A good read

Facts and figures for Day One

As if you don’t have enough to do in your Cheltenham prep, but if you are done and looking for some reading, I bring you the following courtesy of my friends at Racenews.

CLAISSE TALKS GROUND

Following significant rain at the course, the going at Cheltenham is currently HEAVY, SOFT IN PLACES.

The track received 14 millimetres of rain on Friday night, with a further 14 millimetres overnight on Sunday into Monday afternoon (up to 3.41pm).

Simon Claisse, Cheltenham’s Clerk of the Course, reported today: “It started to rain on Friday night and, in total, we’ve had 45 millimetres of rain and snow in the last couple of weeks.

“The track has come out of it very well and looks good. We are hoping that we are seeing the last of the rain for a while this afternoon. We are forecast a dry day on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

“There could be quite a bit of rain on Wednesday night into Thursday, but we have got a lot of fresh ground on the New Course, so I think we’ll be in good shape come the end of the week too.

“We will have some lovely afternoons and nice temperatures too. We could reach 11 or 12 degrees by the end of the week.

“I went round the course at lunchtime and was very happy with the current conditions.”

The GoingStick reading came to 5.3 at 3pm.

The first two days of The Festival, tomorrow’s Champion Day and Ladies Day on Wednesday, sees the races run on the Old Course, while the action switches to the new Course for the final two days – St Patrick’s Thursday and Gold Cup Day on Friday.

THE FESTIVAL 2018 RACE PROGRAMME

Champion Day – Tuesday, March 13 (Old Course)

Time Race Distance Prize Money Max Field
1.30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f £125,000 22
2.10pm Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m £175,000 20
2.50pm Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f £110,000 24
3.30pm Unibet Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f £467,750 26
4.10pm OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f £120,000 24
4.50pm National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase) (Grade 2) 4m £125,000 20
5.30pm Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) (0-145) 2m 4½f £70,000 20
Total £1,192,750

Ladies Day – Wednesday, March 14 (Old Course & Cross Country)

Time Race Distance Prize Money Max Field
1.30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f £125,000 22
2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m ½f £175,000 20
2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 5f £100,000 26
3.30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m £400,000 24
4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f £65,000 16
4.50pm Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m ½f £80,000 22
5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m ½f £75,000 24
Total £1,020,000

St Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday, March 15 (New Course)

Time Race Distance Prize Money Max Field
1.30pm JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f £150,000 20
2.10pm Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 3m £100,000 24
2.50pm Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 5f £350,000 24
3.30pm Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m £338,380 24
4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 5f £110,000 24
4.50pm Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 1f £90,000 22
5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup A R Handicap Chase (0-145) 3m 2f £70,000 24 Total £1,208,380

Gold Cup Day – Friday, March 16 (New Course)

Time Race Distance Prize Money Max Field
1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1f £125,000 22
2.10pm Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1f £100,000 26
2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m £136,260 20
3.30pm Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2½f £649,380 24
4.10pm St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase (Amateur riders) 3m 2½f £45,000 24
4.50pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4½f £70,000 24
5.30pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m ½f £110,000 24
Total £1,235,640

Record prize money for The Festival 2018 including supplementary entry fees added to prize funds – £4,656,770

1.30pm G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle facts & figures

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was known as the Gloucestershire Hurdle until 1974.

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is the only race at The Festival to have been divided. From 1946-1971, when known as the Gloucestershire Novices’ Hurdle, it divided on no less than 25 occasions. In both 1963 and 1946, there were even three divisions.

Sky Bet became the sponsor in 2014.

FIELD SIZE
The smallest field was in 1950, with nine runners in Division One, while the most runners was 30, seen for both Harry Hastings’ win in 1985 and French Ballerina’s success in 1998. 20 are due to go to post in 2018.

MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
Jim Joel and Susannah Ricci have been the most successful owners, with three wins each. Joel saw his colours carried to victory by Beau Normand (1961, Division One), Deetease (1963, Division Three) and Beacon Light (1976), while Ricci landed three consecutive renewals of the race with Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015). Ricci is represented by Getabird and Sharjah this year.

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Before the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle ceased to be divided, the most successful trainer was Vincent O’Brien, who landed an amazing 10 divisions between 1952 and 1959.

Willie Mullins is the most successful current trainer with five wins – Tourist Attraction (1995), Ebaziyan (2007), Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015). He has Getabird and Sharjah in 2018.

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Before 1972, the most successful jockey was Tommy Burns, who landed seven divisions between 1955 and 1959.

Since the race ceased to be divided, Ruby Walsh leads the way with five wins (2006, 2011, 2013, 2014 & 2015), and he partners Getabird this year.

BETTING
The longest-priced winner was Arctic Kinsman at 50/1 in 1994, while the 2007 victor Ebaziyan is one of two 40/1 shots to have scored.

The shortest-priced winners at 4/9 were Tsaoko in 1950 and Flyingbolt in 1964.

Favourites and joint-favourites have been successful 10 times (22 per cent) in the 45 runnings since 1972.

AGE
The oldest horse by far to have won was 12-year-old Beau Caprice in 1966 (Division One).

At the other end of the scale, 13 four-year-olds have been successful, although none since Hors La Loi in 1999.

The overall breakdown by age since the race was run as single division in 1972 is as follows:
4yo – 2 wins
5yo – 18 wins
6yo – 21 wins
7yo – 2 wins
8yo – 2 wins

RECORD TIME
The fastest time for the winning horse was achieved by Altior, who scored in 3m 46.00s in 2016.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS
The race has been won by Irish-trained raiders on no less than 42 occasions, and by the French once. Of the 16 divisions from 1952-59, Vincent O’Brien won an amazing 10. Ireland also kept a stranglehold on the race for seven years from 1977-83 and has won 11 of the last 17 runnings, most recently with Labaik in 2017.

DID YOU KNOW?
The 1993 winner, Montelado, holds a unique position in the history of The Festival at Cheltenham. He is the only horse to have won consecutive Festival races, landing the Weatherbys Champion Bumper in 1992, the last race of that year’s meeting, and returning to win the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 1993, the first race 12 months later.

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle has thrown up one winner of the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup and three Unibet Champion Hurdle heroes. L’Escargot won in 1968, before consecutive Gold Cup triumphs in 1970 and 1971. Bula scored in 1970, before Champion Hurdle victories in 1971 and 1972, the 2002 Champion Hurdle winner Hors La Loi III took the race in 1999, and Brave Inca captured the Champion Hurdle in 2006, having landed the novice event two years earlier.

Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Roll Of Honour

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Labaik 6-11-07 Jack Kennedy Gordon Elliott IRE Aidan O’Ryan 25/1 14
2016 Altior 6-11-07 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Patricia Pugh 4/1 14
2015 Douvan 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 2/1F 12
2014 Vautour 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 7/2JF 18
2013 Champagne Fever 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 5/1 12
2012 Cinders And Ashes 5-11-07 Jason Maguire Donald McCain Dermot Hanafin & Phil Cunningham 10/1 19
2011 Al Ferof 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John Hales 10/1 15
2010 Menorah 5-11-07 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Diana Whateley 12/1 18
2009 Go Native 6-11-07 Paul Carberry Noel Meade IRE Docado Syndicate 12/1 20
2008 Captain Cee Bee 7-11-07 Robert Thornton Edward Harty IRE J P McManus 17/2 22
2007 Ebaziyan 6-11-07 Davy Condon Willie Mullins IRE Peter Garvey 40/1 22
2006 Noland 5-11-07Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John Hales 6/1 20
2005 Arcalis 5-11-07 Graham Lee Howard Johnson Andrea & Graham Wylie 20/1 20
2004 Brave Inca 6-11-07 Barry Cash Colm Murphy IRE Novices Syndicate 7/2F 19
2003 Back In Front 6-11-08 Norman Williamson Edward O’Grady IRE Dermot Cox 3/1F 19
2002 Like-A-Butterfly 8-11-03 Charlie Swan Christy Roche IRE J P McManus 7/4F 28
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth Disease)
2000 Sausalito Bay 6-11-08 Paul Carberry Noel Meade IRE High Street Racing Syndicate 14/1 15
1999 Hors La Loi III 4-11-00 A P McCoy Martin Pipe Paul Green 9/2 20
1998 French Ballerina 5-11-03 Graham Bradley Pat Flynn IRE Sue Magnier 10/1 30
1997 Shadow Leader 6-11-08 Jamie Osborne Charles Egerton James Blackshaw 5/1 16
1996 Indefence 5-11-08 Warren Marston Jenny Pitman Indef Ltd 25/1 27
1995 Tourist Attraction 6-11-03 Mark Dwyer Willie Mullins IRE North Kildare Racing Club 25/1 20
1994 Arctic Kinsman 6-11-08 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Rosie Hambro 50/1 18
1993 Montelado 6-11-08 Charlie Swan Pat Flynn IRE Ollie Hannon 5/1 15
1992 Flown 5-11-08 Jamie Osborne Nicky Henderson Edward Winfield 13/2 17
1991 Destriero 5-11-08 Pat McWilliams Andy Geraghty IRE Elizabeth Furlong 6/1 21
1990 Forest Sun 5-11-08 Jimmy Frost Toby Balding Salehurst Paper Co Ltd 7/4F 18
1989 Sondrio 8-11-08 Jonathon Lower Martin Pipe Mrs J M Ryan 25/1 21
1988 Vagador 5-11-08 Mark Perrett Guy Harwood Amanda Harwood 4/1F 26
1987 Tartan Tailor 6-11-08 Phil Tuck Gordon Richards Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd 14/1 20
1986 River Ceiriog 5-11-07 Steve Smith Eccles Nicky Henderson Bobby McAlpine 40/1 29
1985 Harry Hastings 6-11-08 Chris Grant John Wilson Robert Leask 14/1 30
1984 Browne’s Gazette 6-11-08 Mr Dermot Browne Michael Dickinson John Poynton 11/2 18
1983 Buck House 5-11-08 Tommy Carmody Mouse Morris IRE Mrs S Purcell 8/1 22
1982 Miller Hill 6-11-08 Tom Morgan Dessie Hughes IRE J Harvey 20/1 19
1981 Hartstown 6-11-08 Niall Madden Mick O’Toole IRE J McGowan 2/1F 16
1980 Slaney Idol 5-11-08 Tommy Carmody Liam Browne IRE Mrs M Hayes 9/1 27
1979 Stranfield 6-11-08 Tommy Kinane Des McDonogh IRE D Devlin 16/1 16
1978 Golden Cygnet 6-11-08 Mr Niall Madden Edward O’Grady IRE Raymond Rooney 4/5F 18
1977 Mac’s Chariot 6-11-08 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs A Jordan 7/1 16
1976 Beacon Light 5-11-08 Andy Turnell Bob Turnell Jim Joel 14/1 11
1975 Bannow Rambler 6-11-08 Frank Berry Padge Berry IRE Mrs K White 9/2 18
1974 Avec Moi 5-11-06 Roger Rowell Auriol Sinclair Lord Blackford 5/4F 16
1973 King Pele 4-10-10 David Nicholson Gavin Pritchard-Gordon J Richardson 13/2 20
1972 Noble Life 5-11-06 Stan Murphy Christy Grassick IRE M Gallagher 16/1 18
1971(I) Persian Majesty 4-10-13 Terry Biddlecombe Ryan Price Ken Wheldon 13/2 10
1971 (II) Barnard 7-12-00 Johnnie Haine Fulke Walwyn Mrs B Heath 4/1 13
1970 (I) Ballywilliam Boy 5-12-00 Bobby Coonan Paddy Sleator IRE P Smyth 4/1 20
1970 (II) Bula 5-12-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Bill Edwards-Heathcote 3/1F 21
1969 (I) Normandy 4-11-02 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell Bryan Jenks 10/1 28
1969 (II) Private Room 5-11-10 Willie Robinson Fulke Walwyn Mrs A L Hoare 10/1 20
1968 (I) King Cutler 5-12-00 Brian Fletcher Denys Smith Joe Lisle 85/40 12
1968 (II) L’Escargot 5-12-04 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Raymond Guest 13/2 11
1967 (I) Chorus 6-11-12 Johnnie Haine Tom Jones Lord James Crichton-Stuart 15/2 20
1967 (II) Early To Rise 7-11-12 Jeff King Bob Turnell Paul Mellon 11/2 14
1966 (I) Beau Caprice 12-12-02 Tommy Jennings Fulke Walwyn Richard Head 6/1 14
1966 (II) Fosco 5-11-06 David Moore Mick Goswell David Montagu 7/2 19
1965 (I) Red Tears 5-11-06 Stan Mellor Tom Jones Major Victor McCalmont 7/1 19
1965 (II) Havago 6-12-04 Bobby Beasley Paddy Sleator IRE Clifford Nicholson 11/8 15
1964 (I) Flyingbolt 5-12-02 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Mrs Jean Wilkinson 4/9F 11
1964 (II) Elan 5-12-02 Dave Dick John Sutcliffe R Tucker 9/2 18
1963 (I) Honour Bound 5-11-10 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell Katie Gaze 3/1F 18
1963 (II) Buona Notte 6-11-08 Johnnie Haine Bob Turnell Jim Joel 7/2 15
1963 (III) Deetease 5-12-02 Clive Chapman Basil Foster Charles Chandler 9/1 18
1962 (I) Tripacer 4-10-12 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Lady Honor Svejdar 20/1 18
1962 (II) Clerical Grey 4-11-02 Willie Robinson P Murphy IRE Mrs R A Palfreyman 100/8 18
1961 (I) Beau Normand 5-11-06 Bill Rees Bob Turnell Jim Joel 5/1 18
1961 (II) Greektown 5-12-02 Michael Scudamore Willie Stephenson Lionel Ensten 100/8 15
1960 (I) Blue Mountain 6-11-05 Dick Broadway George Todd Sidney Banks 5/1 20
1960 (II) Bastille 5-10-13 Bill Woods Tom Masson Mrs V Cripps 33/1 18
1959 (I) York Fair 5-11-10 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE John McShain 4/5F 16
1959 (II) Albergo 5-11-06 Doug Page Clem Magnier IRE Mrs Clem Magnier 9/1 19
1958 (I) Admiral Stuart 7-11-12 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs T V Ryan 6/5F 19
1958 (II) Prudent King 6-11-08 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE Captain R Westmacott 3/1F 19
1957 (I) Tokoroa 6-12-01 Dave Dick Fred Rimell David Deyong 5/4F 10
1957 (II) Saffron Tartan 6-11-12 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE Lady Cottenham 10/11F 12
1956 (I) Boys Hurrah 8-11-08 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE M J Sheehan 9/4F 17
1956 (II) Pelargos 5-11-06 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE Vincent O’Brien 6/4F 22
1955 (I) Vindore 6-11-12 Mr Phonsie O’Brien Vincent O’Brien IRE J A Wood EvsF 19
1955 (II) Illyric 6-11-08 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE R Mulrooney 3/1F 23
1954 (I) Stroller 6-11-08 Pat Taaffe Vincent O’Brien IRE Joe Griffin 13/8F 18
1954 (II) Tasmin 4-10-07 Rene Emery Harry Count FR Harry Count 5/1 18
1953 (I) Assynt 5-11-01 Eddie Newman Danny Morgan IRE Lady Ursula Vernon 9/4F 18
1953 (II) Dessin 7-11-08 Johnny Gilbert Frank Hudson H J Barlow 100/9 17
1952 (I) Cockatoo 6-11-03 Mr Phonsie O’Brien Vincent O’Brien IRE Harry Keogh 4/1 13
1952 (II) Evian 4-10-07 Fred Winter George Archibald M S Westwick 10/1 14
1951 (I) Red Stranger 4-10-12 Denis Dillon Ron Smyth L Jarvis 100/8 20
1951 (II) Oukileles II 4-10-12 Fred Winter George Archibald B Campbell 6/1 13
1950 (I) Tsaoko 5-11-08 Martin Molony Sam Armstrong H E Habib I Rahimtoola 4/9F 9
1950 (II) Sir Charles 4-10-04 Mr Michael Scudamore Geoffrey Scudamore S A Mailes 25/1 15
1949 (I) French Wedding 4-10-07 Jimmy Brogan Gerry Wilson E L Gosling 11/2 14
1949 (II) Tough Guy 4-10-00 Denis Dillon Ivor Anthony Jack Olding 4/1 18
1948 (I) Vulgan 5-10-10 Rickie Black John De Moraville H Coriat 9/2 13
1948 (II) Jean’s Last 6-11-00 Bryan Marshall Fulke Walwyn Lady Throckmorton 7/4F 21
1947 No race
1946 (I) Prince Rupert 5-11-03 Ron Smyth Ted Smyth John J Astor 9/2 19
1946 (II) Freetown 6-11-00 George Archibald William Larkin H Rogers 8/1 17
1946 (III) Gremlin 5-10-10 Phil Canty George Todd Desmond Baring 5/1 16

2.10pm G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase facts & figures

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The £175,000 Grade One Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase, the two-mile novice chasing championship race, was inaugurated with its current title in 1969, after Arkle’s three wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1964-66). In its first year, the race was worth £1,365, and was won by Chatham (10/1), trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Terry Biddlecombe. It was known as the Cotswold Chase before 1969.

The Racing Post, which backed the Arkle Chase for the first time in 2012, is only the race’s fourth sponsor.

FIELD SIZE
The lowest number of runners has been six (2012) and the highest 19 (1987 & 2005) as the Arkle Chase – though there were 25 runners in the Cotswold Chase in 1960. There are set to be five runners this year.

MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
The late David Johnson with four winners – Or Royal (1997), Champleve (1998), Well Chief (2004) and Contraband (2005).

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Nicky Henderson is most successful trainer with six victories – Remittance Man (1991), Travado (1993), Tiutchev (2000), Sprinter Sacre (2012), Simonsig (2013) and Altior (2017) – and runs Brain Power in 2018.

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
The most successful jockey is Barry Geraghty, with four wins – Moscow Flyer (2002), Forpadydeplasterer (2009), Sprinter Sacre (2012) and Simonsig (2013). He is not due to ride this year.

BETTING
The longest-priced winner is Western Warhorse, successful at 33/1 in 2014.

Both Douvan (2016) and Altior (2017) returned at odds of 1/4.

In the 70 runnings since 1946, a total of 20 favourites (28.6 per cent) have prevailed.

AGE
The oldest winners were the nine-year-olds Sir Ken (1956) and Danish Flight (1988).

The five-year-olds Grand Refrain (1949), High Level (1950), Red Steel (1951), Nautical Print (1952), Bramble Tudor (1953), Armorial III (1954), Manuscrit (1955), Ballyatom (1957), Chatham (1969), Soloning (1970), Champleve (1998), Flagship Uberalles (1999), Well Chief (2004) and Voy Por Ustedes (2006) are the youngest winners.

The overall breakdown by age is as follows:

5yo – 14 wins
6yo – 21 wins
7yo – 21 wins
8yo – 12 wins
9yo – 2 wins

RECORD TIME
The fastest time for the two miles of the Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase is 3m 46.5s by Tiutchev in 2000.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS
IRELAND (18): Fortria (1958); Mountcashel King (1961); Ben Stack (1963), Flyingbolt (1965), Arctic Stream (1967), Alpheus (1971), Chinrullah (1979), Anaglogs Daughter (1980), The Brockshee (1982), Bobsline (1984), Boreen Prince (1985), Klairon Davis (1995), Ventana Canyon (1996), Moscow Flyer (2002), Forpadydeplasterer (2009), Sizing Europe (2010), Un De Sceaux (2015) & Douvan (2016).

DID YOU KNOW?
Until 1980, the Racing Post Arkle Chase was always run on the Wednesday of The Festival. The two-mile novice chasing championship race now takes place on the opening day, Tuesday.

The Racing Post Arkle Chase has always been a classy event, and the following winners have gone on to other championship victories at The Festival:

2015 Un De Sceaux (Ryanair Chase winner 2017)
2012 Sprinter Sacre (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2013 & 2016)
2010 Sizing Europe (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2011)
2006 Voy Por Ustedes (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2007)
2003 Azertyuiop (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2004)
2002 Moscow Flyer (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2003 & 2005)
1999 Flagship Uberalles (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2002)
1995 Klairon Davis (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1996)
1991 Remittance Man (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1992)
1978 Alverton (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner 1979).

Alverton is the only horse to have won both the Racing Post Arkle Chase and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase Roll Of Honour
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Altior 7-11-04 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Patricia Pugh 1/4F 9
2016 Douvan 6-11-04 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 1/4F 7
2015 Un De Sceaux 7-11-04 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Edward O’Connell 4/6F 11
2014 Western Warhorse 6-11-04 Tom Scudamore David Pipe Roger Brookhouse 33/1 9
2013 Simonsig 7-11-07 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Ronnie Bartlett 8/15F 7
2012 Sprinter Sacre 6-11-07 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Caroline Mould 8/11F 6
2011 Captain Chris 7-11-07 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Diana Whateley 6/1 10
2010 Sizing Europe 6-11-07 Andrew Lynch Henry de Bromhead IRE Ann & Alan Potts Partnership 6/1 12
2009 Forpadydeplasterer 7-11-07 Barry Geraghty Tom Cooper IRE Goat Racing Syndicate 8/1 17
2008 Tidal Bay 7-11-07 Denis O’Regan Howard Johnson Andrea & Graham Wylie 6/1 14
2007 My Way De Solzen 7-11-07 Robert Thornton Alan King Ben Winfield, A Longman, J Wright & C Fenton 7/2 13
2006 Voy Por Ustedes 5-11-02Robert Thornton Alan King Sir Robert Ogden 15/2 14
2005 Contraband 7-11-07 Timmy Murphy Martin Pipe David Johnson 7/1 19
2004 Well Chief 5-11-03 A P McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 9/1 16
2003 Azertyuiop 6-11-08 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John and Lisa Hales 5/4F 9
2002 Moscow Flyer 8-11-08 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 11/2 12
2001 No race (Foot and Mouth disease)
2000 Tiutchev 7-11-08 Mick FitzGerald Nicky Henderson Liars Poker Partnership 8/1 12
1999 Flagship Uberalles 5-11-00 Joe Tizzard Paul Nicholls Elizabeth Gutner/Michael Krysztofiak 11/1 14
1998 Champleve 5-11-00 A P McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 13/2 16
1997 Or Royal 6-11-08 A P McCoy Martin Pipe David Johnson 11/2 9
1996 Ventana Canyon 7-11-08 Richard Dunwoody Edward O’Grady IRE Philip Myerscough 7/1 16
1995 Klairon Davis 6-11-08 Francis Woods Arthur Moore IRE Chris Jones 7/2F 11
1994 Nakir 6-11-08 Jamie Osborne Simon Christian Jim Lewis 9/1 10
1993 Travado 7-11-08 Jamie Osborne Nicky Henderson Mrs Michael Ennever 5/1 8
1992 Young Pokey 7-11-08 Jamie Osborne Oliver Sherwood Maurice Oberstein 4/1 11
1991 Remittance Man 7-11-08 Richard Dunwoody Nicky Henderson Jim Collins 85/40F 14
1990 Comandante 8-11-08 Peter Hobbs Josh Gifford Maurice Pinto 9/2 14
1989 Waterloo Boy 6-11-08 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Michael Deeley 20/1 14
1988 Danish Flight 9-11-08 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald A F Budge (Equine) Ltd 11/2 12
1987 Gala’s Image 7-11-08 Richard Linley Mercy Rimell Sheikh Ali Abu Khamsin 25/1 19
1986 Oregon Trail 6-11-08 Ronnie Beggan Simon Christian Henry Ponsonby 14/1 14
1985 Boreen Prince 8-11-08 Niall Madden Andrew McNamara IRE William Lenehan 15/2 16
1984 Bobsline 8-11-08 Frank Berry Francis Flood IRE R H Kelsey 5/4F 8
1983 Ryeman 6-11-08 Alan Brown Peter Easterby D Slater 16/1 16
1982 The Brockshee 7-11-08 Tommy Carberry Arthur Moore IRE T Murray 12/1 19
1981 Clayside 7-11-08 Alan Brown Peter Easterby Mrs D Grant 5/2F 13
1980 Anaglogs Daughte r 7-11-08 Tommy Carberry Bill Durkan IRE A Durkan 9/4 9
1979 Chinrullah 7-11-08 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs R Eastwood 10/11F 8
1978 Alverton 8-11-08 Graham Thorner Peter Easterby Snailwell Stud Co Ltd 5/2 12
1977 Tip The Wink 7-11-08 Dessie Hughes Pat Taylor Michael Simmonds 15/2 10
1976 Roaring Wind 8-11-08 Reg Crank Roy Cambidge S Jones 11/1 16
1975 Broncho II 6-11-11 Colin Tinkler Tony Dickinson Frank Tyldesely 8/1 12
1974 Canasta Lad 8-11-11 Jeff King Peter Bailey Mrs R Hague 2/1F 10
1973 Denys Adventure 8-12-01 Graham Thorner Tim Forster Mrs Robert Henriques 8/1 10
1972 Pendil 7-12-01 Richard Pitman Fred Winter Mrs C Kinney 10/11F 10
1971 Alpheus 6-11-08 Eddie Wright Tom Dreaper IRE Lord Donoughmore 15/1 11
1970 Soloning 5-11-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Mrs C E Thornton 4/1 13
1969 Chatham 5-11-00 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell C Knott 10/1 10
1968 The Hustler 6-11-12 Barry Brogan Earl Jones Mrs D E Crouch 20/1 11
1967 Arctic Stream 7-12-02 Ben Hannon P Rooney IRE J A Duffy 8/1 9
1966 Arctic Sunset 6-12-06 George Milburn Ken Oliver J R McNair 3/1 9
1965 Flyingbolt 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Mrs Jean Wilkinson 4/9F 13
1964 Greektown 8-11-08 Michael Scudamore Willie Stephenson Lionel Ensten 13/2 16
1963 Ben Stack 6-12-01 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Duchess of Westminster 13/8F 17
1962 Prudent Barney 8-12-01 Johnny East Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 20/1 9
1961 Mountcashel King 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE John Glyn 2/5F 12
1960 Mazurka 6-11-12 Ron Harrison Ron Smyth Mrs Chris Barnes 10/1 25
1959 Flame Gun 8-12-04 Fred Winter Charlie Mallon Michael Sobell 7/2 14
1958 Fortria 6-12-01 Tom Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE A Craigie 7/2 17
1957 Ballyatom 5-11-04 Mr Bob McCreery George Beeby David Evans-Bevan 8/1 13
1956 Sir Ken 9-12-03 Tim Molony Willie Stephenson Maurice Kingsley 5/4F 17
1955 Manuscrit 5-11-00 Johnny Bullock Fulke Walwyn Mme Peggy Hennessy 10/1 20
1954 Armorial III 5-11-05 Rene Emery Fulke Walwyn Mrs M de Pret-Roose 7/2F 17
1953 Bramble Tudor 5-11-12 Tim Molony Stewart Wight Lord Joicey 11/4 9
1952 Nautical Print 5-11-00 Tommy Cusack Gerry Wilson Lt Col J F Harrison 6/1 15
1951 Red Steel 5-11-00 Dick Francis Frank Cundell Hugh Sumner 4/1F 15
1950 High Level 5-11-04 Johnny Bullock Fred Rimell T E Ward 9/2 14
1949 Grand Refrain 5-11-05 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Abergavenny 9/4F 12
1948 Top Cash 6-12-05 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Abergavenny 3/1 9
1947 No race (abandoned due to snow and frost)
1946 Bright Penny 6-11-12 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris Lord Penryhn 5/1 15

Ultima Handicap Chase facts & figures (since 1946)

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Ultima Handicap Chase was sponsored between 1981 and 1996 by the Ritz Club. Astec Buzz Shop backed the race in 1997, with William Hill being the sponsor from 1998 to 2010. Leading owner Andy Stewart and his family were the backers in 2011 in support of Spinal Research. JLT (Jardine Lloyd Thompson) took over the sponsorship in 2012, before switching in 2014 to the JLT Novices’ Chase on St Patrick’s Thursday. The 2014 renewal was backed by Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury and Ultima took over the sponsorship in 2015.

FIELD SIZE
The smallest field was seven in 1993 and the largest field of 24 lined up in 1963, 2010 and 2013. There are 18 declared runners this year.

WEIGHTS
Future Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Silver Fame carried the welter burden of 12st 7lb to victory in 1950, while Tipping Tim (1992), Maamur (1996) and Alfie Sherrin (2012) have all been successful off 10st.

MULTIPLE WINNERS
Three horses have won the race twice – Sentina in 1957 and 1958, Scot Lane in 1982 and 1983, and Un Temps Pour Tout in 2016 and 2017.

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Fred Rimell (Cavaliero (1948), Frere Jacques II (1949), Land Fort (1951) and Holly Bank (1954)) and Fulke Walwyn (Ravencroft (1961), Team Spirit (1963), Lord Jim (1971), Gay Vulgan (1977)) both recorded four wins.

Jonjo O’Neill – Wichita Lineman (2009), Alfie Sherrin (2012) and Holywell (2014) – and David Pipe – An Accordion (2008) and Un Temps Pour Tout (2016 & 2017) – are the most successful current trainers with three wins each. Pipe saddles both Ramses De Teillee and Eamon An Cnoic in 2018.

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Robert Thornton – Fork Lightning (2004), Kelami (2005) and Bensalem (2011) – and Tom Scudamore – An Accordion (2008) and Un Temps Pour Tout (2016 & 2017) – have both won the race three times. Scudamore partners Ramses De Teillee this year.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS
Irish-trained horses have prevailed on seven occasions – Dunshaughlin (1946), Royal Tan (1952), Sentina (1957 & 1958), Arkloin (1966), Youlneverwalkalone (2003) and Dun Doire (2006). Kelami, successful in 2005, is the only French-trained winner.

BETTING
The shortest-priced winner was Silver Fame in 1950 at 5/4. The longest-priced scorer was Joes Edge, who belied odds of 50/1 to win in 2007.

DID YOU KNOW?
Five successful horses have used the Ultima Handicap Chase as a stepping stone to the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup:

Silver Fame (1950) Gold Cup 1951
Four Ten (1953) Gold Cup 1954
Limber Hill (1955) Gold Cup 1956
Kerstin (1956) Gold Cup 1958
Charter Party (1986) Gold Cup 1988

Four subsequent Randox Health Grand National winners have captured the Ultima Handicap Chase:
Royal Tan (1952) Grand National 1954
West Tip (1985) Grand National 1986
Seagram (1991) Grand National 1991
Rough Quest (1995) Grand National 1996

The Ultima Handicap Chase has been won by a pair of owners with showbusiness connections. Hollywood idol Gregory Peck owned the 1967 scorer Different Class, while Hot Chocolate lead singer Errol Brown saw his colours carried to victory by Gainsay in 1987.

Ultima Handicap Chase Roll Of Honour

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Un Temps Pour Tout 8-11-12 Tom Scudamore David Pipe Prof Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew 9/1 23
2016 Un Temps Pour Tout 7-11-07 Tom Scudamore David Pipe Prof Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew 11/1 23
2015 The Druids Nephew 8-11-03 Barry Geraghty Neil Mulholland The Stonehenge Druids 8/1 24
2014 Holywell 7-11-06 Richie McLernon Jonjo O’Neill Gay Smith 10/1 23
2013 Golden Chieftain 8-10-02 Brendan Powell Colin Tizzard Brocade Racing 28/1 24
2012 Alfie Sherrin 9-10-00 Richie McLernon Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 14/1 19
2011 Bensalem 8-11-02 Robert Thornton Alan King Alan Marsh & John Duggan 5/1 19
2010 Chief Dan George 10-10-10 Paddy Aspell Jimmy Moffatt Maurice Chapman 33/1 24
2009 Wichita Lineman 8-10-09 Tony McCoy Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 5/1F 21
2008 An Accordion 7-10-12 Tom Scudamore David Pipe Brian Kilpatrick 7/1 14
2007 Joes Edge 10-10-06 Davy Russell Ferdy Murphy Chemipetro Limited 50/1 23
2006 Dun Doire 7-10-09 Ruby Walsh Tony Martin IRE Dunderry Racing Syndicate 7/1 21
2005 Kelami 7-10-02 Robert Thornton Francois Doumen FR Halewood International Ltd 8/1 20
2004 Fork Lightning 8-10-05 Robert Thornton Alan King Fred and Sue Welch 7/1 11
2003 Youlneverwalkalone 9-10-11Barry GeraghtyChristy Roche IREJ P McManus7/1 18
2002 Frenchman’s Creek 8-10-05 Paul Carberry Hughie Morrison Rory Sweet and Panda Wilson 8/1 23
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Marlborough 8-10-03 Mick Fitzgerald Nicky Henderson Robert Ogden 11/2 12
1999 Betty’s Boy 10-10-02 Norman Williamson Kim Bailey Ted Benfield and Bill Brown 25/1 18
1998 Unguided Missile 10-11-10 Paul Carberry Gordon Richards David Harrison 10/1 13
1996 Maamur 8-10-00 Andrew Thornton Tim Forster Jean Wood 13/2 10
1995 Rough Quest 9-10-03 Mick Fitzgerald Terry Casey Andrew Wates 16/1 16
1994 Antonin 6-11-05 John Burke Sue Bramall Michael Stanners 4/1F 11
1993 Givus A Buck 10-10-08 Paul Holley David Elsworth Kevin Costello 11/2 7
1992 Tipping Tim 7-10-00 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Jenny Mould 20/1 17
1991 Seagram 11-10-11 Nigel Hawke David Barons Sir Eric Parker 6/1 14
1990 Bigsun 9-10-11 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson John Horn 15/2 14
1989 Dixton House 10-11-00 Tom Morgan John Edwards Peter S Hill 13/2 16
1988 Aquilifer 8-10-12 Paul Croucher David Murray-Smith Brian Kilpatrick 9/2 16
1987 Gainsay 8-10-05 Ben de Haan Jenny Pitman Errol Brown 10/1 12
1986 Charter Party 8-10-10 Peter Scudamore David Nicholson Claire Smith 12/1 16
1985 West Tip 8-10-13 Richard Dunwoody Michael Oliver Peter Luff 6/1 20
1984 Tracys Special 7-11-01 Steve Knight Andy Turnell Major Jack Rubin 5/1 12
1983 Scot Lane 10-11-07 Craig Smith Martin Tate T Isherwood 20/1 19
1982 Scot Lane 9-10-12 Craig Smith Martin Tate T Isherwood 15/2 18
1981 Current Gold 10-10-07 Neale Doughty Gordon Richards A Picken 10/1 16
1980 Again The Same 7-11-01 Mr Jim Wilson John Edwards G D Smith 10/1 16
1979 Fair View 9-10-04 Ridley Lamb George Fairbairn Michael Shone 12/1 13
1978 No race (Abandoned because of snow)
1977 Gay Vulgan 9-11-04 Bill Smith Fulke Walwyn Mrs W Pilkington 4/1F 12
1976 Barmer 8-10-03 Jimmy McNaught Robin Blakeney Richard Dean 20/1 14
1975 King Flame 9-10-06 John Francome Richard Head Lord Head 12/1 14
1974 Cuckolder 9-10-13 Andy Turnell Bob Turnell Bob Turnell 6/1 11
1973 The Chisler 7-10-10 Michael Dickinson Tony Dickinson J Haggas 6/1 13
1972 Jomon 6-10-12 David Mould Tom Jones Mrs W Jones 8/1 15
1971 Lord Jim 10-10-08 Johnnie Haine Fulke Walwyn Gilbert Dudley Jnr 8/1 14
1970 Charter Flight 8-11-09 Andy Turnell Bob Turnell John Rogerson 100/8 16
1969 Chancer 7-11-00 Pat McCarron Charlie Hall A H P Hope 6/1F 13
1968 Battledore 7-10-10 Kit Stobbs Arthur Stephenson W Morton 3/1F 8
1967 Different Class 7-11-13 David Mould Peter Cazalet Gregory Peck 13/2 16
1966 Arkloin 7-12-05 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 5/2F 12
1965 Rondetto 9-11-10 Johnnie Haine Bob Turnell A B Mitchell 11/2 20
1964 Prudent Barney 10-10-11 Terry Biddlecombe Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 10/1 10
1963 Team Spirit 11-11-04 Willie Robinson Fulke Walwyn Ronald B Woodward 100/8 24
1962 Longtail 7-11-00 Stan Mellor Dick Curran Arthur Dickinson 100/7 18
1961 Ravencroft 8-10-03 Fred Winter Fulke Walwyn Larch Loyd 9/2 10
1960 Isle Of Skye 9-10-05 Tony Keen Alec Kilpatrick Sir Thomas Pilkington 100/8 12
1959 Winning Coin 7-11-07 Dave Dick George Beeby Lord Bicester 100/9 14
1958 Sentina 8-11-07 Tom Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Duchess of Westminster 7/1 14
1957 Sentina 7-10-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE A Craigie 3/1F 12
1956 Kerstin 6-10-05 George Milburn Verly Bewicke G H Moore 100/9 14
1955 Limber Hill 8-11-02 Tim Molony Bill Dutton John Davey 7/1 19
1954 Holly Bank 7-10-13 Mr Peter Brookshaw Fred Rimell S H Brookshaw 7/2F 12
1953 Four Ten 7-10-07 Tommy Cusack John Roberts A Strange 4/1 12
1952 Royal Tan 8-11-06 Mr Phonsie O’Brien Vincent O’Brien IRE Joe Griffin 7/2JF 11
1951 Land Fort 7-11-08 Johnny Bullock Fred Rimell H Oliver 8/1 14
1950 Silver Fame 11-12-07 Martin Molony George Beeby Lord Bicester 5/4F 11
1949 Frere Jacques II 7-10-06 Ted Vinall Fred Rimell Mrs A Simmons 20/1 13
1948 Cavaliero 7-11-10 Ted Vinall Fred Rimell W R Porter 7/1 21
1947 No race (Abandoned because of snow and frost)
1946 Dunshaughlin 8-10-10 Bobby O’Ryan Charlie Rogers IRE Dorothy Paget 7/1 18

2.50pm G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle facts & figures

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Champion Hurdle was inaugurated in 1927, with a value to the winner of £365. The race is worth £450,000 this year after a £50,000 boost, with the winning horse gaining £256,275. The race was abandoned in 1931 due to persistent frost, in 1943 and 1944 because of the Second World War, and in 2001 because of foot and mouth disease.

Stan James took over the sponsorship in 2011. The betting operator was subsequently purchased by the Kindred Group, which this year has changed the sponsorship to another brand, Unibet.
BIGGEST FIELD
The highest number of runners was 24 (1964 and 1991), with the smallest field being three (1932). The first five runnings saw a total of only 24 participants between them. There are 13 declared runners this year.

MULTIPLE WINNERS
Five horses have won the Unibet Champion Hurdle three times – Hatton’s Grace (1949, 1950, 1951), Sir Ken (1952, 1953, 1954), Persian War (1968, 1969, 1970), See You Then (1985, 1986, 1987) and Istabraq (1998, 1999, 2000).

Nine horses have recorded two victories – Insurance (1932 & 1933), National Sprit (1947 & 1948), Bula (1971 & 1972), Comedy Of Errors (1973 & 1975), Night Nurse (1976 & 1977), Monksfield (1978 & 1979), Sea Pigeon (1980 & 1981), Hardy Eustace (2004 & 2005) and Hurricane Fly (2011 & 2013). Comedy Or Errors and Hurricane Fly are the only two horses to have regained the Champion Hurdle crown.

MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
The most successful owner in the history of the championship race is J P McManus with six victories, thanks to triple winner Istabraq (1998, 1999 and 2000), Binocular (2010), Jezki (2014) and Buveur D’Air (2017).

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer, with six wins – See You Then (1985, 1986 and 1987), Punjabi (2009), Binocular (2010) and Buveur D’Air (2017). Henderson has four chances this year – Buveur D’Air, Charlie Parcs, My Tent Or Yours and Verdana Blue.

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Tim Molony and Ruby Walsh both have notched up four Champion Hurdle victories. Molony scored on Hatton’s Grace (1951) and Sir Ken (1952, 1953 & 1954), while Walsh has been successful aboard Hurricane Fly (2011 & 2013), Faugheen (2015) and Annie Power (2016). Walsh rides Faugheen in 2018.

MARES
Four mares have been successful, thanks to Annie Power (2016) joining African Sister (1939), Dawn Run (1984) and Flakey Dove (1994). Verdana Blue tries to add to this total in 2018.

BETTING
The biggest shocks in the Unibet Champion Hurdle were provided by Kirriemuir (1965) and Beech Road (1989), who were both returned at 50/1.

At the other end of the scale, the shortest-priced winners were Lion Courage (1935), Sir Ken (1954) and Istabraq (1999), who were all sent off 4/9.

In the 87 runnings, 36 favourites (41.3 per cent) have prevailed.

GREYS
Four greys have won, the most recent being Rooster Booster in 2003. The others were Kribensis in 1990, Our Hope in 1938 and Victor Norman in 1936. One roan horse has won the Champion Hurdle, Anzio in 1962.

AGE
The oldest winners were Hattons Grace (1951) and Sea Pigeon (1981), both 11-year-olds.

The youngest winners were the four-year-olds Brown Jack (1928), Brown Tony (1930), Seneca (1941) and Forestation (1942).

The overall age breakdown is as follows:
4yo – 4 victories
5yo – 11 victories
6yo – 31 victories
7yo – 21 victories
8yo – 9 victories
9yo – 7 victories
10yo – 2 victories
11yo – 2 victories

RECORD TIME
Annie Power recorded the fastest time for the Unibet Champion Hurdle in 2016, winning in 3m 45.10s to just overcome the previous best of 3m 45.25s set by Jezki in 2014, who in turn beat the 3m 48.1s of Istabraq in 2000.

RIDDEN AND TRAINED WINNER
Four winning jockeys also went on train the Champion Hurdle winner.

RODE
TRAINED
Gerry Wilson
Lion Courage (1935)
Brains Trust (1945)
Fred Rimell
Brains Trust (1945)
Comedy Of Errors (1973 & 1975)
Fred Winter
Clair Solei (1955), Fare Times (1959),
Eborneezer (1961)
Bula (1971 & 1972),
Lanzarote (1974), Celtic Shot (1988)
Dessie Hughes
Monksfield (1979)
Hardy Eustace (2004 & 2005)

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS
Ireland (22): Distel (1946), Hatton’s Grace (1949, 1950, 1951), Another Flash (1960), Winning Fair (1963), Monksfield (1978, 1979), For Auction (1982), Dawn Run (1984), Istabraq (1998, 1999, 2000), Hardy Eustace (2004, 2005), Brave Inca (2006), Sublimity (2007), Hurricane Fly (2011, 2013), Jezki (2014), Faugheen (2015) and Annie Power (2016).

Unibet Champion Hurdle Roll Of Honour
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Rn
2017 Buveur D’Air 6-11-10 Noel Fehily Nicky Henderson J P McManus 5/1 11
2016 Annie Power 8-11-03 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 5/2F 12
2015 Faugheen 7-11-10 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 4/5F 8
2014 Jezki 6-11-10 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE J P McManus 9/1 9
2013 Hurricane Fly 9-11-10 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE George Creighton & Rose Boyd 13/8F 9
2012 Rock On Ruby 7-11-10 Noel Fehily Paul Nicholls The Festival Goers 11/1 10
2011 Hurricane Fly 7-11-10 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE George Creighton & Rose Boyd 11/4F 11
2010 Binocular 6-11-10 A P McCoy Nicky Henderson J P McManus 9/1 12
2009 Punjabi 6-11-10 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Raymond Tooth 22/1 23
2008 Katchit 5-11-10 Robert Thornton Alan King D S J P Syndicate 10/1 15
2007 Sublimity 7-11-10 Philip Carberry John Carr IRE Bill Hennessy 16/1 10
2006 Brave Inca 8-11-10 Tony McCoy Colm Murphy IRE Novices Syndicate 7/4F 18
2005 Hardy Eustace 8-11-10 Conor O’Dwyer Dessie Hughes IRE Lar Byrne 7/2JF 14
2004 Hardy Eustace 7-11-10Conor O’DwyerDessie Hughes IRE Lar Byrne 33/1 14
2003 Rooster Booster 9-12-00 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Terry Warner 9/2 17
2002 Hors La Loi III 7-12-00 Dean Gallagher James Fanshawe Paul Green 10/1 15
2000 Istabraq 8-12-00 Charlie Swan Aidan O’Brien IRE J P McManus 8/15F 12
1999 Istabraq 7-12-00 Charlie Swan Aidan O’Brien IRE J P McManus 4/9F 14
1998 Istabraq 6-12-00 Charlie Swan Aidan O’Brien IRE J P McManus 3/1F 18
1997 Make A Stand 6-12-00 A P McCoy Martin Pipe Peter Deal 7/1 17
1996 Collier Bay 6-12-00 Graham Bradley Jim Old Wally Sturt 9/1 16
1995 Alderbrook 6-12-00 Norman Williamson Kim Bailey Ernie Pick 11/2 14
1994 Flakey Dove 8-11-09 Mark Dwyer Richard Price John Price 9/1 15
1993 Granville Again 7-12-00 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Eric Scarth 13/2 18
1992 Royal Gait 9-12-00 Graham McCourt James Fanshawe Sheikh Mohammed 6/1 16
1991 Morley Street 7-12-00 Jimmy Frost Toby Balding Michael Jackson Bloodstock Ltd 4/1F 24
1990 Kribensis 6-12-00 Richard Dunwoody Michael Stoute Sheikh Mohammed 95/40F 19
1989 Beech Road 7-12-00 Richard Guest Toby Balding Tony Geake 50/1 15
1988 Celtic Shot 6-12-00 Peter Scudamore Fred Winter David Horton 7/1 21
1987 See You Then 7-12-00 Steve Smith Eccles Nicky Henderson Stype Wood Stud Ltd 11/10F 18
1986 See You Then 6-12-00 Steve Smith Eccles Nicky Henderson Stype Wood Stud Ltd 5/6F 23
1985 See You Then 5-12-00 Steve Smith Eccles Nicky Henderson Stype Wood Stud Ltd 16/1 14
1984 Dawn Run 6-11-09 Jonjo O’Neill Paddy Mullins IRE Charmian Hill 4/5F 14
1983 Gaye Brief 6-12-00 Richard Linley Mercy Rimell Sheikh Ali Abu Khamsin 7/1 17
1982 For Auction 6-12-00 Mr Colin Magnier Michael Cunningham IRE F Heaslip 40/1 14
1981 Sea Pigeon 11-12-00 John Francome Peter Easterby Pat Muldoon 7/4F 14
1980 Sea Pigeon 10-12-00 Jonjo O’Neill Peter Easterby Pat Muldoon 13/2 9
1979 Monksfield 7-12-00 Dessie Hughes Des McDonogh IRE Dr Michael Mangan 9/4F 10
1978 Monksfield 6-12-00 Tommy Kinane Des McDonogh IRE Dr Michael Mangan 11/2 13
1977 Night Nurse 6-12-00 Paddy Broderick Peter Easterby Reg Spencer 15/2 10
1976 Night Nurse 5-12-00 Paddy Broderick Peter Easterby Reg Spencer 2/1F 8
1975 Comedy Of Errors 8-12-00 Ken White Fred Rimell Ted Wheatley 11/8F 13
1974 Lanzarote 6-12-00 Richard Pitman Fred Winter Lord Howard de Walden 7/4 7
1973 Comedy Of Errors 6-12-00 Bill Smith Fred Rimell Ted Wheatley 8/1 8
1972 Bula 7-12-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Bill Edwards-Heathcote 8/11F 12
1971 Bula 6-12-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Bill Edwards-Heathcote 15/8F 9
1970 Persian War 7-12-00 Jimmy Uttley Colin Davies Henry Alper 5/4F 14
1969 Persian War 6-12-00 Jimmy Uttley Colin Davies Henry Alper 6/4F 17
1968 Persian War 5-11-12 Jimmy Uttley Colin Davies Henry Alper 4/1 16
1967 Saucy Kit 6-12-00 Roy Edwards Peter Easterby K F Alder 100/6 23
1966 Salmon Spray 8-12-00 Johnnie Haine Bob Turnell Mrs John Rogerson 4/1 17
1965 Kirriemuir 5-12-00 Willie Robinson Fulke Walwyn Mrs Dorothy Beddington 50/1 19
1964 Magic Court 6-12-00 Pat McCarron Tommy Robson J McGhie 100/6 24
1963 Winning Fair 8-12-00 Mr Alan Lillingston George Spencer IRE George Spencer 100/9 21
1962 Anzio 5-11-12 Willie Robinson Fulke Walwyn Sir Thomas Ainsworth 11/2 14
1961 Eborneezer 6-12-00Fred Winter Ryan Price Dr B N Pajgar 4/1 17
1960 Another Flash 6-12-00 Bobby Beasley Paddy Sleator IRE J J Byrne 11/4F 12
1959 Fare Time 6-12-00 Fred Winter Ryan Price Gerry Judd 13/2 14
1958 Bandalore 7-12-00 George Slack Stan Wright Mrs Dorothy Wright 20/1 18
1957 Merry Deal 7-12-00 Grenville Underwood Arthur Jones Arthur Jones 28/1 16
1956 Doorknocker 8-12-00 Harry Sprague Charlie Hall Clifford Nicholson 100/9 14
1955 Clair Soleil 6-12-00 Fred Winter Ryan Price Gerry Judd 5/2F 21
1954 Sir Ken 7-12-00 Tim Molony Willie Stephenson Maurice Kingsley 4/9F 13
1953 Sir Ken 6-12-00 Tim Molony Willie Stephenson Maurice Kingsley 2/5F 7
1952 Sir Ken 5-11-12 Tim Molony Willie Stephenson Maurice Kingsley 3/1F 16
1951 Hatton’s Grace 11-12-00 Tim Molony Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs Harry Keogh 4/1 8
1950 Hatton’s Grace 10-12-00 Aubrey Brabazon Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs Harry Keogh 5/2F 12
1949 Hatton’s Grace 9-12-00 Aubrey Brabazon Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs Harry Keogh 100/7 14
1948 National Spirit 7-12-00 Ron Smyth Vic Smyth Len Abelson 6/4F 12
1947 National Spirit 6-12-00 Danny Morgan Vic Smyth Len Abelson 7/1 13
1946 Distel 5-11-10 Bobby O’Ryan Charlie Rogers IRE Dorothy Paget 4/5F 8
1945 Brains Trust 5-11-10 Fred Rimell Gerry Wilson F Blakeway 9/2 16
1942 Forestation 4-11-00 Ron Smyth Vic Smyth Vic Smyth 10/1 20
1941 Seneca 4-11-00 Ron Smyth Vic Smyth Sir Malcolm McAlpine 7/1 6
1940 Solford 9-12-00 Sean Magee Owen Anthony Dorothy Paget 5/2F 8
1939 African Sister 7-12-00 Keith Piggott Charles Piggott H Brueton 10/1 13
1938 Our Hope 9-12-00 Perry Harding Roderic Gubbins Roderic Gubbins 5/1 5
1937 Free Fare 9-12-00 Georges Pellerin Ted Gwilt Ben Warner 2/1F 7
1936 Victor Norman 5-11-00 Frenchie Nicholson Morgan Blair Michael Stephens 4/1 8
1935 Lion Courage 7-12-00 Gerry Wilson F Brown R Fox Carlyon 100/8 11
1934 Chenango 7-12-00 Danny Morgan Ivor Anthony Pete Bostwick 4/9F 5
1933 Insurance 6-12-00 Billy Stott Basil Briscoe Dorothy Paget 10/11F 5
1932 Insurance 5-12-00 Ted Leader Basil Briscoe Dorothy Paget 4/5F 3
1930 Brown Tony 4-11-00 Tommy Cullinan Jack Anthony Mrs J de Selincourt 7/2 5
1929 Royal Falcon 6-12-00 Dick Rees Bob Gore Miss Williams-Bulkeley 11/2 6
1928 Brown Jack 4-11-00 Bilby Rees Aubrey Hastings Major Harold Wernher 4/1 6
1927 Blaris 6-12-00 George Duller Bill Payne Mrs H Hollins 11/10F 4

Records of trainers with declared runners in the Unibet Champion Hurdle (since 1997 plus any winners beforehand)

Henry de Bromhead IRE – Identity Thief
2008 14th Sizing Europe (Andrew McNamara) 2/1F
2016 6th Identity Thief (Bryan Cooper) 8/1
2017 3rd Petit Mouchoir (Bryan Cooper) 6/1

Gordon Elliott IRE – Mick Jazz
No previous runners

Nicky Henderson – Buveur D’Air, Charli Parcs, My Tent Or Yours, Verdana Blue
1985 1st See You Then (Steve Smith Eccles) 16/1
1986 1st See You Then (Steve Smith Eccles) 5/6F
1987 1st See You Then (Steve Smith Eccles) 11/10F
2000 3rd Blue Royal (Mick Fitzgerald) 16/1
2000 7th Katarino (Norman Williamson) 25/1
2002 4th Geos (Richard Johnson) 16/1
2002 5th Landing Light (Mick Fitzgerald) 100/30
2002 12th Regal Exit (John Kavanagh) 66/1
2003 7th Landing Light (Mick Fitzgerald) 14/1
2004 PU Geos (Mick Fitzgerald) 20/1
2007 3rd Afsoun (Mick Fitzgerald) 28/1
2008 3rd Punjabi (Barry Geraghty) 25/1
2008 7th Afsoun (Mick Fitzgerald) 16/1
2009 1st Punjabi (Barry Geraghty) 22/1
2009 3rd Binocular (A P McCoy) 6/4F
2009 14th Sentry Duty (Andrew Tinkler) 33/1
2010 1st Binocular (A P McCoy) 9/1
2010 3rd Zaynar (Andrew Tinkler) 15/2
2010 9th Punjabi (Barry Geraghty) 15/2
2011 3rd Oscar Whisky (Barry Geraghty) 7/1
2012 4th Binocular (A P McCoy) 4/1
2013 5th Binocular (A P McCoy) 10/1
2013 6th Khyber Kim (Paddy Brennan) 50/1
2013 F Grandouet (Barry Geraghty) 13/2
2014 2nd My Tent Or Yours (A P McCoy) 3/1
2015 8th Vaniteux (Barry Geraghty) 25/1
2016 2nd My Tent Or Yours (Barry Geraghty) 10/1
2016 10th Hargam (Mark Walsh) 16/1
2016 5th Top Notch (Daryl Jacob) 14/1
2016 8th Sign Of A Victory (Andrew Tinkler) 66/1
2016 PU Peace And Co (Nico de Boinville) 16/1
2017 1st Buveur D’Air (Noel Fehily) 5/1
2017 2nd My Tent Or Yours (Aidan Coleman) 16/1
2017 9th Brain Power (David Mullins) 13/2

Alan King – Elgin
2006 F Penzance (Robert Thornton) 40/1
2008 1st Katchit (Robert Thornton) 10/1
2009 6th Katchit (Robert Thornton) 12/1
2010 7th Medermit (Robert Thornton) 11/1
2011 11th Mille Chief (Robert Thornton) 16/1
2013 UR Balder Succes (Wayne Hutchinson) 100/1
2014 8th Grumeti (Wayne Hutchinson) 66/1
2017 6th Sceau Royal (Daryl Jacob) 25/1
2017 7th Yanworth (Mark Walsh) 2/1F

Willie Mullins IRE – Faugheen, Melon, Wicklow Brave, Yorkhill
1999 9th Alexander Prize (Ruby Walsh) 11/2
2000 PU Balla Sola (Conor O’Dwyer) 50/1
2003 8th Holy Orders (Shay Barry) 100/1
2003 14th Scolardy (David Casey) 66/1
2004 13th Davenport Milenium (Timmy Murphy) 25/1
2008 12th Ebaziyan (Davy Condon) 33/1
2009 20th Ebaziyan (Paul Townend) 50/1
2011 1st Hurricane Fly (Ruby Walsh) 11/4F
2011 4th Thousand Stars (Paul Townend) 33/1
2012 3rd Hurricane Fly (Ruby Walsh) 4/6F
2012 8th Zaidpour (Paul Townend) 22/1
2013 1st Hurricane Fly (Ruby Walsh) 13/8F
2014 4th Hurricane Fly (Ruby Walsh) 11/4F
2015 1st Faugheen (Ruby Walsh) 4/5F
2015 2nd Arctic Fire (Danny Mullins) 20/1
2015 3rd Hurricane Fly (Paul Townend) 8/1
2016 1st Annie Power (Ruby Walsh) 5/2F
2016 3rd Nichols Canyon (Paul Townend) 15/2
2016 PU Sempre Medici (David Mullins) 16/1
2017 4th Footpad (Ruby Walsh) 14/1
2017 8th Wicklow Brave (Paul Townend) 22/1

Dan Skelton – Ch’tibello
2015 7th Bertimont (Harry Skelton) 100/1

Evan Williams – John Constable
No previous runners

Records of jockeys declared to ride in the Unibet Champion Hurdle

Leighton Aspell – John Constable
2016 9th Camping Ground (Robert Walford) 16/1
Nico de Boinville – Verdana Blue
2016 PU Peace And Co (Nicky Henderson) 16/1
Aidan Coleman – My Tent Or Yours
2017 2nd My Tent Or Yours (Nicky Henderson) 16/1
Noel Fehily – Charli Parcs
2009 4th Crack Away Jack (Emma Lavelle) 16/1
2012 1st Rock On Ruby (Paul Nicholls) 11/1
2013 2nd Rock On Ruby (Harry Fry) 11/2
2015 6th Kitten Rock (Edward O’Grady) 28/1
2017 1st Buveur D’Air (Nicky Henderson) 5/1
Sean Flanagan – Identity Thief
No previous rides
Barry Geraghty – Buveur D’Air
2003 6th In Contrast (Philip Hobbs) 25/1
2004 9th Specular (Jonjo O’Neill) 14/1
2005 5th Macs Joy (Jessica Harrington) 7/1
2006 2nd Macs Joy (Jessica Harrington) 13/2
2007 F Iktitaf (Noel Meade) 14/1
2008 3rd Punjabi (Nicky Henderson) 25/1
2009 1st Punjabi (Nicky Henderson) 22/1
2010 9th Punjabi (Nicky Henderson) 15/2
2011 3rd Oscar Whisky (Nicky Henderson) 7/1
2013 F Grandouet (Nicky Henderson) 13/2
2014 1st Jezki (Jessica Harrington) 9/1
2015 8th Vaniteux (Nicky Henderson) 25/1
2016 2nd My Tent Or Yours (Nicky Henderson) 10/1
Wayne Hutchinson – Elgin
2013 UR Balder Succes (Alan King) 100/1
2014 8th Grumeti (Alan King) 66/1
David Mullins – Yorkhill
2016 PU Sempre Medici (Willie Mullins) 16/1
2017 9th Brain Power (Nicky Henderson) 13/2
Mr Patrick Mullins – Wicklow Brave
No previous rides
Davy Russell – Mick Jazz
2008 8th Farmer Brown (Pat Hughes) 50/1
2009 10th Won In The Dark (Sabrina Harty) 33/1
2010 6th Solwhit (Charles Byrnes) 6/1
Harry Skelton – Ch’tibello
2012 9th Celestial Halo (Paul Nicholls) 50/1
2015 7th Bertimont (Dan Skelton) 100/1
Paul Townend – Melon
2009 20th Ebaziyan (Willie Mullins) 50/1
2011 4th Thousand Stars (Willie Mullins) 33/1
2012 8th Zaidpour (Willie Mullins) 22/1
2015 3rd Hurricane Fly (Willie Mullins) 8/1
2016 3rd Nichols Canyon (Willie Mullins) 15/2
2017 8th Wicklow Brave (Willie Mullins) 22/1
Ruby Walsh – Faugheen
1999 9th Alexander Prize (Willie Mullins) 11/2
2002 2nd Marble Arch (Hughie Morrison) 25/1
2003 9th Santenay (Paul Nicholls) 33/1
2004 8th Rigmarole (Paul Nicholls) 4/1
2005 9th Back In Front (Edward O’Grady) 7/2JF
2006 F Asian Maze (Tom Mullins) 12/1
2007 2nd Brave Inca (Colm Murphy) 11/2
2008 6th Catch Me (Edward O’Grady) 10/1
2009 2nd Celestial Halo (Paul Nicholls) 17/2
2010 4th Celestial Halo (Paul Nicholls) 7/1
2011 1st Hurricane Fly (Willie Mullins) 11/4F
2012 3rd Hurricane Fly (Willie Mullins) 4/6F
2013 1st Hurricane Fly (Willie Mullins) 13/8F
2014 4th Hurricane Fly (Willie Mullins) 11/4F
2015 1st Faugheen (Willie Mullins) 4/5F
2016 1st Annie Power (Willie Mullins) 5/2F
2017 4th Footpad (Willie Mullins) 14/1

4.10pm G1 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle facts & figures

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
This year sees the 11th running of the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy), which was upgraded to be a Grade One contest in 2015. Previously a Grade Two race, it was named in memory of the legendary Cotswold-based jockey and trainer, who passed away in August, 2006. OLBG, the online sports betting community, sponsored for the first time in 2012.
“The Duke” enjoyed five successes at The Festival as a jockey between 1963 and 1973, but is best known for his 17 victories as a trainer, including wins in the Queen Mother Champion Chase (1994 & 1995 Viking Flagship), Stayers’ Hurdle (Anzum 1999) and Cheltenham Gold Cup (1988 Charter Party).

Nicholson became the first trainer for more than 50 years to saddle three winners in a day at The Festival when Putty Road (Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle), Viking Flagship (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase) and Kadi (Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate) all triumphed on March 15, 1995.

FIELD SIZE
There were 19 runners in 2012, 2013 and 2016, while the smallest field of 13 went to post in 2008. The race has a safety limit of 24.

MULTIPLE WINNERS
Quevega dominates the roll of honour, having captured six of the 10 runnings- 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Willie Mullins-trained mare became the first horse to win a race six times at The Festival in 2014, beating the record she previously shared with Golden Miller, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on five occasions between 1932 and 1936.

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Willie Mullins saddled Quevega to all six of her victories and the trainer has an amazing eight wins in the race in total, with Glens Melody scoring in 2015 and Vroum Vroum Mag taking the spoils in 2016. Mullins has Benie Des Dieux and Pravalaguna this year.

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Ruby Walsh has partnered the winner on seven occasions, having ridden Quevega on each of her six victories and been aboard Vroum Vroum Mag in 2016. Wlash is on Benie Des Dieux this year.

BETTING
Quevega was sent off favourite for all six of her successes, and was the shortest-priced winner in 2012 at odds of 4/7. Whiteoak sprung a surprise in 2008 as she scored at 20/1.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS
Irish trainers dominate the roll of honour, having accounted for nine of the 10 winners with Quevega (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), Glen’s Melody (2015), Vroum Vroum Mag (2016) and Apple’s Jade (2017).

DID YOU KNOW?
As well as sponsoring this race, OLBG supports a series of mares’ hurdles as part of the OLBG Mares’ Road to the Cheltenham Festival.

The exploits of Quevega in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle have been recognised by Cheltenham Racecourse with Quevaga’s, a bar situated at the top of the paddock which was launched at The Open in November, 2014.

Annie Power saved bookmakers an estimated £50 million when falling, with the race at her mercy, at the final flight in the 2015 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. Sent off the 1/2 favourite, Annie Power was bidding to become the fourth Willie Mullins-trained and Ruby Walsh-ridden horse to triumph on the opening day of The Festival following the victories of Douvan (2/1F) Un De Sceaux (4/6F) and Faugheen (4/5F) earlier on the card. Mullins did gain some compensation as he also trained the winning mare, Glens Melody.

OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Roll Of Honour
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Apple’s Jade 5-11-05 Bryan Cooper Gordon Elliott IRE Gigginstown House Stud 7/2 17
2016 Vroum Vroum Mag 7-11-05 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 4/6F 19
2015 Glens Melody 7-11-05 Paul Townend Willie Mullins IRE Fiona McStay 6/1 15
2014 Quevega 10-11-05 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Hammer & Trowel Syndicate 8/11F 16
2013 Quevega 9-11-05 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Hammer & Trowel Syndicate 8/11F 19
2012 Quevega 8-11-05 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Hammer & Trowel Syndicate 4/7F 19
2011 Quevega 7-11-05 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Hammer & Trowel Syndicate 5/6F 14
2010 Quevega 6-11-05 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Hammer & Trowel Syndicate 6/4F 17
2009 Quevega 5-11-03 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Hammer & Trowel Syndicate 2/1F 14
2008 Whiteoak 5-11-00 Jason Maguire Donald McCain Brendan Richardson 20/1 13

4.50pm G2 National Hunt Chase Facts & Figures

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The National Hunt Chase is the oldest race at The Festival. Until the 1930s, only the Grand National was more important than the National Hunt Chase in the Jump calendar.

The race had taken place at a number of venues until it became a part of the new two-day National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham in 1911. It had also been run at Cheltenham in 1904 and 1905.

The four-mile National Hunt Chase, for amateur riders, is the longest race run at The Festival. The contest was reduced in distance by a furlong in 2008 and reverted back to the Old Course.

The 2008 race was run as the Peter O’Sullevan National Hunt Chase to celebrate the legendary commentator’s 90th birthday and in 2012 honoured the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

The 2013 renewal remembered the late Lord John Oaksey, the leading amateur rider, journalist, broadcaster and founder of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund, while the 2014 race, the first as a Listed contest, was run in honour of three-time champion Jump jockey Terry Biddlecombe. The 2015 contest remembered trainer Toby Balding OBE.

It was upgraded to Grade Two status in 2017, when it was run in honour of J T McNamara, one of the finest amateur jockeys of all time who passed away at the age of 41 in July, 2016.

FIELD SIZE
The race is usually one of the best supported at The Festival, with very competitive fields each year. The highest number of runners in a post-war field size was 37 (1948) and the smallest 13 (1993). There is a field of 16 this year.

MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
J P McManus is the most successful owner with six wins – Bit Of A Skite (1983), Front Line (1995), Rith Dubh (2002), Butler’s Cabin (2007), Cause Of Causes (2015) and Minella Rocco (2016). He is represented by No Comment in 2018.

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Jonjo O’Neill with six wins is the most successful trainer since 1946 – Front Line (1995), Rith Dubh (2002), Sudden Shock (2003), Native Emperor (2004), Butler’s Cabin (2007) and Minella Rocco (2016).

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
A total of 10 amateur have each ridden two winners of the National Hunt Chase since 1946 – Bunny Cox, Dermot Daly, George Small, J T McNamara, John Fowler, Marcus Armytage, Tony Fowler, Tony Martin, Willie Mullins and Derek O’Connor.

BETTING
The biggest shocks were provided by Topsham Bay (1990) and Another Rum (2005), both 40/1 shots.

Castledermot, 6/4 favourite in 1949, is the shortest-priced victor. 16 of the 70 runnings (23%) since 1946 have gone to the market leader.

AGE
The oldest winners in the post-war period have been the 11-year-olds Prattler (1946), Red Vale (1965), Waggoners Walk (1980) and Flimsy Truth (1997).

The youngest winner in the same period is the five-year-old Gay Tie (1978).

The overall breakdown by age is as follows:

5yo – 1 win
6yo – 7 wins
7yo – 26 wins
8yo – 21 wins
9yo – 7 wins
10yo – 4 wins
11yo – 4 wins

RECORD TIME
Relaxation recorded the post-war record time of 8m 0.60s when scoring in 2000.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS (SINCE 1946)
IRELAND (18): Castledermot (1949); Pontage (1953); Quare Times (1954); Dorimont (1964); Mr Midland (1974); Gay Tie (1978); Artic Ale (1979); Hazy Dawn (1982); Bit Of A Skite (1983); Macks Friendly (1984); Omerta (1986); Loving Around (1996); Deejaydee (1999); Another Rum (2005); Chicago Grey (2011); Back In Focus (2013); Cause Of Causes (2015); Tiger Roll (2017).

DID YOU KNOW?
Lisa O’Neill became the second woman to ride the winner when successful on Tiger Roll in 2017, following on from Katie Walsh’s ground-breaking victory on Poker Di Sivola in 2010.

The race has proved a good guide to future success in recent seasons, with several runners having gone on to win top staying chases since 2000:

Grand National winners
2005 Hedgehunter (12th 2003 National Hunt Chase)
2007 Silver Birch (4th 2004 National Hunt Chase)

Scottish National winners
2007 Hot Weld (won 2006 National Hunt Chase)
2011 Beshabar (2nd 2011 National Hunt Chase)
2013 Godsmejudge (3rd 2013 National Hunt Chase)
2016 & 2017 Vicente (5th 2016 National Hunt Chase)

Irish National winners
2003 Timbera (2nd 2002 National Hunt Chase)
2006 Point Barrow (5th 2005 National Hunt Chase)
2007 Butler’s Cabin (won 2007 National Hunt Chase)
2009 Niche Market (8th 2009 National Hunt Chase)
2014 Shutthefrontdoor (6th 2014 National Hunt Chase)
2015 Thunder And Roses (UR 2015 National Hunt Chase)
2016 Rogue Angel (7th 2014 National Hunt Chase)

Welsh National winners
2001 Supreme Glory (4th 2000 National Hunt Chase)
2004 Silver Birch (4th 2004 National Hunt Chase)
2007 Miko De Beauchene (UR 2007 National Hunt Chase)
2011 Le Beau Bai (PU 2009 National Hunt Chase)
2014 Emperor’s Choice (7th 2013 National Hunt Chase)
2016 Native River (2nd 2016 National Hunt Chase)

Hennessy Gold Cup winners
2004 Celestial Gold (2nd 2004 National Hunt Chase)
2016 Native River (2nd 2016 National Hunt Chase)

National Hunt Chase Roll Of Honour
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Tiger Roll 7-11-06 Ms Lisa O’Neill Gordon Elliott IRE Gigginstown House Stud 16/1 18
2016 Minella Rocco 6-11-06 Mr Derek O’Connor Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 8/1 20
2015 Cause Of Causes 7-11-06 Mr Jamie Codd Gordon Elliott IRE J P McManus 8/1 17
2014 Midnight Prayer 9-11-06 Mr Joshua Newman Alan King The Legends Partnership 8/1 15
2013 Back In Focus 8-11-06 Mr Patrick Mullins Willie Mullins IRE Andrea & Graham Wylie 9/4F 16
2012 Teaforthree 8-11-06 Mr J T McNamara Rebecca Curtis T437 5/1F 19
2011 Chicago Grey 8-11-06 Mr Derek O’Connor Gordon Elliott IRE John Earls 5/1F 16
2010 Poker De Sivola 7-11-06 Ms Katie Walsh Ferdy Murphy David Johnson 14/118
2009 Tricky Trickster 6-11-11 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen Nigel Twiston-Davies Million In Mind Partnership 11/1 19
2008 Old Benny 7-11-07 Mr Charlie Huxley Alan King Trevor Hemmings 9/1 20
2007 Butler’s Cabin 7-12-00 Mr Alan Berry Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 33/1 19
2006 Hot Weld 7-11-11 Mr Richard Harding Ferdy Murphy Simon Hubbard Rodwell 33/1 22
2005 Another Rum 7-11-07 Mr Mark O’Hare Ian Duncan IRE Ronald Lilley 40/1 20
2004 Native Emperor 8-11-11 Mr Robert Widger Jonjo O’Neill J C, J R & S R Hitchins 5/1JF 22
2003 Sudden Shock 8-11-07Mr Denis Cullen Jonjo O’Neill Darren Mercer 25/1 24
2002 Rith Dubh 10-11-11 Mr J T McNamara Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 10/1 26
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Relaxation 8-12-00 Mr Mark Bradburne Henry Daly Sir Philip Payne-Gallwey/Vicky Wiggin 8/1 21
1999 Deejaydee 7-12-00 Mr Tony Martin Michael Hourigan IRE Mrs M Devine 13/2 21
1998 Wandering Light 9-12-07 Mr Rupert Wakley Tim Forster Anne Duchess of Westminster 10/1 24
1997 Flimsy Truth 11-12-07 Mr Micky Harris Martin Weston Martin Weston 33/1 23
1996 Loving Around 8-11-06 Mr Philip Fenton Edward O’Grady IRE Lord Tavistock 10/1 22
1995 Front Line 8-12-07 Mr John Berry Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 7/1 25
1994 Christmas Gorse 8-12-04 Mr Marcus Armytage Nick Gaselee David Stoddart 14/1 19
1993 Ushers Island 7-12-04 Mr Noel Wilson Howard Johnson Bob Bowden 15/2 13
1992 Keep Talking 7-12-07 Mr Marcus Armytage Tim Thomson Jones Jim Joel 5/2F 24
1991 Smooth Escort 7-12-00 Mr Tony Martin Di Haine A F Budge (Equine) Ltd 7/1 18
1990 Topsham Bay 7-12-00 Mr Paul Hacking David Barons Michael Marsh 40/1 25
1989 Boraceva 6-12-07 Mr Seamus Mullins Toby Balding Duke of Atholl 4/1F 21
1988 Over The Road 7-12-04 Mr Tom Costello Terry Casey John Upson 10/1 28
1987 Mighty Mark 8-12-07 Mr Jimmy Walton Frank Walton Frank Walton 8/1 30
1986 Omerta 6-12-07 Mr Lorcan Wyer Homer Scott IRE Mrs J McMorrow 9/4F 22
1985 Northern Bay 9-12-04 Mr Tony Fowler Tom Bill Twycross Frozen Food Centre Ltd 12/1 20
1984 Macks Friendly 7-12-07 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins IRE John Mulhern 11/4 18
1983 Bit Of A Skite 7-12-00 Mr Frank Codd Edward O’Grady IRE J P McManus 5/1F 29
1982 Hazy Dawn 7-12-07 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins IRE R Daniels 8/1 26
1981 Lucky Vane 6-12-07 Mr Stephen Bush Toby Balding Bridget Swire 13/1 21
1980 Waggoners Walk 11-12-04 Mr Tony Fowler Caroline Mason George Mason 10/1 23
1979 Artic Ale 8-12-00 Mr John Fowler Dan Moore IRE Anthony Robinson 20/1 25
1978 Gay Tie 5-11-09 Mr John Fowler Mick O’Toole IRE Dr P Morrissey 10/1 17
1977 Alpenstock 10-12-04 Mr Dick Saunders Stan Mellor Harron Thompson 14/1 21
1976 Sage Merlin 8-12-07 Mr Peter Greenall Jack Hardy John Bingham 5/2F 22
1975 Abandoned (course waterlogged)
1974 Mr Midland 7-12-04 Mr Mouse Morris Edward O’Grady IRE B Naughton 7/2 17
1973 Foreman 7-12-01 Mr Bill Shand Kydd Tom Jones R Dean 11/2F 25
1972 Charley Winking 7-12-00 Mr Derrick Scott Leslie Scott Leslie Scott 20/1 23
1971 Deblin’s Green 8-11-07 Mr Derek Edmunds George Yardley George Yardley 9/2F 20
1970 Domason 7-12-01 Mr Robert Alner Harry Dufosee Harry Dufosee 10/1 18
1969 Lizzy The Lizard 10-12-00 Mr Grant Cann Tony Hartnoll Tony Hartnoll 10/1 35
1968 Fascinating Forties 9-11-07 Mr Michael Dickinson George Owen Lord Leverhulme 9/1 22
1967 Master Tammy 9-11-07 Mr Brian Fanshawe George Guilding George Guilding 100/7 24
1966 Polaris Missile 7-11-09 Mr John Thorne John Thorne John Thorne 100/6 29
1965 Red Vale 11-12-00 Mr George Small Albert Piper Mrs C Smith 100/8 26
1964 Dorimont 10-12-01 Mr Charles Vaughan Tom Taaffe IRE M A Walshe 4/1 30
1963 Time 8-12-00 Mr Ian Balding Willie Stephenson John Cheatle 8/1 35
1962 Go Slow 7-12-07 Mr George Small Albert Piper Mrs I R Millar 10/1 26
1961 Superfine 8-12-04 Sir William Pigott-Brown Frank Cundell I Kerwood 10/1 33
1960 Proud Socks 8-12-00 Mr H Thompson Vivian Bishop Vivian Bishop 100/6 22
1959 Sabaria 8-12-00 Mr John Lawrence Bob Turnell Bob Turnell 5/2F 17
1958 Spud Tamson 7-12-04 Mr Geordie Dun Tommy Dun Mrs T D C Dun 13/2 28
1957 Kari Sou 8-12-00 Mr Alan Lillingston Archie Thomlinson Archie Thomlinson 100/6 24
1956 Rosana III 7-12-00 Mr G Everitt G Everitt G Everitt 9/1 22
1955 Reverend Prince 9-12-00 Mr C Pocock Peter Dufosee Peter Dufosee 33/1 26
1954 Quare Times 8-12-04 Mr Bunny Cox Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs R Smyth 5/2F 26
1953 Pontage 7-12-04 Mr Bunny Cox Dan Moore IRE Lady Honor Svejdar 9/4F 22
1952 Frosty Knight 6-12-00 Mr Charles Straker Ian Straker Ian Straker 15/2 19
1951 Cushendun 6-12-04 Mr Peter Chisman Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 10/1 18
1950 Ellesmere 7-12-07 Mr Atty Corbett Ken Cundell Lord Bicester 100/30F 26
1949 Castledermot 7-12-07 Lord Mildmay Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs Harry Keogh 6/4F 17
1948 Bruno II 8-12-03 Major Guy Cunard William Anstruther-Gray William Anstruther-Gray 20/1 37
1947 Maltese Wanderer 8-12-03 Major Dermot Daly Tom Yates G J Wells 6/1 20
1946 Prattler 11-12-03 Major Dermot Daly Tom Yates E Manner 33/1 20

5.30pm Listed Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase facts & figures

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase was one of the new races introduced to the four-day Festival in 2005. Leading UK merchant banking group Close Brothers took over the sponsorship from 2016.

Initially run as an open handicap for novices, it was restricted to horses with a rating of 145 or less in 2011. There was a further tightening of the race conditions from 2012, with the contest being for novice chasers rated 0-140, although it reverts back to a 0-145 contest in 2018.

FIELD SIZE
A maximum field of 20 has contested nine out of the last 10 renewals of the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. The smallest field of 18 lined up in 2006.

WEIGHTS
Hunt Ball defied 12st in 2012, despite the fact that the maximum weight allowed is officially 11st 12lb. He was allowed to take his chance in the race as he was rated 127 when the entries closed in February. He recorded a 10-length victory in a Kempton Park handicap chase before the weights were announced, which earned him a rating of 142, meaning that he was allowed to carry 12st, 2lb above the top-weight of 11st 12lb.

At the other end of the scale, King Harald carried 10st 4lb to victory in 2005.

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Ferdy Murphy is the only trainer to saddle more than one winner – L’Antartique (2007) and Divers (2011).

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Graham Lee, now a highly successful Flat jockey, partnered both L’Antartique (2007) and Divers (2011) to glory, making him the only jockey to win the race twice.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS
IRELAND (2) – Finger Onthe Pulse (2008), Tully East (2017)

BETTING
Reveillez won at odds of 9/2 in 2006 – the shortest-priced winner in the history of the race – Hunt Ball (2012) is the only other favourite (13/2) to score. L’Antartique is the longest-priced winner, obliging at 20/1 in 2007.

DID YOU KNOW?
Mattie Batchelor took the inaugural running on King Harald as the pair survived a final fence blunder that left the jockey without any irons on the run-in. His performance in the saddled was recognised at the Lesters Awards as he received the prize for Jump Ride of the Year.

Defeat in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is no barrier to future success. Big Buck’s finished seventh behind Finger Onthe Pulse in 2008 before going on to post a record 18 consecutive wins over hurdles, headed by four victories in the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle at The Festival.

Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase Roll Of Honour
(First running in 2005)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Tully East 7-11-08 Denis O’Regan Alan Fleming IRE Barry Connell 8/1 20
2016 Ballyalton 9-11-10 Brian Hughes Ian Williams John Westwood 12/1 20
2015 Irish Cavalier 6-11-07 Paul Townend Rebecca Curtis Andrew McIver 11/1 20
2014 Present View 6-11-07 Brendan Powell Jamie Snowden Sir Chips Keswick 8/1 19
2013 Rajdhani Express 6-11-07 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson Robert Waley-Cohen 16/1 20
2012 Hunt Ball 7-12-00 Nick Scholfield Keiran Burke Anthony Knott 13/2F 20
2011 Divers 7-11-04 Graham Lee Ferdy Murphy The DPRP Divers Partnership 10/1 20
2010 Copper Bleu 8-11-01 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Alan Peterson 12/1 20
2009 Chapoturgeon 5-10-11 Timmy Murphy Paul Nicholls David Johnson 8/1 20
2008 Finger Onthe Pulse 7-10-12 Barry Geraghty Tom Taaffe IRE Conor Clarkson 9/1 20

DECLARED RUNNERS FOR LADIES DAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14

1.30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f 26y £125,000
1 Ahead of The Curve (FR) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Susan Corbett 11st 7lb James Corbett
2 Aye Aye Charlie Fergal O’Brien 11st 7lb Conor Shoemark
3 Black Op (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Tom George 11st 7lb Noel Fehily
4 Brahma Bull (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb David Mullins
5 Coolanly (IRE) Fergal O’Brien 11st 7lb Paddy Brennan
6 Diablo de Rouhet (FR) Jo Hughes 11st 7lb Mark Grant
7 Duc des Genievres (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb Paul Townend
8 Gowiththeflow (IRE) Ben Pauling 11st 7lb Daryl Jacob
9 Knight In Dubai (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Dan Skelton 11st 7lb Harry Skelton
10 Mind’s Eye (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 7lb Davy Russell
11 Next Destination (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb R. Walsh
12 Samcro (IRE) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 7lb Jack Kennedy
13 Scarpeta (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb Danny Mullins
14 Vision des Flos (FR) (Tongue Strap) Colin Tizzard 11st 7lb Robbie Power

2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y £175,000
1 Al Boum Photo (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 4lb R. Walsh
2 Allysson Monterg (FR) (Tongue Strap) Richard Hobson 11st 4lb Jonathan Burke
3 Ballyoptic (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 4lb Sam Twiston-Davies
4 Black Corton (FR) (Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 11st 4lb Bryony Frost
5 Bonbon Au Miel (FR) (Tongue Strap) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 4lb P. Townend
6 Dounikos (FR) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 4lb Jack Kennedy
7 Elegant Escape (IRE) Colin Tizzard 11st 4lb Harry Cobden
8 Full Irish (IRE) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Emma Lavelle 11st 4lb Leighton Aspell
9 Monalee (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 4lb Noel Fehily
10 Presenting Percy (Tongue Strap) Patrick G. Kelly, Ireland 11st 4lb Davy Russell

2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 5f 26y £100,000
1 Diamond King (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 12lb Davy Russell
2 William Henry (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Nicky Henderson 11st 10lb James Bowen (3)
3 Topofthegame (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 11st 9lb Sam Twiston-Davies
4 Abbyssial (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 6lb Danny Mullins
5 River Frost Alan King 11st 4lb Barry Geraghty Paul Townend
6 Bleu Berry (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 2lb Paul Townend
7 Burbank (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Nicky Henderson 11st 2lb Jeremiah McGrath
8 Voix du Reve (FR) (Hood) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 1lb David Mullins
9 Royal Vacation (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Colin Tizzard 11st 1lb Harry Cobden
10 Mount Mews (IRE) Ruth Jefferson 11st 1lb Brian Hughes
11 Max Dynamite (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 0lb R. Walsh
12 Fixe Le Kap (FR) Nicky Henderson 11st 0lb Daryl Jacob
13 Stowaway Magic (IRE) Nicky Henderson 10st 13lb Nico de Boinville
14 As You Were (FR) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Alan Fleming, Ireland 10st 13lb Denis O’Regan
15 Springtown Lake (IRE) Philip Hobbs 10st 12lb Richard Johnson
16 Le Breuil (FR) Ben Pauling 10st 12lb Aidan Coleman
17 Red Indian Ben Pauling 10st 12lb David Bass
18 Dusky Legend Alan King 10st 12lb Wayne Hutchinson
19 C’Est Jersey (FR) (Blinkers) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 10st 12lb Noel Fehily
20 The Organist (IRE) Oliver Sherwood 10st 12lb Leighton Aspell
21 Jeannot de Nonant (FR) (Sheepskin C/P) Peter Bowen 10st 12lb Sean Bowen
22 Flemcara (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Emma Lavelle 10st 11lb Patrick Cowley (5)
23 Barra (FR) (Tongue Strap) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 10st 10lb Jack Kennedy
24 Bastien (FR) Alan King 10st 10lb Tom Cannon
25 Graceful Legend (Sheepskin C/P) Ben Case 10st 9lb Max Kendrick (5)
26 Project Bluebook (FR) John Quinn 10st 9lb Mark Walsh

Reserves
R27 Mischievious Max (IRE) Joseph Patrick O’Brien, Ireland 10st 8lb
R28 Kildisart (IRE) Ben Pauling 10st 8lb
Eliminations: Connetable (FR), Deal d’Estruval (FR), Coup de Pinceau (FR), Overland Flyer (IRE), Moyross, Azzerti (FR), Dolciano Dici (FR), Zubayr (IRE), Treackle Tart (IRE), Diable de Sivola (FR), Dame de Compagnie (FR), Herewego Herewego (IRE), Oscar Knight (IRE), Buckle Street, Knocknanuss (IRE), I Shot The Sheriff (IRE), Dicey O’Reilly (IRE), Dans Le Vent (FR), Copper Kay, Sympa des Flos (FR), Dieg Man (FR), Our Kaempfer (IRE), Orion d’Aubrelle (FR), Didero Vallis (FR), Jimmy Breekie (IRE), Okotoks (IRE), Just A Sting (IRE), Monbeg Theatre (IRE)

3.30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y £400,000
1 Altior (IRE) Nicky Henderson 11st 10lb Nico de Boinville
2 Ar Mad (FR) (Sheepskin C/P) Gary Moore 11st 10lb Joshua Moore
3 Charbel (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Kim Bailey 11st 10lb David Bass
4 Douvan (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb Ruby Walsh
5 God’s Own (IRE) Tom George 11st 10lb Paddy Brennan
6 Min (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb Paul Townend
7 Ordinary World (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 10lb Davy Russell
8 Politologue (FR) Paul Nicholls 11st 10lb Sam Twiston-Davies
9 Special Tiara Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 10lb Noel Fehily

4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y £65,000
1 Auvergnat (FR) Enda Bolger, Ireland 11st 4lb Mark Walsh
2 Beeves (IRE) (Blinkers) Jennie Candlish 11st 4lb Sean Quinlan
3 Bless The Wings (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 4lb Davy Russell
4 Cantlow (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Enda Bolger, Ireland 11st 4lb Donal McInerney
5 Cause of Causes (USA) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 4lb Mr J. J. Codd
6 Chic Name (FR) (Hood) Richard Hobson 11st 4lb Jonathan Burke
7 Federici (Sheepskin C/P) Donald McCain 11st 4lb Will Kennedy
8 Hurricane Darwin (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Alan Fleming, Ireland 11st 4lb Denis O’Regan
9 Josies Orders (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Enda Bolger, Ireland 11st 4lb Miss N. Carberry
10 Saint Are (FR) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Tom George 11st 4lb A. P. Heskin
11 The Last Samuri (IRE) Kim Bailey 11st 4lb David Bass
12 Tiger Roll (IRE) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 4lb Keith Donoghue
13 Urgent de Gregaine (FR) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Emmanuel Clayeux, France 11st 4lb Felix de Giles
14 Urumqi (FR) (Tongue Strap) D. Cottin, France 11st 4lb Jonathan Plouganou
15 Vicomte du Seuil (FR) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Emmanuel Clayeux, France 11st 4lb Charlie Deutsch
16 Belamix Dor (FR) (Tongue Strap) Patrice Quinton, France 10st 11lb Thomas Beaurain
Eliminations: Cocktails At Dawn, Harry The Viking, Inis Meain (USA), My Hometown (IRE)

4.50pm Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 87y £80,000
1 Casa Tall (FR) Tom George 11st 10lb James Bowen (3)
2 Mitchouka (FR) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 10lb Davy Russell
3 Style de Garde (FR) (Hood) Nicky Henderson 11st 8lb Nico de Boinville
4 Act of Valour Paul Nicholls 11st 7lb A. P. Heskin
5 Mercenaire (FR) Nick Williams 11st 6lb Mr Chester Williams (7)
6 Esprit de Somoza (FR) Nick Williams 11st 6lb Lizzie Kelly (3)
7 Nube Negra (SPA) Dan Skelton 11st 6lb Harry Skelton
8 Look My Way John Quinn 11st 6lb Brian Hughes
9 Brave Dancing (Tongue Strap) D. Cottin, France 11st 5lb Felix de Giles
10 Lisp (IRE) Alan King 11st 3lb Wayne Hutchinson
11 Padleyourowncanoe Colin Tizzard 11st 3lb Tom Scudamore
12 Veneer of Charm (IRE) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 0lb Jack Kennedy
13 Embole (FR) (Hood, Tongue Strap) Dan Skelton 11st 0lb Daryl Jacob
14 Eureu du Boulay (FR) (Tongue Strap) Richard Hobson 11st 0lb Jonathan Burke
15 Solo Saxophone (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Dan Skelton 10st 13lb P. Townend
16 Oxford Blu (Sheepskin C/P) Olly Murphy 10st 13lb Richard Johnson
17 The King of May (FR) Brian Ellison 10st 13lb Danny Cook
18 Knight Destroyer (IRE) Jonjo O’Neill 10st 12lb Aidan Coleman
19 Turning Gold Nigel Twiston-Davies 10st 12lb Tom Bellamy
20 Mastermind (IRE) Charles O’Brien, Ireland 10st 12lb Robbie Power
21 Grand Sancy (FR) (Hood) Paul Nicholls 10st 12lb Sam Twiston-Davies
22 Eragon de Chanay (FR) Gary Moore 10st 11lb (5lb ex) Joshua Moore

Reserves
R23 American Craftsman (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Jedd O’Keeffe 10st 10lb Joe Colliver
R24 Les Arceaux (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 10st 10lb Dylan Robinson (5)
Eliminations: Vision d’Ete (FR), Grey Waters (IRE), Oistrakh Le Noir (FR), Night of Glory, Kuraka, Foxy Lass, Harmonise, Galtymore (IRE)

5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y £75,000
1 Blackbow (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 5lb Mr Patrick Mullins
2 Carefully Selected (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 5lb Ruby Walsh
3 Crooks Peak Philip Hobbs 11st 5lb Richard Johnson
4 Dashel Drasher Jeremy Scott 11st 5lb Matt Griffiths
5 Didtheyleaveuoutto (IRE) Nick Gifford 11st 5lb Mark Walsh
6 Doc Penfro Kevin Frost 11st 5lb Brian Hughes
7 Felix Desjy (FR) (Hood) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 5lb Davy Russell
8 Herecomestheboom (IRE) Fergal O’Brien 11st 5lb Alain Cawley
9 Know The Score (IRE) David Pipe 11st 5lb Tom Scudamore
10 Mercy Mercy Me Fergal O’Brien 11st 5lb Paddy Brennan
11 Nestor Park (FR) Ben Pauling 11st 5lb Daryl Jacob
12 Rhinestone (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Joseph Patrick O’Brien, Ireland 11st 5lb Barry Geraghty
13 Seddon (IRE) Tom George 11st 5lb A. P. Heskin
14 Stoney Mountain (IRE) Henry Daly 11st 5lb Andrew Tinkler
15 Thebannerkingrebel (IRE) Jamie Snowden 11st 5lb Gavin Sheehan
16 The Big Bite (IRE) Tom George 11st 5lb Noel Fehily
17 The Flying Sofa (FR) Gary Moore 11st 5lb Jamie Moore
18 Tornado Flyer (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 5lb Paul Townend
19 Colreevy (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 10st 12lb Dsvid Mullins
20 Relegate (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 10st 12lb Ms Katie Walsh
21 Acey Milan (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Anthony Honeyball 10st 11lb Aidan Coleman
22 Arch My Boy Martin Smith 10st 11lb Leighton Aspell
23 Jaytrack Parkhomes Colin Tizzard 10st 11lb Harry Cobden
24 Volcano (FR) Nigel Twiston-Davies 10st 11lb Sam Twiston-Davies

MCCOY D’AIRING TO DREAM WITH BUVEUR

Twenty-time champion jockey Sir Anthony McCoy is relishing the prospect of witnessing favourite Bueur D’Air attempt to land back-to-back renewals of the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham tomorrow, day one of The Festival 2018.

McCoy, who rode 31 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and now works as an advisor for owner J P McManus as well as being a pundit for ITV Racing, commented: “Buveur D’Air has an obvious chance. He looks solid and has improved all season, his jumping technique has been excellent and he’s shown a good level of form this year. He looks an even better horse this time around.

“Faugheen’s second to Supasundae in the Irish Champion Hurdle last year isn’t good enough in my opinion and he isn’t in the same sort of form as when he won the Champion Hurdle in 2015.

“I’d love My Tent or Yours to run a big race. He has been a great horse over the years and it was great to see him win at Cheltenham in December in the International Hurdle.

“He beat Melon and was 6lb better off that day but he won impressively and it was a good performance. I was impressed with the way he finished that race off, but you would have to say that the ground would be a slight worry with him. I’d hope he would run another big race though, but he isn’t sure to like the ground.”

Didtheyleaveuoutto looks an exciting prospect for J P McManus and Nick Gifford, having impressively landed the spoils in two bumpers at Lingfield and Ascot this season, and is vying for favouritism in Wednesday’s G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

“Hopefully, the ground won’t be as much of a problem to him as people think. The only reason people think it will be a problem is because of the way he won at Lingfield on the All-Weather on his first start and the fact that his time was very good.

“However, he is a three-parts brother to Denman and that does make you think that he would cope with the ground. It’s a strong race, but he has a live chance in an excellent renewal.”

Three-time Cheltenham Festival winner Cause Of Causes heads the market for Wednesday’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase for trainer Gordon Elliott and McCoy thinks he has leading claims in the extended three-mile and six-furlong contest.

“Cause Of Causes has won three times at the Cheltenham Festival and again looks to have leading claims this year.

“The Gordon Elliott stable seem to think that the horse which will give him the most to think about will be Tiger Roll, his stable companion, so that should be a really intriguing clash this week.”

The Alan King-trained Yanworth has been campaigned over fences this season but returns to timber for the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle on St Patrick’s Thursday, March 15, with McManus also represented in the race by Unowhwatimeanharry, third in the race last year.”

McCoy commented: “Yanworth is in great form and if Supasundae is the favourite, you have to give Yanworth leading claims as he beat him at Aintree. Their form is solid and Sam Spinner also looks to have a chance having won the Long Walk Hurdle, with L’Ami Serge running a big race in second that day.

“Yanworth is pretty adaptable with regards to the ground so it shouldn’t bother him.

“Harry Fry [trainer, Unowhatimeanharry] is very happy with him and while he’s been slightly below his best this season, he can hopefully bounce back to form in this event.

“He finished behind Sam Spinner in the Long Walk Hurdle and, while he has been disappointing this year in his two runs, he is not without an each-away chance.”

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Minella Rocco was a staying-on second in the G1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup last year and along with Irish Gold Cup winner, Edwulf, trained by Joseph O’Brien, looks set to provide McManus with another victory in the race following Synchronised’s success under McCoy in 2012.

McCoy continued: “The statistics tell you that it will be very hard for horses who have been placed in the race before to go one better. He has done brilliantly at The Festival before and stayed on really well in this race last year, but looking at the statistics, he does have a tough task.

“After his win in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, I would love to see Edwulf run a big race. That was a brilliant performance to come back from a nearly fatal injury and win that race in the manner in which he did, so it would be great if he ran well.”

Apple’s Shakira is unbeaten in three starts in Britain for trainer Nicky Henderson and is a solid favourite for Friday’s G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle, with McCoy complimentary about the four-year-old daughter of Saddler Maker’s ability.

“Apple’s Shakira has been really impressive at Cheltenham this season in three runs. I think if you asked any jockey who they would like to ride in the Triumph Hurdle, it would be her”, McCoy said.

“She’s very versatile in the way in which you could ride her. She races half lazily and travels well. She looks a pretty special mare.”

MONALEE HEADS DE BROMHEAD’S TEAM

Co Wexford trainer Henry de Bromhead has brought a sizeable team of horses over for The Festival, hoping to add to his total of four Festival winners to date. These include the 2017 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase with Special Tiara.

After watching four of them – led by the grey Petit Mouchoir, third in the 2017 Unibet Champion Hurdle and second favourite behind Footpad for tomorrow’s Racing Post Arkle Chase – exercise on the racecourse this morning, de Bromhead commented on his hopes for some of his intended runners.

He said: “Petit Mouchoir seems well. He’s got form on soft ground and will hopefully be ok on it. Footpad beat us handy enough last time [at Leopardstown on February 3], but we’ll see if we can reverse the form.”

Monalee is a leading fancy for Wednesday’s RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase.

De Bromhead said: “He seems in good form this morning and we’re happy with him. He’s won on very soft ground and the going shouldn’t be a worry for him. We’re hoping for a big run.”

He also mentioned Trainwreck – an outsider for tomorrow’s Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – and Paloma Blue, who is 12/1 with the sponsors for the same race.

“They are both well. I hoped Paloma Blue would improve for better ground, but he’s not going to get it. He does have form on soft ground though.

“And Identity Thief is a bit of an outsider [66/1] in the Unibet Champion Hurdle, but he’s coming into form and will love the ground.”

HENDERSON CONFIDENT ALTIOR WILL OVERCOME SETBACK

News that Altior was lame this morning with pus in the foot has cast a slightly different perspective over the Grade One Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the highlight of Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 14.

The Nicky Henderson-trained Altior remains the 11/10 favourite with sponsors Betway for the Grade One two-mile chase after Henderson said that he was “confident” the horse would be fit to race, but has drifted slightly from odds-on.

“Both our vet and farrier are working very hard and are more than hopeful that he will even be able to canter tomorrow and therefore confident he will be clear to race on Wednesday.

“Obviously, we will monitor the situation and keep everybody up to date with his progress,” said Henderson.

Altior, who is unbeaten in 12 outings over fences and hurdles, was the six-length winner of last year’s Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase under Wednesday’s jockey Nico de Boinville. He took his only run of the 2017-18 season – the Betfair Exchange Chase at Newbury on February 10 – by four lengths from Politologue, who once again represents Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies.

Willie Mullins has confirmed that Douvan, the 2016 Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase hero, will take his chance in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – initial thoughts were that he might tackle Thursday’s Ryanair Chase instead. Douvan, who could only finish seventh when the 2/9 favourite to Special Tiara in the 2017 renewal and was found to have fractured his pelvis, has not run for exactly a year but is second favourite to Altior at 5/2 (from 11/4) with the sponsors.

Mullins also trains the third-favourite Min, who has shortened from 10/3 to 3/1. Min, who has won twice on heavy ground, was an impressive winner of a Grade Two chase at Leopardstown over two miles and a furlong last time out. He will be ridden by Paul Townend, while Ruby Walsh takes the ride on Douvan.

There are nine horses in total declared for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. Last year’s winner Special Tiara, trained by Henry de Bromhead and ridden once again by Noel Fehily, is unlikely to enjoy the ground and is priced accordingly at around 25/1. De Bromhead also runs 66/1 chance Ordinary World (Davy Russell).

Local trainers Kim Bailey and Tom George will be represented by Charbel (David Bass, 40/1) and God’s Own (Paddy Brennan, 50/1). The field is completed by Ar Mad, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by his son Josh. The eight-year-old was beaten five and a half lengths by Politologue in the Grade One Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on December 9 and has not run since.

WOMEN JOCKEYS AT THE FESTIVAL

Only two women jockeys have ridden Grade One winner over jumps – and both are riding at The Festival 2018.

Bryony Frost has been the poster girl of this Jump season. She first made a name for herself by taking the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase on Pacha Du Polder at The Festival last year, and on Boxing Day 2017 she won the Grade One 32Red Kauto Star Novices’ Chase with Black Corton.

Frost and the Paul Nicholls-trained Black Corton have won seven of their eight races together, and they are priced at around 6/1 for the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase on Wednesday.

Lizzie Kelly has a decent chance tomorrow in the Ultima Handicap Chase on 5/1 chance Coo Star Sivola, while on Wednesday she rides 12/1 shot Espirit De Somoza in the Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Both are trained by her stepfather Nick Williams.

The Irish pair of Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry have long been established as top of the ranks of women amateurs, and both have rides at The Festival 2018. Walsh, who has two Festival winners to her name – Poker De Sivola in the 2010 National Hunt Chase and Thousand Stars in the 2010 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle – will be aboard two Willie Mullins-trained horses in the early part of the week. They are Pylonthepressure in Tuesday’s National Hunt Chase and Relegate in Wednesday’s Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

Carberry, who missed last year’s Festival because she was pregnant with her first child, has seven successes at The Festival under her belt. Four of them have been in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (Heads On the Ground, 2007, Garde Champetre 2008 and 2009, Josies Orders 2016), and she rides Josies Orders, trained by Enda Bolger, once more in the 2018 race.

Another amateur, Lisa O’Neill, scored her first victory at The Festival in 2017 aboard the Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll in the National Hunt Chase, and she will ride Mossback for Elliott in the same race this year.

In total, 11 women have ridden winners at The Festival. The first was Caroline Beasley, who took the 1983 Foxhunter Chase on Eliogarty. She was followed by Gee Armytage, who posted a double in 1987 aboard Gee-A and The Ellier. Katie Rimell won the 1989 Foxhunter Chase, Polly Curling took the same race in 1995 and Fiona Needham also lifted the magnificent Foxhunter Chase trophy in 2002. Rilly Goschen also won it in 2004.

In 2005 Nina Carberry rode the first of her seven Festival winners by capturing the Boodles Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle with Dabiroun. Katie Walsh enjoyed a double in 2010. Bryony Frost, Lisa O’Neill and Gina Andrews – the latter aboard Domesday Book in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase – added their names to the Festival victory roll in 2017.

Look out for at The Festival in 2018

Jockeys
Seeking first winner
Leighton Aspell (52 rides), Harry Bannister (6 rides), Sean Bowen (16 rides), Henry Brooke (10 rides), Johnny Burke (20 rides), Tom Cannon (22 rides), Harry Cobden (8 rides), Lizzie Kelly (9 rides), Will Kennedy (20 rides), Joshua Moore (13 rides), Danny Mullins (21 rides), David Mullins (28 rides), James Reveley (10 rides), Mark Walsh (22 rides), Adam Wedge (10 rides), Trevor Whelan (4 rides).

Trainers
Seeking first winner
Peter Bowen (38 runners), David Bridgwater (13 runners), David Dennis (2 runners), Brian Ellison (33 runners since 1994), Micky Hammond (13 runners since 1994), Anthony Honeyball (7 runners), Martin Keighley (31 runners), Neil King (7 runners), Kerry Lee (2 runners), Charlie Longsdon (58 runners), Fergal O’Brien (13 runners), Nicky Richards (35 runners), Jeremy Scott (13 runners), Tim Vaughan (40 runners), Paul Webber (60 runners), Harry Whittington (2 runners).

Horses
Appearances

Horses entered this year with most previous appearances at The Festival:

SIX PREVIOUS APPEARANCES (most recent on the right)
Bless The Wings (Gordon Elliott IRE) – declared for Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase – 10th, PU, 15th, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd
Cue Card (Colin Tizzard) – entered in Ryanair Chase – 1st, 4th, 2nd, 1st, F, F
The New One (Nigel Twiston-Davies) – entered in Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle – 6th, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 4th, 5th

FIVE PREVIOUS APPEARANCES (most recent on the right)
Caid Du Berlais (Rose Loxton) – entered in St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase – 2nd, 3rd, 16th, F*, 8th*
Cause Of Causes (Gordon Elliott IRE) – declared for Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase – 7th, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st
Double Ross (Nigel Twiston-Davies) – entered in Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase – 8th, 3rd, 3rd, 11th, 9th
On The Fringe (Enda Bolger IRE) – entered in St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase – 4th, 3rd, 1st, 1st, 4th

*Caid Du Berlais ran in both the Ultima Handicap Chase and the Pertemps Network Final at The Festival in 2017

Go Ballistic made nine appearances at The Festival between 1994 and 2003.

Wins
Horses entered this year with more than one previous win at The Festival:

THREE PREVIOUS WINS
Cause Of Causes (Gordon Elliott IRE) – declared for Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase; won J T McNamara NH Chase (2015), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (2016) & Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (2017)

TWO PREVIOUS WINS
Cue Card (Colin Tizzard) – entered in Ryanair Chase; won Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2010) & Ryanair Chase (2013)
Douvan (Willie Mullins IRE) – declared for Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and entered in Ryanair Chase; won Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2015) & Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (2016)
Faugheen (Willie Mullins IRE) – declared for Unibet Champion Hurdle and entered in Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle; won Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (2014) & Unibet Champion Hurdle (2015)
On The Fringe (Enda Bolger IRE) – entered in St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase; won St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase (2015 & 2016)
Tiger Roll (Gordon Elliott IRE) – declared for Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase; won JCB Triumph Hurdle (2014) & National Hunt Chase (2017)
Un De Sceaux (Willie Mullins IRE) – entered in Ryanair Chase; won Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (2015) & Ryanair Chase (2017)
Yorkhill (Willie Mullins IRE) – declared for Unibet Champion Hurdle, entered in Ryanair Chase – won Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (2016) & JLT Novices’ Chase (2017)

Quevega won at The Festival six times between 2009 and 2014.

History makers at The Festival?

Unibet Champion Hurdle favourite Buveur D’Air (Nicky Henderson) has the chance to become the 15th multiple winner of the two-mile championship and the first since Hardy Eustace (2004 & 2005).

Victory for Buveur D’Air, three-time runner-up My Tent Or Yours, Charli Parcs or Verdana Blue would give trainer Nicky Henderson a record seventh Unibet Champion Hurdle victory.

Ruby Walsh would become the most successful jockey ever in the history of the Unibet Champion Hurdle if successful for the fifth time in the race on Faugheen. He was previously success on Hurricane Fly (2011, 2013), Faugheen (2015) and Annie Power (2016).

Altior could be the 12th horse to follow up victory in the Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase with success in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. The Nicky Henderson-trained runner is unbeaten at The Festival, having won the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2016 and the Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase in 2017.

Altior and Yorkhill (Willie Mullins IRE, Unibet Champion Hurdle), winner of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in 2016 and JLT Novices’ Chase in 2017, have the chance to join a select group of horses by winning three different races at The Festival in consecutive years. Flyingbolt, Bobs Worth, Vautour and Cause Of Causes are the only four horses who have already achieved the feat.

Ireland’s champion Jump trainer Willie Mullins is yet to win the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, but has saddled the runner-up on six occasions – Florida Pearl (2000), Hedgehunter (2006), Sir Des Champs (2013), On His Own (2014) and Djakadam (2015 & 2016).

Cue Card (Colin Tizzard), at the age of 12, is bidding to be the oldest winner of the Ryanair Chase and one of the oldest winners of a G1 championship race at The Festival. Cue Card is a two-time winner at The Festival, including in the 2013 Ryanair Chase. Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Silver Fame (1951) and What A Myth (1969) were victorious as 12-year-olds, as was the 1977 Champion Chase victor Skymas. No 13-year-olds have triumphed in the top races at The Festival.

Balko Des Flos and Sub Lieutenant (both Henry de Bromhead IRE) are out to provide Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary with a first victory in the Ryanair Chase – O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud has owned the runner-up four times – Mossbank (2008), First Lieutenant (2013), Valseur Lido (2016) and Sub Lieutenant (2017).

Samcro (Gordon Elliott IRE) could eclipse Mr Kildare as the shortest-priced winner of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. Mr Kildare, trained in Ireland by Liam Browne, was returned at 8/11 in 1978.

JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Apple’s Shakira (Nicky Henderson) is bidding to become the fourth filly to win the race and the first since Snow Drop in 2000.

Willie Mullins has a strong hand as he bids to saddle his ninth winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. His team of five runners on Wednesday includes the market leader Blackbow plus Carefully Selected, Tornado Flyer, Colreevy and Relegate.

Mullins is chasing an unprecedented fifth success in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase with Al Boum Photo and Bonbon Au Miel. His four previous winners are Florida Pearl (1998), Rule Supreme (2004), Cooldine (2009) and Don Poli (2015).

2017 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle scorer Penhill (Willie Mullins IRE)could be the first horse successful in that race to go on and win the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle.Previous Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winners to run in the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle have been – 2006 Black Jack Ketchum (fell in 2007 Stayers’ Hurdle), 2007 Wichita Lineman (9th in 2008 Stayers’ Hurdle), 2010 Berties Dream (6th in 2011 Stayers’ Hurdle), 2011 Bobs Worth (3rd in 2016 Stayers’ Hurdle), 2013 At Fishers Cross (3rd in 2014 Stayers’ Hurdle, 4th in 2015 Stayers’ Hurdle, PU in 2016 Stayers’ Hurdle), 2015 Martello Tower (7th in 2016 Stayers’ Hurdle), 2016 Unowhatimeanharry (3rd in 2017 Stayers’ Hurdle).

The Festival – a look back to…

10 years ago – The Wednesday of The Festival was abandoned due to high winds. All the races were re-scheduled over the next two days, with a 10-race card on the Thursday and a nine-race card on the Friday. The feature Cheltenham Gold Cup was a head-to-head between Kauto Star and Denman, both trained by Paul Nicholls. It was Denman who came out on top, scoring by seven lengths from his stable companion.

20 years ago – Istabraq lands the first of his three victories in the Champion Hurdle, scoring easily by 12 lengths from his stable companion Theatreworld. After twice disappointing in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, One Man finally got his name on The Festival roll of honour with a famous victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

30 years ago – Fred Winter saddles the last of his 28 winners as a trainer at The Festival as Celtic Shot takes the Champion Hurdle. Winter, who also partnered 17 winners at The Festival as a jockey, died in 2004 and is remembered at The Festival with the Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

40 years ago – Monksfield, the 1977 runner-up, takes the Champion Hurdle ahead of Sea Pigeon with the 1977 winner Night Nurse in third. Monksfield would go on to win the hurdling showpiece again in 1979. Snow causes the abandonment of Gold Cup Day. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is subsequently transferred to The April Meeting almost a month later and is won by Midnight Court, trained by Fred Winter and ridden by John Francome.

50 years ago – Tom Dreaper, the most successful trainer of all-time in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, wins the Blue Riband contest for the fifth and final time with Fort Leney. Persian War lands his first Champion Hurdle. He would go on to win again in 1969 and 1970, making him one of five horses to win the race three times.

60 years ago – Trainer Vincent O’Brien captures both divisions of the Gloucestershire Hurdle (now the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) with Admiral Stuart and Prudent King. O’Brien, who trained a total of 23 winners at The Festival in 11 years, is beginning to conquer the Flat and later in the year saddles Ballymoss to victory in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

70 years ago – Cottage Rake, trained by Vincent O’Brien and ridden by Aubrey Brabazon, wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Cottage Rake would go on to triumph again in 1949 and 1950.

80 years ago – The reign of the great Golden Miller finally comes to an end as he is beaten two lengths into second by Morse Code in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The only horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup five times, plus the 1934 Grand National, Golden Miller is retired the following season and lives on to the grand old age of 30.

90 years ago – The second running of the Champion Hurdle is won by the four-year-old Brown Jack. Following his Cheltenham success, Brown Jack is switched to the Flat and becomes a huge public favourite, winning the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot a record six times.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.