Cheltenham Festival

King Henry Rules With Gold Cup One-Two

The crowning moment in an extraordinary week for Henry de Bromhead was provided by not one but two horses when Minella Indo (Ire) (Beat Hollow {GB}) beat his stable-mate A Plus Tard (Fr) (Kapgarde {Fr}) in steeplechasing's greatest prize, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The victory of Barry Maloney's 8-year-old also wrote de Bromhead's name in the history books as the first person to train the winners of the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup in the same year.  "This is crazy stuff, it's not reality," said the trainer as...

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Rachael Reigns Over Cheltenham

"Out of this world," was how Rachael Blackmore described her week at Cheltenham so far, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the top echelon of National Hunt racing is very much her world. The 31-year-old now leads the jockeys' table with five Festival winners in the last three days, with Jack Kennedy her closest pursuer on three. Two of her triumphs have come on horses owned by Cheveley Park Stud, which has now celebrated two winners at each of the last three Cheltenham Festivals. Wednesday's victory of Sir Gerhard...

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Blackmore Makes History At Cheltenham

Jump racing was lifted from the doldrums on the opening day of Cheltenham as Rachael Blackmore became the first woman to win a championship race at the Festival aboard Kenny Alexander's unbeaten Honeysuckle (GB) (Sulamani {Ire}). Her 7-year-old mount in turn continued her flawless career to become the third mare in five years to win the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle following Annie Power (Ire) (Shirocco {Ger}) and last year's winner Epatante (Fr) (No Risk At All {Fr}), who had to settle for third this year, the two mares being split...

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Pair Of Queens Gives Syndicate A Strong Hand

There have been 28 runnings of the G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham and 10 of them have been won by Willie Mullins. The Festival's most successful trainer of all time even rode the first of his winners, Wither Or Which (Ire), and he trains five of the 15 declared runners for this year's race, which is the final contest of Wednesday's card. Of that quintet, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned favourite Sir Gerhard (Ire) (Jeremy) cost £400,000. Lower down the sales scale is the little mare Grangee (Fr) (Great Pretender...

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First Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Preview on Tap for Mar. 10

The first Tattersalls Cheltenham Preview Panel will be available for viewing on YouTube and Facebook at 7:30 p.m. on Mar. 10, Tattersalls announced on Monday. Hosted by Vanessa Ryle, Richard Pugh, and Jamie Codd, the trio will be joined by guests Paul Nicholls, Anthony Bromley, Tom Malone, Cormac Doyle (Monbeg Stables) and owner John Dance. There will also be insights into the runners in the build up to the Cheltenham Festival on Mar. 16-19, as well as bloodstock analysis on some Cheltenham hopefuls.

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King And Bromley Breezing Into Cheltenham

There was very little that was normal about last year. A late start to the Flat season, no spectators at the races and the breeze-up sales held after Royal Ascot, which was one of the few early meetings to be held in its traditional slot. An extra twist to the Royal meeting was that one of the dominant trainers of the week was a man better known in jumping circles: Alan King. It is always worth taking note, however, when the master of Barbury Castle sends out a Flat runner,...

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Gordon Elliott Cooperating With IHRB Regarding Disputed Photo

Three-time Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott is fully cooperating with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB)'s inquiry into a disputed photo allegedly displaying Elliott sitting on a dead horse, the BBC reported on Sunday. The image, which some believe to be digitally altered, appears to show Elliott making a peace gesture while sitting on a dead horse lying on its side and captioned "new work rider". "I'm aware of a photo circulating on social media," the trainer tweeted late on Saturday night. "The IHRB have been in contact with me...

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Boum Time Again For Mullins In Gold Cup

CHELTENHAM, UK—With a slightly surreal sense of the final day of the Cheltenham Festival providing a last hurrah for racing as know it, at least for now, Al Boum Photo (Fr) (Buck's Boum {Fr}) returned to the scene of his greatest triumph to land back-to-back runnings of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. He's not seen often, but when the sleek 8-year-old gelding appears at the races he seldom disappoints and his assured victory sealed a sensational day for Willie Mullins, who saddled the first four winners of the week's finale....

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Business as Usual at Cheltenham

It remains business as usual at the Cheltenham Festival, despite a Premier League football match being postponed on Wednesday because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Premier League announced in the early hours that Manchester City's home fixture against Arsenal would be postponed due to the fact Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis - who has since tested positive for the virus - visited the Gunners for the clubs' Europa League tie on February 27. Marinakis, also the majority owner of Nottingham Forest, met several Arsenal players and staff, the Premier League said...

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All The Glitters Is Green And Gold

CHELTENHAM, UK—The green and gold hooped colours of JP McManus have become over the last three decades the silks most readily associated with the Cheltenham Festival and, on top of a ninth Champion Hurdle victory on Tuesday, the owner enjoyed another four wins to cap a memorable birthday week. With 64 Festival victories, McManus has accrued more than double the number of Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud, his nearest rival on the owners' roll of honour. Involved with him in his first two winners of the day—Champ (Ire) (King's Theatre...

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Epatante Leads The Way As Mares Take Cheltenham By Storm

CHELTENHAM, UK—International Women's Day carried over from Sunday to Tuesday for the curtain up of the Cheltenham Festival at which three of the day's four Grade 1 contests were won by mares bred in Ireland, France and Britain. Admittedly, one of those races was restricted to mares only but the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle provided arguably the contest of the day, between the Willie Mullins-trained favourite Benie Des Dieux (Fr) (Great Pretender {Ire}) and Honeysuckle (GB) (Sulamani {Ire}), the headline act in a strong team of jumps mares owned by...

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Cheltenham to Proceed as Planned

Officials at Cheltenham on Monday said it was "full steam ahead" for the start of the Festival on Tuesday. While confirmed cases of coronavirus in Britain now total over 300, a meeting on Monday between sports governing bodies with broadcasters and government officials to discuss contingency planning concluded that based on the "current scientific advice" there were no reasons to cancel sporting events "as things stand". Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse said, "Of course these things happen, but we do our bit for the public as a responsible...

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