Published on March 7, 2014
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2014
View from theTrading Floor Willie Mullins is a name that strikes fear into the hearts of bookies each March as his stable of superstars descend on the Cheltenham Festival for the ﬁnest four days of National Hunt racing in the calendar. At the time of writing, Mullins has the ante-post favourite or second favourite for 11 of the 13 biggest races run during the Festival. As a result, punters have been piling into the multiples and we’ll be keeping our ﬁngers crossed one of his big hopes like Vautour, Hurricane Fly or Quevega gets turned over. And don’t worry too much if your best wagers get beaten. We are oﬀering all our punters 10% back on staked bets as a free bet the next day throughout the Festival. Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls will be leading the British charge, with two of the best chasers in training set to go head-to-head in Friday’s feature, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Will Bobs Worth, trained by Henderson, become the ﬁrst horse since three-time hero Best Mate to land successive renewals in this blue riband event? Or will Nicholls’ Silviniaco Conti, still travelling well when falling last year, follow in the footsteps of his legendary former stablemates Kauto Star and Denman by capturing the prize? Here at Genting Bet we’ll be taking on Nicholls by refunding bets on any horse that ﬁnishes second to one of his winners throughout the week. In order to arm yourself with all the key trends and stats, we’ve put together this handy pocket guide. It also contains quotes from those in the know – including Channel 4’s Graham Cunningham. So, without further ado, let battle commence!
GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S INTRODUCTION If bookmakers have done their sums right, this year's Cheltenham Festival revolves around three kings of jump racing. Of course, there is nothing new about Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins heading to the Cotswolds loaded with strong chances. But nothing that has gone before can compare with what 2014 promises. A canter through the ante-post markets reveals that the big three are responsible for eight clear favourites and one joint-favourite in the top 10 Festival contests. But things are seldom that simple when it comes to the most unforgiving jumping arena of them all. Things certainly haven't gone according to script for Henderson this season and it's a measure of how capricious jump racing can be that two of his three Festival kings of 2013 – Sprinter Sacre and Simonsig – will be on the sidelines and sorely missed this time around. Nicholls has exploited the opportunity with typical eﬃciency to forge clear in the race to regain his champion trainer title, while Mullins has generally adopted a strict "name, rank and serial number" mentality as he marshals the single strongest Irish raiding party ever to head to Cheltenham. The fun starts with the timeless sporting scenario of an ageing superstar battling to stave oﬀ a posse of vibrant young thrusters when the Mullins-trained Hurricane Fly bids to win his third Champion Hurdle on Tuesday 11th March. Sprinter Sacre's absence from Wednesday's Champion Chase has left the door open for a posse of hopefuls headed by Sire De Grugy, while the Nicholls-trained Big Buck's is another legend of jumping who will divide opinion sharply when he bids for an astonishing ﬁfth World Hurdle on Thursday. Friday sees Henderson's Bobs Worth lay a ﬂawless Cheltenham record on the line against old rival Silviniaco Conti and Last Instalment in the Gold Cup, but the punting possibilities during Festival week are endless. The markets suggest the big three are in for a bonanza. But there are plenty of others to note. And, with a little luck, a few of this bunch will put their names in lights, too.
The Schedule Tuesday 11/03/2014 1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race 2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase 2.40 Festival Handicap Steeple Chase 3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy 4.00 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Race 4.40 144th Year of The National Hunt Steeple Chase 5.15 Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase Distance 2m ½f 2m 3m ½f 2m ½f 2m 4f 4m 2m 4½f Wednesday 12/03/2014 Distance 1.30 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle Race 2m 5f 2.05 RSA Steeple Chase 2.40 Coral Cup Hurdle 3.20 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase 4.00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase 4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race 5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper 3m ½f 2m 5f 2m 3m 7f 2m ½f 2m ½f
Thursday 13/03/2014 1.30 JLT Novices’ Chase 2.05 Pertemps Network Final 2.40 Ryanair Steeple Chase 3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle Race Distance 2m 4f 3m 2m 5f 3m 4.00 Byrne Group Plate 2m 4f 5.15 St Patrick’s Derby 1m 5f 4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase 3m1½ f Friday 14/03/2014 Distance 1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle 2m 1f 2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race 3m 2.05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle Race 3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase 4.00 CGA Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup 4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race 2m 1f 3m 2½ f 3m 2½ f 2m 4½ f 5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Steeple Chase Challenge Cup 2m ½ f
FAVOURITES Only 3 favourites have won in the last 22 renewals 1:30pm Tuesday 11th March Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle FORM 15 of the last 17 winners won last time out TRAINER / JOCKEY The Irish have won 8 of the last 13 runnings 2 Miles 1/2 Furlong Champagne Fever (centre) draws alongside My Tent Or Yours 12 months ago. WINNING STARTING PRICE SP 40/1 35/1 Ebaziyan 40/1 30/1 25/1 20/1 15/1 Brave Inca 7/2f 10/1 5/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 7 5 6 LAST 10 YEARS WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “He might be an embryo chaser, but he has looked as good as any novice about over hurdles and was impressive at Leopardstown, where his jumping was fast and slick.” Ruby Walsh, rider of Vautour “He was very free early on at Punchestown, so to come to the last pulling double was quite something. He should settle better with a faster pace. He has so much speed.” Willie Mullins, trainer of Wicklow Brave “A smart bumper horse and he is looking even better over hurdles. Only the tiring ground beat him at Kempton, and he came back with a bad scope, so that was some performance.” Nicky Henderson, trainer of Josses Hill GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT The party starts with the prospect of a Mullins versus Nicholls showdown as VAUTOUR and Irving lay their unbeaten hurdling records on the line. Irving's turn of foot was seen to striking eﬀect again at Kempton and good ground might suit him even better, but Vautour's high cruising speed and bold jumping left a deep impression at Leopardstown and he might just shade it.
FAVOURITES Last 23 winners have started at 11/1 or shorter, but only 5 favourites won 2.05pm Tuesday 11th March Racing Post Arkle FORM 25 of the last 27 winners ﬁnished in the top 2 last time out TRAINER / JOCKEY N Henderson and B Geraghty have won last 2 renewals 2 Miles Simonsig justiﬁed odds-on favouritism last year. WINNING STARTING PRICE SP 16/1 14/1 12/1 Well Chief 9/1 10/1 8/1 6/1 Simonsig 8/15 4/1 2/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 6 5 8 7 LAST 10 YEARS WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “He is very genuine, and, having won his ﬁrst three over fences, he might have needed his comeback run in the Game Spirit at Newbury, where the ground beat him.” Paul Nicholls, trainer of Dodging Bullets “He had the class to ﬁnish third in the Supreme (2012), but chasing was always going to be his game. He’s been right back on song and jumped fantastic in the Irish Arkle.” Charles Byrnes, trainer of Trifolium “Rock on Ruby must have the ground good or faster. He always comes alive in the spring and has plenty of top-level experience, so I’m not worried that he has only run the twice over fences.” Harry Fry, trainer of Rock on Ruby GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT Champagne Fever topped my shortlist initially but is short enough having been oﬀ since a Leopardstown defeat in December. Dodging Bullets is a player despite being pipped at Newbury, but TRIFOLIUM has Festival form and is thriving over fences. Pinpoint jumping hallmarked his Grade 1 Leopardstown win and the presence of young star Bryan Cooper on top is an added plus.
FAVOURITES 19 of the last 23 winners started in ﬁrst 5 of the betting, with 8 favourites triumphing 3.20pm Tuesday 11th March Stan James Champion Hurdle FORM 25 of the last 30 winners won last time out TRAINER / JOCKEY W Mullins and N Henderson have won 4 of the last 5 renewals between them 2 Miles 1/2 Furlong Hurricane Fly skips over the last hurdle on his way to victory last season. WINNING STARTING PRICE SP 40/1 Hardy Eustace 33/1 35/1 30/1 25/1 20/1 Hurricane Fly 13/8 15/1 10/1 5/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 6 5 8 7 LAST 10 YEARS WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “People talk of him being better at Leopardstown and, though he has twice won the Champion at Cheltenham, I blame myself for him not having shown his customary brilliance. He is a great horse, and hopefully he can put on a Ruby Walsh, rider of Hurricane Fly real show this time.” “He will need to improve again to beat ‘The Hurricane’, but he deﬁnitely gives me the feel of a potential winner. It was important that he had that prep on the all-weather as he can be free and it would have been a risk having no race AP McCoy, rider of My Tent or Yours since Christmas.” “The Irish Champion developed into a sprint, which did not suit him, but we have closed the gap on Hurricane Fly this season and, if he improves as much as he did last spring, he is well capable of turning the tables.” Barry O’Connell, owner of Our Conor GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT Can Hurricane Fly join the greats aged 10? Of course he can. But is he value at 3-1? Not against this dangerous new crew, he isn't. My Tent Or Yours will travel like a dream and The Fly's stablemate Annie Power is well worth a saver if she runs, but OUR CONOR looked a potential champ when destroying his Triumph Hurdle rivals last year and is ready to peak after making the Hurricane work hard in the Irish Champion Hurdle.
KEY TRENDS (Remainder of Day One) 2.40pm 4.00pm Festival Handicap Steeple Chase OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Race • 23 of the last 28 winners have carried less than 11st • Just 2 favourites have won since 1977 • Quevega is going for her sixth straight win in the race – no horse has ever won 6th races at the Festival • Quevega has been favourite for all 5 of her wins 4.40pm 5.15pm 144th Year of The National Hunt Steeple Chase Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase • Ireland won no renewals between 1999 and 2010 but has won 2 of last 3 • Only 2 winners since 1981 have been aged 10 or older • 7-year-olds have won 6 of the 9 renewals • 8 diﬀerent jockeys have won the 9 runnings
1.30pm Wednesday 12th March FAVOURITES Have won 10 of the last 23 runnings Neptune Novices’ Hurdle FORM 14 of the last 16 winners had run in a Graded race before 2 Miles 5 Furlongs TRAINER / JOCKEY W Mullins and N Twiston-Davies (both 2) only trainers to have won race more than once in last 15 runnings The New One on his way to recording a comprehensive win last season. WINNING STARTING PRICE Massini's Maguire 20/1 SP 28/1 24/1 20/1 16/1 12/1 Simonsig 2/1 8/1 4/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 5 6 LAST 10 YEARS WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “He is unbeaten and a lot easier to handle than last year, when he proved diﬃcult to keep sound. We think he is very good.” Ruby Walsh, rider of Faugheen “I have never had a better bunch of novice hurdlers, and this fellow is right up there with the best. He was impressive on Trials Day and is exciting.” David Pipe, trainer of Red Sherlock “He had the class to run Melodic Rendezvous to three parts of a length ﬁrst time over hurdles, and he is as good as any novice in the yard.” Nicky Henderson, trainer of Royal Boy GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT Heard this one before? The Mullins-trained FAUGHEEN is unbeaten with a huge reputation and set to go oﬀ hot favourite in the Ricci colours. It didn't work out for Pont Alexandre in last year's Neptune, but Faugheen has crushed everything in his path. It will be surprising if he isn't a major player, with David Pipe likely to provide some of the sternest opposition via the unbeaten Red Sherlock and exciting French recruit Un Temps Pour Tout.
FAVOURITES 3 of last 10 favourites have won but none of the last 4 2.05pm Wednesday 12th March RSA Chase FORM Last 49 winners had run in the calendar year 3 Miles 1/2 Furlong TRAINER / JOCKEY Only 6 Irish victories since 1985 (but 4 of last 5) Lord Windermere (2nd-left) battles his way to victory last season. WINNING STARTING PRICE SP 40/1 35/1 30/1 Rule Supreme 25/1 25/1 20/1 15/1 Denman 6/5 10/1 5/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 5 8 7 LAST 10 YEARS WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “He has not been the easiest to train, so therefore lacks a bit of experience. But he is great leaper with a big engine and I would not swap him.” Ruby Walsh, rider of Ballycasey “He does not take too much racing, so he badly needed the match-practice, and his prep-race at Newbury could not have gone better.” Alan King, trainer of Smad Place “Stamina is his strong suite, and he’d have a strong each-way chance. He was running a cracker against Ballycasey last time when I got knocked out of the saddle.” AP McCoy, rider of Carlingford Lough GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT A brave stayer who jumps economically is what's needed here given the likely presence of trailblazers like Annacotty and Corrin Wood. Ballycasey and Smad Place score well in both categories and head the market on ﬁrm foundations, but MANY CLOUDS has caught the eye all winter with his accurate fencing and appeals as a very live longer priced each way option for Oliver Sherwood.
FAVOURITES 12 of last 15 winners started at 5/1 or shorter, but only 4 favourites obliged 3.20pm Wednesday 12th March BetVictor Champion Chase FORM 14 of last 21 winners had won at the Festival before TRAINER / JOCKEY Since 2003, B Geraghty and R Walsh have won 8 renewals between them 2 Miles Sprinter Sacre was simply too good for his rivals 12 months ago. WINNING STARTING PRICE SP 16/1 14/1 Newmill 16/1 12/1 10/1 8/1 Sprinter Sacre 1/4 6/1 4/1 2/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 11 5 6 9 LAST 10 YEARS 8 7 WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “We’ve only seen him once this season because he had a bad tracheal wash. He travelled like the best horse at Sandown, but tired very quickly. When home his potassium levels were all wrong. We’ve tinkered with his minerals and hopefully – I’m not saying for certain – it’ll make the diﬀerence.” Nicky Henderson, trainer of Captain Conan “His best form has been on right-handed tracks, but this is only his second season over fences and he is almost the complete package, so we have to give it a go.” Gary Moore, trainer of Sire de Grugy “He has won four of his last ﬁve and I probably made a mistake in holding him up when he got beat in the Paddy Power. He is best rolling along.” Ruby Walsh, rider of Arvika Ligeonniere GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT Shades of Hamlet without the Prince after Sprinter Sacre's withdrawal and much revolves around how keen bookies are to take on SIRE DE GRUGY. Expect support for several rivals – notably Arvika Ligeonniere and Beneﬃcient – but Sire De Grugy looked better than ever when bolting up at Ascot. One theory suggests that he isn't suited by Cheltenham. I don't buy that and his credentials look very solid indeed.
KEY TRENDS (Remainder of Day Two) 2.40pm 4.00pm The Coral Cup Hurdle Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase • Only 1 favourite has won since 1994 • No horse rated 148+ has won this race • Ireland has won all but 1 of the 9 runnings • Enda Bolger has won 4 of the 9 and has had 3 seconds 4.40pm 5.15pm Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Weatherbys Champion Bumper • No trainer or jockey has won this more than once • Fillies have won 4 of the 9 runnings • 5-year-olds have won 14 of the 21 races • Willie Mullins has won 8 of the 21 runnings
2.40pm Thursday 13th March FAVOURITES Only 2 have won Ryanair Chase FORM 7 of the 9 winners (and 7 runners-up) had previously won at Cheltenham TRAINER / JOCKEY AP McCoy and R Walsh have both won 2 of the 9 runnings 2 Miles 5 Furlongs Cue Card registered a second win at the Cheltenham Festival in this contest last season. WINNING STARTING PRICE SP Albertas Run 14/1 16/1 14/1 12/1 10/1 Fondmort 100/30 8/1 6/1 4/1 2/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 6 11 (only 9 renewals) LAST 9 YEARS 9 7 8 WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “We have been trying to ride him as a stayer and he showed in the King George that he isn’t one. This is his race and on good ground he’d be a player.” Paul Nicholls, trainer of Al Ferof “Michael O’Leary [boss of Ryanair] has never managed to win his own race, but this fellow ticks all the right boxes and would have a right chance.” Mouse Morris, trainer of First Lieutenant “He won the Jewson there last year, so we know he likes the track and we have kept him fresh since he landed the Paddy Power over Christmas.” Tony Martin, trainer of Beneﬃcient GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT First Lieutenant was a gallant second last year but his record of 1-12 at this level is worrying. Forgiveness is also needed for a couple of his main rivals, but it could prove worthwhile for the dashing greys Al Ferof and DYNASTE. Al Ferof got stuck in a bog at Newbury, while Dynaste hurt back muscles in the King George. Expect much better here and Dynaste's ﬁne second to Cue Card at Haydock makes him a strong each way hope.
FAVOURITES 6 of last 11 favourites have won (Big Buck’s 3 times) 3.20pm Thursday 13th March Ladbrokes World Hurdle FORM Only 8 horses outside ﬁrst 4 in the betting have been placed since 2002 TRAINER / JOCKEY Courtesy of Big Buck’s, Nicholls is the leading trainer in race (4 wins) 3 Miles Solwit (nearest camera) won’t be back to defend his crown this year. WINNING STARTING PRICE SP 16/1 Solwhit 17/2 14/1 12/1 10/1 8/1 Big Buck’s 5/6 6/1 4/1 2/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 6 7 8 9 LAST 10 YEARS WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “He is 10kg lighter for his comeback run in the Cleeve, in which he just got tired from the last. He was stiﬀ for a week afterwards but looks magniﬁcent now.” Paul Nicholls, trainer of Big Buck’s “He was still not right in the Long Walk and I should not have asked him so many questions, but the Cleeve was much more encouraging and he is on the way back.” AP McCoy, rider of At Fishers Cross “He ran his best race against The New One there last year, and his win at Naas last time has put him spot on.” Mouse Morris, trainer of Rule the World. GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT Is Big Buck's the horse he used to be as he bids to win this for the ﬁfth time? Probably not. Will Mullins end up running the deeply impressive ANNIE POWER here? Probably. Will JP McManus rely on At Fishers Cross or the exciting More Of That? Pass. Big Buck's will raise the roof if he deﬁes Father Time. But can he really concede 7lb to Annie Power aged 11? I doubt it.
KEY TRENDS (Remainder of Day Three) 1.30pm 2.05pm JLT Novices’ Chase Pertemps Network Final • Ireland has won all 3 runnings • All 3 winners had run at Cheltenham previously • 7of last 10 winners have carried 10st 9lb or less • The last 10 winners have all been double-ﬁgure prices, including 2 priced at 50/1 4.00pm 4.40pm Byrne Group Plate Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase • Only 2 winning favourites since 1981 • 16 of the last 18 winners have carried 11st or less • Greasepaint was the last Irish winner in 1983 • 11 of the last 16 winners have been double-ﬁgure prices
1.30pm Friday 14th March FAVOURITES Won just 1 of last 12 JCB Triumph Hurdle FORM Only 2 of last 16 winners hadn’t won last time out TRAINER / JOCKEY N Henderson has won a record 5 Triumphs 2 Miles 1 Furlong Not even the rain could stop the celebrations after Our Conor’s victory last year. WINNING STARTING PRICE Countrywide SP Flame 33/1 40/1 35/1 30/1 25/1 20/1 Detroit City 7/2 15/1 10/1 5/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND Contest restricted to 4-year-olds LAST 10 YEARS WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “Three out is a mile from home on the New Course, so you need a real grinder, and that is what this fellow looked at Leopardstown. He has improved for the visor and jumps, travels and stays.” Dessie Hughes, trainer of Guitar Pete “We would have been distraught if he had been beaten on Trials day in March as we think he is above-average. That form is as good as any, and he looks just the right type for the race.” Nick Williams, trainer of Le Rocher “I loved this horse when I saw him at Auteuil even before he ran, and, though he is not what I usually look for in a Triumph candidate, being Flat-bred, he has twice delivered at Newbury. The softer the ground the better.” Paul Nicholls, trainer of Calipto GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT Guitar Pete looks the best of the Irish, but two British geldings sourced in France are the pair to focus on in the juvenile championship. Le Rocher scores heavily on course form and stamina after a runaway January win, while CALIPTO has abundant potential after cruising to two Newbury wins. Le Rocher's chance will look even stronger if it stays wet, but Calipto is improving fast and gets a narrow vote.
3.20pm Friday 14th March FAVOURITES Have won 7 of last 12 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup FORM Since 1994 75 of 77 horses beaten in the race before have been beaten again TRAINER / JOCKEY Ireland has had just 1 placed runner since 2006 3 Miles 2 1/2 Furlongs Bobs Worth clears the last on his way to an emphatic victory 12 months ago. WINNING STARTING PRICE SP 16/1 14/1 Synchronised 8/1 12/1 10/1 8/1 6/1 4/1 Best Mate 8/11 2/1 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Year
AGE ENGLAND v IRELAND 6 9 LAST 10 YEARS 7 8 WHAT THE CONNECTIONS SAY (We’ve sent Geoﬀ Lester out to speak to some of the leading connections) “Leopardstown would not have been his track, nor his ground, yet he showed he was more than just a galloper in the Lexus, and he is unbeaten around Cheltenham.” Nicky Henderson, trainer of Bobs Worth “He was going ominously well last year when tipping up three out and would have ﬁnished ﬁrst or second. He has not stopped improving and has a big chance.” Paul Nicholls, trainer of Silviniaco Conti “He was absolutely perfect when we checked him out this morning [10th February]. His legs are good and I couldn't be happier with him. He'll have an easy week or 10 days now before we gear him up for Cheltenham.” Philip Fenton, trainer of Last Instalment GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM'S VERDICT It's all about price with Bobs Worth. Henderson's hero is 33 at the Festival, 5-5 at Cheltenham and 9-9 when he has put his nose in front over jumps. They are formidable stats by any standards, but SILVINIACO CONTI was cruising when he fell three out last year and looked better than ever when outstaying Cue Card in the King George. This will settle all the arguments, but Conti looks the marginal value call.
CHELTENHAM QUIZ 1. Which trainer famously had the ﬁrst ﬁve home in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup? 2. What is the only horse to have ever won both the Champion Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup? 3. Hurricane Fly is out to become the ﬁrst 10-year-old to win the Champion Hurdle since whom? 4. With which horse does Quevega currently share the record of ﬁve Festival wins with? 5. The 1990 Cheltenham Gold Cup was won by a 100/1 shot. Name the horse. 6. Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Bobs Worth has won at the Festival for the last three years, taking three diﬀerent races. Name the only other horse to have accomplished this feat. 7. Which trainer holds the Festival record for most wins in an race with eight? 8. Nicky Henderson has trained a record 50 Festival winners. Which horse took him to the landmark number? 9. Name one of the four Triumph Hurdle winners to subsequently win the Champion Hurdle. 10.Which horse gave Ruby Walsh his last Festival winner over fences back in 2009? 1. Michael Dickinson 2. Dawn Run 3. Sea Pigeon 4. Golden Miller 5. Norton’s Coin 6. Flyingbolt 7. Willie Mullins (Champion Bumper) 8. Bobs Worth 9. Clair Soleil, Persian War, Kribensis, Katchit 10. Kauto Star (Gold Cup)
KEY TRENDS (Remainder of Day Four) 2.05pm 2.40pm Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle Race Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race • Ireland has won 6 of last 7 renewals. Brothers Willie and Thomas Mullins have won 3 of last 4 between them • 17 of the last 22 winners have carried less than 11st • 6-year-olds have won 5 of last 7 renewals • AP McCoy has won this 3 times 4.00pm 5.15pm CGA Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Steeple Chase Challenge Cup • Only 2 of last 23 winners were older than 10 • 23 of the last 28 winners had won last time out • 13 of the last 14 winners carried less than 11st • Only 1 horse older than 9 has won since 1997
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