hinted at the possibility in the future, commenting: “I will leave stepping up in trip to the guv’nor but I think the owners might want to give it a go at some stage.

 

“I was watching how he came in, the crowd that came out to see him, and the cheer he got. I think we are getting to the level of Sprinter Sacre – the public are really warming to him and I think he lit up The Festival this year. I don’t think that I rode Sprinter Sacre at his peak but I am riding Altior at his peak and, for me, he is the best I have ridden. I can breathe a sigh of relief now. I am going to enjoy today – I thought Wednesday was my day and I have had a third, a second and a couple of winner, so it has been a good day all round. Altior ranks right up there. I am not going take anything away from past champions, who can forget Master Minded coming up that hill and Sprinter Sacre, but what a horse Altior is. We are lucky to be in an age where he is here. I think we should celebrate him.”

 

‘CAREER-BEST’ FROM POLITOLOGUE

 

Politologue’s second place in the G1 £400,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase behind Altior was the best run of the John Hales-owned eight-year-old grey’s career, said his trainer Paul Nicholls.

 

Politologue finished a length and three-quarters behind Altior at odds of 11/1.

 

“I thought we might run well today,” said Nicholls, who has won the race five times (Call Equiname 1999, Azertyuiop 2004, Master Minded 2008 and 2009, Dodging Bullets 2015).

 

“We had one plan, which was to take our time and have one go at Altior from the back of the last, and it went to perfection. He’s run a career-best, and Altior is a hard horse to beat – we’re thrilled with Politologue.

 

“I did think we were going to get there at one point, but as I say, a career-best and we’re thrilled with him.”

 

Harry Cobden, Politologue’s jockey, said: “I was beginning to get excited up the run-in for a minute – I thought I was going to get there, but every champion can pull out a bit more, and that’s exactly what Altior did. But we’re delighted with our horse. Looking at the betting you’d think we’d finish fourth or fifth, and he’s run a screamer.”

 

Willie Mullins, trainer of the fifth-placed 7/2 chance Min (Ruby Walsh), said: “Min is fine. Different tactics didn’t work, that is all. It is back to the drawing board.”

 

ROYAL EFFORT BY KING’S SCEAU

 

Altior achieved his 18th straight win over jumps, and a world record 13 over fences, when landing today’s G1 £400,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, but his victory was made more memorable by two supporting players.

 

They were runner-up Politologue (11/1) and third-placed Sceau Royal (16/1), who sandwiched mighty Altior (4/11f) in a three-way leap at the last, and made him reach for his last reserves before scoring by one and three-quarters of a length and the same.

 

Sceau Royal landed inches ahead of Altior over the final fence, and his jockey, Daryl Jacob, said: “He ran a terrific race and there was a point when I was getting quite excited, but then Altior pulled away, which is what he does.”

 

Alan King, who trains Altior for Isaac Souede and Simon Munir, said: “It was a great performance and we became very, very excited running to the last fence – I’m thrilled with him.

 

“We could have done without the rain yesterday, but that’s by the by and he’s run a mighty race. To be beaten by a champion like that is no disgrace, and the stamina kicks in with Altior – he’s a machine.

 

“We’ll take our horse to Aintree next. He’s only had four runs this season and we’ll probably stick him up to two and a half miles and meet Altior again. I’m not looking forward to that, but there we are.”

 

Harry Fry, who trained fourth-placed Hell’s Kitchen, said: “It hasn’t been plain sailing with him since he won at Ascot in December. In the days that followed we knew he had improved for that and  we couldn’t be more pleased.  We have learned a lot out there today and we now look forward to Aintree’s Melling Chase.”

 

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

 

1 Altior (IRE) 9 11 10 Nicky Henderson Patricia Pugh Nico de Boinville 4/11 Fav

2 Politologue (FR) h,ts 8 11 10 Paul Nicholls John Hales Harry Cobden 11/1

3 Sceau Royal (FR) 7 11 10 Alan King Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Daryl Jacob 16/1

4 Hell’s Kitchen h,ts 8 11 10 Harry Fry J P McManus Barry Geraghty 25/1

5 Min (FR) 8 11 10 Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci Ruby Walsh 7/2

6 Castlegrace Paddy (IRE) 8 11 10 Pat Fahy IRE Clipper Logistics Group Ltd Davy Russell 25/1

7 Saint Calvados (FR) p 6 11 10 Harry Whittington Kate & Andrew Brooks Gavin Sheehan 25/1

8 Ordinary World (IRE) 9 11 10 Henry de Bromhead IRE Chris Jones Rachael Blackmore 33/1

PU God’s Own (IRE) 11 11 10 Tom George Crossed Fingers Partnership Paddy Brennan 16/1

 

Distances: 1¾, 1¾, 6, 1¾, 8, 5, 10

Time: 3m 58.54s

Breeder: Paddy Behan

Breeding: 9 b g High Chaparral (IRE) – Monte Solaro (IRE) (Key Of Luck (USA))

Tote Win: £1.40 Places: £1.10; £2.20; £3.30 Exacta: £6.30

 

Nicky Henderson – 63rd winner at The Festival

Now joint leading trainer of all-time at The Festival alongside Willie Mullins

 

Nico de Boinville – 9th winner at The Festival

 

Sixth Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase success for Nicky Henderson following Remittance Man (1992), Finian’s Rainbow (2012), Sprinter Sacre (2013 & 2016) and Altior (2018). Now joint most-successful trainer ever in the contest alongside the late Tom Dreaper.

 

Altior becomes 12thdual winner of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase following Fortria (1960 and 1961), Drinny’s Double (1967 and 1968), Royal Relief (1972 and 1974), Skymas (1976 and 1977), Hilly Way (1978 and 1979), Pearlyman (1987 and 1988), Barnbrook Again (1989 and 1990), Viking Flagship (1994 and 1995), Moscow Flyer (2003 and 2005), Master Minded (2008 and 2009) and Sprinter Sacre (2013 & 2016). Badsworth Boy (1983, 1984, 1985) is the only three-time winner.

 

ALTIOR RECORD-BREAKER

 

Altior gained his fourth successive win at The Festival in the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, with the win sparking two significant Jump racing 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 Chase (2018), Nicky Henderson’s nine-year-old claims outright the world record for the longest winning sequence over fences with a thirteenth victory.

 

He also equalled the longest winning sequence in Jump racing of 18 held by Big Buck’s, who also won four years running at The Festival.

 

Additionally, he took his earnings well past the £1-million mark.

 

 

Quotes from beaten horses

 

Barry Geraghty (Hell’s Kitchen, 4th): “He ran a cracker. A great winner though, a machine.”
Ruby Walsh (Min, 5th): “He did not jump. He is usually a brilliant jumper, but was very deliberate and lucky at the water. If you don’t jump in a Champion Chase, you don’t get involved.”

 

Davy Russell (Castlegrace Paddy, 6th): “He threatened to run a real good race and then weakened out of it up the hill.”

 

Rachael Blackmore (Ordinary World, 8th): “It did not go to plan. The ground may have been a little bit against him today.”

 

 

 

 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

‘NOT A GOOD HORSE, A GREAT HORSE’ SAYS EDDIE O’LEARY OF TIGER ROLL

 

Tiger Roll continued building his place among the Cheltenham Festival’s all-time favourites when winning his fourth race at the famous meeting.

 

Today’s win in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase was his second in the race, following on from last year’s success, and complemented other wins in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle (2014) and National Hunt Chase (2017). To that quartet can be added success in the 2018 Randox Health Grand National, yet it could be argued today’s triumph, as the 5/4 favourite, was his best performance, and certainly one of the easiest.

 

He tanked through the race under jockey Keith Donoghue and trounced his rivals, beating the 2016 winner Josie’s Orders (15/2) by 22 lengths, with last year’s runner-up, Urgent De Gregain (17/2) a further three-quarters of a length back in third. Paddy Power shortened the winner to 6/1 from 10/1 to repeat his Aintree victory.

 

Eddie O’Leary, brother of Michael and part of the Gigginstown House Stud team which owns Tiger Roll, said: “He’s an amazing horse. He’s not a good horse, he’s a great horse. He’s just incredible, and while he’s not a Don Cossack [the Magners Gold Cup winner owned by Gigginstown House Stud] he’s a great horse.

 

“He looks to be a freak of nature, and people forget he had stopped racing. He was sick of the game and didn’t want any more of it, then Keith Donoghue took him hunting [in late 2017] and went down the cross-country route and he got his mojo back. Now he loves racing, and it’s all down to Keith, Gordon [Elliott] and the team at home.

 

“The cross-country discipline really invigorated him, so while people dismiss this race, don’t forget what it can do for some horses.”

 

Donoghue said: “He is some legend, definitely a legend in my eyes anyway. It was some performance on heavy ground – he just tanked around and, the further he was going, the better he was getting. He is just a legend of a horse.

 

“I wasn’t too sure coming back on the main course how far I was clear, but I jumped the second-last, gave him a bit of a squeeze and he came alive. I could see the big screen and saw that I was about 10 lengths clear, so I just needed to get him over the last. I think he is better than ever this season. His run the last time out over hurdles was a serious run and today was arguably his best performance.

 

“He was a Festival winner for me last year and is probably the horse who has got my name out there. He is just a legend. If it wasn’t for Gordon, I wouldn’t be in this situation and Tiger Roll wouldn’t be such a good horse. He is a master of a trainer.”

 

TIGER’S STILL ON A ROLL

 

Gordon Elliott was relieved to get a winner on the board, courtesy of the indefatigable Tiger Roll, the 2018 Randox Health Grand National winner, in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. It was nine-year-old Tiger Roll’s fourth win at The Festival™ presented by Magners, and his second successive victory in this race. Keith Donoghue was in the saddle, and the 5/4 favourite won by 22 lengths.

 

It had not to that stage been the week Elliott – leading trainer at The Festival for the past two years – had hoped for, with just a couple of placed horses from his large team of fancied runners.

 

Elliott said: “We had a third in the RSA, a third yesterday and a winner today. It has been a rough week, but it’s Cheltenham, it’s the Olympics and that’s where you come.

 

“Our horses haven’t been running up to par this week but we have got to keep our head up, keep smiling and going forward. I have a good bunch of horses, I haven’t lost faith in them and hopefully my owners won’t lose faith in me.
“Keith is brilliant. He is a big part of our team and, for him to win the Cross Country Chase again is class. Tiger Roll looked very good and we are delighted with him.”

 

Owner Michael O’Leary said: “Terrific. He’s just an amazing little horse. He comes here every year and it’s phenomenal. I didn’t think it would happen today, but there was never a moment of doubt, which is most unusual round here. Great training performance by Gordon and a terrific ride from Keith.

 

“This is his Gold Cup this year. I’m not sure whether he will go back to the National or not; he’s got a lot more weight. You still pinch yourself – this is a horse we bought as a four-year-old to win a Triumph Hurdle. To do that and come back here to win a slog-fest like this, it’s remarkable.

 

“I’d worry about sending him back to Aintree carrying top-weight. He barely scraped over the line last year, and he is up 9lb in the ratings. It is not certain he will run in the National; we’ve got other horses for the National. It’s more about minding him now rather than going back to defend the National title. You never win the National two years in a row. You don’t want to go to the well every time. He’s small of frame and stature and he has to carry a lot of weight at Aintree. He’s won a Grand National and owes us nothing.”

 

4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase

 

1 Tiger Roll (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 9-11-04 Keith Donoghue 5/4f

2 Josies Orders (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 11-11-04 Mark Walsh 15/2

3 Urgent De Gregaine (Arnaud Rasquier) Emmanuel Clayeux FR 11-11-04 Felix de Giles 17/2

 

15 ran

Distances: 22, ¾

Time: 8m 27.28s

Tote Win: £2.10        Places: £1.40, £1.90, £2.30  Exacta: £11.80

 

Gordon Elliott – 23rd winner at The Festival

Keith Donoghue – 2nd winner at The Festival

 

BOLGER HAPPY TO BE SECOND

 

An imperious display from the winner of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, Tiger Roll (5/4 favourite), saw 15/2 chance, Josies Orders, come a distant 22-length second in the £65,000 race.

 

Enda Bolger, trainer of Josies Orders who won this race in 2016, was nonetheless pleased with his horse’s run, saying: “That was the script. We were up against another Red Rum.

 

“Tiger Roll is a different class.

 

“Our lad ran up to his form – the best horse won. We are very happy to be second.”

 

Jockey Mark Walsh, added: “Josies Orders ran well and I am delighted with him. He was never going to beat the winner.”

 

 

 

THE FESTIVAL™PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

OUTLAW PROVES A CHELTENHAM NATIVE

 

Joseph O’Brien recorded his first official victory at The Festival™ presented by Magners following the success of the well-supported 7/2 favourite Band Of Outlaws in the G3 £80,000 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

 

Ridden by J J Slevin, registering his second success at The Festival, the four-year-old son of Fast Company overcame trouble in the home straight to quicken clear in impressive fashion, scoring by two lengths.

 

O’Brien, who steered Camelot (2012) and Australia (2014) to victory in the Investec Derby as a Flat jockey, was delighted to land another big-race winner in his burgeoning training career. The Piltown handler also saddled Rekindling to win the G1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington in 2017.

 

O’Brien was responsible for the 2016 G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbatov, but the horse ran in his father Aidan’s name because his license did not come through in time.

 

He said: “I am delighted for Jason [Carthy, owner] and everyone. J J gave the horse a fantastic ride and we are over the moon.

 

“We were fairly confident and thought he could be better than a handicapper. Band Of Outlaws has not done much wrong over hurdles, though in a handicap it is hard to know and he was carrying near to top-weight.

 

“He is not an easy ride because you cannot get there too soon on him. It got a bit tight between horses and J J let them have the room before coming back around them, which was the right thing to do because as soon as he gets there, he has a look.

 

“We thought we had a few chances yesterday. They all ran well, but it is nice to get a winner today.”

 

Gordon Elliott’s Coko Beach (14/1) was in second, with a further length and three-quarters back to the Willie Mullins-trained Ciel Du Neige (17/2) in an all-Irish finish.

 

Elliott commented: “Coko Beach ran well. I am delighted with his run.”

 

Coko Beach’s jockey Jack Kennedy added: “It was a great run. He always seemed to be a nice horse at home and he showed that today.”

 

BAND OF OUTLAWS A SECOND FESTIVAL WINNER FOR JJ SLEVIN

 

Just two years after his first Festival success on Champagne Classic in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, jockey JJ Slevin is in demand with the best trainers in Ireland and followed two seconds and a fourth on day one of the Festival with a two-length win on Band Of Outlaws (7/ favourite) in the G3 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, his first ride of the day.

 

Slevin, who won the 2018 Irish Grand National for Gordon Elliott on General Principle, had to take evading action when the Joseph O’Brien-trained Band Of Outlaws was short of room approaching the final hurdle, but he remained cool and said: “He’s a very good horse and he doesn’t like to be in front too soon.

 

“The lads rightly closed the door on me and I had to go around them, but he got me out of a hole.

 

“It’s hard to be confident coming here, but I was lucky to be on the best horse. He jumps and travels and has always shown us a lot. You usually need a Graded horse to win these races and we are hoping he can step up. Aintree would suit him well. He shows loads of boot.”

 

Slevin, a cousin of O’Brien, added: ”Joseph has given me loads of rides and helped me out so much. To do that for him means the world. He’s a world-class trainer and nothing bothers him. It’s unbelievable what he does, and he fills you with loads of confidence.

 

“I never expected to be riding in these races. I was a point-to-point man back home and going nowhere for a long time. These wins are very special.

 

“It was a first win in his own colours for owner Justin Carthy, who had a share in 2017 Grand Annual winner Rock The World with Michael Buckley.”

 

FIFTH RESULT

 

4.10pm £65,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y

 

1 Tiger Roll (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 9-11-04 Keith Donoghue 5/4f

2 Josies Orders (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 11-11-04 Mark Walsh 15/2

3 Urgent De Gregaine (Arnaud Rasquier) Emmanuel Clayeux FR 11-11-04 Felix de Giles 17/2

 

Time 8m 27.28s

15 ran

Distances: 22, ¾

Tote Win: £2.10        Places: £1.40, £1.90, £2.30 Exacta: £11.80

 

Gordon Elliott – 23rd winner at The Festival

Keith Donoghue – 2nd winner at The Festival

 

SIXTH RESULT

 

4.50pm £80,000 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 87y

 

1 Band Of Outlaws (Jason Carthy) Joseph O’Brien IRE 4-11-08 J J Slevin 7/2f

2 Coko Beach (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 4-11-03 Jack Kennedy 14/1

3 Ciel De Neige (M L Bloodstock Ltd) Willie Mullins IRE 4-11-01 Ruby Walsh 17/2

4 King D’Argent (Andrew Dick And John Stevenson) Dan Skelton 4-10-12 Harry Skelton 25/1

 

Time 3m 57.26s

21 ran

Distances: 2, 1¾, 2¾

Tote Win: £3.80        Places: £2.00, £3.10, £3.00, £7.20  Exacta: £60.30

 

Joseph O’Brien – 1st winner at The Festival

J J Slevin – 2nd winner at The Festival

 

 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

ENVOI ALLEN JUSTIFIES THE HYPE

 

Envoi Allen came into the The Festival™ presented by Magners with an unbeaten record, a lofty reputation and a £400,000 price tag, but he justified the hype with a game performance to land the £75,000 G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

 

Ridden by amateur Jamie Codd, the five-year-old son of Muhtathir travelled with menace throughout the two-mile event and hit the front entering the home straight.

 

Envoi Allen responded willing to Codd’s urgings to fend off the persistent challenge of Blue Sari (7/2) to justify 2/1 favouritism and score by three-quarters of a length.

 

Elliott, recording a 24th victory at The Festival overall and a 5.75/1 double following Tiger Roll’s 5/4 success in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase earlier on the card, said: “Envoi Allen is a very nice horse.

 

“We have always thought a lot of him and he did well to win. He is a horse for the future and we are delighted with his win today.

 

“I think that will probably be Envoi Allen’s final run of the season. He will then go novice hurdling next year.

 

“He is going to end up being a three-mile chaser one day and the future is very exciting with him.”

 

5.30pm £75,000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y

 

1 Envoi Allen (Cheveley Park Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 5-11-05 Mr Jamie Codd 2/1f

2 Blue Sari (J P McManus) Willie Mullins IRE 4-10-11 Barry Geraghty 7/2

3 Thyme Hill (The Englands And Heywoods) Philip Hobbs 5-11-05 Richard Johnson 20/1

 

14 ran

Time:

Distances: ¾, 1¾

Tote Win: £2.90 Places: £1.50, £2.00, £4.70 Exacta: £12.30

 

Gordon Elliott – 24th winner at The Festival

Jamie Codd – 9th winner at The Festival

 

CODD LOOKS TO THE HEAVENS AFTER RIDING NINTH FESTIVAL WINNER

 

A tearful Jamie Codd remembered his late brother Willie when reflecting on victory aboard the Gordon Elliott-trained Envoi Allen in the G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

 

It was his ninth Festival winner, and second at this year’s meeting following victory on Le Breuil in yesterday’s National Hunt Chase.

 

Codd, who was joined in the winner’s enclosure by his parents, had just worn the colours of David and Patricia Thompson’s Cheveley Park Stud as Envoi Allen (2/1f) fought hard to hold off Blue Sari (7/2) and Thyme Hill (20/1) by three-quarters of a length and one and three-quarters of a length.

 

Codd said: “It’s an emotional day and we’ve had a tough year after losing my brother last year. He’s up there looking down and I hope he’s very proud. William was a big supporter of mine when I started riding and, God, I wish he was here.”

 

Envoi Allen was bought by bloodstock agent Tom Malone for £400,000 at Tattersalls’ Cheltenham February Sale 2018 on behalf of Cheveley Park Stud. He had run in and won a point-to-point, and has now added four bumper victories.

 

Codd said of the five-year-old: “He’s an incredible horse, 17 hands and a big baby, and now he’s won a point and four bumpers. I feel it’s my job to educate him this year and mind him for his future assignments over jumps.

 

“All I wanted to do was make sure he would learn something and really finish off his races, and he’s done that today. He will be a ride for Davy Russell or Jack Kennedy next year, but I’m just delighted to be associated with such a horse at this stage of his career. He’s beautiful – he only cost £400,000 mind, but Tom Malone saw something in him that day and Gordon, myself and Cheveley Park have all benefited.”

 

SECOND CHELTENHAM WIN WITH ENVOI ALLEN PUTS CHEVELEY PARK STUD TOP OF THE CHELTENHAM OWNERS’ TABLE

 

David Thompson’s decision to participate more prominently in Jump racing has quickly reaped rich rewards, and G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen was the second winner of The Festival 2019 to carry the famous Cheveley Park Stud colours that we are more used to seeing on the Flat, following the success of A Plus Tard in Tuesday’s Close Brothers Novices’ Chase.

 

Thompson and his wife Patricia, who enjoyed Randox Health Grand National success with Party Politics in their alternative colours in 1992, were unfortunately unable to attend, but Chris Richardson, managing director of the Newmarketstud, explained the increased enthusiasm for jumping.

 

He said: “David Thompson decided last year that he wanted to have some fun and some entertainment during the winter, and he wanted the Cheveley Park colours to be displayed on all aspects of the operation.

 

“They obviously love what goes on at the stud and on the Flat, but David felt the winters were a bit slow. He wanted to have runners at Cheltenham and we’ve provided five of them, and now two have won. We still have one more to go, as Alloha runs on Friday in the Albert Bartlett.”

 

He added: “We have 22 horses, mostly in Ireland and spread between Henry De Bromhead, Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins, and they’ve all done a fantastic job. I don’t really have a lot to do with it – I’m just lucky enough to be managing director of the company.

 

“Alex Elliott purchased A Plus Tard, who we sent to Henry, and Tom Malone bought Envoi Allen (for £400,000 at Tattersalls Cheltenham last year).”

 

At the halfway stage of The Festival the Cheveley Park Stud leads the owners’ table with two winners, with no other owner having had more than one.

 

The Thompsons have no Grand National runner yet, but Richardson is on the lookout for one and there is plenty of time.

 

MULLINS ISN’T BLUE ABOUT SARI’S SECOND PLACE

 

Willie Mullins, trainer of the three quarter of a length second, Blue Sari, in the closing race of day two at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, was sanguine about his charge’s run, saying: “We were always expecting the winner (Envoi Allen, 2/1 favourite) to pull out more, he is a good staying chaser [in the making]. We had a good run.

 

“We have a nice gap between here and Punchestown (April 30 – May 4), but it will depend on how he comes out [of the race].”

 

Phillip Hobbs who trained the third home, Thyme Hill (20/1, one and three quarters of a length further back), commented on his horse’s run: “I am chuffed to bits. He ran very well here in the Listed bumper in November, and he is a horse that wasn’t going to need a lot of racing.

 

“He had probably improved a bit, and I thought we might finish sixth or seventh but to finish in the first three is great.

 

“Hopefully, he is a nice, decent prospect for next year.

 

“I would say that he would probably have a break but we see how he comes out of this race.”

 

 


 

THE FESTIVAL™PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

GOING CHANGE ON NEW COURSE

 

At the end of racing on Ladies Day, Cheltenham’s Clerk of the Course Simon Claisse discussed the ground conditions and the weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow.

 

He said: “It looks as if conditions will stay dry overnight.

 

“I have actually changed the going on the New Course, which we move on to tomorrow, to Good to Soft, Soft in places on both the Chase and Hurdle courses.

 

“The expectation is that we could get some light rain tomorrow and blustery winds, but nothing that causes us any concern. The outlook for Friday is dry and breezy.

 

“Today was a lovely day, and the forecast strong winds didn’t ever arrive. There was some absolutely terrific racing.

 

“It is nice to see the spoils spread around a bit, and then to see the horses we all love so much, those champion horses like Altior, win. Tiger Roll we all love, and a very classy bumper winner at the end, too.”

 

Holland Cooper Leading Jockey Award –

Standings after Ladies Day

 

Jockey                                   1st                                          2nd                                                     3rd

Nico de Boinville                 2                                     1                                              1

Mark Walsh                       2                                     1                                              -

Mr Jamie Codd                   2                                     -                                               -

J J Slevin                          1                                     2                                              -

Paul Townend                    1                                     2                                              -

Harry Cobden                    1                                     1                                              -

Rachael Blackmore             1                                     -                                               1

Keith Donoghue                 1                                     -                                               1

Ruby Walsh                       1                                     -                                               1

Jeremiah McGrath              1                                     -                                               -

Harry Skelton                    1                                     -                                               -

Barry Geraghty                  -                                     2                                               -

Richard Johnson                 -                                     1                                               1

Danny Cook                      -                                     1                                              -

Jack Kennedy                    -                                     1                                              -

Mr Patrick Mullins               -                                     1                                              -

Mr Barry O’Neill                  -                                     1                                              -

Henry Brooke                    -                                     -                                               1

Felix de Giles                     -                                     -                                               1

Daryl Jacob                       -                                     -                                               1

Mr Declan Lavery               -                                     -                                               1

David Mullins                     -                                     -                                               1

Davy Russell                      -                                     -                                               1

Gavin Sheehan                  -                                     -                                               1

Sam Twiston-Davies           -                                     -                                               1

Adam Wedge                     -                                     -                                               1

 

The Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award – Standings after Ladies Day

 

Trainer                                   1st                                          2nd                                                     3rd

Nicky Henderson                3                                     2                                              -

Willie Mullins IRE                2                                     4                                              2

Gordon Elliott IRE               2                                     1                                              2

Joseph O’Brien IRE             1                                     2                                              -

Paul Nicholls                      1                                     1                                              -

Ben Pauling                       1                                     -                                               1

Martin Brassil IRE               1                                     -                                               -

Henry de Bromhead IRE      1                                     -                                               -

Gavin Cromwell IRE            1                                     -                                               -

Dan Skelton                      1                                     -                                               -

Olly Murphy                       -                                     1                                              1

Enda Bolger IRE                 -                                     1                                              -

Paul Nolan IRE                   -                                     1                                              -

Sue Smith                         -                                     1                                              -

Philip Hobbs                      -                                     -                                               2

Nick Alexander                   -                                     -                                               1

Emmanuel Clayeux FR        -                                     -                                               1

Alan King                          -                                     -                                               1

Terence O’Brien IRE            -                                     -                                               1

Nigel Twiston-Davies           -                                     -                                               1

Evan Williams                    -                                     -                                               1

 

NetJets Leading Owner Award –

Standings after Ladies Day

 

Owner                                    1st                                          2nd                                                     3rd

Cheveley Park Stud            2                                     -                                               -

J P McManus                      1                                     4                                              1

Gigginstown House Stud      1                                     1                                              1

Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd       1                                     1                                              -

George Barlow                   1                                     -                                               -

Justin Carthy                     1                                     -                                               -

Joanne Coleman                 1                                     -                                               -

Sarah Faulks                     1                                     -                                               -

Chris Giles & Mr & Mrs Paul Barber 1                            -                                               -

Bernadine Mulryan              1                                     -                                               -

Emma Palmer                    1                                     -                                               -

Patricia Pugh                     1                                     -                                               -

Walters Plant Hire Ltd         1                                     -                                               -

Trevor Hemmings               -                                     1                                              1

Burnham P & D Ltd             -                                     1                                              -

Mrs J Donnelly                   -                                     1                                              -

Thomas Friel/Andrew Gemmell -                                 1                                              -

John Hales                        -                                     1                                              -

Richard & Lizzie Kelvin Hughes -                                 1                                              -

Diana Whateley                  -                                     1                                              -

Wicklow Bloodstock (Ireland) Ltd -                              1                                               -

The Aldaniti Partnership       -                                     -                                               1

Kate & Andrew Brooks        -                                     -                                               1

The Englands & Heywoods   -                                     -                                               1

Chris Jones                       -                                     -                                               1

L Fell                                -                                     -                                               1

Nigel King                         -                                     -                                               1

Martin McDonagh/Paul Murphy/M J Nixon -                                    -                                               1

ML Bloodstock Ltd              -                                     -                                               1

A Rasquier                        -                                     -                                               1

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede -                                    -                                               1

Options O Syndicate           -                                     -                                               1

 

888 Prestbury Cup – Standings after Ladies Day

 

Great Britain 6

Ireland 8

 

 

 

 

 

The Festival™ presented by Magners 2019 – Winners

 

Champion Day – Tuesday, March 12, 2019

 

1:30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y £125,000

KLASSICAL DREAM (FR) Joanne Coleman 5-11-07 Willie Mullins IRE/Ruby Walsh 6/1

 

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

DUC DES GENIEVRES (FR) Sullivan Bloodstock Limited 6-11-04 Willie Mullins IRE/Paul Townend 5/1

 

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

BEWARE THE BEAR (IRE) George Barlow 9-11-08 Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath 10/1

 

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

ESPOIR D’ALLEN (FR) J P McManus 5-11-10 Gavin Cromwell IRE/Mark Walsh 16/1

 

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

ROKSANA (IRE) Sarah Faulks 7-11-05 Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton 10/1

 

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

A PLUS TARD (FR) Cheveley Park Stud 5-11-07 Henry de Bromhead IRE/Rachael Blackmore 5/1 Fav

 

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

LE BREUIL (FR) Emma Palmer 7-11-06 Ben Pauling/Mr Jamie Codd 14/1

 

Ladies Day – Wednesday, March 13, 2019

 

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

CITY ISLAND (IRE) Bernadine Mulryan 6-11-07 Martin Brassil IRE/Mark Walsh 8/1

 

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

TOPOFTHEGAME (IRE) Chris Giles & Mrs & Mrs Paul Barber 7-11-04 Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden 4/1

 

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

WILLIAM HENRY (IRE) Walters Plant Hire Ltd 9-11-10 Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville 28/1

 

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

ALTIOR (IRE) Patricia Pugh 9-11-10 Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville 4/11 Fav

 

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

TIGER ROLL (IRE) Gigginstown House Stud 9-11-04 Gordon Elliott IRE/Keith Donoghue 5/4 Fav

 

4:50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Registered as the Fred Winter) (Grade 3) £80,000

BAND OF OUTLAWS (IRE) Justin Carthy 4-11-08 Joseph O’Brien IRE/J. J. Slevin 7/2 Fav

 

5:30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y £75,000

ENVOI ALLEN (FR) Cheveley Park Stud 5-11-05 Gordon Elliott IRE/Mr Jamie Codd 2/1 Fav

 

STEWARDS’ REPORT

 

Race 1 – 1:30pm G1 BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE RACE

 

CASTLEBAWN WEST and EASY GAME (FR) wore earplugs and BRIGHT FORECAST (IRE) wore earplugs, which were removed at the start. An enquiry was held to consider interference turning down the hill when SAMS PROFILE, placed fifth, ridden by B.J. Cooper, manoeuvred right-handed tightening up CHAMP, placed second, ridden by Barry Geraghty and the winner, CITY ISLAND (IRE), ridden by Mark Walsh. Cooper was suspended for 2 days for careless riding as he had manoeuvred right when not sufficiently clear. A further enquiry was held to consider interference after jumping the third last flight between SAMS PROFILE, placed fifth, ridden by B.J. Cooper and the winner, CITY ISLAND (IRE) , ridden by Mark Walsh. The interference was found to be accidental as Walsh had gone for a legitimate gap but his horse made contact with the hindquarters of SAMS PROFILE as it rolled in slightly left-handed.  Following the race Jack Kennedy reported that BATTLEOVERDOYEN, which was pulled up, was never travelling. The Veterinary Officer further reported that the gelding lost its left fore shoe. Paul Townend reported that CASTLEBAWN WEST, which was pulled up, was never travelling.

 

Race 2 – 2:10pm G1 RSA INSURANCE NOVICES’ CHASE

 

MORTAL (IRE) wore earplugs and SANTINI wore earplugs, which were removed at the start. The sponsorship in relation to DROVERS LANE (IRE), trained by Rebecca Curtis, did not comply with the Sponsorship Code of Conduct. Curtis was warned as to her responsibility to ensure that the correct sponsorship is carried. On landing after the final fence the winner, TOPOFTHEGAME (IRE), edged right-handed making slight contact with DELTA WORK (FR), placed third, which had to take a slight check, but after viewing a recording of the incident, it was found that no riding offence was involved and that it had not improved the placing of TOPOFTHEGAME (IRE). Harry Cobden, the rider of the winner, TOPOFTHEGAME (IRE), was suspended for 2 days for using his whip in an incorrect place after the last fence. Following the race the Veterinary Officer reported that MORTAL (IRE), placed fifth, lost its right fore shoe and SANTINI, placed second, lost its left fore shoe. He further reported that THE WORLDS END (IRE), which was pulled up, was lame left fore.

 

Race 3 – 2:50pm G3 CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE

 

WICKLOW BRAVE and URADEL (GER) wore earplugs and BALLYANDY wore earplugs, which were removed at the start. Following the race the Veterinary Officer reported that DIAMOND CAUCHOIS, which was pulled up, was lame left hind, KILLULTAGH VIC (IRE), unplaced, had a wound on its left fore leg and BALLYANDY, placed third, lost its right hind shoe. Davy Russell reported that FARCLAS (FR), which was pulled up, was never travelling.

 

Race 4 – 3:30pm G1 BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE

 

MIN (FR) wore earplugs and ALTIOR (IRE) wore earplugs which were removed at the start. The Stewards noted that the Clerk of the Course had given permission for POLITOLOGUE (FR) to parade out of order. As the gelding was proving unruly he further allowed him to break the parade and canter to the start. After reviewing the start the Stewards were satisfied that when the flag dropped the horses were well grouped but that SAINT CALVADOS (FR) and ALTIOR (IRE) jumped away quickly from the start. Following the race Paddy Brennan reported that GOD’S OWN (IRE), which was pulled up, lost its action. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of GOD’S OWN (IRE) found it to be lame left hind.

 

Race 5 – 4:10pm GLENFARCLAS CROSS COUNTRY CHASE

 

Following the race Enda Bolger reported that AUVERGNAT (FR), which was pulled up, was unsuited by the Soft, Heavy in places,ground. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of AUVERGNAT (FR) revealed it had a wound on its left fore leg. The Veterinary Officer further reported that JAROB, placed fifth,, lost its left fore shoe.

 

Race 6 – 4:50pm G3 BOODLES JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE

 

NATURELLE (FR) wore earplugs and KING D’ARGENT (FR) wore earplugs which were removed at the start. An enquiry was held to consider interference on straightening up after turning into the home straight when Jack Kennedy allowed COKO BEACH, placed second, to drift right-handed, taking the winner BAND OF OUTLAWS (IRE), ridden by J.J. Slevin, off its intended line. Kennedy was cautioned for careless riding as he had allowed his horse to drift right when not sufficiently clear. The performance of LETHAL STEPS, which finished nineteenth, beaten 51 ¼ lengths, was considered. Gordon Elliott could offer no explanation for the gelding’s performance. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of LETHAL STEPS, during routine testing, failed to reveal any abnormalities.

Following the race Barry Geraghty reported that FINE BRUNELLO (FR), unplaced, was never travelling. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of FINE BRUNELLO (FR), during routine testing, failed to reveal any abnormalities.

 

Race 7 – 5:30pm G1 WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER

 

BLUE SARI (FR) wore earplugs. Donnacha O’Brien, the rider of METICULOUS (IRE), placed eighth, was fined £140 for failing to report at scales that he was concerned with the gelding’s breathing and felt it prudent to ease the gelding in the closing stages. The Veterinary Officer reported that BLUE SARI (FR), placed second, was lame left fore.

 

 

THE FESTIVAL™ PRESENTED BY MAGNERS, CHELTENHAM

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019

 

 

RECORD ATTENDANCE FOR SECOND SUCCESSIVE DAY

 

Today’s attendance of 59,209 is a new record for the second day of The Festival since the meeting switched to a four-day format in 2005.

 

Last year’s total on Ladies Day came to 58,959.

 

There was a record crowd on the opening day of The Festival 2019, with 67,934 attending Champion Day.

 

Last year’s attendance on the Tuesday came to 66,632, with the previous record for the day being 67,770 in 2016.

 

 

 

 

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