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12th November 2022 Cheltenham

By Graham Clark and Nick Seddon

Having enjoyed success on Ga Law in the feature Paddy Power Gold Cup, jockey Jonathan Burke enjoyed day two of The November Meeting in 2022 would be one to remember when Queens Gamble (9-4 Favourite) came home the impressive winner of the concluding Listed Stirrups Restaurant And Cocktail Bar Evesham Mares' Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Trained by Oliver Sherwood, who earlier this year underwent treatment for lymphoma, the four year old Getaway filly took the lead entering the home straight and stayed on resolutely to take the honours by six lengths from Bonttay. It was a second success for Queens Gamble, following her debut victory in a bumper at The April Meeting last season.

Oliver Sherwood said: “I’m feeling good, better than when I was here last time in April. I was looking awful and feeling awful. 

“It was really good to see her do that. You always worry it was a bit of a fluke first time out but she is always a mare I’ve liked. You never think you are going to win bumpers at Cheltenham like that, firstly first time out and secondly second time out.

“She is as good a mare as I’ve trained and I’ve trained a few good mares. It is very exciting especially for the owners (Frost and Galvin) as she is homebred. They raced the dam with Jessica Harrington and to get the offspring to do that is very special.

“We will probably go to Huntingdon for the Henrietta Knight race then my gut feeling is to train her and take on the boys in March. She is only four but if she was five I would go hurdling. She is quite light but Jessie kept on telling me the mother was just the same in that she was light at eight and nine years old. I know Nicky’s horse (Luccia) was not here but it would have taken a good one to beat her today with all due respect to Nicky.

“I’ve rather hit the woodwork this autumn with seconds, thirds and fourths and that has driven me nuts. Any trainer, whether you are P Nicholls, N Henderson, Joe Bloggs or O Sherwood, this is what you get up in the morning for is a horse like that. You just hope they do it on the racecourse. It was touching (the reception). To get a winner here at Cheltenham is very special.

“The word cancer now is such a swear word now but it was worse for my family and kids, though they are not kids anymore. I just feel rubbish and carry on. I got the all clear just after Easter and I’ve had a couple of check-ups and everything and it is all system go. It does put life into perspective a little bit when you worry about four legged horses running around a field, even though I’m as competitive as P Nicholls and N Henderson.

“To get a horse like that makes it all worthwhile, especially for the team as you are only as good as them. It was a tough winter last year but it has all worked out.

“It does (touch me the response I get from people). We got unbelievable emails from people. To get a mare like this is very special.”

Chris Gordon became the first trainer to enjoy two victories at The November Meeting in 2022 when Annual Invictus (12-1) came home in front in the three-mile Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle. It was also a second success at The November Meeting for jockey Tom Cannon, with the victory of the Mahler gelding taking him to 499 career successes.

Making his first start over hurdles since February of 2021, the seven year old made virtually all for a three-quarter length success over Fontana Ellissi.

Chris Gordon said: “That was fantastic. Sadly the favourite Shearer was taken out but it was a great ride by Tom.

“I did coming into the bottom bend think that they were going to go past him. I’m happy I’ve got my horse back as he went a little bit naughty on us last season. He started thinking a bit too much. I took him to Plumpton and he started stopping up near the stables and he did it twice to me. We know he is a very able horse on his day.

“It was just great to get him back and we might even go over a fence again soon. Last time he ran in a hurdle it was in the Betfair and he finished fourth running on well. Our form last season was good at times and if you look at the void race he was in front.

“It was his only his second run over three miles. He ran over it at Ascot but it went very soft that day but he got it well today. He is bred to stay well so it is great. I could see him running like that today on his homework and what he has done in the past but when you have a horse that can think about you are never quite sure. I’m pleasantly surprised but then I’m surprised whenever we have a winner!”

After going close to success on day one of The November Meeting with Explosive  Boy, trainer Tony Martin and jockey Peter Carberry combined to take the Paddy Power Feel Like A Favourite Intermediate Handicap Hurdle with Unanswered (2-1 Favourite). It was a first success at the Home of Jump Racing for Carberry.

With the final flight in the two miles and five furlongs contest bypassed due to low sun, the winner came with a smooth challenge in the home straight to overhaul Wiseguy and score by a comfortable six lengths.

Tony Martin said: “He’s a nice horse and we’ve just had a few issues with him along the way, I was hoping that would happen but I didn’t think it would pan out that way! He was very good and our jockey was excellent, he hasn’t done a lot of racing over hurdles but the rider just put him to sleep and produced him when needed.

“We’ve no real plan going forward, we’ll get him home and see how he is and look for a run around Christmas time. That’s his first time beyond two miles today so we’ll probably stay around that distance for the time being and see where we are moving forward. He’s got lots of options and he’s not too bad Flat either, so as long as he stays in one piece that’s the most important thing. All going well we’ll find something for him.

“We had no worries at any stage and we were always where we wanted to be, you’d think it was Ruby Walsh on him or Paul Carberry! The jockey was very good on him. We’ll see where we are at Christmas and then look into coming back here, this is the place where you want to be. It’s not the Gold Cup or the Champion Hurdle but feck it you’re there!”



Name 1st  2nd  3rd

Chris Gordon 2   -  -

Gavin Cromwell IRE 1   1  1

Tony Martin IRE 1   1  -

Ben Pauling 1   1  -

Joe Tizzard 1   -  1

Richard Donohoe IRE 1   -  -

Milton Harris 1   -  -

Kerry Lee 1   -  -

Paul Nicholls 1   -  -

Joseph O’Brien IRE 1   -  -

Oliver Sherwood 1   -  -

Jamie Snowden 1   -  -

Gordon Elliott IRE -   2  -

Fergal O’Brien -   1  1

David Dennis -   1  -

Sam Drinkwater -   1  -

Ann Hamilton -   1  -

Nicky Henderson -   1  -

Richard Hobson -   1  -

Mouse Morris IRE -   1  -

Gary Moore -   1  -

David Pipe -   -  2

Nigel Twiston-Davies -   -  2

Richard Bandey -   -  1

Ray Cody IRE -   -  1

Anthony Honeyball -   -  1

Norman Lee -   -  1

John McConnell IRE -   -  1

Dan Skelton -   -  1

Sam Thomas -   -  1



Name 1st  2nd  3rd

Jonathan Burke 2   -  -

Tom Cannon 2   -  -

Paddy Brennan 1   1  -

Peter Carberry 1   1  -

Brendan Powell 1   -  2

Harry Cobden 1   -  1

Mr Jack Andrews 1   -  -

Kieren Buckley 1   -  -

Michael O’Sullivan 1   -  -

Richard Patrick 1   -  -

JJ Slevin 1   -  -

Nico de Boinville -   1  -

Keith Donoghue -   1  -

Robbie Dunne -   1  -

Mr Rob James -   1  -

Jack Kennedy -   1  -

Danny McMenamin -   1  -

Jamie Moore -   1  -

Luca Morgan -   1  -

Darragh O'Keeffe -   1  -

Stan Sheppard -   1  -

Kielan Woods -   1  -

Sam Twiston-Davies -   -  4

Tom Scudamore -   -  1

Mr Joey Dunne -   -  1

Liam Harrison -   -  1

Daryl Jacob -   -  1

Harry Skelton -   -  1

Simon Torrens -   -  1


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