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Big names stand ground in championship races at The Festival™

Article 10th February 2021 Cheltenham

By The Jockey Club

Al Boum Photo, Chacun Pour Soi, Honeysuckle, and Paisley Park feature among a host of stars going forward for the six non-novice G1 races at The Festival™.

Al Boum Photo (Willie Mullins) heads 29 acceptors for the feature G1 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, 19 March, in his quest to become the first three-time winner of Jump racing’s Blue Riband since Best Mate in 2004.

Fellow Irish challenger A Plus Tard (Henry de Bromhead) is set to pose a serious threat following his thrilling victory in the G1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

G1 Ladbrokes King George VI Chase victor Frodon (Paul Nicholls) will attempt to become the first horse since Long Run to win Kempton Park’s mid-winter highlight and chasing’s most prestigious prize in the same season.

Fast improving novice Royal Pagaille (Venetia Williams) and 2020 G1 Festival Novices’ Chase victor Champ (Nicky Henderson) also go forward.

Chacun Pour Soi (Willie Mullins) is the red-hot favourite for the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday, 17 March, following two deeply impressive displays in G1 company at Leopardstown.

The 24 remaining entries also include Altior (Nicky Henderson), who landed the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2018 and 2019 during a 19-race unbeaten streak. Badsworth Boy in the 1980s is the only triple winner of the race.

Star mares Honeysuckle (Henry de Bromhead) and Epatante (Nicky Henderson), the defending champion, are on course for an exciting clash in the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle on Tuesday, 16 March.

Epatante has something to prove after a shock defeat behind Silver Streak (Evan Williams) in the G1 Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle, while Honeysuckle looked as good as ever in the G1 Irish Champion Hurdle, notching up her 10th consecutive win under Rules.

Other names to note among the 23 acceptors include Buveur d’Air (Nicky Henderson), the winner of this race in 2017 and 2018, and classy five-year-old Aspire Tower (Henry de Bromhead).

An intriguing showdown in the G1 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle is on the cards, with Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle) and Thyme Hill (Philip Hobbs) headlining the 42 remaining entries.

The score between the pair stands at one apiece this season, with Thyme Hill victorious in the G2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in November before Paisley Park reversed the placings in the G1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December.

G1 Irish Gold Cup winner Kemboy has been left in after trainer Willie Mullins suggested he could pitch up here instead of taking up an engagement over fences at The Festival™.

Ante-post favourite Allaho (Willie Mullins) and Imperial Aura (Kim Bailey) top 35 acceptors for the G1 Ryanair Chase on the same afternoon, Thursday, 18 March.

Min (Willie Mullins) and Saint Calvados (Harry Whittington), the first and second from last year, also go forward along with Mister Fisher (Nicky Henderson) and Master Tommytucker (Paul Nicholls).

Willie Mullins has a formidable record in the G1 Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle on the opening day, winning nine of the 13 renewals. He is responsible for five of the 23 remaining entries, with his team headed by the 2019 winner Benie des Dieux and Concertista.

Unibet Champion Hurdle – Tuesday, 16 March  

Abacadabras (FR) 7 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

Aspire Tower (IRE) 5 11 10 Robcour Henry de Bromhead IRE

Ballyandy (GB) 10 11 10 Options O Syndicate Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Buveur d'Air (FR) 10 11 10 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson 

Buzz (FR) 7 11 10 Thurloe for Royal Marsden Cancer Charity Nicky Henderson 

Coeur Sublime (IRE) 6 11 10 C. Jones Gearoid O'Loughlin IRE 

For Pleasure (IRE) 6 11 10 Premier Plastering (UK) Limited Alex Hales 

Goshen (FR) 5 11 10 Mr Steven Packham Gary Moore 

James du Berlais (FR) 5 11 10 Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede W. P. Mullins IRE 

Jason The Militant (IRE) 7 11 10 Mr Peter Michael Henry de Bromhead IRE

Not So Sleepy (GB) 9 11 10 Lady Blyth Hughie Morrison 

Petit Mouchoir (FR) 10 11 10 Noel Moran/Mrs Valerie Moran Gordon Elliott IRE 

Saint Roi (FR) 6 11 10 Mr John P. McManus W. P. Mullins IRE 

Saldier (FR) 7 11 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE 

Sceau Royal (FR) 9 11 10 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Alan King 

Sharjah (FR) 8 11 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE 

Silver Streak (IRE) 8 11 10 Mr L. Fell Evan Williams 

Song For Someone (GER) 6 11 10 Sir Peter & Lady Gibbings Tom Symonds 

Winston C (IRE) 7 11 10 Hudson River Farms LLC Keri Brion USA

Concertista (FR) 7 11 3 Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede W. P. Mullins IRE

Epatante (FR) 7 11 3 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson 

Honeysuckle (GB) 7 11 3 Mr K. Alexander Henry de Bromhead IRE

Verdana Blue (IRE) 9 11 3 Mrs Doreen Tabor Nicky Henderson 

 

23 remaining entries, 11 Irish-trained, 1 USA-trained

Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle – Tuesday, 16 March

Anythingforlove (GB) 6 11 5 Foxtrot Racing Anythingforlove Jamie Snowden 

Benie des Dieux (FR) 10 11 5 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE

Black Tears (GB) 7 11 5 Mrs C Walsh/Mr J Lightfoot Gordon Elliott IRE

Concertista (FR) 7 11 5 Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede W. P. Mullins IRE 

Dame de Compagnie (FR) 8 11 5 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson 

Dame du Soir (FR) 8 11 5 Graham Clarkson & Andrew Smelt David Bridgwater 

Dolcita (FR) 6 11 5 Sullivan Bloodstock Limited Fergal O'Brien 

Eglantine du Seuil (FR) 7 11 5 The Unlikely Lads Paul Nicholls 

Elimay (FR) 7 11 5 Mr John P. McManus W. P. Mullins IRE

Floressa (FR) 6 11 5 Just Four Men Nicky Henderson 

Great White Shark (FR) 7 11 5 Mr Malcolm C. Denmark W. P. Mullins IRE

Honeysuckle (GB) 7 11 5 Mr K. Alexander Henry de Bromhead IRE

Indefatigable (IRE) 8 11 5 Mr Philip Rocher Paul Webber 

Midnights' Gift (GB) 5 11 5 Pitchall Stud Partnership Alan King 

Minella Melody (IRE) 7 11 5 Mr K. Alexander Henry de Bromhead IRE

My Sister Sarah (IRE) 7 11 5 Barnane Stud W. P. Mullins IRE

Perfect Myth (GB) 7 11 5 Mr R. J. Vines Neil King 

Rayna's World (IRE) 6 11 5 Ace Bloodstock & Rayna Fitzgerald Philip Kirby 

Roksana (IRE) 9 11 5 Mrs Sarah Faulks Dan Skelton 

The Glancing Queen (IRE) 7 11 5 Dingwall, Farrell, Hornsey & Murray Alan King 

Verdana Blue (IRE) 9 11 5 Mrs Doreen Tabor Nicky Henderson 

Whitehotchillifili (IRE) 7 11 5 Chasing Gold Racing Club Harry Fry 

Wynn House (GB) 6 11 5 Mr Rupert Anton Alan King 

23 remaining entries, 8 Irish-trained

Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – Wednesday, 17 March

Altior (IRE) 11 11 10 Mrs Patricia Pugh Nicky Henderson 

Battleoverdoyen (IRE) 8 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

Bun Doran (IRE) 10 11 10 Crossed Fingers Partnership Tom George 

Chacun Pour Soi (FR) 9 11 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE

Chatham Street Lad (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr V. Healy Michael Winters IRE

Cilaos Emery (FR) 9 11 10 Luke McMahon W. P. Mullins IRE

Duc des Genievres (FR) 8 11 10 Sullivan Bloodstock Limited Paul Nicholls 

Esprit du Large (FR) 7 11 10 Mr & Mrs William Rucker Evan Williams 

Fakir d'Oudairies (FR) 6 11 10 Mr John P. McManus Joseph Patrick O'Brien IRE

Fanion d'Estruval (FR) 6 11 10 Mr David Wilson Venetia Williams 

First Flow (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr A. N. Solomons Kim Bailey 

Greaneteen (FR) 7 11 10 Chris Giles Paul Nicholls 

Ibleo (FR) 8 11 10 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams 

Magic Saint (FR) 7 11 10 Mr and Mrs J. D. Cotton Paul Nicholls 

Min (FR) 10 11 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE

Notebook (GER) 8 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE

Nube Negra (SPA) 7 11 10 Mr T. Spraggett Dan Skelton 

Politologue (FR) 10 11 10 Mr J. Hales Paul Nicholls 

Rouge Vif (FR) 7 11 10 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington 

Samcro (IRE) 9 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

Sceau Royal (FR) 9 11 10 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Alan King 

Simply The Betts (IRE) 8 11 10 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington 

Tornado Flyer (IRE) 8 11 10 T. F. P. W. P. Mullins IRE

Put The Kettle On (IRE) 7 11 3 One For Luck Racing Syndicate Henry de Bromhead IRE

 

24 remaining entries, 10 Irish-trained

Ryanair Chase – Thursday, 18 March  

Al Dancer (FR) 8 11 10 Walters Plant Hire Ltd Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Allaho (FR) 7 11 10 Cheveley Park Stud W. P. Mullins IRE

Altior (IRE) 11 11 10 Mrs Patricia Pugh Nicky Henderson 

Aso (FR) 11 11 10 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams 

Balko des Flos (FR) 10 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE

Battleoverdoyen (IRE) 8 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

Cepage (FR) 9 11 10 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams 

Chacun Pour Soi (FR) 9 11 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE

Chatham Street Lad (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr V. Healy Michael Winters 

Chris's Dream (IRE) 9 11 10 Robcour Henry de Bromhead IRE

Cilaos Emery (FR) 9 11 10 Luke McMahon W. P. Mullins IRE

Cyrname (FR) 9 11 10 Mrs Johnny de la Hey Paul Nicholls 

Daly Tiger (FR) 8 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE

Dashel Drasher (GB) 8 11 10 Mrs B Tully and Mr R Lock Jeremy Scott 

Delta Work (FR) 8 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE 

Esprit du Large (FR) 7 11 10 Mr & Mrs William Rucker Evan Williams 

Fakir d'Oudairies (FR) 6 11 10 Mr John P. McManus Joseph Patrick O'Brien IRE 

Fanion d'Estruval (FR) 6 11 10 Mr David Wilson Venetia Williams 

Greaneteen (FR) 7 11 10 Chris Giles Paul Nicholls 

Ibleo (FR) 8 11 10 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams 

Imperial Aura (IRE) 8 11 10 Imperial Racing Partnership 2016 Kim Bailey 

Janika (FR) 8 11 10 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson 

Kalashnikov (IRE) 8 11 10 Mr Paul Murphy Amy Murphy 

Kemboy (FR) 9 11 10 Kemboy/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp Syndicate W. P. Mullins IRE 

Master Tommytucker (GB) 10 11 10 Mr A. G. Fear Paul Nicholls 

Melon (GB) 9 11 10 Mrs J. Donnelly W. P. Mullins IRE

Min (FR) 10 11 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE

Mister Fisher (IRE) 7 11 10 James and Jean Potter Nicky Henderson 

Real Steel (FR) 8 11 10 Mrs Kathy Stuart&Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd Paul Nicholls 

Riders Onthe Storm (IRE) 8 11 10 Carl Hinchy and Mark Scott Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Saint Calvados (FR) 8 11 10 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington 

Samcro (IRE) 9 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

Simply The Betts (IRE) 8 11 10 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington 

Tornado Flyer (IRE) 8 11 10 T. F. P. W. P. Mullins IRE 

Shattered Love (IRE) 10 11 3 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

 

35 remaining entries, 15 Irish-trained

Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle – Thursday, 18 March  

Bacardys (FR) 10 11 10 Shanakiel Racing Syndicate W. P. Mullins IRE

Bachasson (FR) 10 11 10 E. O'Connell W. P. Mullins IRE

Beacon Edge (IRE) 7 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE

Captain Zebo (IRE) 9 11 10 Mrs S. F. Dixon John Dixon 

Champ (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson 

City Island (IRE) 8 11 10 Sean & Bernardine Mulryan Martin Brassil IRE

Decor Irlandais (FR) 8 11 10 Mr John Devine Noel C. Kelly IRE

Diol Ker (FR) 7 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE

Donna's Diamond (IRE) 12 11 10 D&D Armstrong Ltd Chris Grant 

Emitom (IRE) 7 11 10 The Spero Partnership Ltd Warren Greatrex 

Flooring Porter (IRE) 6 11 10 Flooring Porter Syndicate Gavin Cromwell IRE

French Dynamite (FR) 6 11 10 Robcour M. F. Morris IRE

Fury Road (IRE) 7 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

Honest Vic (IRE) 8 11 10 Carole Daly & Partners Henry Daly 

If The Cap Fits (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Harry Fry 

Imperial Alcazar (IRE) 7 11 10 Imperial Racing Partnership 2016 Fergal O'Brien 

Itchy Feet (FR) 7 11 10 Kate & Andrew Brooks Olly Murphy 

Jacamar (GER) 6 11 10 Pegasus Bloodstock Limited Milton Harris 

Kemboy (FR) 9 11 10 Kemboy/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp Syndicate W. P. Mullins IRE

Lil Rockerfeller (USA) 10 11 10 Davies Smith Govier & Brown Neil King 

Lisnagar Oscar (IRE) 8 11 10 Racing for Fun Rebecca Curtis 

Main Fact (USA) 8 11 10 Munrowd's Partnership David Pipe 

McFabulous (IRE) 7 11 10 Giraffa Racing Paul Nicholls 

Next Destination (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr Malcolm C. Denmark Paul Nicholls 

Paisley Park (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr Andrew Gemmell Emma Lavelle 

Reserve Tank (IRE) 7 11 10 The Reserve Tankers Colin Tizzard 

Ronald Pump (GB) 8 11 10 Laois Limerick Syndicate Matthew J. Smith IRE

Sam Spinner (GB) 9 11 10 Caron & Paul Chapman Jedd O'Keeffe 

Sams Profile (GB) 7 11 10 Michael O'Flynn/John F O'Flynn M. F. Morris IRE

Sire du Berlais (FR) 9 11 10 Mr John P. McManus Gordon Elliott IRE

The Mighty Don (IRE) 9 11 10 Golden Rose Partnership Nick Gifford 

The Storyteller (IRE) 10 11 10 Mrs Pat Sloan Gordon Elliott IRE

Thomas Darby (IRE) 8 11 10 Mrs Diana L. Whateley Olly Murphy 

Thyme Hill (GB) 7 11 10 The Englands and Heywoods Philip Hobbs 

Tobefair (GB) 11 11 10 Down The Quay Club Debra Hamer 

Vinndication (IRE) 8 11 10 Moremoneythan Kim Bailey 

Younevercall (IRE) 10 11 10 Youneverknow Partnership Kim Bailey 

Benie des Dieux (FR) 10 11 3 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE

Great White Shark (FR) 7 11 3 Mr Malcolm C. Denmark W. P. Mullins IRE 

Heaven Help Us (IRE) 7 11 3 Mr J. Turner P. Hennessy IRE

Paul's Saga (FR) 7 11 3 Gerald Laroche D. Cottin FR

Roksana (IRE) 9 11 3 Mrs Sarah Faulks Dan Skelton 

 

42 remaining entries, 17 Irish-trained, 1 French-trained

Cheltenham Gold Cup – Friday, 19 March

Al Boum Photo (FR) 9 11 10 Mrs J. Donnelly W. P. Mullins IRE

Allaho (FR) 7 11 10 Cheveley Park Stud W. P. Mullins IRE

A Plus Tard (FR) 7 11 10 Cheveley Park Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE

Aso (FR) 11 11 10 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams 

Battleoverdoyen (IRE) 8 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

Black Op (IRE) 10 11 10 Mr R. S. Brookhouse Tom George 

Burrows Saint (FR) 8 11 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE

Champ (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson 

Cyrname (FR) 9 11 10 Mrs Johnny de la Hey Paul Nicholls 

Delta Work (FR) 8 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE 

Frodon (FR) 9 11 10 Mr P. J. Vogt Paul Nicholls 

Imperial Aura (IRE) 8 11 10 Imperial Racing Partnership 2016 Kim Bailey 

Kemboy (FR) 9 11 10 Kemboy/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp Syndicate W. P. Mullins IRE

Lostintranslation (IRE) 9 11 10 Taylor & O'Dwyer Colin Tizzard 

Master Tommytucker (GB) 10 11 10 Mr A. G. Fear Paul Nicholls 

Melon (GB) 9 11 10 Mrs J. Donnelly W. P. Mullins IRE

Minella Indo (IRE) 8 11 10 Mr Barry Maloney Henry de Bromhead IRE

Native River (IRE) 11 11 10 Brocade Racing Colin Tizzard 

Real Steel (FR) 8 11 10 Mrs Kathy Stuart&Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd Paul Nicholls 

Royale Pagaille (FR) 7 11 10 Mrs S. Ricci Venetia Williams 

Saint Calvados (FR) 8 11 10 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington 

Samcro (IRE) 9 11 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE 

Santini (GB) 9 11 10 Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Nicky Henderson 

Simply The Betts (IRE) 8 11 10 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington 

The Conditional (IRE) 9 11 10 Mr P. J. Cave David Bridgwater 

Vinndication (IRE) 8 11 10 Moremoneythan Kim Bailey 

Yorkhill (IRE) 11 11 10 D & D Armstrong Ltd & Mr L Westwood Sandy Thomson 

Magic of Light (IRE) 10 11 3 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Mrs J. Harrington IRE 

Shattered Love (IRE) 10 11 3 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

29 remaining entries, 12 Irish-trained

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse is situated in Prestbury on the northern outskirts of the historic spa town of Cheltenham. The Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world's pre-eminent Jump meeting. The Festival™, which happens in March over four days every year, next takes place from Tuesday, 16 March, to Friday, 19 March 2021 inclusive and you can be the first to hear when tickets go on sale by registering your interest online at cheltenham.co.uk. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a stunning natural arena and offers the highest-quality action throughout the Jump season. 

 

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