Monthly Archives: February 2013

Simon Claisse on current Cheltenham ground, and the outlook

10570720-1600x2400Simon Claisse, Head of Racing, South West Region & Clerk of the Course, reported that his groundstaff were able to get on the track with light machinery last week for the first time October and all the courses have had aeration treatment, with fertiliser also applied.

The going is currently soft, good to soft in places and drying out slowly. Without any rain, the going description will change in five or six days to good to soft, soft in places.

Temperatures are set to rise next week, climbing to be between 9C and 12C, while rainfall is forecast between Thursday, March 7 and the start of The Festival on Tuesday, March 12, with between 15 and 18 millimetres due to fall.

He said: “If the rainfall materialises as forecast, then The Festival is likely to start with soft ground. If so, there is a good chance we will get through the four days without having to do any watering.

“Because the weather has been so wet this season, tiny amounts of rain have been making a difference.

“The ground used at The Festival has not been raced on since March of last year so it is fresh ground. On the New Course, which we switch to on the Thursday of the Festival, there is fresh ground then for the chases and again on the Friday for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

“The hurdles are the nearest to the stands that we have them during the whole year. All the fences are in place except for second last on the Old Course and the fourth last on the New Course which are both portable obstacles.”

Claisse is encouraged by the 15 race entries for The Festival made for French-trained horses this year and looking forward to welcoming raiders from across the Channel.

Following the fall of Wishfull Thinking on the first circuit in last year’s Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase, the final fence was dolled off and not jumped. Wishfull Thinking and his rider Richard Johnson went over the fence to the left and through the running rail.

There is a now a new layout at that fence, with the running rail moved back so that if a horse went left-handed again over the obstacle, they would not collide with photographers or the crowd.

Also, there will be more directional boards should a fence need to be by-passed.

WarnedOff

Full weights for Cheltenham Festival handicaps

spyglass

Thanks to my friends at Racenews you can see weights for all Festival handicaps by clicking the link below

Festival weights

Donald McCain Cheltenham special

binocularsBankhouse Stables, Cholmondeley, Cheshire

 

Please see Donald’s comments under each horse below

 

Synopsis – Son of an Aintree legend; Donald McCain has established himself as the north’s leading trainer since taking over the reins from his father in 2006.

Has finished third in the trainers’ championship behind Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson for the past two seasons (2010/2011 & 2011/2012). Currently lies third in this season’s championship (based on prize money), adrift of Nicholls and Henderson again, but has sent out more winners than either of those trainers. (121 up to and including February 24).

He has already trained one John Smith’s Grand National winner, Ballabriggs in 2011, and sent out six Cheltenham Festival victors.

Has also enjoyed notable success on the Flat with Overturn, successful in the Northumberland Plate in 2010 and the Chester Cup in 2011, and Ile De Re, who captured the same two heritage handicaps in 2012.

Born – June 13, 1970

Background – His father was Ginger McCain, trainer of the legendary Red Rum, the only horse to win the John Smith’s Grand National three times (1973, 1974 and 1977) and also Amberleigh House, the 2004 victor.

First rode under Rules aged 15, finishing last in a mile contest for amateurs at Haydock Park on May 3, 1986. Subsequently rode 50 winners over jumps.

Spent two and a half years working for Luca Cumani before becoming pupil assistant to Oliver Sherwood. Continued to work on the Flat during the summer with spells at Sir Michael Stoute, Chris Wall and Sean Woods.

Assisted his father until taking over the licence in June, 2006. Wife Sian trains point-to-pointers. They have two children, Abbie and Ella.

First winner as a trainer – Bearaway, Newton Abbot, June 8, 2006

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS (6)

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2012 Cinders And Ashes)

OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (2008 Whiteoak)

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross),

Coral Cup (2012 Son Of Flicka)

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Handicap Chase (2007 Cloudy Lane, 2010 Ballabriggs)

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS BY YEAR

2007 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Handicap Chase (Cloudy Lane)

2008 – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Whiteoak)

2010 – Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Peddlers Cross), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (Ballabriggs)

2012 – William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Cinders And Ashes), Coral Cup (Son Of Flicka)

 

OTHER BIG RACE WINS INCLUDE

Charlie Hall Chase (2011 Weird Al)

Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle (2011 Hollow Tree)

Galway Hurdle (2010 Overturn), Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle (2010 Any Given Day), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross & 2011 Overturn)

John Smith’s Grand National (2011 Ballabriggs),

John Smith’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross)

Scottish Champion Hurdle (2010 Overturn)

 

NOVICE HURDLER

SHE RANKS ME (IRE)

6 gr m Golan (IRE) – Rosealainn (IRE) (Roselier (FR))

Form: 5/44679-421123112  Owner: Roger O’Byrne   Breeder: Patrick O’Keeffe

Summary

Transformed since joining Donald McCain from Ireland over the summer, winning four of her eight starts over hurdles for him including Listed contests at Newbury and Haydock in December. Chased home highly-regarded French import Utopie Des Bordes in a two and a half mile Listed event at Sandown on February 15.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 15; Wins: 4; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £41,665

 

Last Run

Second of six in the Listed Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles at Sandown (heavy) on February 15, kept on when beaten a length and three quarters by Utopie Des Bordes.

 

Entries so far at The Festival      Distance Value

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle   2m 5f  £120,000

will also be entered in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle

 

Donald McCain said: “The obvious place to go is the mares’ race and there is one mare head and shoulders above the rest (Quevega). She Ranks Me has an each-way chance but we will also consider the Neptune where she gets a mare’s allowance. It is a bit up in the air at the moment. She is in great nick. The ground  was OK at Haydock but she could not get out of it at Sandown the other day and still ran a nice race. She has done nothing wrong all season.”

 

NOVICE CHASERS

OVERTURN (IRE)

9 b g Barathea (IRE) – Kristal Bridge (Kris)

Jump Form: 4432111/212573/111232-111 Owner: Tim Leslie Breeder: Pendley Farm

 

Summary

Top-class dual code performer; front runner;  won the 2010 Northumberland Plate and 2011 Chester Cup on the Flat. Has captured a number of big prizes over obstacles including the Galway Hurdle and Grade One stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle; also finished second in last season’s Stan James Champion Hurdle. Impressive start to chasing career this term with three wins from as many starts, making all to win unchallenged at Sandown, Doncaster and Musselburgh.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 22; Wins: 10; 2nd: 5; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £489,175

 

Last Run

 

Won a two-mile novices’ chase at Musselburgh (good to soft) very easily by 29 lengths on February 3.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase     2m  £150,000

Stan James Champion Hurdle      2m 110y £400,000

 

Donald McCain said: “Everybody knows Overturn. We hoped to he would take to fences and he has took to them better than we could have hoped. Everything has gone very smoothly – we have got in all the runs we wanted. He is in great nick at home and we thoroughly look forward to the race. All we need now is a bit of good ground for the first day of The Festival. He loves it, coming out every day wanting to get on – it makes you smile. When he ran in the Champion Hurdle last year, it was probably the only time when I have seen him shattered. We brought him out the next day and he wanted to go again – that is just him. He just cannot get enough of the job. He has been on the go since he was a yearling and we keep expecting him to cry enough at some point but he just thrives on his job and racing.  I have run him once or twice when I shouldn’t have because he will kid you he is in better nick than he is.  I ran him in the Christmas Hurdle the year before last and he wasn’t half the horse he normally is. We know him well now. We go there with a feeling that his way of racing will make it very difficult for Simonsig. We aren’t going to have to change anything with Overturn. His ratings are 112 on the Flat, 166 over hurdles and 165 over fences, and 85 on the all-weather! A great credit to him. I would love Overturn to have his big day jumping. He has this gallop for two miles – he keeps galloping and is just so enthusiastic. Touch wood, the jumping has gone with it. Simsonsig has been very impressive but he hasn’t been second in the Champion Hurdle.”

 

SUPER DUTY (IRE)

7 b g Shantou (USA) – Sarah’s Cottage (IRE) (Topanoora)

Form: 1/11F12-2212  Owner: Brannon, Dick, Hernon & Holden Breeder: Mrs A Connolly

 

Summary

High-class hurdler, winning three times as well as runner-up to Simonsig in a Grade Two at Aintree in April, 2012. Also filled the runner-up spot on his first two chase starts this season at Carlisle and Haydock before becoming a 14-length winner over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham (the Shloer Novices’ Chase) in December. Returned from a short break to finish a close second in the Grade Two Towton Novices’ Chase at Wetherby on February 2.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 10; Wins: 5; 2nd: 4; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £53,851

 

Last Run

Second of six in the Grade Two Towton Novices’ Chase over three miles and a furlong at Wetherby (soft) on February 4, beaten a head by Goulanes.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

JLT Specialty Handicap Chase      3m 110y £90,000

RSA Chase        3m 110y £150,000

Jewson Novices’ Chase      2m 4f  £100,000

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase    3m 1f 110y £60,000

 

Donald McCain said: “I had been very tempted to concentrate Super Duty on the Kim Muir but I am starting to think strongly about running him in the RSA. He has never had his ground this year – he is tough as nails. He gave 7lb to Dave Pipe’s horse at Wetherby and has Cheltenham experience. I think take out Dave’s horse and it looks a very open RSA. Super Duty would have to carry nearly top-weight in the Kim Muir – we have done it before and it would not unduly bother me but we have started to become quite tempted by the RSA. Cheltenham has been the plan for a long time and he has done nothing to suggest we shouldn’t go there. He got mugged late on at Wetherby where the ground was horrible. I think there will be a big improvement on better ground. He would not have beaten Simsonsig last season at Aintree but he was still running his race when he made a very bad mistake at the second last.”

 

HURDLERS

CINDERS AND ASHES

6 b g Beat Hollow – Moon Search (Rainbow Quest (USA))

Form: 11250/21111-25  Owner: Dermot Hanafin & Phil Cunningham Breeder: Juddmonte Farms Ltd

 

Summary

High-class performer in bumpers two seasons ago, winning twice and coming home fifth in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at The Festival. Won four of his five starts over hurdles last season, culminating with a comfortable length and a quarter success in the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival. Failed to reproduce that form this season, finishing 12 lengths behind Countrywide Flame in the stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle before trailing home fifth in the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 12; Wins: 6; 2nd: 3; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £110,912

 

Last Run

Fifth of seven in the Grade One williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle over two miles at Kempton Park (heavy) on December 26, beaten 12 and a half lengths.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Stan James Champion Hurdle      2m 110y £400,000

 

Donald McCain said: “He will go to Bangor for a gallop after racing tomorrow. He seems in great nick, he has really come to. The gallop is drying up and he is happier. I have said it before, he is very much a decent ground horse. The easiest thing would have been not to run him anywhere this season, which would not have done him any good. The worst thing that could happen was he could get beat and he has got beat a couple of times and well beat. But I don’t think he can be judged until he gets his ground. I am very happy with him at home. I like to think we will see a completely different horse in two week’s time on Champion Hurdle Day. He can run a big race – this horse has tactical speed and switches off. If you watch him at Kempton (last run), he went to pick up off the last turn but could not quicken in the ground. It was my decision to run him – I thought the best thing was to get some practice into him. I would not judge him on anything you have seen this season. He was bought for £4,500 at Doncaster – a two-year-old Juddmonte cast-off who was wrong in the wind. We hobdayed him, cut him and turned him out. He has done me a few favours since then. Hurricane Fly sets the benchmark and is the one to beat.”

 

PEDDLERS CROSS (IRE)

8 b g Oscar (IRE) – Patscilla (Squill (USA))

Form: 11111/1127/1128-21  Owner: Tim Leslie  Breeder: Mrs A Delaney

 

Summary

Top-class staying novice hurdler in 2009/10 season, annexing the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival and a Grade Two at Aintree’s John Smith’s Grand National meeting. Returned the following season with an impressive success in thestanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle  over two miles and rounded the campaign off with a gallant second to Hurricane Fly in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at The Festival. Failed to scale those heights over fences last season but scored decisively on his return to hurdles this season at Musselburgh on February 13.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 15; Wins: 10; 2nd: 3; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £285,653

 

Last Run

Won a conditions hurdle over two miles and six furlongs at Musselburgh (good) comfortably by a length and three quarters on February 13 and is being aimed at the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Stan James Champion Hurdle      2m 110y £400,000

Ladbrokes World Hurdle      3m  £275,000

 

Donald McCain said: “It has been a long road back – he has had niggling problems. He is in great nick. His work has not changed and he went for a run around Kempton (in January) which he enjoyed and came on from. We took him up to Musselburgh the other day and I expected him to be more impressive. Jason (Maguire) was shocked by my attitude. He was happy with Peddlers Cross who travelled well before idling in front before picking up again – Jason was trying to mind him the whole way up the straight. He is a very smart horse – his work is very special. He has always dossed in front. Will he win a World Hurdle? I haven’t got a clue to be honest. He is the best work horse I have seen – he is maturing and settling. His jumping at Musselburgh was exceptional. I would expect him to be travelling very sweetly down to the second last and then I don’t know. He won over two miles and five furlongs as a novice and he stayed two miles and six furlongs well at Musselburgh. There is nothing to suggest he won’t stay three miles. He will get there quite late (in the race).”

 

SON OF FLICKA

9 b g Groom Dancer (USA) – Calendula (Be My Guest (USA))

Form: 1/2222126/F73U236/191825322F/90901F-8000  Owner: Twenty Four Seven Recruitment

Breeder: Chieveley Manor Stud

 

Summary

Has won five of his 35 starts under Rules including last season’s Coral Cup at The Festival and also finished second in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at The Festival in 2011. He has been well beaten in four starts this season.

Race Record: Starts: 35; Wins: 5; 2nd: 9; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £87,584

 

Last Run

12th of 18 in the Listed Lanzarote Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs at Kempton Park (soft) on January 12, beaten 102 lengths.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Coral Cup        2m 5f  £80,000

Pertemps Final        3m  £80,000

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle   2m 4f 110y £50,000

 

Donald McCain said: “He was second at the Cheltenham Festival before last and won the Coral Cup last year. He is in three handicaps there this time – where we go I don’t quite know. There will be an input from the owner (Phil Williams).  He has been disappointing this winter – he hasn’t liked the ground but he has been disappointing. Last year he was similar but came back a couple of weeks before The Festival  in good nick. He seems to like the place and we are looking forward to sending him there again. He is a grand little horse, as tough as nails. He is a pound or two higher than last year – he probably goes for the Coral Cup but we will keep our options open for now. Phil likes a bet and the first I knew of it was on the morning of the race last year. He won over £900,000.”

 

CHASER

OUR MICK

7 gr g Karinga Bay – Dawn’s Della (Scottish Reel)

Form: 1/22312F/5311133-U Owner:  K Benson & Mrs E Benson Breeder: K Benson & Mrs E Benson

 

Summary

Won once over hurdles and improved for the switch to fences last season, winning three of his eight starts including a Grade Two at Haydock in January, 2012. Finished third behind For Non Stop in a Grade One at Newbury the following month before filling the same position at The Festival in the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase. Unseated his rider in his only start this season at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day, January 26.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 15; Wins: 5; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £39,766

 

Last Run

Unseated Jason Maguire three out in a two mile, five furlong handicap chase at Cheltenham (heavy) on January 26.

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

JLT Specialty Handicap Chase      3m 110y £90,000

 

Donald McCain said: “He was third in the JLT as a novice last year and goes back to the same race. He ran a screamer last year – he made a couple of bad mistakes – he missed a fence going away from the stands and lost his confidence a little bit and still went there with a chance at the second last where he had a bad mistake. He is only a little bit higher in the handicap this year. He was upsides Katenko at Cheltenham the other day when Jason (Maguire) decided to jump off him! But he was running a big race on ground he would not like and I would have expected him to keep galloping. There was no other race I could run him in after that – he prefers going left-handed. So I sat tight and persuaded the owner to go straight to Cheltenham. A number of my horses will go to Bangor to work after racing tomorrow and he will be one of them. He is great nick – he has been ready to run for a couple of weeks. I will be expecting a big run from him. He is not an old horse, still going the right way, still improving and tough.”

 

Other Horses

 

Real Milan – “He slipped up at Ascot the other day – Jason (Maguire) pulled him up very quickly and rightly so. He was two thirds of the way up to Newcastle on Saturday (past Wetherby) when they abandoned it. So we are a little bit lost at the moment. The travelling he had to do bothers me. We wanted to get another run into him – he is in the RSA and the four-miles (John Oaksey National Hunt Chase). He will go to Bangor for a gallop tomorrow. He is a smashing horse – very smart. Cheltenham is up in the sir – we will get a gallop into him and see. There is still strong possibility that he will go there – he is a fairly useful tool. He prefers better ground and might be an Aintree horse one day.”

 

Diamond King – “He won a bumper at Wetherby a couple of weeks ago and was mightily impressive. He is a beautifully bred horse. I didn’t really know what to expect the other day. I don’t know if it was a nothing bumper but he was so impressive that we have to seriously consider going to Cheltenham. He seems to have come out of his race fine. Nothing is off the bridle at home and we don’t try them. His first time away from home was at Wetherby. He was just so professional and straight as a gun barrel. Jason (Maguire) gave him one smack and he took off. Graham (Whateley) sent me three horses of this type. He has schooled well over hurdles and will make an even better chaser. He is a big, strong horse.”

 

Tuesday, March 12 – entries

Overturn, Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase

Our Mick, JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

Lively Baron, JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

Super Duty, JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

Overturn, Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

Peddlers Cross, Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

Cinders And Ashes, Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

Real Milan, Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase

Swift Arrow, Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase

Kruzhlinin, Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase

 

Wednesday, March 13 – entries

Red Rocco, John Oaksey National Hunt Chase

Real Milan, John Oaksey National Hunt Chase

She Ranks Me, Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle

Real Milan, RSA Chase

Super Duty, RSA Chase

Any Given Day, Coral Cup

Bourne, Coral Cup

Son Of Flicka, Coral Cup

Hollow Tree, Coral Cup

Counsel, Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Aazif, Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Halogen, Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Thursday, March 14 – entries

Desert Cry, Jewson Novices’ Chase

Super Duty, Jewson Novices’ Chase

Any Given Day, Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle)

Son Of Flicka, Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle)

Hollow Tree, Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle)

Any Given Day, Ladbrokes World Hurdle

Peddlers Cross, Ladbrokes World Hurdle

Hollow Tree, Ladbrokes World Hurdle

Lively Baron, Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateur Riders)

Super Duty, Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateur Riders)

 

Friday, March 15 – entries

Counsel, JCB Triumph Hurdle

Aazif, JCB Triumph Hurdle

Bourne, Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle

Dreams Of Milan, Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Bourne, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Son Of Flicka, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Hollow Tree, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Ubaltique, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Desert Cry, Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup Handicap

 

 

THE FESTIVAL 2013

 

First Day – Champion Day

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 (Old Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)  2m 110y  £120,000

2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade One)  2m  £150,000

2.40 JLT Specialty Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three)    3m 110y £90,000

3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade One)   2m 110y  £400,000

4.00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase (Handicap) 3m 7f  £50,000

4.40 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade Two)     2m 4f  £85,000

5.15 Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) 2m 4f 110y £60,000

TOTAL £955,000

 

Second Day – Ladies Day

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 (Old Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (Amateurs)   4m  £85,000

2.05 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 5f  £120,000

2.40 RSA Chase (Grade One)     3m 110y £150,000

3.20 Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade One) 2m  £350,000

4.00 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade Three)   2m 5f  £80,000

4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)  2m 110y £75,000

5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade One)   2m 110y £60,000

TOTAL £920,000

 

Third Day – St Patrick’s Thursday

Thursday, March 14, 2013 (New Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 Jewson Novices’ Chase (Grade Two)    2m 4f  £100,000

2.05 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed)   3m  £80,000

2.40 Ryanair Chase (Grade One)     2m 5f  £275,000

3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Grade One)    3m   £275,000

4.00 Byrne Group Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade Three)   2m 5f  £90,000

4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateurs) 3m 1f 110y £60,000

5.15 St Patrick’s Derby (Charity Flat Race)    1m 5f  –

TOTAL £880,000

 

Fourth Day – Gold Cup Day

Friday, March 15, 2013 (New Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade One)     2m 1f  £120,000

2.05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)  2m 1f  £80,000

2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)    3m  £120,000

3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Chase) (Grade One)   3m 2f 110y £550,000

4.00 CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup (Amateurs)  3m 2f 110y £40,000

4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle   2m 4f 110y £50,000

5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three) 2m 110y £90,000

TOTAL £1,050,000

 

TOTAL PRIZE MONEY AT THE FESTIVAL OF £3,805,000

(UP £425,000 ON 2012 TOTAL OF £3,380,000)

 

AVERAGE RACE VALUE £140,925

(£125,000 IN 2012)

 

I’n indebted to my friends at Racenews for the above content

WarnedOff

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies Cheltenham special

binocularsNigel Twiston-Davies is looking forward to The Festival: “I am feeling really quite happy – nobody is expecting an awful lot. It wasn’t fun in the build-up when Commander was favourite for the Gold Cup. Everybody thought he would win and so did I – in a way only things can go wrong then. When you are not expected, it is more fun the better you do rather than a kick in the nuts when you get beat.

“We have the Commander back and some very, very nice novices so it is looking good. We have not the firepower (that some stables have) or the money to go out and buy expensive horses so its is nice when my cheapies come and do the job. It is hard work but more satisfying.

“It would be lovely to have 150 horses but I don’ think it will happen. Being a trainer is better than working for a living like you boys do (referring to the media)! You are at home and I am lucky enough to have my own place, which I share with the banks I am afraid. It is OK. I could do without the stresses but it is a good way of life.

“I am very pleased with how the season has gone – I didn’t think we would have a good season at all. I did not think we had enough good horses but they have excelled themselves.

“We have just over two weeks to The Festival and things can go wrong between now and then – anything can happen. Two years ago Imperial Commander seemed in the form of his life and then went and burst a blood vessel – bang, the end of your dreams. He was travelling every bit as well as anything in the race – that’s life.

“I am really proud of Sam (his son) – he does a wonderful job (as stable jockey). I have not spoken to Willy about riding at Cheltenham. I think he feels if he keeps coming back then people will not take him seriously as a Flat jockey and he is determined to give the Flat 100 per cent. It would be silly to have a fall or something. 

Synopsis – One of the leading Jump trainers, Nigel Twiston-Davies has an excellent record at his local track Cheltenham, with 13 victories at The Festival and 24 at The Open (since 1990). He recently achieved his 1,500th winner.

He enjoyed a dream final day at The Festival in 2010 when Imperial Commander won the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, Baby Run, ridden by Twiston-Davies’ son Sam, took the CGA Foxhunter Chase and Pigeon Island was successful in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase.

He is the only current trainer to have saddled two winners of the John Smith’s Grand National – Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002). Carl Llewellyn, who won on Earth Summit, has been his business partner since 2009.

Sons Sam, born on October 15, 1992, and Willy, born December 1, 1994, are both jockeys. Sam is stable jockey to his father, while Willy has partnered 29 winners on the Flat as an apprentice plus had success over jumps.

Born – Crickhowell, Abergavenny, May, 16, 1957  

Background – father William was a farmer; went to Radley school, alongside other future trainers such as Kim Bailey, Oliver and Simon Sherwood and the late Mikey Heaton-Ellis.

Worked for handlers such as Richard Head, Fred Rimell, David Nicholson and Kim Bailey when riding as an amateur, registering 17 wins under Rules and the same number in point-to-points. 

Starting training in 1981 combining farming with a permit (someone who trains only their family’s horses); took out a full licence to train in 1989 in partnership with Peter Scudamore. 

First winner as a trainer –  Last Of The Foxes, Hereford on February 3, 1982 (which he also rode).

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS (13)

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1994 Arctic Kinsman)

JLT Specialty Handicap Chase (1992 Tipping Tim)

John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (2009 Tricky Trickster)

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (1993 Gaelstrom, 2004 Fundamentalist)

RSA Chase (1993 Young Hustler)

Pertemps Final (2000 Rubhahunish, 2008 Ballyfitz)

Ryanair Chase (2009 Imperial Commander)

JCB Triumph Hurdle (1998 Upgrade)

Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2010 Imperial Commander)

CGA Foxhunter Chase (2010 Baby Run)

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (2010 Pigeon Island)

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS BY YEAR

1992-1 JLT Specialty Handicap Chase (Tipping Tim)

*1993-2 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Gaelstrom), RSA Chase (Young Hustler)

1994-1 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Arctic Kinsman)

1998-1 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Upgrade)

2000-1 Pertemps Final (Rubhahunish)

2004-1 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Fundamentalist)

2008-1 Pertemps Final (Ballyfitz)

2009-2 John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (Tricky Trickster), Ryanair Chase (Imperial Commander)

2010-3 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Imperial Commander), CGA Foxhunter (Baby Run), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Pigeon Island)

*winner of The Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award (along with Nicky Henderson & Martin Pipe)

 

OTHER BIG RACE WINS INCLUDE:

Argento Chase (2008 Knowhere)

Bet365 Gold Cup (2000 Beau)

Betfair Chase (2010 Imperial Commander)

Betfred Becher Handicap Chase (1993 Indian Tonic, 1995 Young Hustler, 1998 Earth Summit, 2010 & 2012 Hello Bud)

Champion Irish National Hunt Flat Race (1998 King’s Road)

Coral Scottish Grand National (1992 Captain Dibble, 1994 Earth Summit, 2009 Hello Bud)

Coral Welsh National (1997 Earth Summit, 2003 Bindaree)

Hennessy Gold Cup (2000 King’s Road)

John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle (2008 Mister Morose, 2010 Khyber Kim)

John Smith’s Grand National (1998 Earth Summit, 2002 Bindaree)

Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle (2000 Rubhahunish)

Long Walk Hurdle (1993 Sweet Duke, 1996 Ocean Hawk)

Paddy Power Gold Cup (1992 Tipping Tim, 2008 Imperial Commander, 2010 Little Josh),

Racing Post Handicap Hurdle (2009 Khyber Kim)

Rewards4racing Cleeve Hurdle (1998 Mistinguett)

StanJames.com International (2009 Khyber Kim)

williamhill,com Christmas Hurdle (1997 Kerawi)

williamhill.com Feltham Novices’ Chase (1992 Dakyns Boy, 2004 Ollie Magern)

 

 

BUMPER HORSE

 

PURE SCIENCE (IRE)

5 ch g Galileo (IRE) – Rebelline (IRE) (Robellino (USA))

Form: 14 Owner: Raymond Mould Breeder: Castlemartin Stud & Skymarc Farm

 

Summary

A 160,000 guineas yearling by champion Flat sire Galileo out of Group One winner Rebelline; did not run on the Flat when with Barry and Charlie Hills but made a winning debut in a 12-runner bumper at Warwick in January when scoring by nine lengths. Improved effort when stepped up to Listed company at Newbury on February 9.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 2; Wins: 1; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £2,359

 

Last Run

Stayed on when fourth of 10 in a Listed bumper at Newbury (soft) on February 9, beaten 11 lengths by Oscar Rock.

 

Aimed at

Weatherbys Champion Bumper

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “By Galileo, he is a very smart horse. He is in the bumper if he gets in. He may not because he got beat the other day at Newbury – they went too slow for him then.”

 

NOVICE HURDLERS

 

AFRICAN GOLD (IRE)

5 b g King’s Theatre (IRE) – Mrs Dempsey (IRE) (Presenting)

Jump Form: 121111   Owner: Ron Bauer   Breeder: Frank Motherway

 

Summary

Won sole bumper start at Stratford in May, 2012; unbeaten in four hurdles starts since chasing home Ballybough Pat in a novices’ hurdle at Carlisle in October, winning novices’ hurdles at Wetherby and Doncaster either side of two handicap hurdle successes at Newbury.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 6; Wins: 5; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £27,177

 

Last Run

Won a two and a half mile novices’ hurdle at Doncaster (soft) by four lengths from Close Touch on February 7.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Pertemps Final        3m   £80,000

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle      3m   £120,000

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle   2m 5f  £50,000

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “I would have thought it is the Albert Bartlett for him. He has done everything we wanted of him this season. He is lovely – I really like him.

 

“He is superb. I think the extra distance and better ground will improve him a lot. I am hoping in years to come that he will be another Imperial Commander type. He is a great big strong horse.

 

“The horses do it themselves – they are growing up and learning – that is the thing.”

 

MASTER OF THE SEA

6 b g Misternando – Sea Gale (IRE) (Strong Gale)

Jump Form:34-4661111   Owner: R J Rexton    Breeder: B D Darrer

 

Summary

Two runs in bumpers last season. This season, a progressive hurdler who has won his last four races and gone from a handicap rating of 92 to 142 in the process. He made all to win by five lengths over two and a half miles at Hereford on December 5 when sent off the 4/1 favourite and followed up with a short-head verdict over Bathwick Brave in a Ascot novices handicap hurdle on December 8. Stepped up two furlongs in distance at Wincanton on January, he was a decisive winner by five lengths in another handicap. He went to Newbury on February 9 for an extended three-mile handicap hurdle and was driven out to win by four lengths.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 9; Wins: 4; 2nd: 0; 3rd: -1; Win & Place Prize Money: £23,975

 

Last Run

Beat 17 opponents at Newbury on February 9 over three miles and half a furlong; sent off at 8/1; won by four lengths from Captain Sunshine.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Coral Cup        2m 5f  £80,000

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle   2m 4f 110y £50,000

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “He has been a revelation this season, going up a lot in the handicap. He will go for the Coral Cup at The Festival.

 

“We have not got to the bottom of him yet – he keeps improving. I would be very excited about the Coral Cup.”

 

RANSOM NOTE

6 b g Red Ransom (USA) – Zacheta (Polish Precedent (USA))

Jump Form: 73  Owner: Raymond Mould Breeder:  Rabbah Bloodstock Limited

 

Summary

High-class performer on the Flat for Barry and Charlie Hills, winning seven of his 23 starts including the Group Two Joel Stakes over a mile at Newmarket in September, 2011. Beaten 38 lengths on his hurdling debut at Kempton Park in November, 2012, but shaped better when a close third in a jumpers’ bumper at Lingfield on January 29.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 2; Wins: -; 2nd: -; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £477

 

Last Run

Third of eight in a two-mile jumpers’ bumper at Lingfield (Polytrack) on January 29, beaten three quarters of a length.

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle     2m 110y £120,000

Stan James Champion Hurdle      2m 110y £400,000

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “He has had a knock – on a joint – and I don’t think will be going to The Festival.”

THE NEW ONE (IRE)

5 b g King’s Theatre (IRE) – Thuringe (FR) (Turgeon (USA))

Jump Form: 1161-1112  Owner: Sarah Such  Breeder: R Brown & Ballylinch Stud

 

Summary

High-class performer in bumpers last season, winning three from four including the John Smith’s Champion Bumper at Aintree after finishing sixth in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at The Festival. Also three from four over hurdles this season, capturing a minor event at Newton Abbot on October 1 and the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle Cheltenham 18 days later before returning from a slight break to land the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle by 16 lengths at Warwick on January 12. Tasted defeat for the first time over hurdles on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham on January 26.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 8; Wins: 6; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £59,866

 

Last Run

Second of five in the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham (heavy) on January 26, beaten a neck by Fisher’s Cross after leading before the last.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (March 12)   2m 110y £120,000

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (March 13)  2m 5f  £120,000

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “He will be going for the Neptune Hurdle and is in good nick.

 

“The big difference this time is that it will not be desperately heavy ground. He has obviously got a huge burst of speed and  in hindsight we probably used it a bit too soon last time.

 

“He will probably take it up going to the last I would expect. There is no point sitting there, making a mistake at the last and getting run out of it. It is difficult but the ground cannot be as horrible as it was last time.

 

“I would hope all my horses have good chances but he would be the shortest-priced and the bookies are cleverer than most of us so maybe he is our best chance.

 

“There will be pace in the race. I don’t really worry about the others – on the day I will obviously but we have just got to go there as fit as we can – what will be will be.”

 

 

NOVICE CHASERS

 

SAME DIFFERENCE (IRE)

7 b g Mr Combustible (IRE) – Sarahs Reprive (IRE) (Yashgan)

Jump Form: 143371-234136   Owner: Mrs R Vaughan  Breeder: Mrs Marie Fenlon

 

Summary

Point-to-point winner in Ireland; smart novice hurdler last season, winning two of his six starts, as well as finishing third in Grade Two contests at Warwick and Doncaster. Scored at the fourth time of asking over fences in a three-mile novices’ event at Leicester on January 8, before finishing third, beaten three and a quarter lengths, to Unioniste in a competitive novices’ chase at Newbury on February 9. Most recent run was at Kempton on Saturday when, stepped up in class, he ran in the Racing Plus Handicap Chase and finished a respectable sixth of 13.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 12; Wins: 3; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £23,208

 

Last Run

Beaten sixteen lengths by Opening Batsman in the £100,000 Racing Plus Handicap Chase at Kempton Park on February 23. Made the running to the fifth and then chased the leader before finding no extra three out.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

JLT Specialty Handicap Chase      3m 110y £90,000

John Oaksey National Hunt Chase     4m  £85,000

RSA Chase        3m 110y £150,000

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase    3m 1f 110y £60,000

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “I wasn’t really disappointed with his run on Saturday. I think he ran a good race – a novice against old handicappers. He was running on well at the end and is in the four-mile race (John Oaksey National Hunt Chase) and I would have thought we would look at that.”

 

TOUR DES CHAMPS (FR)

6 b/br g Robin Des Champs (FR) – Massada (FR) (Kashtan (FR))

Jump Form: 1F32P06-1F81F13  Owner: Raymond Mould  Breeder: Bruno Vagne

 

Summary

Hurdle win came on debut at Stratford in October, 2011, from seven starts over the smaller obstacles. Improved over fences this season with three wins from seven starts, including a valuable handicap chase success at Ludlow in December. Scored by 31 lengths at Ffos Las in February and was stepped up in grade when last of three finishers to Rocky Creek in the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot on February 16.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 14; Wins: 4; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £29,654

 

Last Run

Third of three finishers behind Rock Creek in the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase over an extended three miles at Ascot (soft) on February 16, beaten 13 lengths.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

JLT Specialty Handicap Chase      3m 110y £90,000

John Oaksey National Hunt Chase     4m  £85,000

RSA Chase        3m 110y £150,000

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “He is in the various races -we don’t know where we are going with him yet but he has done really well this season.

 

“The weights are coming out this week for the handicaps – which races will he get in and what are they looking like? We will declare him in all of them and then have a think. He is improving – he made a bad mistake at Ascot last week and could have run a big race there because he really stays on. Hopefully, he is a RSA horse bit if he is he will definitely win the three-mile handicap (JLT Specialty Handicap Chase JLT Specialty Handicap Chase).”

 

 

CHASER

 

IMPERIAL COMMANDER

12 b g Flemensfirth (USA) – Ballinlovane (Le Moss)

Form: 146173/114/161/P251U/1P/2 Owner: Our Friends In The North Breeder: Laurence J Flynn

 

Summary

Top-class chaser. Imperial Commander was an emphatic eight-length winner on his only start between the flags at Summerhill in April, 2005. He made his debut for Nigel Twiston-Davies at Cheltenham in October, 2006, when he posted a convincing eight-length victory in an extended two-mile bumper. He gained his first success over hurdles in January, 2007, recorded a convincing 18-length verdict in a novices’ contest at Newcastle. He made just three appearances in the 2007/08 campaign, all at Cheltenham, including an all-the-way success in a beginners’ chase at The Showcase, and another front-running victory in a novice contest at The Open.  He returned to Cheltenham for his first start of the 2008/09 term, making a winning handicap chase debut in the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup. Six of his eight career wins have come at Cheltenham including two at The Festival – the 2009 Ryanair Chase and the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup a year later when beating the mighty Denman by seven lengths. Won the Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock in November, 2010, but pulled up lame when defending his crown in the 2011 Gold Cup. Ran a gallant race in defeat after 22 months off the track in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham when narrowly beaten.

Race Record: Starts: 20: Wins: 8; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £707,073

 

Last Run

Close second of 10 in the Grade Two Argento Chase over just short of three and a quarter miles at Cheltenham (heavy) on January 26, beaten half a length by Cape Tribulation close home.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup      3m 2f 110y £550,000

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “His preparation has all gone very smoothly – I couldn’t be more pleased. I want to give him a racecourse gallop somewhere this weekend – he is looking lovely.

 

“I was hoping to take him to Newbury on Saturday but they won’t let us – they want us to go on Sunday. If I cannot find anywhere on Saturday or earlier this week then I might go on Sunday.

 

“It was an astonishingly good run at Cheltenham. If you had offered me that second I would have been delighted because he had such a bad run up to it – the fact that he had fractured a splint bone and had been swimming a lot but there is no substitute for cantering. He had only four weeks of cantering beforehand and that is not really enough. He was not fit that day and he ran a superb race.

 

“I cannot see him being an awfully lot worse than he was when he won the Gold Cup, despite being three years older. He seems in very good nick. The others in the Gold Cup have not won a Gold Cup before except for Long Run.

 

“Any trainer is only as good as his horses and Imperial Commander is a very good horse. I am not taking any credit.

 

“Someone will have to explain the bounce theory to me. He is not coming back very quick – this is six weeks after his run. He has been let down a bit after his second – he did not do anything the week after and we have brought him back gently. I cannot see that being an issue. I have not seen the bounce factor in other horses.”

 

NIGEL ABOUT HIS OTHER HORSES

 

Astracad is a possible for the Byrne Plate or the Grand Annual.

 

Ackertac, fifth last year in the Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase, could go for the Byrne Group Plate or back to the novice event.

 

Hunters Lodge is a possible for theKim Muir.

 

Mad Moose is in everything and will go for the Byrne Plate or the Grand Annual.

 

Changing Times could go for Jewson Novices’ Chase.

 

Pigeon Islandwon the Grand Annual in 2010 and he may go for that race again. He has been very consistent in all the top races, earning prize money for being placed. He is in the form of his life really.

 

The Cockney Mackem, second in the Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase last year, should be going for the same race. He is in good form. He had a bit of a setback earlier this season and has only run once over hurdles when he ran well despite not liking the soft ground. He had a colic operation but a relatively simple one – they opened him up and his guts unravelled themselves. I am quite excited by him.

 

Billie Magern could be in the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase over three miles.

 

According To Trev is my fancy for the Pertemps. The drier the ground the better his chance. He does not have much weight and his form will better than in recent races if the ground improves.

 

Double Ross is in the Pertemps and the Coral – he has done nothing wrong this season and is in really good form.

 

Kayf Aramis – he will turn up in the Pertemps Final for the fifth time. He is in good heart.

 

Tuesday, March 12- entries

Ransom Note, William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

The New One, William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Tour Des Champs, JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

Same Difference, JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

Ackertac, JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

Billie Magern, JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

Major Malarkey, JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

Ransom Note, Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

The Cockney Mackem, Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase

What A Warrior, Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase

Ackertac, Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase

 

Wednesday, March 13- entries

Same Difference, John Oaksey National Hunt Chase

Hunters Lodge, John Oaksey National Hunt Chase

Tour Des Champs, John Oaksey National Hunt Chase

The New One, Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle

Tour Des Champs, RSA Chase

Same Difference, RSA Chase

Master Of The Sea, Coral Cup

Double Ross, Coral Cup

Imperial Leader, Coral Cup

 

Thursday, March 14- entries

Changing Times, Jewson Novices’ Chase

Double Ross, Pertemps Final

African Gold, Pertemps Final

Kayf Aramis, Pertemps Final

According To Trev, Pertemps Final

Kaylif Aramis, Pertemps Final

Little Josh, Ryanair Chase

Mad Moose, Byrne Group Plate

Ackertac, Byrne Group Plate

Astracad, Byrne Group Plate

Pigeon Island, Byrne Group Plate

Little Josh, Byrne Group Plate

Hunters Lodge, Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

Billie Magern, Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

Same Difference, Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

 

Friday, March 15- entries

According To Trev, Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

African Gold, Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Imperial Commander, Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase

Master Of The Sea, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

African Gold, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Imperial Leader, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Double Ross, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Pigeon Island, Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup

Mad Moose, Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup

Astracad, Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup

 

 THE FESTIVAL 2013

 

First Day – Champion Day

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 (Old Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)  2m 110y  £120,000

2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade One)  2m  £150,000

2.40 JLT Specialty Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three)    3m 110y £90,000

3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade One)   2m 110y  £400,000

4.00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase (Handicap) 3m 7f  £50,000

4.40 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade Two)     2m 4f  £85,000

5.15 Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) 2m 4f 110y £60,000

TOTAL £955,000

 

Second Day – Ladies Day

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 (Old Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (Amateurs)   4m  £85,000

2.05 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 5f  £120,000

2.40 RSA Chase (Grade One)     3m 110y £150,000

3.20 Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade One) 2m  £350,000

4.00 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade Three)   2m 5f  £80,000

4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)  2m 110y £75,000

5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade One)   2m 110y £60,000

TOTAL £920,000

 

Third Day – St Patrick’s Thursday

Thursday, March 14, 2013 (New Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 Jewson Novices’ Chase (Grade Two)    2m 4f  £100,000

2.05 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed)   3m  £80,000

2.40 Ryanair Chase (Grade One)     2m 5f  £275,000

3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Grade One)    3m   £275,000

4.00 Byrne Group Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade Three)   2m 5f  £90,000

4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateurs) 3m 1f 110y £60,000

5.15 St Patrick’s Derby (Charity Flat Race)    1m 5f  –

TOTAL £880,000

 

Fourth Day – Gold Cup Day

Friday, March 15, 2013 (New Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade One)     2m 1f  £120,000

2.05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)  2m 1f  £80,000

2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)    3m  £120,000

3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Chase) (Grade One)   3m 2f 110y £550,000

4.00 CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup (Amateurs)  3m 2f 110y £40,000

4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle   2m 4f 110y £50,000

5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three) 2m 110y £90,000

TOTAL £1,050,000

 

TOTAL PRIZE MONEY AT THE FESTIVAL OF £3,805,000

(UP £425,000 ON 2012 TOTAL OF £3,380,000)

 

AVERAGE RACE VALUE £140,925

(£125,000 IN 2012)

As ever, I’m indebted to my friends at Racenews for the above content

WarnedOff

 

Cheltenham festival – full details and quotes from Paul Nicholls press day today

binocularsPaul Nicholls said at a media stable visit organised by Cheltenham Racecourse ahead of The Festival – March 12-15: “This time last year we were in a bit of a different place – I had to cancel the media visit because the horses were coughing and we went into the 2012 Festival on the back of having a nightmare.

 

“This year, things have been totally different. We have had loads of winners, the horses are really well and healthy. We are much happier going into The Festival. It is exciting to have a lot of nice young horses coming along.”

 

Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat,

Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Synopsis – Champion Jump trainer for the past seven seasons in Britain (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12); became the first trainer to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08; recorded his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, 20 years after taking out his training licence, making him the quickest to reach this landmark figure in Jump racing.

 

Has sent out 32 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including enjoying four victories in each of the meeting’s showpiece contests – the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle – and he is the fourth most successful trainer of all time at The Festival and the second most successful current trainer.

 

Won two of the biggest races missing from his glittering CV last season as Rock On Ruby captured the Stan James Champion Hurdle at The Festival and Neptune Collonges clinched the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree in thrilling fashion, enabling the trainer to gain his seventh title in succession.

 

Big Buck’s, the four-time winner of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, is out of action this year because of injury, while other stable stars, such as the great Kauto Star, have retired from racing.

 

Born – Lydney, Gloucestershire, April 17, 1962 and grew up in Olveston near Bristol.

 

Background – son of a policemen, he partnered 119 winners as a Jump jockey between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987), who also captured the 1988 Vincent O’Brien (Irish) Gold Cup with Paul up.

 

Having struggled to keep his weight down, he retired from race riding after breaking his left leg and, from 1989 to 1991, assisted Devon handler David Barons, trainer of not only Broadheath and Playschool but also Seagram, who won the 1991 Grand National at Aintree.

 

He took out a licence to train at Manor Farm Stables, owned by Paul Barber, in Ditcheat, Somerset, on November 1, 1991 and started with just eight horses.

 

First winner as a trainer – Olveston, owned by his parents, at Hereford, December 20, 1991.

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS (32)

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland, 2011 Al Ferof)

Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2003 Azertyuiop)

Stan James Champion Hurdle (2012 Rock On Ruby)

Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase (2009 Chapoturgeon)

RSA Chase (2006 Star De Mohaison, 2007 Denman)

Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded)

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (2010 Sanctuaire)

Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis)

Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012 Big Buck’s)

JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo, 2011 Zarkandar)

Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest, 2009 American Trilogy)

Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman)

CGA Foxhunter Chase (2004 Earthmover, 2005 Sleeping Night)

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (2004 St Pirran, 2007 Andreas)

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS BY YEAR

*1999-3 Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase(Flagship Uberalles), Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Call Equiname), Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (See More Business)

2000- No winners

2001- cancelled

2002- No winners

2003-1 Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase(Azertyuiop)

*2004-4 CGA Foxhunter Chase (Earthmover), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (St Pirran), Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Azertyuiop), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (Sporazene)

2005-2 CGA Foxhunter Chase (Sleeping Night), Ryanair Chase (Thisthatandtother)

*2006-3 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Noland), RSA Chase (Star De Mohaison), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (Desert Quest)

*2007-4 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (Andreas), RSA Chase (Denman), Ryanair Chase (Taranis), Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Kauto Star)

*2008-3 Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Master Minded), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Celestial Halo), Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Denman)

*2009-5 Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase (Chapoturgeon), Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Master Minded), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Big Buck’s), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (American Trilogy),  Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Kauto Star)

2010-2 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Sanctuaire), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Big Buck’s)

2011-3 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Al Ferof), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Big Buck’s), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Zarkandar)

2012-2 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Rock On Ruby), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Big Buck’s)

*winner of The Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award

 

OTHER BIG RACE WINS INCLUDE

Argento Chase (1998 See More Business, 2001 See More Business, 2010 Taranis, 2011 Neptune Collonges)

Ascot Chase (2000 Rockforce, 2008 Kauto Star)

Bet365 Gold Cup (2001 & 2003 Ad Hoc, 2012 Tidal Bay)

Betfair Hurdle (2012 Zarkandar)

Betfair Chase (2006, 2007, 2009 & 2011 Kauto Star, 2012 Silviniaco Conti)

Betfred Bowl (2010 What A Friend, 2000 See More Business)

BGC Partners Liverpool Hurdle (2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012 Big Buck’s)

Cleeve Hurdle (2009 & 2012 Big Buck’s),

December Gold Cup (2009 & 2010 Poquelin, 2012 Unioniste)

Feltham Novices’ Chase (1993 See More Indians, 2003 Strong Flow, 2008 Breedsbreeze)

Galway Plate (2008 Oslot)

Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (Ireland) (2009 Neptune Collonges)

Hennessy Gold Cup (2003 Strong Flow, 2007 & 2009 Denman)

JNWine.com Champion Chase (2007 Taranis, 2008 & 2010 Kauto Star, 2012 Kauto Stone)

John Smith’s Grand National (2012 Neptune Collonges)

John Smith’s Melling Chase (2001 Fadalko, 2011 Master Minded)

John Durkan Memorial Chase (2008 Noland)

Kerrygold Champion Chase (2008 Twist Magic, 2009 Master Minded)

King George VI Chase (1997 & 1999 See More Business, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2011 Kauto Star)

Lexus Chase (2007 Denmab, 2009 What A Friend, 2012 Tidal Bay)

Long Walk Hurdle (2009, 2010 & 2011 Big Buck’s)

Matalan Anniversary 4-y-o Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Le Duc, 2011 Zarkandar)

Paddy Power Gold Cup (2012 Al Ferof)

Punchestown Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (2003 Sporazene)

Punchestown Gold Cup (2007 & 2008 Neptune Collonges)

Racing Post Handicap Hurdle (2003 Rigmarole, 2011 Brampour)

Scottish Grand National (1997 Belmont King)

StanJames.com International Hurdle (2003 Rigmarole, 2012 Zarkandar)

Tingle Creek Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2002 Cenkos, 2005 & 2006 Kauto Star, 2007 & 2009 Twist Magic, 2008 & 2010 Master Minded)

Victor Chandler Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2009 & 2011 Master Minded, 2010 Twist Magic)

Welsh National (2004 Silver Birch, 2005 L’Aventure)

ks

 

JUVENILE HURDLERS

 

FAR WEST (FR)

4 b g Poliglote – Far Away Girl (FR) (Cadoudal (FR))

Form: 3-1111   Owner: Axom XXXIX  Breeder: Ecurie D

 

Summary

Third on sole hurdle start in France for Thomas Trapenard in April, 2012. Four from four over hurdles in Britain for current connections, scoring by 12 lengths on debut at Chepstow before two comfortable successes at Cheltenham in November (Grade Two JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial) and December. Beat highly-regarded River Maigue in a novices’ hurdle at Ascot on February 16.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 4; 2nd: -; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £47,349

 

Last Run

Won a slowly-run novices’ hurdle over an extended two miles at Ascot (soft) by two and a half lengths from River Maigue on February 16.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

JCB Triumph Hurdle (March 15)     2m 1f  £120,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “He is vying for favouritism for the Triumph and has won all four of his starts this season. He won at Ascot on Saturday in a very tactical affair.  He stays and he jumps and he has a devastating turn of foot as well. Ruby (Walsh) was very impressed with him on Saturday. We had gone out with a plan thinking that River Maigue would go off in front but Barry Geraghty wanted to follow us and we ended up in front. Far West sprinted away in the straight. He jumps great and has been working with Zarkandar and has improved enormously over the winter. He has got everything and is a proper little racehorse. Ruby is looking forward to the Triumph. Far West would compare favourably with Zarkandar. I suspect he will end up remaining over hurdles next season and could be really interesting.”

 

IRISH SAINT (FR)

4 b/br g Saint Des Saints (FR) – Minirose (FR) (Mansonnien (FR))

Form: 112   Owner: Mrs Johnny De La Hey Breeder: S C E A Haras Du Ma

 

Summary

Won a Listed hurdle at big odds on debut at Auteuil, France, in September, 2012, when trained by Guy Cherel. Scored by 18 lengths for his new yard in a juvenile hurdle at Kempton Park on December 27 before chasing home Rolling Star in a Grade Two contest on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham, January 26.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 3; Wins: 2; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £38,259

 

Last Run

 

Second to Rolling Star in the Grade Two JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial Juvenile Hurdle over two miles and a furlong at Cheltenham (heavy) on January 26, beaten two and a quarter lengths but finished well clear of the third.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

JCB Triumph Hurdle (March 15)     2m 1f  £120,000

 

 

LAC FONTANA (FR)

Shirocco (GER) – Fontaine Riant (FR) (Josr Algarhoud (IRE))

Jump Form: 2  Owner: Potensis Limited & Chris Giles Breeder: S C A La Perrigne

 

Summary

Progressive in six starts on the Flat in France for Nicolas Clement, winning once and finishing fourth in a Listed contest. Ran on to take second after encountering trouble in running on his hurdling debut at Newbury on February 9.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 1; Wins: -; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £1,908

 

Last Run

Second of 12 to Chatterbox in an extended two-mile novices’ hurdle at Newbury (soft) on February 9, beaten two lengths, after being hampered two out.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

JCB Triumph Hurdle (March 15)     2m 1f  £120,000

 

 

SAMETEGAL (FR)

4 b g Saint Des Saints (FR) – Loya Lescribaa (FR) (Robin Des Champs (FR))

Form: 21-1213 Owner: John & Barbara Cotton Breeder: Pierre De Maleissye Melun Et Al

 

Summary

Scored on his second start over hurdles in France for Guillaume Macaire in April, 2012. Made a winning British debut in a Listed contest at Wetherby in November, before coming home second in a Grade Two at Doncaster in December. Returned to winning ways in a competitive contest at Musselburgh on February 3 but third in his first handicap at Taunton yesterday.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 6; Wins: 3; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £51,782

 

Last Run

Kept on when third, beaten just over three lengths, at Taunton (heavy) in two mile, one furlong handicap hurdle on February 19.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

JCB Triumph Hurdle (March 15)     2m 1f  £120,000

 

 

NOVICE HURDLERS

 

AAIM TO PROSPER (IRE)

9 br g Val Royal (FR) – Bint Al Balad (IRE) (Ahonoora)

Jump Form: 232  Owner:  CGA Racing Partnership 2  Breeder: Stephanie Hanly

 

Summary

Formerly trained by Brian Meehan and a useful stayer on the Flat. The only horse to win the famous Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket twice (2010 and 2012). Has shaped encouragingly on three starts over hurdles with placed efforts, when staying on, at Newbury, Doncaster and Ascot.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 3; Wins: -; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £6,617

 

Last Run

Second, beaten six lengths by Up And Go, over two miles and three furlongs at Ascot (soft) on February 16.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (March 15)    3m  £120,000

 

DODGING BULLETS (GB)

5 b g Dubawi (IRE) – Nova Cyngi (USA) (Kris S (USA))

Form: 246-113  Owner: Martin Broughton & Friends  Breeder: Frankie Dettori

 

Summary

Bred by Frankie Dettori. Won two of his nine starts on the Flat for Andy Oliver in Ireland, handicaps at Galway and Sligo in the summer of 2011; high-class form without winning as a juvenile hurdler last season, finishing second in the Grade Two Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton Park and fourth in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival. Two from two (Masterson Holdings Hurdle and Grade Two Opus Energy Novices Hurdle) at Cheltenham at the start of this season and then good third in Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 6; Wins: 2; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £53,348

 

Last Run

Kept on when third of seven to Darlan, beaten just over seven lengths, in the Grade Onewilliamhill.com Christmas Hurdle over two miles at Kempton Park (heavy) on December 26, 2012.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (March 12)   2m 110y £120,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “I think he is almost the forgotten horse of the Festival. He runs in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and is a second-season novice. He was fourth in the Triumph Hurdle at The Festival last year. He won his first two starts this season at Cheltenham. He gave 7lb and beat River Maigue on the second of them. We were then a little bit ambitious to run him in the Christmas Hurdle. I wanted to give him a run over Christmas and have him really fresh for The Festival. He came third to Darlan and finished ahead of Countrywide Flame who was fourth. That is not bad form. I think he has a mark of 157 and he would compare favourably with Al Ferof and Noland who won the Supreme for us. He goes well fresh and has not really had his ground which is not worse than good to soft. He is really well. He wants a fast-run race so he can come from behind. I think he has a great chance and is a big price for the Supreme – we have trained him just for that race and everything is going to plan. It looks a hot race this year but always does.”

 

 

PAY THE KING (GB)

6 b g King´s Theatre (IRE) – Knocktartan (IRE) (King´s Ride)

Form: 1  Owner: Robin Geffen Breeder: M Doran

 

Summary

Won only start, a two-mile bumper at Gowran Park, Ireland, on October 6 for trainer John Hassett. Subsequently sold for £150,000 at Brightwells Cheltenham Sale in December.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 1; Wins: 1; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £4,600

 

Last Run

Won 20-runner two-mile bumper at Gowran Park, Ireland, (Good) on October 6 by two and a quarter lengths.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (March 13) 2m 5f  £120,000

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (March 15)    3m  £120,000

 

NOVICE CHASERS

 

FAGO (FR)

5 b/br g Balko (FR) – Merciki (FR) (Villez (FR))

Form: 3122P3-1521FOwner: Andrea & Graham Wylie Breeder: Gildas Blain

Summary

Successful over hurdles and scored once (Auteuil in September 2012) in seven progressive chase outings when trained by Guillaume Macaire in France, ending with second in a Grade One over two miles & six furlongs at Auteuil in November, 2012 . Made a winning start for new connections in a two mile & one furlong novices’ chase at Newbury in January, but fell when travelling best in a Grade Two at Warwick recently.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 11; Wins: 3; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £138,068

 

Last Run

Fell two out when looking the winner in the Grade Two Racing Post Arkle Trial Novices’ Chase over two miles at Warwick (heavy) on February 9.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (March 12)   2m   £150,000

Jewson Novices’ Chase (March 13)     2m 4f  £100,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “He has got two entries. We bought him just before Christmas and he had some form around Auteuil. He won over two mile and five furlongs there and led at the last in a Grade One over two mile, six furlongs but faded. I think he is likely to be more of a two-mile horse like Master Minded who came to us after running over further as well. He won well at Newbury over two miles and went to Warwick and was hard on the bridle when he fell at the second last – just what I did not want to happen before the Festival. He runs at Sandown on Friday over two miles as we want to get another run into him. I think he wants to run in the Arkle because he has loads of speed. If Simonsig and Overturn go a good gallop in front, you are not going to be taking them on and the race may be run to suit him as he has plenty of speed. He is a really decent horse and I think he will be a lot stronger next season when he should be a really good two-mile chaser.”

 

ROCKY CREEK (IRE)

7 b g Dr Massini (IRE) – Kissantell (IRE) (Broken Hearted)

Form: 218-2111  Owner: The Johnson & Stewart Families Breeder: Colm Griffin

 

Summary

Point-to-point winner in Ireland; won at Grade Two hurdle over an extended three miles at Doncaster last season before finishing eighth in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival. Three from four over fences this term, winning decisively at Doncaster and Warwick before stepping up in class to land the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot on February 16.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 7; Wins: 4; 2nd: 2; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £51,540

 

Last Run

Won the three-mile Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase by a length and three quarters from Houblon Des Obeaux at Ascot (soft) on February 16.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

RSA Chase (March 13)      3m 110y £150,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “I think Rocky Creek needs the ground really testing and we will probably leave him until Aintree.”

 

SIRE COLLONGES (FR)

7 gr g Dom Alco (FR) – Idylle Collonges (FR) (Quart De Vin (FR)

 

Form: 1/93F/P-112 Owner: Angela Tincknell & Bill Tincknell Breeder:  Gaec Delorme Freres

 

Summary

French import, successful over hurdles at Auteuil in April 2010, who did not win in four starts over hurdles when tried highly by Paul Nicholls. Has proved more successful as a chaser, winning novice events at Fontwell and Cheltenham this season before running second at the latter course in November.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 8; Wins: 3; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £37,408

 

Last Run

Runner-up to Our Father, beaten 20 lengths, at Cheltenham on November 17 in novices’ chase over an extended three miles.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (March 13)   4m  £85,000

RSA Chase (March 13)      3m 110y £150,000

 

UNIONISTE (FR)

5 gr g Dom Alco (FR) – Gleep Will (FR) (Cadoudal (FR)

Form: 2422165-11311 Owner: John Hales  Breeder: Haras De Saint-Voir Et Al

Summary

Consistent over hurdles in France, winning once, and triumphed on first start over fences at Auteuil in May 2012 when trained by Guillaume Macaire. Has won on three of his four starts for new connections including the valuable Grade Three Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs at Cheltenham in December. Returned from a small break to win a competitive three-mile novices’ chase at Newbury on February 9.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 12; Wins: 5; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £130,631

 

Last Run

Won a three-mile novices’ chase by a short-head from Hadrian’s Approach at Newbury (soft) on February 9.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

RSA Chase (March 13)      3m 110y £150,000

Jewson Novices’ Chase (March 14)     2m 4f  £100,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “I bought him in the summer from France, where he won an ordinary race over fences at Auteuil, and he has had a very good season.He won for us first time out at Aintree and then was placed at Cheltenham behind Dynaste after we made the running with him. I thought he had a really nice handicap mark and he won the Paul Stewart Gold Cup at Cheltenham in December – stayed on strongly and jumped well. I gave him the rest of the winter off and went to Newbury the other day. He won a three-mile novice chase, the race Denman won before taking the RSA Chase at The Festival. He is only five, has kept on improving and jumps great. He was probably 80 per cent right last time and had a good blow afterwards. We knew the Newbury race was going to be tricky with a small field.  He was in front too soon and idled up the straight and eventually won by a short-head. I always remember Kauto Star winning the Aon Chase by a head and then going on to win the Gold Cup. Unioniste has improved enormously for that prep race. He will be better with plenty of runners and a true gallop. He stays jumps, goes well at Cheltenham, and is definitely in with a chance. He is likely to go for the RSA – he is still in the Jewson  and if we had torrents of rain and the ground was bottomless we could switch him and bring Rocky Creek into the RSA. Unioniste has been trained with The Festival in mind.”

 

HURDLERS

 

WONDERFUL CHARM (FR)

5 b g Poliglote – Victoria Royale (FR) (Garde Royale)

Form: 442512-1 Owner: Robin Geffen Breeder: Jean-Philippe Dubois

 

Summary

Six starts over hurdles in France for Tatiana Puitg, winning once at Auteuil in March, 2012 and finishing second in a Grade Two at the same course the following month. Impressed on only start for new connections when winning a Grade Two novices’ hurdle at Chepstow in October.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 7; Wins: 2; 2nd: 2; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £92,881

 

Last Run

Won Grade Two Persian War Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles by six lengths in good style at Chepstow (good to soft) on October 27.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Ladbrokes World Hurdle (March 14)     3m  £275,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “He was choking on and off during the Persian War Novices Hurdle at Chepstow which he won. Straight afterwards we decided to sort his breathing out and he had an operation. He is in the Coral Cup and I would think that race is the favourite for where he runs at The Festival. His rating is 149 at the moment and I don’t know whether that is good, bad or indifferent. He had good Graded form at Auteuil and in a normal year we would have been able to give him a couple of more runs and he could have been heading down the World Hurdle route. We will try him in a handicap first now. He is a horse we like a lot and he is going to Kempton on Saturday to have a racecourse gallop as is Fascino Rustico.”

ZARKANDAR (IRE)

6 b g Azamour (IRE) – Zarkasha (IRE) (Kahyasi)

Form: 111/15F-111 Owner: Chris Giles & Potensis Limited Breeder: His Highness The Aga Khan’s Studs S C

 

Summary

Half-brother to 2008 Horse Of The Year on the Flat Zarkava; won once from three starts on the Flat in France. Leading juvenile hurdler during 2010/2011 season, winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival and a Grade One at Aintree. Won a very competitive Betfair Hurdle on his reappearance last season but could only finish fifth in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at The Festival after an interrupted preparation. Unbeaten in three starts this season, winning a pair of Grade Twos at Wincanton either side of a game two-length success from Grandouet in the Grade Two Stan James International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 9; Wins: 7; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £363,444

 

Last Run

Won Grade Two Kingwell Hurdle over two miles by four and a half lengths from Khyber Kim at Wincanton (heavy) on February 16.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Stan James Champion Hurdle (March 12)    2m 110y £400,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “He has been totally different to how he was a year ago. He had just won the Betfair Hurdle and was coughing. He wasn’t quite right and we really struggled with him. He had a tiny little scar fracture of a hind leg in the autumn so we could not run him then. We rushed him for the Betfair Hurdle which he won. Then he started coughing and was nowhere near himself when he ran in the Champion Hurdle last year when he finished fifth after running a bit flat. Then he fell at Aintree. Otherwise he has won every race he has run in. He was three from three as a juvenile and has won all three this season. He keeps on winning and is the right age now, six. He has done nothing wrong this season. He have 17lb and beat Prospect Wells first time, then went to The International and won, galloping up the hill at Cheltenham. He idled on Saturday but won nicely. He is never going to flashy – he could have done on Saturday with a quicker pace. He jumps nicely and loves the Cheltenham hill. I think there is not a lot between Hurricane Fly, Rock On Ruby, this lad and possibly Grandouet. He prefers the New Course at Cheltenham but the Champion Hurdle is over almost a furlong less on the Old Course which is sharper. I would like to see the ground on the slow side and a fast-run race. He has got a great chance. Ruby (Walsh) was always going to have to ride Hurricane Fly this season and Daryl (Jacob) has won plenty of races on him. Daryl was always going to ride him but it makes no difference who rides him. Zarkandar is a good form and we are very happy with him.”

 

CHASERS

 

SILVINIACO CONTI (FR)

7 ch g Dom Alco (FR) – Gazelle Lulu (FR) (Altayan)

Form: 11/11134/31241-111 Owner: Chris Giles & Potensis Limited Breeder: Patrick Joubert

 

Summary

Ditcheat’s leading contender for Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup honours in 2013. Two from two over hurdles in France for Guillaume Macaire, he won a brace of Grade Two hurdles after joining Paul Nicholls in 2010 before being sent chasing last season, when he was successful in Grade Two events at Wincanton and Aintree. Began the current campaign by taking the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on November 3 before registering the first Grade One victory of his career in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on November 24, defeating Long Run by two and a half lengths. Warmed up for The Festival by winning the Grade Two Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury on February 9.

Jump Race Record: Starts:15 ; Wins: 10; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £376,524

 

Last Run

Won the Grade Two Betfair Denman Chase over three miles by seven lengths from The Giant Bolster at Newbury (soft) on February 9.

 

Entries at The Festival      Distance Value

Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup      3m 2f 110y£550,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “He has done incredibly well this season. He got beat at Ascot last season and was not right when the horses were coughing. We thought we were not going to Cheltenham with him and went to Aintree instead. He won nicely. This year he won the Charlie Hall, the Betfair Chase from Long Run and then the other day he had his prep race at Newbury which he won nicely. We had left plenty to work on and the ground was testing – I was nervous that he was going to get a bit tired but he stayed on strongly. He jumps well and I keep reading that he cannot win at Cheltenham because he has not won at Cheltenham. We have not avoided Cheltenham with him. He ran in The International over hurdles and ran incredibly well for a three-mile horse against a lot of two-milers. He missed the RSA last year and was never going to run in the Argento. He has been around loads of different tracks on different ground. I have always thought he wanted good ground but he has coped well with soft ground this season. You can ride him any way you like. We did not plan to make the running in the Betfair Chase at Haydock but Long Run did not want to go on. Ruby decided at the start to bowl along in front. He would be suited by a real fast end-to-end gallop where he can sit in third or fourth and use his jumping and hopefully stay on strongly. He has progressed nicely, done everything right and come out of Newbury well. He was fresh and well this morning. My view is that the three novices from last season – Bob’s Worth, Silviniaco Conti and Sir Des Champs might be the three – Long Run obviously you can never rule out because he has been such a good horse. Any Gold Cup is hard to win but we think we are going there with a nice chance. He is workmanlike and does the job right – we have a chance of winning.”

 

SANCTUAIRE (FR)

7 b/br g Kendor (FR) – Biblique (FR) (Saint Cyrien (FR))

Form: 53113/F371P/855111-314 Owner: Potensis Limited/Chris Giles Breeder: S C A De Lageneste-Har De St Voir

 

Summary

Ex-French, placed third once from two starts over hurdles before coming to Britain in 2009. A three-time winner over hurdles, including the Grade Three Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at The Festival in 2010 and the Grade Two Scottish Champion  Hurdle in 2011. Sent chasing at the start of 2012, he won his first two starts in novice company before recording an emphatic 17-length success over seasoned rivals in the Grade Two Celebration Chase at Sandown on the final day of the season in April. Has run three times this season and won the Grade Two Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park on December 27 but found Sprinter Sacre too good in the other races.

Jump Race Record: Starts:19 ; Wins:7 ; 2nd: -; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £196,753

 

Last Run

Finished fourth, beaten 29 lengths behind Sprinter Sacre, in the Grade One Victor Chandler Chase over two miles and one furlong at Cheltenham (heavy) on January 26.

 

Entries so far at The Festival      Distance Value

Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase    2m  £350,000

 

Paul Nicholls said: “He has not had the best of seasons. He is in the Champion Chase and basically, with Sprinter Sacre a red-hot favourite, we are playing for crumbs. He did not run particularly well in the Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham when the ground was very soft. He is never very good at this time of year. If the ground dries up and we ride him a bit handier, he could pick up a bit of place money on his best form in the Champion Chase. His Gold Cup is at Sandown at the end of the season when the ground is fast – he loves it there. Sanctuaire looks way better than he did in the middle of January. He is probably not a Grade One horse – he has won Grade Twos and that is his level.”

 

OTHER HORSE

 

Paul Nicholls said: “Ptit Zigis a four-year-old and in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at The Festival and at the moment is the favourite. He is a horse by Great Pretender and he had three runs at Auteuil. He was second one day and we bought him before Christmas, thinking he would be a Fred Winter horse. He went to Ludlow the other day and won quite nicely. He was quite green that day and showed plenty of promise. He had a handicap mark that day of 126 and went up 4lb for winning the race. 130 is a nice mark to be running in the Fred Winter on and he has a definite chance. The handicaps at The Festival are hard to win – we have won the Fred Winter before with Sanctuaire. He wants plenty of cut in the ground as he is a big chasing type of horse. He has pleased since Ludlow. He is a big green baby and different type of horse to Sanctuaire who went on to win a Grade Two over hurdles.”

 

THE FESTIVAL 2013

 

First Day – Champion Day

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 (Old Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)   2m 110y  £120,000

2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade One)   2m  £150,000

2.40 JLT Specialty Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three)    3m 110y £90,000

3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade One)    2m 110y  £400,000

4.00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase (Handicap) 3m 7f  £50,000

4.40 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade Two)      2m 4f  £85,000

5.15 Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed)  2m 4f 110y £60,000

TOTAL £955,000

 

Second Day – Ladies Day

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 (Old Course)      Distance Prize Money

1.30 John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (Amateurs)   4m  £85,000

2.05 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 5f  £120,000

2.40 RSA Chase (Grade One)      3m 110y £150,000

3.20 Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade One)  2m  £350,000

4.00 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade Three)    2m 5f  £80,000

4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)   2m 110y £75,000

5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade One)   2m 110y £60,000

TOTAL £920,000

 

Third Day – St Patrick’s Thursday

Thursday, March 14, 2013 (New Course)      Distance Prize Money

1.30 Jewson Novices’ Chase (Grade Two)    2m 4f  £100,000

2.05 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed)    3m  £80,000

2.40 Ryanair Chase (Grade One)     2m 5f  £275,000

3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Grade One)    3m   £275,000

4.00 Byrne Group Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade Three)    2m 5f  £90,000

4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateurs)  3m 1f 110y £60,000

5.15 St Patrick’s Derby (Charity Flat Race)    1m 5f  –

TOTAL £880,000

 

Fourth Day – Gold Cup Day

Friday, March 15, 2013 (New Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade One)      2m 1f  £120,000

2.05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)  2m 1f  £80,000

2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)     3m  £120,000

3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Chase) (Grade One)    3m 2f 110y £550,000

4.00 CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup (Amateurs)   3m 2f 110y £40,000

4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle    2m 4f 110y £50,000

5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three)  2m 110y £90,000

TOTAL £1,050,000

 

TOTAL PRIZE MONEY AT THE FESTIVAL OF £3,805,000

(UP £425,000 ON 2012 TOTAL OF £3,380,000)

 

AVERAGE RACE VALUE £140,925

(£125,000 IN 2012)

My thanks to Racenews for the above content

WarnedOff

 

David Pipe with a dark horse (and plenty more) for Cheltenham

David Pipe, Cheltenham 2013

binoculars

Synopsis – David Pipe is the son of 15-time champion Jump trainer Martin Pipe, who sent out a record 4,180 winners including 34 at the Cheltenham Festival and six at Royal Ascot. In 2009, Pipe senior, who helps his son, was honoured with the creation of a new race at the Cheltenham Festival, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

 

David himself has saddled nearly 700 winners including eight Cheltenham Festival successes and a John Smith’s Grand National triumph with Comply Or Die in 2008.

 

He has also recorded two high-profile wins on the Flat courtesy of Mamlook in the 2010 Chester Cup and Junior in the 2010 Ascot Handicap at Royal Ascot.

 

Born – February 7, 1973

 

Background – Started out riding in point-to-points in 1992, recording 22 wins, plus two under Rules.

 

After finishing as a rider, he had spells with Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer at Purchas Farm, a mile away from Pond House, handling Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold, who all went on to significant success under Rules when transferred to his father. Sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons.

 

He took over the trainer’s licence following the retirement of his father on the last day of the 2005/06 Jump season – Saturday, April 29.

 

First Winner As A Trainer – Standin Obligation, Kelso, May 9, 2006

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS (8)

JLT Specialty Chase (2008 An Accordion)

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurde (2007 Gaspara)

Pertemps Final (2010 & 2011 Buena Vista)

Ryanair Chase (2008 Our Vic)

Byrne Group Plate (2010 Great Endeavour, 2012 Salut Flo)

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (2011 Junior).

 

 CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS BY YEAR

2007 – 1 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Gaspara)

2008 – 2 JLT Speciality Chase (An Accordion), Ryanair Chase (Our Vic)

2009 – no winners

2010 – 2 Pertemps Final (Buena Vista), Byrne Group Plate (Great Endeavour)

2011 – 2 Pertemps Final (Buena Vista), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (Junior)

2012 – 1 Byrne Group Plate (Salut Flo)

 

OTHER BIG RACE WINS INCLUDE

 

John Smith’s Grand National (2008 Comply Or Die), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2011 Great Endeavour), StanJames.com  International Hurdle (2007 Osana), Charlie Hall Chase (2006 Our Vic), williamhill.com Feltham Novices’ Chase (2011 Grands Crus, 2012 Dynaste), Hennessy Gold Cup (2008 Madison Du Berlais), Long Walk Hurdle (2007 Lough Derg), Victor Chandler Chase (2008 Tamarinbleu)

 

GOULANES (IRE)

7 b g Mr Combustible (IRE) – Rebolgiane (IRE) (Red Sunset)

Form: 1-11   Owner: Roger Brookhouse  Breeder: Ray Townsend

 

Summary

Second & first in Irish point-to-points in October & November, 2011; sold for £40,000 at Cheltenham in November, 2011. Unbeaten under Rules, winning a maiden hurdle at Newbury in March, 2012, and a Listed handicap hurdle over an extended three miles, one furlong on his seasonal return at Cheltenham in November. Successful on chase debut at Wetherby in the Grade Two Towton Novices’ Chase in February.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 3; Wins: 3; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £37,377

 

Last Run

Won Grade Two Towton Novices’ Chase, run over three miles and a furlong, by a head from Super Duty at Wetherby (soft) on February 2.

 

Entries at The Festival     Distance Value

John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (March 13)   4m  £85,000

RSA Chase (March 13)      3m 110y £150,000

Jewson Novices’ Chase (March 14)    2m 4f  £100,000

 

David Pipe said: “He won well at Wetherby last time out – his first chase and a Grade Two so we put him in at the deep end. A lightly-raced horse, he came from the pointing field where he had two runs, finishing second and first in point-to-points. He is unbeaten with us, two over hurdles and one over fences. The great thing about this horse is his attitude – he is not flashy, instead being workmanlike and very gutsy. He stays very well – we will see what the ground and opposition is like when deciding which race to go for at The Festival. It is between the RSA, in which he will need every yard of the trip, and the National Hunt Chase. At Wetherby, all he did was stay and he loves to aim at something in front – he has a great attitude and there is still more to come. He has to improve for the RSA but is still lightly-raced and there is definitely more improvement there. He won’t mind the ground. He is one of our bigger hopes for the week at Cheltenham. Roger Brookhouse bought him from Cheltenham Sales for £40,000 which looks very cheap now. He is a good jumper and has done lots of schooling at home.”

 

FLYING CROSS (IRE)

6 b h Sadler’s Wells (USA) – Ramruma (USA) (Diesis)

Jump Form: –   Owner: Robin Geffen   Breeder: Southern Bloodstock

 

Summary

Yet to run over hurdles; rated 111 on the Flat. Won two of his six starts for Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden and finished third in the Group One Irish St Leger in 2010.

 

Last Run

Fifth of 10 in Listed Prix du Carrousel over a mile and seven furlongs at Deauville (good to soft) on July 29, 2011.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (March 12)  2m 110y £120,000

Stan James Champion Hurdle (March 12)   2m 110y £400,000

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (March 13)  2m 5f  £120,000

 

David Pipe said: “Flying Cross is the darkest horse we send to The Festival. He has never run over hurdles but he holds three entries for The Festival. He won’t go for the Champion Hurdle. I have spoken to Robin Geffen and the plan is to go for the Supreme or the Neptune. He was a very good horse on The Flat and finished third in the Irish St Leger for Aidan O’Brien. He is rated 111 and if he can translate that to hurdles he could be a very good horse. He has schooled nicely at home, jumping quite quick and flat, and all he has done is improve. He had a tendon injury and hence he has been off for a long time. We have had him for a long time (nine months) and put a lot of work into him. He is improving daily and did his best bit of work this morning. It is a big ask but it is one we hope he is up to. He is an out and out galloper who doesn’t mind cut in the ground. He is still an entire and is quite laidback. The more you ask him, the more he gives you and you can see his work improving every day. He is going in the right direction. He will go to The Festival without a run. If he does do well over hurdles, he could become a dual-purpose stallion. We did not want to rush him.”

 

THE LIQUIDATOR (GB)

5 b g Overbury (IRE) – Alikat (IRE) (Alhaarth (IRE))

Form: 2-21   Owner: Roger Brookhouse  Breeder: Ms E L White

 

Summary

Finished second in a competitive Fairyhouse sales bumper in April for John Hanlon before joining current connections for £100,000. Chased home Anonis in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham in November before getting off the mark in a similar race at Exeter on February 10.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 3; Wins: 1; 2nd: 2; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £20,022

 

Last Run

Won an extended two-mile bumper at Exeter (heavy) easily by 24 lengths on February 10.

 

David Pipe said: “He has only had the three runs. He is out of Alikat whom Dad used to train and is very similar to that horse in size and being very light-framed. But he is a good horse and ran a cracking race at Cheltenham  in November to finish second in the Listed bumper. The plan was always to go for the Cheltenham bumper (The Festival), with one run in between and we picked a nice easy race for him at Exeter the other day. We did not want him to have a tough race and he basically had a racecourse gallop. He is not overly big but has a good attitude. He is an ideal type for the Cheltenham bumper. He is not flashy sort – workmanlike and goes about his business and reminds me of Liberman whom Dad won the bumper with. He won’t mind the hustle and bustle and will keep galloping up that hill. All he has done is improve since we have had him. We hope he runs a big race at The Festival.”

 

GRANDS CRUS (FR)

8 gr g Dom Alco (FR) – Fee Magic (FR) (Phantom Breeze)

Form: 97212/11122/61114-P3P   Owner: Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds III

Breeder: Jean Marie Prost Alamartine

 

Summary

Top-class hurdler, winning Grade Two Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham as well as finishing runner-up to Big Buck’s in the 2011 Ladbrokes World Hurdle at The Festival. Made a bright start to chasing career last season with three wins on the bounce including the Grade One williamhill.com Feltham Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in December, 2011. Failed to win in four starts since. Has been pulled up on two of his three starts this season but in between finished third to Long Run in the William Hill King George VI Chase.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 18; Wins: 7; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £247,834

 

Last Run

Pulled up in Grade Two Argento Chase over just short of three and a quarter miles at Cheltenham (heavy) on January 26.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Ryanair Chase (March 14)     2m 5f   £275,000

Ladbrokes World Hurdle (March 14)    3m  £275,000

 

David Pipe said: “I don’t know if George (Grands Crus) runs at Cheltenham. He is his usual laidback self and is in two races at The Festival, the World Hurdle and the Ryanair. We are taking it day by day with him. He is on treatment for ulcers. He cantered this morning – he is having an easy time. It has been a frustrating season  – he disappointed in the Paddy Power. We cauterised his palate after that and he ran a cracking race to be third in the King George. He had a hard race that day and perhaps a combination of factors – the race came too quick for him possibly, ground, the ulcers and perhaps his blood – meant he was pulled up in the Argento Chase. All I can tell you is that he is the same horse at home on the gallops. Gerry (Supple) rides him and says he feels no different. There are no plans at present and he will probably go for a racecourse gallop somewhere and see how he goes there. He may go to Cheltenham, he may go to Aintree, he may go to Punchestown or he may not run again this season – we are keeping everything open and will do what is best for the horse. We want to get him back on track because he did run a cracking race in the King George. It was very soft ground that day and in the winner’s enclosure afterwards he had a good blow. He has still got the engine.”

 

GEVREY CHAMBERTIN (FR)

5 gr g Dom Alco (FR) – Fee Magic (FR) (Phantom Breeze)

Form: 14-111  Owner: Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds III

Breeder: Jean Marie Prost Alamartine

 

Summary

Full-brother to Grands Crus; decent form in bumpers last season and three from three over hurdles this season. Showed a good attitude when winning a maiden hurdle at Aintree over an extended two miles in October and again when taking a novice event by a nose from Corrin Wood at Haydock over two and a half miles in November. Ready seven-length winner on handicap debut at Wincanton on January 5.

Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 4; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £17,223

 

Last Run

Won a two and a half mile handicap hurdle in good style by seven lengths off a mark of 130 at Wincanton (soft) on January 5.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (March 13) 2m 5f  £120,000

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (March 15)   3m   £120,000

 

David Pipe said: “We call him Geoffrey and he is George’s full-brother. He has done nothing wrong this season – three out of three. He is improving rapidly. He had an easy time last season and we put him away to let him strengthen up. He is even stronger this year. He battled really well in a couple of his races and so I was pleased he had a nice easy race last time at Wincanton. He won off 130 in not a great race and the handicapper put him up a lot – 15lb to 145. He is going to find life tougher now but he is improving. He is entered in two novices – the Neptune and Albert Bartlett – and has been entered today for lots of handicaps – the Coral Cup, my father’s race, the Pertemps – and we will go through everything closer to the time. We were thinking of running him at Haydock the other day but it was very testing ground and, with Cheltenham getting closer, we thought there was no need. I think he will be better when he goes over three miles. We will see if he steps up to that distance for The Festival, assessing the ground and opposition. A rating of 145 could still be a workable mark and he is improving at a fast rate of knots. He is a very good jumper and travels well. He is a lot more straightforward than his brother. He is catching him up quickly. He will go on any ground. He will be a smashing chaser next season. He has only been beaten once in his life and I would like to keep it that way.”

 

TANERKO EMERY (FR)

7 b g Lavirco (GER) – Frequence (FR) (Panoramic)

Form: 2/F5-12113  Owner: Walters Plant Hire Limited Egan Waste Ltd

Breeder: Nicolas Taudon & Jean Taudon

 

Summary

Finished second over hurdles on sole start in France for Philippe Peltier in October, 2009. Was not seen on a racecourse again until when falling in a novices’ hurdle at Hereford in January, 2012, for trainer Tim Vaughan. Joined David Pipe ahead of this season and has won on three of his five starts at Stratford, Sandown and Lingfield, and also placed in competitive handicaps at Cheltenham and Ffos Las.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 8; Wins: 3; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £30,326

 

Last Run

Third of 14 in the Welsh Champion Hurdle (Limited Handicap) over two and a half miles at Ffos Las (heavy) on February 2, beaten a length and a half.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (March 12)  2m 110y £120,000

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (March 13) 2m 5f  £120,000

 

David Pipe said: “He is in novice hurdles at The Festival and has been entered in handicaps too – the County, Coral and my father’s race. He is very progressive and started off in the 90s and is up to 141 now. His best race was probably in defeat last time in the Welsh Champion Hurdle over two and a half miles, which was off 135 and I thought he was harshly put up 6lb that day. So he is going to have to improve. He was bought from France a few years ago now. He has always been a horse with a lot of ability but he has had a few problems. He is a very keen horse at home so we have to keep him settled in his races. He is better now. He is improving a lot and we think he will be a better horse on better ground. He travels well and is probably more likely to go for one of the handicaps. He is a very good jumper. He will have an each-way chance and is a very strongly-built horse. He is like a tank and when he first came here he was very keen and in his early races jockeys could not hold him. We have managed to settle him and he has improved and improved. Hopefully, he can keep on improving. The plan was to give him a rest before his last race because he’d had a few quick outings and then go to Cheltenham. Then Dai (Walters) asked if he could run in the Welsh Champion Hurdle and we only had a short time to get him ready. He might improve a bit for that run. He is definitely a chaser for next year.”

 

CLOSE HOUSE (GB)

6 b g Generous (IRE) – Not Now Nellie (Saddlers’ Hall (IRE))

Form: 212/314-21  Owner: Roger Brookhouse  Breeder: Allan Munnis

 

Summary

Decent form in bumpers in 2011 and again last season in novice hurdles, winning at Towcester and finishing fourth to Simonsig in the Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival. Has continued to improve this season, chasing home Double Ross in the competitive Paddy Power Intermediate Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs at Cheltenham in November before a gutsy success over a furlong further at Wincanton on Boxing Day.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 8; Wins: 3; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £34,776

 

Last Run

Won a two and three quarter mile handicap hurdle by two lengths from Rangitoto off a mark of 136 at Wincanton (heavy) on December 26.

 

David Pipe said: “He won the Pertemps qualifier at Wincanton last time. He went to The Festival last year when very inexperienced and finished fourth to Simonsig, nearest at the finish. We have been very patient with this fellow which is why you have seen him improve and improve. After he won the qualifier, he went up to 143 – up 7lb and the plan is to run him in the Pertemps. He has not run over three miles yet but will love the trip. He won’t mind what the ground is. He is very talented, a bit quirky and we treat him with kid gloves. We have been very patient with him and it has paid off. He should be a great chaser next year. He won’t mind the hustle and bustle of a Festival race. All he does is gallop – the first two at Wincanton pulled a long way clear of the others and 7lb was not too bad. It won’t be easy off 143 but we will definitely get in the Pertemps. He is in good form.”

 

BUDDY BOLERO (IRE)

7 b g Accordion – Quinnsboro Ice (IRE) (Glacial Storm (USA))

Form: 421-11   Owner: Malcolm Denmark  Breeder: Mary Fanning McCormack

Summary

Fourth on sole bumper start at Fontwell in November, 2011, before getting off the mark on his second hurdle start at Folkestone over two miles and six and a half furlongs the following month. Made a successful chase debut in a beginners’ event at Exeter after over a year off on January 1, 2013 and followed up with a 12-length success in a handicap chase over nearly three miles at Leicester on January 30.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 3; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £13,274

 

Last Run

Won an extended two mile and seven furlong handicap chase easily by 12 lengths off a mark of 129 at Leicester (heavy) on January 30.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (March 13)   4m  £85,000

Jewson Novices’ Chase (March 14)    2m 4f  £100,000

 

David Pipe said: “He is lightly raced too. He won last time at Leicester, very easily, though it was not the greatest of contests. He has had all his runs for Pond House and improved with each of them. Once again, we have been patient with this fellow. He was entered at The Festival last year but we did not think it was right for him to go there. He grew again last summer and is a big horse now – with still some more filling out to do. He appears to be an out and out galloper and did it nicely at Leicester. He is a good jumper. Three miles plus is his trip. He will go to the National Hunt Chase. I don’t know if he will stay four miles but if he does he will be in there with a big shout.  He is on 142 now and is related to Finger Onthe Pulse. He is a horse next season who hopefully will end up in races like the Welsh National. He does the business and I have always liked him. One of my better chances of the week.”

 

DYNASTE (FR)

7 gr g Martaline – Bellissima De Mai (FR) (Pistolet Bleu (IRE))

Form: 445/3216/1428-111  Owner: John White  Breeder: Paul Chartier

 

Summary

Had three starts over hurdles in Frances. Developed into a very useful hurdler when stepped up to three miles, annexing the valuable Grade Three Betfair ‘Fixed Brush’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock in November, 2011and finishing second to Big Buck’s in the Rewards4Racing Cleve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January, 2012 . Unbeaten in three starts over fences this season, with four and a half length wins at Cheltenham and Newbury around two and a half miles in November, before a nine-length success in the three-mile Grade One williamhill.com Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 14; Wins: 5; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £129,681

 

Last Run

Won three-mile Grade One williamhill.com Feltham Novices’ Chase eased down by nine lengths from Hadrian’s Approach at Kempton Park (heavy) on December 26, 2012.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

RSA Chase (March 13)      3m 110y £150,000

Jewson Novices’ Chase (March 14)    2m 4f  £100,000

 

David Pipe said: “Dynaste is one of the shorter-priced favourites at the meeting. He is still in the two races and probably still will be at the six-day stage. He is in good form and has done nothing wrong. He had a very good season last season over hurdles. He is bigger and stronger this year. He has won over two and a half miles twice and then he put up a very good performance in the Feltham at Kempton over three miles. He won’t mind what the ground is and has a very similar profile to Grands Crus but he is a more straightforward horse. We will choose his race after assessing the ground and likely opposition. He is a good traveller, jumps nicely, straightforward and has a nice engine. He looks rock solid. I did not think this year’s Feltham was as strong as last year’s but Hadrian’s Approach ran a very good race behind Unioniste which franked the form.”

JUMPING

THE FESTIVAL 2013

 

First Day – Champion Day

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 (Old Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)   2m 110y  £120,000

2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade One)   2m  £150,000

2.40 JLT Specialty Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three)    3m 110y £90,000

3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade One)    2m 110y  £400,000

4.00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase (Handicap) 3m 7f  £50,000

4.40 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade Two)      2m 4f  £85,000

5.15 Pulteney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed)  2m 4f 110y £60,000

TOTAL £955,000

Second Day – Ladies Day

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 (Old Course)      Distance Prize Money

1.30 John Oaksey National Hunt Chase (Amateurs)   4m  £85,000

2.05 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 5f  £120,000

2.40 RSA Chase (Grade One)      3m 110y £150,000

3.20 Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade One)  2m  £350,000

4.00 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade Three)    2m 5f  £80,000

4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)   2m 110y £75,000

5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade One)   2m 110y £60,000

TOTAL £920,000

Third Day – St Patrick’s Thursday

Thursday, March 14, 2013 (New Course)      Distance Prize Money

1.30 Jewson Novices’ Chase (Grade Two)    2m 4f  £100,000

2.05 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed)    3m  £80,000

2.40 Ryanair Chase (Grade One)     2m 5f  £275,000

3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Grade One)    3m   £275,000

4.00 Byrne Group Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade Three)    2m 5f  £90,000

4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateurs)  3m 1f 110y £60,000

5.15 St Patrick’s Derby (Charity Flat Race)    1m 5f  –

TOTAL £880,000

 

Fourth Day – Gold Cup Day

Friday, March 15, 2013 (New Course)     Distance Prize Money

1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade One)      2m 1f  £120,000

2.05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)  2m 1f  £80,000

2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)     3m  £120,000

3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Chase) (Grade One)    3m 2f 110y £550,000

4.00 CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup (Amateurs)   3m 2f 110y £40,000

4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle    2m 4f 110y £50,000

5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three)  2m 110y £90,000

TOTAL £1,050,000

 

TOTAL PRIZE MONEY AT THE FESTIVAL OF £3,805,000

(UP £425,000 ON 2012 TOTAL OF £3,380,000)

 

AVERAGE RACE VALUE £140,925

(£125,000 IN 2012)

Once again I’m indebted to my friends at Racenews for the above content

WarnedOff

For festival freaks and Henderson hotties, full details from today’s stable visit

Nicky Henderson on the Cheltenham festival

 

binocularsThe trainer commented today: “We all hope for a really good week, great weather and excellent ground while, as always, there will be fantastic racing.

“The Festival is not only the pinnacle of our year but it is one of the highlights of the whole racing and sporting calendar.

“If it goes well, the week is even better but we will enjoy it anyway. We will take the week as it comes and what falls into place will fall into place. If it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t that is the not the end of the world.

“I would settle for one winner – you don’t dare hope for more but you don’t want the dreaded blank. Anything that comes along is gratefully received. The best thing is to have a winner on the first day and it is amazing then how confidence grows – I don’t know why as it won’t make the other horses go any faster but at least it gives everybody confidence.

“We have had 35 to 40 runners over the four days of The Festival for the last few years and I imagine it will be the same this time.

“It was a freak four days last year (with seven winners) and we are unlikely to be lucky enough to repeat it but we will try.”

 

BACKGROUND 

Synopsis – Nicky Henderson is the all-time leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival with 46 successes after gaining a record seven successes last year. Twice the winner of the Jump trainers’ championships, in 1985/86 and 1986/87, he has sent out approaching 2,500 winners and is hot favourite to capture another trainers’ title this season.

Born – Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950 

Background – The son of financier and amateur jockey John Henderson MBE, who founded the Racecourse Holdings Trust, the forerunner for Jockey Club Racecourses, Nicky was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College. He worked for stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting himself full-time to racing.

First made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. Main wins as a jockey came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown’s Imperial Cup in the same year. Recorded his 78th and final win on Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978.

He became assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and received his own training licence in July, 1978, taking over from Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn. Moved to Seven Barrows, to the north of the village, in 1992. 

First Winner As A Trainer – Dukery at Uttoxeter, October 14, 1978.

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS

 

William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1986 River Ceiriog, 1992 Flown)

Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev, 2012 Sprinter Sacre)

JLT Speciality Handicap Chase (2000 Marlborough)

Stan James Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular)

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2012 Simonsig)

RSA Chase (2005 Trabolgan, 2012 Bobs Worth)

Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian’s Rainbow)

Coral Cup (2010 Spirit River)

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (2012 Une Artiste)

Ryanair Chase (2006 Fondmort, 2012 Riverside Theatre)

Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal)

Byrne Group Plate (1985 & 1986 The Tsarevich, 2005 Liberthine, 2006 Non So)

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (1990 Master Bob, 2002 The Bushkeeper, 2005 Juveigneur)

JCB Triumph Hurdle (1985 First Bout, 1987 Alone Success, 1999 Katarino, 2009 Zaynar, 2010 Soldatino)

Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (1993 Thumbs Up, 1997 Barna Boy)

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (2011 Bobs Worth)

Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2011 Long Run)

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (2009 Andytown)

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (2006 Greenhope, 2012 Bellvano)

Cathcart Chase (1990 Brown Windsor, 1994 Raymylette, 1999 & 2000 Stormyfairweather)

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINS BY YEAR

1985: 3 – Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), Byrne Group Plate (The Tsarevich), JCB Triumph Hurdle (First Bout)

1986: 3 – William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (River Ceiriog), Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), Byrne Group Plate (The Tsarevich)

1987: 2 – Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Alone Success)

1988: no winners

1989: 1 – Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Rustle)

1990: 2 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (Master Bob), Cathcart Chase (Brown Windsor)

1991: 1 – Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Remittance Man)

1992: 2 – William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1992 Flown), Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Remittance Man)

1993: 2 – Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Travado), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (Thumbs Up)

1994: 1 – Cathcart Chase (Raymylette)

1995: no winners

1996: no winners

1997: 1 – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Barna Boy)

1998: no winners

1999: 2 – JCB Triumph Hurdle (Katarino), Cathcart Chase (Stormyfairweather)

2000: 4 – Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Tiutchev), JLT Specialty Handicap Chase (Marlborough), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Bacchanal), Cathcart Chase (Stormyfairweather)

2001: no winners

2002: 1 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (The Bushkeeper)

2003: no winners

2004: no winners

2005: 3 – RSA Chase (Trabolgan), Byrne Group Plate (Liberthine), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (Juveigneur)

2006: 3 – Ryanair Chase (Fondmort), Byrne Group Plate (Non So), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Greenhope)

2007: no winners

2008: no winners

2009: 3 – Stan James Champion Hurdle (Punjabi), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Zaynar), Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle (Andytown)

2010: 3 – Stan James Champion Hurdle (Binocular), Coral Cup (Spirit River), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Soldatino)

2011: 2 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Bobs Worth), Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Long Run)

2012: 7 – Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Sprinter Sacre), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Simonsig), RSA Chase (Bobs Worth), Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Finian’s Rainbow), Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Une Artiste), Ryanair Chase (Riverside Theatre), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Bellvano)

 

OTHER BIG RACE WINS INCLUDE

JUMP RACING: Ascot Chase (2001 Tiutchev, 2011 & 2012 Riverside Theatre), bet365 Gold Cup (1989 Brown Windsor), Betfair Hurdle (1998 Sharpical, 2000 & 2004 Geos, 2001 Landing Light), Christmas Hurdle (2000 Geos, 2001 Landing Light, 2010 & 2011 Binocular, 2012 Darlan), Feltham Novices’ Chase (1990 Sparkling Flame, 1991 Mutare, 1997 Fiddling The Facts, 2000 Bacchanal, 2009 Long Run), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2001 Landing Light, 2008 Punjabi), Hennessy Gold Cup (2005 Trabolgan, 2012 Bobs Worth), International Hurdle (2000 Geos, 2008 Binocular & 2011 Grandouet), John Smith’s Melling Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian’s Rainbow), John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle (2011 & 2012 Oscar Whisky), King George VI Chase (2010 & 2012 Long Run), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2003 Fondmort), Victor Chandler Chase (1996 Big Matt, 2004 Isio, 2006 Tysou, 2013 Sprinter Sacre).

 

FLAT RACING:Queen Alexandra Stakes (2009 Caracciola), Ascot Handicap (2011 Veiled), Cesarewitch (2003 Landing Light, 2008 Caracciola).

Long_Run_Cheltenham

 

JUVENILE HURDLERS

 

MEGALYPOS (FR)

4 b/br g Limnos (JPN) – Bourbonnaise (FR) (Mansonnien (FR))

Form: 1-37433 Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede       Breeder: E A R L Ecurie Villebruyere

Summary

Won first of his five starts for Guillaume Macaire in France, the last two of which were over fences; returned to hurdles on British debut at Chepstow on January 5, coming home third.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 6; Wins: 1; 2nd: -; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £26,762

 

Last Run

Third in the Grade One Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle over an extended two miles at Chepstow (heavy) on January 5, beaten six and a quarter lengths by Ruacana.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle (March 15)   2m 1f   £120,000

 

ROLLING STAR (FR)

4 b g Smadoun (FR) – Lyli Rose (FR) (Lyphard’s Wish (FR))

Form: 11 Owner: Michael Buckley & the Vestey Family Breeder: Laurent Deniel

 

Summary

Ran seven times on the Flat in France without success; won a maiden hurdle at Auteuil in October when trained by Tatiana Puitg. Made winning British debut for new connections at Cheltenham in January.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 2; Wins: 2; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £39,085

 

Last Run

 

Won Grade Two JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial Juvenile Hurdle over an extended two miles at Cheltenham (heavy) by two and a quarter lengths from Irish Saint on January 26.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle (March 15)   2m 1f   £120,000

 

Hendersonsaid: “He is a lovely horse and did it very well at Cheltenham. We decided not to run him again as he was professional and thorough. He is working and jumping well.”

 

VASCO DU RONCERAY (FR)

4 gr g Al Namix (FR) – Landza De Ronceray (FR) (Chamberlain (FR))

Form: 3-21123  Owner: Simon Munir  Breeder: E A R L Rubin Herve

 

Summary

Ran three times in AQPS National Hunt Flat races in France when trained by Guy Cherel and was successful in the last over them over 13 furlongs at Chateaubriant in August. Won by 32 lengths on British debut in a juvenile hurdle at Hereford on November 1 before placed efforts in Grade Two company at Cheltenham and Doncaster.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 6; Wins: 2; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £20,298

 

Last Run

Third behind Kashmir Peak in the Grade Two Summit Juvenile Hurdle over an extended two miles at Doncaster (good to soft) on December 15, beaten three and a quarter lengths by Kashmir Peak.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle (March 15)   2m 1f  £120,000

NOVICE HURDLERS

 

MY TENT OR YOURS (IRE)

6 b g Desert Prince (IRE) – Spartan Girl (IRE) (Ela-Mana-Mou))

Form: 122-1211  Owner: J P McManus  Breeder: Frank Dunne

 

Summary

Classy bumper performer last season & finished second to The New One in Champion Bumper at Aintree. Has won three of his four starts over hurdles this term including the Grade Three Betfair Hurdle impressively at Newbury.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 7; Wins: 3; 2nd: 4; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £116,181

 

Last Run

Won Britain’s richest handicap hurdle, the £152,500 Grade Three Betfair Hurdle over an extended two miles, comfortably by five lengths from Cotton Mill at Newbury (soft) on February 9.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (March 12) 2m 110y £120,000

 

Hendersonsaid: “He is a bull of a horse and needs lots of work – yo daren’t leave him for long. A P (McCoy) thinks the world of him. We are going for Supreme with him. He has not run in a Grade One and it seems th best route.”

RIVER MAIGUE (IRE)

6 b gZagreb (USA) – Minor Tantrum (IRE) (Executive Park (IRE))

Form: 31-212   Owner: Michael Buckley  Breeder: James Keegan

 

Summary

 

Point-to-point winner in Ireland; won a bumper at Ayr in April on his second start under Rules.  Chased home Dodging Bullets in a Grade Two hurdle at Cheltenham in November. Got off the mark over hurdles in a novices’ race at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and second at Ascot on Saturday.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 2; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £21,722

 

Last Run

Beaten two and a half lengths by Far West in a falsely-run novices’ hurdle at Ascot (soft) on Saturday, February 16.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (March 12)  2m 110y £120,000

 

Henderson said: “His recent run was just about the most stupid race I’ve ever seen and he will go to the Supreme.”

 

UTOPIE DES BORDES (FR)

5 b m Antarctique (IRE) – Miss Berry (FR) (Cadoudal (FR))

Form: 2622811793-353214111   Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Breeder: G Hanquiez and E Hanquiez

Summary

Top-class four-year-old chaser in France for Francois Cottin, winning a Grade One at Auteuil in November. Joined current connections after selling at Arqana in November for 255,000 euros and made a winning British debut in a two-mile mares’ novices’ hurdle at Doncaster on February 4. Stepped up in trip to land a Listed hurdle at Sandown on Friday.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 19; Wins: 6; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £338,227

 

Last Run

Won Listed Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, over two and a half miles, by a length and three quarters from She Ranks Me at Sandown (heavy) on February 15.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle (March 12) 2m  £120,000

Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (March 13) 2m 5f £120,000

Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (March 15)  3m  £120,000

 

Henderson said: “She is two out of two for me and won a nice Listed race at Sandown the other day over two and a half miles and we are going to up the trip to three miles because it seems she stays.

 

“We will go to the Albert Bartlett with her.”

 

NOVICE CHASERS

 

CAPTAIN CONAN (FR)

6 b g Kingsalsa (USA) – Lavandou (Sadler’s Wells (USA))

Form: 3411622-111  Owner: Triermore Stud  Breeder: Woodcote Stud

 

Summary

Three starts over hurdles in France for Antoine Lamotte D’Argy, winning final one at Auteuil in June, 2011; made a winning British debut in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle before running second in Grade Two company at Kelso and Aintree. Unbeaten in three starts over fences, including two Grade Ones at Sandown, this season.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 10; Wins: 5; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £118,514

 

Last Run

Won Grade One Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase, over an extended two and a half miles, by a neck from Third Intention at Sandown (heavy) on February 2.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (March 12)  2m  £150,000

Grade Two Jewson Novices’ Chase (March 14)   2m 4f  £100,000

 

Hendersonsaid: “Captain Conan will go for the Jewson. He is a good horse – he just wasn’t that impressive last time in the Scilly Isles and I think you will see the proper Captain Conan come the Jewson.”

 

HADRIAN’S APPROACH (IRE)

6 b g High Chaparral (IRE) – Gifted Approach (IRE) (Roselier (FR))

Form: 1/1F-1F22  Owner: Richard & Elizabeth Kelvin Hughes Breeder: Marie Gavin

 

Summary

Irish point-to-point winner in April, 2011; won maiden on first of two hurdle starts at Ascot in December, 2011, and made a successful chase debut at the same course in November, 2012. Fell in a Grade Two novices’ chase at Newbury when still in contention before chasing home Dynaste in the Grade One Feltham Novices’ Chase over Christmas and runner-up again at Newbury recently.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 6; Wins: 2; 2nd: 2; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £22,819

 

Last Run

Second to Unioniste in a three-mile novices’ chase at Newbury (soft) on February 9, beaten a short-head.

Entries so far at The Festival      Distance Value

Grade One RSA Chase (March 13)     3m 110y £150,000

Grade Two Jewson Novices’ Chase (March 14)   2m 4f  £110,000

 

SIMONSIG (GB)

7 gr g Fair Mix (IRE) – Dusty Too (Terimon)

Form: 112111-11  Owner: Ronnie Bartlett  Breeder: Simon Tindall

 

Summary

Top Irish point-to-pointer in the spring of 2011; developed into last season’s leading novice hurdler with effortless victories in the Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival and at Aintree’s Grand National meeting. Made an equally impressive start to his chasing career with very easy wins at Ascot and Kempton Park.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 8; Wins: 7; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £163,347

 

Last Run

Won Grade Two williamhill.com Novices’ Chase, run over two miles, by 49 lengths at Kempton Park (heavy) on December 27.

Entries so far at The Festival       Distance Value

Grade One Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (March 12)   2m  £150,000

 

Henderson said: “Simsonsig is very good. He is in good form and does not take a huge amount of work. He has been very good in his two runs over fences and I think he knows what he has to do.

 

“He has tremendous ability and enthusiasm for racing. It will do him no harm for Overturn to give him a lead – he has wonderful pace.”

 

HURDLERS

 

BINOCULAR (FR)

9 b g Enrique – Bleu Ciel Et Blanc (FR) (Pistolet Bleu (IRE))

Form: 1121/113/5311/3114/32114-3       Owner: J P McManus         Breeder: Elie Lellouche

 

Summary

Placed at Listed level on the Flat in France when trained by Elie Lellouche; has won 11 of his 21 starts over hurdles including the 2010 Stan James Champion Hurdle and two Christmas Hurdles at Kempton Park. Also placed in 2008 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (second) and 2009 Stan James Champion Hurdle (third) at The Festival.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 21; Wins: 11; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 5; Win & Place Prize Money: £747,578

 

Last Run

Third to Hurricane Fly in the Grade One Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown (soft to heavy) on January 27, beaten five lengths.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle (March 12)  2m 110y £400,000

 

Henderson said: “He worked last Saturday with Long Run on Mandown. We boxed them both up and drove them around village twice so they did not where they were going. He worked well. Hurricane Fly beat Binocular comfortably in Ireland but he won’t beat us so comfortably at Cheltenham. The run has brought him along a lot.

 

“He was lame after last year and then late in which explains the one run this season – I was tempted to run him last Saturday but the ground was heavy.

 

“He will go to Kempton on Saturday and work after racing. His schooling sessions tell us how he is.”

GRANDOUET (FR)

6 b/br g Al Namix (FR) – Virginia River (FR) (Indian River (FR))

Form: 331/52113B/1F11-2     Owner: Simon Munir Breeder: Dominique Le Baron

 

Summary

Won once (April, 2010) from three starts over hurdles in France when trained by Guillaume Macaire; developed into a leading juvenile hurdler for current connections in the spring of 2011, finishing third in the JCB Triumph Hurdle and winning a Grade One at Punchestown. Made a smooth transition to open company with a four-length success in 2011 StanJames.com International Hurdle and returned from injury in the same contest this season.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 14; Wins: 6; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £226,754

 

Last Run

Second to Zarkandar in the Grade Two StanJames.com International Hurdle, run over an extended two miles, at Cheltenham (heavy) on December 15, beaten two lengths.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle (March 12) 2m 110y £400,000

 

Hendersonsaid: “He is clean-winded and does not need as much work so he won’t be going to Kempton on Saturday (to work after racing). He ran very well in The International and does not need to find an awful lot on that form.

 

“I would like Darlan back, but sadly I cannot have him, because he might have been the one – that is the way it goes.”

 

OSCAR WHISKY (IRE)

8 b g Oscar (IRE) – Ash Baloo (IRE) (Phardante (FR))

Form: 1/1114/1131/F11151-112 Owner: Walters Plant Hire Ltd Breeder: Stephanie Hanly

Summary

Started in National Hunt Flat races & two from two in that sphere in 2009. Has won 10 of his 15 starts over hurdles; effective from two miles to three miles. Dual winner of Grade One John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle over two and a half miles, and also third in 2011 Stan James Champion Hurdle at The Festival. Has won on two of his three starts this term including the Grade Two Coral Hurdle at Ascot over just short of two and a half miles.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 18; Wins: 13; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £405,071

Last Run

Second to Reve De Sivola in Grade Two Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle over three miles at Cheltenham (heavy) on January 26, beaten a neck.

 

Entries so far at The Festival      Distance Value

Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle (March 12)  2m 110y £400,000

Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle (March 14)   3m  £275,000

 

Henderson said: “He is going to go for the World Hurdle with no Big Buck’s around. We really need a Ryanair Hurdle but in the absence of that he goes for the three-miler.

 

“We are going to be more positive with him that we were in the Cleeve Hurdle now that we know he stays three miles. His form with Reve De Sivola is the best around.”

 

UNE ARTISTE (FR)

5 b m Alberto Giacometti (IRE) – Castagnette III (FR) (Tin Soldier (FR))

Form: 931111411R-11Owner: Simon Munir  Breeder: E Clayeux & D Clayeux

 

Summary

Won two of four bumpers in 2011 and her only start over hurdles (Jan, 2012) in France for Emmanuel Clayeux. Successful in five of her seven starts over hurdles for current connections including the Grade Three Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at last year’s Festival, and three Listed contests.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 12; Wins: 8; 2nd: -; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £109,219

 

Last Run

Won Listed 32Red.Com Mares’ Hurdle, over two and a half miles, by a length and three quarters from Alasi at Sandown on January 5.Likely to be aimed at the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at The Festival.

 

Henderson said: “She is a mare I like. She is going to have to take on Quevega which will be tough but she is undoubtedly the best of the home team. We will give it a go.”

 

CHASERS

 

BOBS WORTH (IRE)

8 b g Bob Back (USA) – Fashionista (IRE) (King’s Theatre (IRE))

Form: 21/1111/1321-1 Owner: The Not Afraid Partnership  Breeder: Mrs L Eadie

 

Summary

Unbeaten in four starts at Cheltenham; won the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival in 2011 and followed up in the Grade One RSA Chase last year. Annexed the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup on his seasonal reappearance at Newbury in early December & is ante-post favourite for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 11; Wins: 8; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £264,911

 

Last Run

Carrying 11st 6lb, he won the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, run over three and a quarter miles at Newbury (good to soft), by three and a quarter lengths from Tidal Bay on December 1.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (March 15)  3m 2f 110y £550,000

 

Hendersonsaid: “He has really got a bit to prove in that he has only really had one run outside novice chasing and that was in a handicap so he has got to do it against the big boys. It was a good performance in the Hennessy as it was in the RSA last year.

 

“It is a step up and I would have liked to have run him more on the way. He had one little hiccup himself and the whole winter has been the same – the ground has been desperate. His one opportunity to run came when the ground was bottomless and I am glad we did not go for that.

 

“He is a horse who is a bit more fragile than some of them and he wouldn’t want a hard race in heavy ground beforehand.”

 

FINIAN’S RAINBOW (IRE)

10 b g Tiraaz (USA) – Trinity Gale (IRE) (Strong Gale)

Form: F/1/1315/11121/1211-46 Owner: Michael Buckley Breeder: J O’Keefe

 

Summary

Won and Irish point-to-point in 2008, won a National Hunt Flat race & was two from four over hurdles. Has won seven of his 11 starts over fences; runner-up in the Racing Post Arkle Chase at The Festival in 2011 and landed the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase 12 months later. Rounded off last term with a seven-length success in the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree over two and a half miles. Could only finish fourth of four on his seasonal reappearance at Ascot in November and disappointed again at the same course on Saturday.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 16; Wins: 10; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £464,139

 

Last Run

Last of six to Cue Card in the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase at Ascot on Saturday, February 16.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (March 13) 2m  £350,000

Grade One Ryanair Chase (March 14)    2m 5f   £275,000

Grade One Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (March 15)  3m 2f 110y £550,000

 

Hendersonsaid: “He has had a difficult season, mostly because of the ground. He has not coped with it but will do better when there is good going.

 

“He is likely to defend his crown in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.”

 

LONG RUN (FR)

8 b/br g Cadoudal (FR) – Libertina (FR) (Balsamo (FR))

Form: 21211113/1211113/311/2213-21   Owner: Robert Waley-Cohen Breeder: Marie-Christine Gabeur

Summary

Has never finished out of the first three in 24 career starts; top-class three-year-old hurdler and novice chaser in France for Guillaume Macaire, winning two Grade Ones. Has won on six of his 12 starts since moving to Seven Barrows and became first six-year-old since Mill House in 1963 to win the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup when triumphant in 2011 and third in same race last year. Also captured the Grade One King George VI Chase in 2010 (scheduled in early 2011) and 2012.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 24; Wins: 14; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £1,419,537

 

Last Run

Won the three-mile King George VI Chase by a neck from Captain Chris at Kempton Park (heavy) on December 16.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (March 15)  3m 2f 110y £550,000

 

Henderson said: “His preparation is all going to plan. We didn’t run at Newbury the other day because the ground had gone completely. Both Robert and I felt that a hard race in very, very soft ground would not achieve anything and I think that was the right decision.

 

“He is going to have gallop after racing on Saturday at Kempton on grass which should get him spot on.  He was only six when he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and then wasn’t just at his very best last season. I cannot tell you that he is completely different this year but he is in very good order.

 

“I boxed him and Binocular up last Saturday and drove them twice around the village before going to Mandown for a good gallop.

 

“Some cheek-pieces might just sharpen him up – there is no point being proud – they are not the prettiest  things in the world but if they make him go faster why not.”

 

“He has regained the King George and maybe he can regain the Gold Cup.”

 

RIVERSIDE THEATRE (GB)

9 b g King’s Theatre (IRE) – Disallowed (IRE) (Distinctly North (USA))

Form: 13/12114/3115F/121/11P-6 Owner: Jimmy Nesbitt Partnership Breeder: Goldford Stud

 

Summary

Placed in Grade One company over hurdles; has won 6 of his 11 starts over fences including two Grade One Ascot Chases and a thrilling renewal of the Grade One Ryanair Chase at The Festival last year. Came home last of seven at Aintree a month later in the Betfred Bowl and finished down the field on his return this season in the King George VI Chase.

Jump Race Record: Starts:19; Wins:10; 2nd: 2; 3rd 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £434,179

Last Run

Sixth of nine in the Grade One William Hill King George VI Chase over three miles at Kempton Park (heavy) on December 26, beaten 27 lengths by Long Run.

 

Entries so far at The Festival     Distance Value

Grade One Ryanair Chase (March 14)    2m 5f  £275,000

 

Hendersonsaid: “He will go back to the Ryanair Chase and is in good form.

 

“We thought he had a wind issue after running in the King George. We sent him to Bristol University to be checked out – they discovered that his wind was fine but he had bad ulcers which have now been successfully treated.”

 

SPRINTER SACRE (FR)

7 b/br g Network (GER) – Fatima (FR) (Bayolidaan (FR))

Form: 11/2113/11111-11 Owner: Caroline Mould Breeder: Christophe Masle

 

Summary

High-class novice hurdler in 2011 & third in the Grade One William Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival. Unbeaten in seven phenomenal starts over fences since, with four Grade One wins headed by a spectacular success Racing Post Arkle Chase at The Festival last year. Returned this season to another impressive victory in the Grade One Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 13; Wins: 11; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £302,701

 

Last Run

Won the re-scheduled Grade One Victor Chandler Chase over an extended two miles at Cheltenham easily by 14 lengths on January 26 and is a very short-priced favourite for the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival.

 

Entries so far at The Festival      Distance Value

Grade One Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (March 13)  2m  £350,000

 

Henderson said: “He is in good form – we have those rather nasty three weeks to go. There is work to be done and there is a lot that can go wrong but at the moment everything is going well with him.

 

“He looks great and is very fresh and well in himself. He seems to be enjoying it and has had a good freshen up since the Victor Chandler Chase. The pressure is on because everybody will expect one of his flashy performances and I hope he can deliver again.

 

“He has not jumped anything since the Victor Chandler – we will just remind him what to do and not to get complacent. He finds it ridiculously easy but Cheltenham is Cheltenham and the course takes plenty of jumping.

 

“Barry (Geraghty) will go out and enjoy himself on Sprinter Sacre, who is as good looking a horse as I have ever had. He is a hugely-talented natural athlete.

“He and Simsonsig are two of the best work horses I have ever had. Sprinter Sacre will not go to a racecourse to work before Cheltenham.

 

“Sprinter Sacre is the one we would be disappointed with if he doesn’t win. He has more than a chance  – England expects!”

 

Fact

If Sprinter Sacre starts at shorter than 4/11 and wins, he will be the shortest-priced winner at The Festival since Arkle scored at 1/10 in 1966.

As ever, I’m indebted to my friends at the Racenews agency for the content you’ve read here

WarnedOff

 

 

Weights, betting and trainer comments for 2013 John Smith’s Grand National

national_start

FAVOURITE SEABASS GIVEN 11st 2lb IN 2013 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL

The Ted Walsh-trained Seabass, who finished third in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National, has been allotted 11lb 2lb in the 166th running of the great chase, for which the weights are unveiled this morning.

Betfred, betting partner at the John Smith’s Grand National meeting, make Seabass – who carried 10st 12lb in 2012 – one of their 14/1 co-favourites to go two places better this year and Walsh reports the 10-year-old to be bang on course for the £975,000 John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday,April 6.

“Seabass will run somewhere in the next three weeks to a month. There is just over seven weeks toLiverpool so I would like to get a run into him. The Bobbyjo Chase at Naas and the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton are possible targets,” said Walsh.

But, speaking before seeing the full weights, he added: “I don’t know how Seabass can get over 11st this year if Tidal Bay is rated 171 and my horse is rated 154. Whatever Phil Smith does, he does – it is immaterial to me and I can’t change it. You don’t have to be a great mathematician to subtract 54 from 71.”

The weights for Jump racing’s most famous prize were announced at the John Smith’s Grand National Launch in London today. It is the only race for which the weights are specifically framed by the British Horseracing Authority’s Head of Handicapping, Phil Smith.

This year’s weights are headed on 11st 10lb (rated 162) by the mercurial but hugely-talented Tidal Bay(16/1), who boasts three wins over hurdles and fences at Aintree. After saddling 52 beaten horses in the John Smith’s Grand National, Tidal Bay’s handler Paul Nicholls finally saw his luck change last year when Neptune Collonges prevailed.

The champion trainer is also represented by Join Together (10st 12lb, 20/1), who has not been seen since finishing runner-up in the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree on December 8, and a pair part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson – 2010 Betfred Bowl winner What A Friend (11st 5lb, 33/1) and Harry The Viking (10st 2lb, 25/1).

Tidal Bay’s owners, Andrea and Graham Wylie, boast an enviable hand this year and account for Betfred’s two other 14/1 co-favourites with Seabass. On His Own (10st 10lb) and Prince De Beauchene (11st 3lb) are among seven entries bidding to give Willie Mullins, successful with Hedgehunter in 2005, a second John Smith’s Grand National victory.

A strong Irish-trained entry of 31 includes another top contender from Ted Walsh’s stable in J PMcManus’s Colbert Station (10st 11lb, 20/1), winner of the Paddy Power Handicap Chase over three miles at Leopardstown on December 27 and the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle qualifier at Punchestown
on February 3.

“Like Seabass, Colbert Station will possibly have one more run. I have no idea where he will go at this stage as he only recently ran. I would also be looking at running him in three weeks to a month’s time, which will be ideal timing for the National.”

Nearly all of Colbert Stations’s races have come on soft or heavy ground but this does not concern Walsh: “I wouldn’t be worried about the ground for Colbert Station as it is never anything worse than good jumping ground at Aintree. “He has 10st 6lb in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton and is 3lb higher in England than he is in Ireland, which makes him worse off with Seabass in England.”

Walsh’s daughter Katie achieved the highest-ever John Smith’s Grand National placing for a female rider when third last year on Seabass, while McManus’s retained jockey Tony McCoy has been aboard Colbert Station for his two recent successes. But Walsh, also father of Ruby, stated that there is plenty of time to decide who will ride his duo.

“The question of who will ride both horses is the least of my worries at the moment. My only worry is thetwo horses arrive at Liverpool in good form, healthy and well,” added the trainer. “Who rides them is a question for another day. I am not even thinking about it and there is no pressure on anybody.

“Nobody has to make their mind up until I have to declare for the race – I don’t need to know if Tony McCoy is available or Ruby Walsh is available until they make their minds up and at the declaration stage will do for me.”

Ballabriggs, who won the 2011 John Smith’s Grand National off 11 stone, has been allotted the same weight again this year, having finished sixth under 11st 9lb in 2012. Trainer Donald McCain is happy with the weight given to the 33/1 chance.

“That weight is fine for Ballabriggs and it will be grand if the top horse (Tidal Bay) runs because then wewill have a lovely racing weight,” said McCain. “He has come out of his race at Warwick OK. He will go to Kelso for the Premier Chase as he has done for the past two years and then on to Aintree.”

There has been only one Welsh-trained Grand National winner, Kirkland in 1905, but the principality could field a formidable team this year with eight entries. Leading contenders include Welsh National runner-up Teaforthree (10st 13lb, 20/1), based in Pembrokeshire with Rebecca Curtis, and last year’s fourth, Cappa Bleu (10st 7lb, 25/1), whose trainer Evan Williams has had a runner reach the frame in the last four renewals.

The three-time John Smith’s Topham Chase winner Always Waining (10st 6lb, 50/1) could step up in trip for Peter Bowen, while Tim Vaughan’s 2011 Scottish Grand National winner Beshabar (20/1) has 1lb less on 10st 5lb.

The John Smith’s Grand National now regularly attracts some of the best chasers in training and among those engaged this year are the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander (33/1), who has 11st 6lb, and Albertas Run (11st 8lb, 33/1), winner of the 2010 Grade One John Smith’s Melling Chase at Aintree and two Ryanair Chases at Cheltenham.

The Colm Murphy-trained Quito De La Roque (40/1), who bounced back to form when winning the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles last month, has 11st 5lb.

There is one entry based in France, the Yann Porzier-trained Odysseas, but the 100/1 shot is not certain to make the final line-up with a weight of 9st 3lb. Last year the 72nd horse in the weights at the time of the Launch was the lowest-weighted horse to make the line-up, which would equate to a weight of 9st 8lb this year.

John Baker, Regional Director North West of Jockey Club Racecourses, commented: “The countdown really gets underway today to what promises to be both an ultra-competitive and high-class renewal of the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 6.

“Alongside the Aintree specialists and winners of many of the top staying handicaps, we also have some of the top chasers in training engaged, including a Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup victor.

“Irish raiders have won six of the last 14 renewals and there is a particularly strong entry from Ireland that could enhance that record this year while there looks a real chance of a first Welsh-trained winner since 1905.”
LATEST ODDS FROM BETFRED –
OFFICIAL BETTING PARTNER OF THE 2013 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL
14/1 On His Own, Prince De Beauchene, Seabass; 16/1 Tidal Bay; 20/1 Beshabar, Colbert Station, Join Together, Roi Du Mee,
Sunnyhillboy, Teaforthree; 25/1 Cappa Bleu, Harry The Viking, Katenko, Magnanimity, The Package; 33/1 Across The Bay,
Albertas Run, Alfie Sherrin, Ballabriggs, Balthazar King, Big Fella Thanks, Bostons Angel, Frisco Depot, Imperial Commander,
Lambro, Lion Na Bearnai, Oscar Time, Outlaw Pete, Roberto Goldback, Romanesco, Saint Are, Tofino Bay, Weird Al, What
A Friend, Wyck Hill; 40/1 Call The Police, Chicago Grey, Jessies Dream, Lost Glory, Mister Hyde, Planet of Sound, Quel Esprit,
Quiscover Fontaine, Quito de La Roque, Tarquinius; 50/1 Always Waining, Any Currency, Auroras Encore,
Becauseicouldntsee, Bob Lingo, Forpadydeplasterer, Joncol, Little Josh, Ninetieth Minute, Pandorama, Problema Tic, Quinz,
Rare Bob, Swing Bill, Tartak, The Rainbow Hunter, Treacle; 66/1 Backstage, Calgary Bay, Cloudy Lane, Cross Appeal,
Midnight Chase, Mr Moonshine, Pearlysteps, Poker De Sivola, Shakervilz, Soll, Summery Justice, Viking Blond; 100/1 Fabalu,
Gullible Gordon, Major Malarkey, Matuhi, Mortimers Cross, Mumbles Head, Odysseas, Pentiffic, Tatenen
¼ 1-2-3-4 – All Quoted
BETFRED SPECIALS
Irish-trained winner 6/4
Willie Mullins-trained winner 4/1
Graham & Andrea Wylie-owned winner 5/1
Paul Nicholls-trained winner 6/1
Female Jockey-ridden winner 10/1
Tony Mccoy-ridden winner 12/1
Ruby Walsh-ridden winner 12/1
Barry Geraghty-ridden winner 14/1
Donald McCain-trained winner 14/1
THE 2013 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL
Class 1, Grade 3, £975,000 total prize fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 6, 2013, about four miles, three and a half furlongs. For seven-year-olds and upwards who, up to and including March 18, 2013, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and which are allotted a rating of 120 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 10, 2013.

Horses who are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including February 10 would merit a minimum rating of 120. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 10, 2013. At the handicapper’s discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final.

The British Horseracing Authority has modified Rule (F)42.2.1 for the purposes of this race, such that racecourse performances up to and including
Sunday, February 12, may be taken into account. A novice horse shall only be qualified to run in this race if it has run a minimum of three times in chases in Great Britain, Ireland or France in accordance with Rule (F)42.5. Highest weight 11st 10lb – no penalties after publication of the weights. Entries closed January 29, entries revealed January 30 (84 entries, 1 subsequently scratched before publication of the weights), weights revealed February 12, first scratchings’ deadline February 26, second scratchings’ deadline March 19. Five-day confirmation stage April 1, final declaration stage 10.00am, April 4. Maximum field size of 40, plus four reserves. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the
racing of Sunday, February 10.
Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
1) 541-121 TIDAL BAY (IRE) 12-11-10 Andrea & Graham Wylie Paul Nicholls
2) P12/123- ALBERTAS RUN (IRE) 12-11-08 Trevor Hemmings Jonjo O’Neill
3) 51U/1P/-2 IMPERIAL COMMANDER (IRE) 12-11-06 Our Friends in the North Nigel Twiston-Davies
4) 13-3361 QUITO DE LA ROQUE (FR) 9-11-05 Gigginstown House Stud Colm Murphy IRE
5) 4P/33F0- WHAT A FRIEND 10-11-05 Ged Mason & Sir Alex Ferguson Paul Nicholls
6) 4-F0211 KATENKO (FR) 7-11-04 Andrew Brooks Venetia Williams
7) 13PF-4PP WEIRD AL (IRE) 10-11-04 Brannon Dick Holden Donald McCain
8) 351/51-1 PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE (FR) 10-11-03 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE
9) F1113-04 QUEL ESPRIT (FR) 9-11-03 Red Barn Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
10) 440/-U31 BIG FELLA THANKS 11-11-02 Crossed Fingers Partnership Tom George
11) 000-1U35 ROBERTO GOLDBACK (IRE) 11-11-02 Simon Munir Nicky Henderson
12) 1//11113-2 SEABASS (IRE) 10-11-02 Gunners Syndicate Ted Walsh IRE
13) 5110-P4 CALGARY BAY (IRE) 10-11-01 Camilla Radford Mick Channon
14) 234-F211 CALL THE POLICE (IRE) 10-11-01 DD Racing Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
15) 11/P10/-0 PANDORAMA (IRE) 10-11-01 Robert Bagnall Noel Meade IRE
16) 511112 ROI DU MEE (FR) 8-11-01 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
17) 121/46-P0 BALLABRIGGS (IRE) 12-11-00 Trevor Hemmings Donald McCain
18) 310-3P4 MIDNIGHT CHASE 11-11-00 Lady Clarke Neil Mulholland
19) P012-5P SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE) 10-11-00 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
20) P11-062 TEAFORTHREE (IRE) 9-10-13 T437 Rebecca Curtis
21) P3-1120 ACROSS THE BAY (IRE) 9-10-12 Scotch Piper Syndicate Donald McCain
22) 11P3-02 JOIN TOGETHER (IRE) 8-10-12 Ian Fogg & Paul Barber Paul Nicholls
23) 5/230-53 PLANET OF SOUND 11-10-12 Charles Lloyd-Baker Philip Hobbs
24) 0511306 BOB LINGO (IRE) 11-10-11 J P McManus Tom Mullins IRE
25) 413-5211 COLBERT STATION (IRE) 9-10-11 J P McManus Ted Walsh IRE
26) 6P00-1FP LITTLE JOSH (IRE) 11-10-11 Tony Bloom Nigel Twiston-Davies
27) 1-12141 TOFINO BAY (IRE) 10-10-11 Gigginstown House Stud Dessie Hughes IRE
28) 64-2P153 FORPADYDEPLASTERER (IRE) 11-10-10 Goat Racing Syndicate Thomas Cooper IRE
29) 4P1/B1F- ON HIS OWN (IRE) 9-10-10 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE
30) 20-35233 JONCOL (IRE) 10-10-09 Kay Browne Paul Nolan IRE
31) 10511-P LION NA BEARNAI (IRE) 11-10-09 The Lock Syndicate Tom Gibney IRE
32) P0F1-12 BALTHAZAR KING (IRE) 9-10-08 The Brushmakers Philip Hobbs
33) 5/5/4-14P THE PACKAGE 10-10-08 David Johnson David Pipe
34) P-06F226 BOSTONS ANGEL (IRE) 9-10-07 Elder Scouller Jessica Harrington IRE
35) P//1334-2 CAPPA BLEU (IRE) 11-10-07 William & Angela Rucker Evan Williams
36) 632/4-4U OSCAR TIME (IRE) 12-10-07 Robert Waley-Cohen/Sir Martin & Steve Broughton Martin Lynch IRE
37) 044001- ALWAYS WAINING (IRE) 12-10-06 Mr & Mrs Peter Douglas Peter Bowen
38) 01236-14 LAMBRO (IRE) 8-10-06 Byerley Thoroughbred Racing Willie Mullins IRE
39) 131P/PP- QUINZ (FR) 9-10-06 Andrew Cohen Philip Hobbs
40) 0/015U-6 TATENEN (FR) 9-10-06 The Stewart Family Richard Rowe
41) 1/U121/5- BESHABAR (IRE) 11-10-05 Middleham Park Racing X & Ann Burrows Tim Vaughan
42) 30/1122/- JESSIES DREAM (IRE) 10-10-05 David Johnson Gordon Elliott IRE
43) 51423F- TREACLE (IRE) 12-10-05 Bjorn Nielsen Tom Taaffe IRE
44) 011611 LOST GLORY (NZ) 8-10-04 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
45) 1211-5F PROBLEMA TIC (FR) 7-10-04 Jo Tracey David Pipe
46) 4U01-F4 SAINT ARE (FR) 7-10-04 David Fox Tim Vaughan
47) 00P-P14 SWING BILL (FR) 12-10-04 David Johnson David Pipe
48) 11F2-11 WYCK HILL (IRE) 9-10-04 SAB Partnership David Bridgwater
49) 2B-0U63 CHICAGO GREY (IRE) 10-10-03 John Earls Gordon Elliott IRE
50) PP-52202 MAGNANIMITY (IRE) 9-10-03 Gigginstown House Stud Dessie Hughes IRE
51) 4010F-60 QUISCOVER FONTAINE (FR) 9-10-03 J P McManus Willie Mullins IRE
52) 2F-63PP BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE (IRE) 10-10-02 Noel Glynn Noel Glynn IRE
53) 21B-4FP FRISCO DEPOT 9-10-02 Waley-Cohen, Burke, Broughton, Broughton Charlie Longsdon
54) 112P-P0 HARRY THE VIKING 8-10-02 Sir Alex Ferguson, Ged Mason, R Wood & P Done Paul Nicholls
55) 053B0-6 RARE BOB (IRE) 11-10-02 D A Syndicate Dessie Hughes IRE
56) 04-311P THE RAINBOW HUNTER 9-10-02 May We Never Be Found Out Partnership Kim Bailey
57) 0-23602 MR MOONSHINE (IRE) 9-10-01 Sue Smith Sue Smith
58) 1133FP MUMBLES HEAD (IRE) 12-10-00 Karen Bowen Peter Bowen
59) 30/F2PP-4 PEARLYSTEPS 10-10-00 The Glazeley Partnership Henry Daly
60) 2-U0P45 AURORAS ENCORE (IRE) 11-9-13 D Pryde, J Beaumont & D P van der Hoeven Sue Smith
61) 1F-3F604 NINETIETH MINUTE (IRE) 10-9-13 Dermot Cox Tom Taaffe IRE
62) 0513-30 ALFIE SHERRIN 10-9-12 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
63) 1P1142 TARQUINIUS (FR) 10-9-12 Mary Furlong Gordon Elliott IRE
64) 030U-06 MATUHI 10-9-11 Willsford Racing Incorporated David Pipe
65) 04-13116 MISTER HYDE (IRE) 8-9-11 Bensaranat Club & Bill McLuskey Jonjo O’Neill
66) 3-614U4 ANY CURRENCY (IRE) 10-9-10 Cash Is King Martin Keighley
67) 1P-4PP0 CROSS APPEAL (IRE) 7-9-10 John Corr Noel Meade IRE
68) 50-6440 TARTAK (FR) 10-9-10 Power Panels Electrical Systems Ltd Tim Vaughan
69) 4P2P-26 MAJOR MALARKEY (IRE) 10-9-09 Baker, Dodd & Cooke Nigel Twiston-Davies
70) (0)6U1/-50 POKER DE SIVOLA (FR) 10-9-09 David Johnson Ferdy Murphy
71) 1P/1/401-3 SUMMERY JUSTICE (IRE) 9-9-09 Mrs H Brown Venetia Williams
72) P/5000/P- BACKSTAGE (FR) 11-9-08 MPR & Capranny Syndicate Gordon Elliott IRE
73) 1/21B-00 SOLL 8-9-08 Derrick Mossop Jo Hughes
74) U1F1020 ROMANESCO (FR) 8-9-07 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
75) 0-121365 SHAKERVILZ (FR) 10-9-07 Wicklow Bloodstock Limited Willie Mullins IRE
76) FP-023P2 VIKING BLOND (FR) 8-9-07 Caroline Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
77) 40//2161-3 CLOUDY LANE 13-9-06 Trevor Hemmings Donald McCain
78) 05r316 OUTLAW PETE (IRE) 9-9-06 J P McManus John Halley IRE
79) 120-25F FABALU (IRE) 11-9-05 Tim Leslie Donald McCain
80) 0-000165 PENTIFFIC (NZ) 10-9-04 P Sinn, P Lawrence, L Sutcliffe, M Smith Venetia Williams
81) 33F425 ODYSSEAS (FR) 10-9-03 Mrs Jean Porzier Yann Porzier FR
82) 0/44-060 GULLIBLE GORDON (IRE) 10-9-02 Yeh Man Partnership Peter Bowen
83) 1P-2215 MORTIMERS CROSS 12-9-02 John Needham John Needham
83 entries
31 Irish-trained
1 French-trained
SCRATCHED: ORGANISEDCONFUSION (IRE)

JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL WEIGHTS –
COMPARISON WITH 2012
(at time of weights’ announcement)
Horse Age 2013 2012 Current Trainer
BALLABRIGGS 12 11-00 11-09 Donald McCain
MIDNIGHT CHASE 11 11-00 11-08 Neil Mullholland
WEIRD AL 10 11-04 11-08 Donald McCain
QUEL ESPRIT 9 11-03 11-07 Willie Mullins IRE
CALGARY BAY 10 11-01 11-06 Mick Channon
PLANET OF SOUND 11 10-12 11-05 Philip Hobbs
ROBERTO GOLDBACK 11 11-02 11-04 Nicky Henderson
TARTAK 10 9-10 11-02 Tim Vaughan
LITTLE JOSH 11 10-11 11-01 Nigel Twiston-Davies
CHICAGO GREY 10 10-03 10-13 Gordon Elliott IRE
TATENEN 9 10-06 10-13 Richard Rowe
SEABASS 10 11-02 10-12 Ted Walsh IRE
ON HIS OWN 9 10-10 10-11 Willie Mullins IRE
CAPPA BLEU 11 10-07 10-10 Evan Williams
RARE BOB 11 10-02 10-09 Dessie Hughes IRE
TREACLE 12 10-05 10-08 Tom Taaffe IRE
PEARLYSTEPS 10 10-00 10-06 Henry Daly
PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE 10 11-03 10-06 Willie Mullins IRE
SUNNYHILLBOY 10 11-00 10-05 Jonjo O’Neill
QUISCOVER FONTAINE 9 10-03 10-04 Willie Mullins IRE
ALWAYS WAINING 12 10-06 10-03 Peter Bowen
BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE 10 10-02 10-03 Noel Glynn IRE
SWING BILL 12 10-04 10-03 David Pipe
SHAKERVILZ 10 9-07 10-02 Willie Mullins IRE
THE PACKAGE 10 10-08 10-02 David Pipe
BACKSTAGE 11 9-08 10-01 Gordon Elliott IRE
VIKING BLOND 8 9-07 10-00 Nigel Twiston-Davies
ANY CURRENCY 10 9-10 9-08 Martin Keighley

BREAKDOWN OF ENTRIES BY TRAINER WITH PAST SUCCESSES IN THE JOHN SMITH’S
GRAND NATIONAL
7 Entries
Willie Mullins IRE (2005
Hedgehunter)
Prince de Beauchene 11-03
Quel Esprit 11-03
Call The Police 11-01
On His Own 10-10
Lambro 10-06
Quiscover Fontaine 10-03
Shakervilz 9-07
6 Entries
Gordon Elliott IRE (2007 Silver
Birch)
Roi du Mee 11-01
Jessies Dream 10-05
Chicago Grey 10-03
Tarquinius 9-12
Backstage 9-08
Romanesco 9-07
5 Entries
Donald McCain (2011 Ballabriggs)
Weird Al 11-04
Ballabriggs 11-00
Across The Bay 10-12
Cloudy Lane 9-06
Fabalu 9-05
Jonjo O’Neill (2010 Don’t Push It)
Albertas Run 11-08
Sunnyhillboy 11-00
Lost Glory 10-04
Alfie Sherrin 9-12
Mister Hyde 9-11
4 Entries
Paul Nicholls (2012 Neptune
Collonges)
Tidal Bay 11-10
What A Friend 11-05
Join Together 10-12
Harry The Viking 10-02
David Pipe (2008 Comply Or Die)
The Package 10-08
Problema Tic 10-04
Swing Bill 10-04
Matuhi 9-11
Nigel Twiston-Davies (2002
Bindaree, 1998 Earth Summit)
Imperial Commander 11-06
Little Josh 10-11
Major Malarkey 9-09
Viking Blond 9-07
3 Entries
Peter Bowen
Always Waining 10-06
Mumbles Head 10-00
Gullible Gordon 9-02
Philip Hobbs
Planet of Sound 10-12
Balthazar King 10-08
Quinz 10-06
Dessie Hughes IRE
Tofino Bay 10-11
Magnanimity 10-03
Rare Bob 10-02
Tim Vaughan
Beshabar 10-05
Saint Are 10-04
Tartak 9-10
Venetia Williams (2009 Mon Mome)
Katenko 11-04
Summery Justice 9-09
Pentiffic 9-04
2 Entries
Noel Meade IRE
Pandorama 11-01
Cross Appeal 9-10
Sue Smith
Mr Moonshine 10-01
Auroras Encore 9-13
Tom Taaffe IRE
Treacle 10-05
Ninetieth Minute 9-13
Ted Walsh IRE (2000 Papillon)
Seabass 11-02
Colbert Station 10-11
1 Entry
Kim Bailey (1990 Mr Frisk)
The Rainbow Hunter 10-02
David Bridgwater
Wyck Hill 10-04
Mick Channon
Calgary Bay 11-01
Tom Cooper IRE
Forpadydeplasterer 10-10
Rebecca Curtis
Teaforthree 10-13
Henry Daly
Pearlysteps 10-00
Tom George
Big Fella Thanks 11-02
Tom Gibney IRE
Lion Na Bearnai 10-09
Noel Glynn IRE
Becauseicouldntsee 10-02
John Halley IRE
Outlaw Pete 9-06
Jessica Harrington IRE
Bostons Angel 10-07
Nicky Henderson
Roberto Goldback 11-02
Jo Hughes
Soll 9-08
Martin Keighley
Any Currency 9-10
Charlie Longsdon
Frisco Depot 10-02
Martin Lynch IRE
Oscar Time 10-07
Neil Mullholland
Midnight Chase 11-00
Tom Mullins IRE
Bob Lingo 10-11
Ferdy Murphy
Poker de Sivola 9-09
Colm Murphy IRE
Quito de La Roque 11-05
John Needham
Mortimers Cross 9-02
Paul Nolan IRE
Joncol 10-09
Yann Porzier FR
Odysseas 9-03
Richard Rowe
Tatenen 10-06
Evan Williams
Cappa Bleu 10-07

BREAKDOWN BY SELECTED OWNER WITH PAST
SUCCESSES IN THE JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL
J P McManus (2010 Don’t Push It)
Sunnyhillboy 11-00
Bob Lingo 10-11
Colbert Station 10-11
Lost Glory 10-04
Quiscover Fontaine 10-03
Alfie Sherrin 9-12
Outlaw Pete 9-06
Gigginstown House Stud (Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair)
Quito de La Roque 11-05
Roi du Mee 11-01
Tofino Bay 10-11
Magnanimity 10-03
Romanesco 9-07
David Johnson (2008 Comply Or Die)
The Package 10-08
Jessies Dream 10-05
Swing Bill 10-04
Poker de Sivola 9-09
Trevor Hemmings (2005 Hedgehunter, 2011 Ballabriggs)
Albertas Run 11-08
Ballabriggs 11-00
Cloudy Lane 9-06
Andrea & Graham Wylie
Tidal Bay 11-10
Prince de Beauchene 11-03
On His Own 10-10
Ged Mason & Sir Alex Ferguson/Sir Alex Ferguson , Ged Mason, R Wood & P Done)
What A Friend 11-05
Harry The Viking 10-02
Lady Clarke, widow of Sir Stan Clarke, owner of 1997 winner Lord Gyllene)
Midnight Chase 11-00
William & Angela Rucker
Cappa Bleu 10-07
The Stewart Family
Tatenen 10-06
Top-weighted horses at the John Smith’s
Grand National Launch
2012
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree
Synchronised 9-11-10 Fell 6th
Ballabriggs 11-11-09 6th
Midnight Chase 10-11-08 NR
Weird Al 9-11-08 Fell 27th
Burton Port 8-11-07 NR
Quel Esprit 8-11-07 NR
Calgary Bay 9-11-06 14th
Neptune Collonges 11-11-06 WON
Alfa Beat 8-11-05 Fell 7th
Planet of Sound 10-11-05 12th
Number of entries 82
Number in handicap 69
Weights (at time of weights launch) of first four home
1st Neptune Collonges 11-06
2nd Sunnyhillboy 10-05
3rd Seabass 10-12
4th Cappa Bleu 10-10
2011
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree
Don’t Push it 11-11-10 3rd
Neptune Collonges 10-11-10 NR
Tidal Bay 10-11-09 UR 10th
Midnight Chase 9-11-08 NR
Deep Purple 10-11-07 NR
Tranquil Sea 9-11-07 NR
Synchronised 8-11-06 NR
Vic Venturi 11-11-06 BD 2nd
What A Friend 8-11-06 PU bef 27th
Majestic Concorde 8-11-05 UR 24th
Or Noir De Somoza 9-11-05 Fell 6th
Number of entries 102 (1 scratched before weights calculated)
Number in handicap 82
Weights (at time of weightslaunch) of first four home
1st Ballabriggs 11-00
2nd Oscar Time 10-09
3rd Don’t Push It 11-10
4th State Of Play 10-06
2010
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree
Albertas Run 9-11-10 NR
Madison Du Berlais 9-11-10 Fell 19th
Notre Pere 9-11-10 NR
Taranis 9-11-09 NR
Our Vic 12-11-08 NR
Mon Mome 10-11-07 Fell 26th
Black Apalachi 11-11-06 2nd
Joe Lively 11-11-06 10th
Vic Venturi 10-11-06 UR 20th
Comply Or Die 11-11-05 12th
Number of entries 112 (1 scratched before weights calculated)
Number in handicap 97
Weights (at time of weights launch) of first four home
1st Don’t Push It 11-05
2nd Black Apalachi 11-06
3rd State Of Play 10-11
4th Big Fella Thanks 10-12
2009
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree (weights rose by 8lb)
Exotic Dancer 9-11-10 NR
Madison Du Berlais 8-11-08 NR
Snoopy Loopy 11-11-05 NR
Star De Mohaison 8-11-05 NR
Notre Pere 8-11-04 NR
Nozic 8-11-03 NR
Air Force One 7-11-02 NR
Cloudy Lane 9-11-02 UR 15th
Afistfullofdollars 11-11-01 NR
War of Attrition 10-11-01 NR
Number of entries 120 (3 scratched before weights calculated)
Number in handicap 61
Weights (at time of weights launch) of first four home
1st Mon Mome 10-06
2nd Comply Or Die 10-12
3rd My Will 10-10
4th State Of Play 10-08
2008
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree (weights rose by 3lb)
Beef Or Salmon 12-11-12 NR
Celestial Gold 10-11-10 NR
Turpin Green 9-11-10 NR
Hedgehunter 12-11-09 13th
Hi Cloy 11-11-09 11th
Knowhere 10-11-08 UR 25th
Mr Pointment 9-11-08 PU bef 30
Ollie Magern 10-11-08 NR
Forget The Past 10-11-07 NR
Monkerhostin 11-11-07 NR
Turko 6-11-07 Fell 25th
Number of entries 150
Number in handicap 105
Weights (at time of weights launch) of first four home
1st Comply Or Die 10-06
2nd King Johns Castle 10-08
3rd Snowy Morning 10-12
4th Slim Pickings 11-00
2007
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree (weights did not rise)
Exotic Dancer 7-11-12 NR
Hedgehunter 11-11-12 9th
Forget The Past 9-11-09 NR
Fota Island 11-11-09 NR
Louping D’Ainay 8-11-09 NR
Eurotrek 11-11-08 PU bef 22nd
L’Ami 8-11-08 10th
State Of Play 7-11-08 NR
Ollie Magern 9-11-07 NR
Monkerhostin 10-11-6 REF 7th
Number of entries 119
Number in handicap 87
Weights (at time of weights launch) of first four home
1st Silver Birch 10-06
2nd McKelvey 10-04
3rd Slim Pickings 10-08
4th Philson Run 10-05
2006
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree (weights rose by 2lb)
Monkerhostin 9-11-12 NR
Royal Auclair 9-11-10 Fell 1st
Hedgehunter 10-11-10 2nd
Hi Cloy 9-11-09 NR
Fondmort 10-11-08 NR
Cornish Rebel 9-11-07 PU bef 19th
Therealbandit 9-11-07 PU bef 27th
One Knight 10-11-07 NR
Joaaci 6-11-06 NR
It Takes Time 12-11-06 PU bef 29th
Number of entries 148
Number in handicap 85
Weights (at time of weights launch) of first four home
1st Numbersixvalverde 10-06
2nd Hedgehunter 11-10
3rd Clan Royal 10-08
4th Nil Desperandum 10-05
2005
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree (weights rose by 3lb)
Grey Abbey 11-11-12 NR
Sir Rembrandt 9-11-10 NR
Keen Leader 9-11-09 NR
Le Coudray 11-11-09 PU Bef 21st
Kamillo 7-11-09 NR
First Gold 12-11-08 NR
Seebald 10-11-08 NR
Royal Auclair 8-11-07 2nd
Rince Ri 12-11-07 NR
One Knight 9-11-06 NR
Number of entries 152
Number in handicap 92
Weights (at time of weights launch) of first four home
1st Hedgehunter 10-12
2nd Royal Auclair 11-07
3rd Simply Gifted 10-03
4th It Takes Time 10-08
2004
Horse Age/Weight Position at Aintree (weights rose by 3lb)
First Gold 11-11-12 NR
Rince Ri 11-11-10 NR
Harbour Pilot 9-11-10 NR
Fondmort 8-11-10 NR
Le Coudray 10-11-09 Fell 22nd
Commanche Court 11-11-08 NR
Valley Henry 9-11-08 NR
Monty’s Pass 11-11-07 4th
What’s Up Boys 10-11-06 BD 6th
Iris Royal 8-11-06 NR
Number of entries 122
Number in handicap 66
Weights (at time of weights launch) of first four home
1st Amberleigh House 10-07
2nd Clan Royal 10-02
3rd Lord Atterbury 9-12
4th Monty’s Pass 11-07

JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL WEIGHTS
STATISTICS 2000-2013
AT TIME OF ISSUE OF WEIGHTS
year, no of entries, 11st+, 10st+, no & % in handicap, % 135+
2000 99 24 42 66 67% –
2001 126 7 32 39 31% –
2002 139 9 24 33 24% –
2003 148 18 49 67 45% –
2004 117 23 43 66 59% 47%
2005 152 28 64 92 61% 47%
2006 144 19 66 85 59% 51%
2007 117 25 62 87 74% 62%
2008 149 26 79 105 70% 59%
2009 120 13 48 61 51% 80%
2010 111 30 67 97 87% 85%
2011 101 19 63 82 82% 85%
2012 82 21 48 69 84% 85%
2013 83 19 40 59 71% 78%

ON DAY OF RACE
year runners in handicap out of handicap lowest rated runner
2000 40 33 7 120
2001 40 26 14 123
2002 40 31 9 130
2003 40 36 4 130
2004 39 34 5 116
2005 40 40 0 134
2006 40 40 0 135
2007 40 40 0 134
2008 40 40 0 137
2009 40 40 0 139
2010 40 40 0 139
2011 40 40 0 138
2012 40 39 1 131

MEDIAN RATING OF HORSES ENTERED
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
130 134 135 137 137 142 143 141 144 143

POSITION NEEDED IN WEIGHTS AT ENTRY TO GET RUN IN RACE
year position
2000 81st
2001 79th
2002 68th
2003 77th
2004 95th
2005 75th
2006 76th
2007 75th
2008 71st
2009 74th
2010 79th
2011 70th
2012 72nd

Thanks to my friends at Racenews for the information

WarnedOff