DECLARED RUNNERS FOR ST PATRICK'S THURSDAY, MARCH 15
1.30pm JLT Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m 3f 198y £150,000
1 Benatar (IRE) Gary Moore 11st 4lb Jamie Moore
2 Bigmartre (FR) Harry Whittington 11st 4lb Harry Bannister
3 Finian's Oscar (IRE) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Colin Tizzard 11st 4lb Robbie Power
4 Invitation Only (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 4lb R. Walsh
5 Kemboy (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 4lb P. Townend
6 Modus Paul Nicholls 11st 4lb Barry Geraghty
7 Snow Falcon (IRE) Noel Meade, Ireland 11st 4lb Sean Flanagan
8 West Approach (Blinkers) Colin Tizzard 11st 4lb Tom Scudamore
9 Terrefort (FR) Nicky Henderson 11st 3lb Daryl Jacob
10 Shattered Love (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 10st 11lb Jack Kennedy
2.10pm Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 7f 213y £100,000
1 Thomas Campbell (Blinkers) Nicky Henderson 11st 12lb James Bowen (3)
2 Who Dares Wins (IRE) Alan King 11st 6lb Wayne Hutchinson
3 Boite (IRE) Warren Greatrex 11st 5lb Gavin Sheehan
4 Mine Now (IRE) Peter Fahey, Ireland 11st 2lb Mr Richard Deegan (5)
5 Shantou Bob (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Warren Greatrex 11st 2lb Thomas Greatrex (7)
6 Dell' Arca (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) David Pipe 11st 2lb Michael Heard (5)
7 Louis' Vac Pouch (IRE) (Hood) Philip Hobbs 11st 2lb Richard Johnson
8 Sykes (IRE) Nicky Martin 10st 13lb Matt Griffiths
9 Lovenormoney (IRE) (Visor) Warren Greatrex 10st 13lb Andrew Tinkler
10 Wait For Me (FR) (Hood, Tongue Strap) Philip Hobbs 10st 13lb Tom O'Brien
11 Prime Venture (IRE) Evan Williams 10st 12lb Adam Wedge
12 Sort It Out (IRE) Eddie Harty, Ireland 10st 12lb Mark Walsh
13 Delta Work (FR) (Hood, Tongue Strap) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 10st 10lb Davy Russell
14 Theo's Charm (IRE) Nick Gifford 10st 9lb Tom Cannon
15 Taj Badalandabad (IRE) (Visor, Tongue Strap) David Pipe 10st 9lb Tom Scudamore
16 Whataknight (Tongue Strap) Harry Fry 10st 9lb Noel Fehily
17 Forza Milan (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Jonjo O'Neill 10st 9lb Killian Moore (3)
18 The Mighty Don (IRE) Nick Gifford 10st 8lb Leighton Aspell
19 Protek des Flos (FR) Nicky Henderson 10st 8lb Aidan Coleman
20 Kansas City Chief (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Neil Mulholland 10st 8lb
21 Glenloe (IRE) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 10st 8lb Barry Geraghty
22 Dadsintrouble (IRE) Tim Vaughan 10st 7lb Alan Johns
23 Connetable (FR) (Blinkers) Paul Nicholls 10st 7lb Harry Cobden
24 A Great View (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Denis W. Cullen, Ireland 10st 6lb Jody McGarvey
R25 Arthur's Gift (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 10st 6lb Sam Twiston-Davies
R26 Kris Spin (IRE) Kerry Lee 10st 4lb
Eliminations Stamp Your Feet (IRE), Cresswell Legend, Isaacstown Lad (IRE), Sam Red (FR), Solomn Grundy (IRE), Our Kaempfer (IRE), Poker Play (FR), Bialco (FR), Jump For Dough (IRE)
2.50pm Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 166y £350,000
1 Balko des Flos (FR) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 10lb Davy Russell
2 Cloudy Dream (IRE) Ruth Jefferson 11st 10lb Brian Hughes
3 Cue Card (Tongue Strap) Colin Tizzard 11st 10lb Paddy Brennan
4 Douvan (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb
5 Frodon (FR) (Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 11st 10lb Sam Twiston-Davies
6 Sub Lieutenant (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 10lb Sean Flanagan
7 Un de Sceaux (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb R. Walsh
3.30pm Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y £338,380
1 Bacardys (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb R. Walsh
2 Donna's Diamond (IRE) Chris Grant 11st 10lb Callum Bewley
3 L'Ami Serge (IRE) (Hood) Nicky Henderson 11st 10lb Daryl Jacob
4 Lil Rockerfeller (USA) (Sheepskin C/P) Neil King 11st 10lb Trevor Whelan
5 Old Guard Paul Nicholls 11st 10lb Harry Cobden
6 Penhill W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb Paul Townend
7 Sam Spinner Jedd O'Keeffe 11st 10lb Joe Colliver
8 Supasundae Mrs J. Harrington, Ireland 11st 10lb Robbie Power
9 The New One (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 10lb Sam Twiston-Davies
10 The Worlds End (IRE) Tom George 11st 10lb A. P. Heskin
11 Unowhatimeanharry (Tongue Strap) Harry Fry 11st 10lb Noel Fehily
12 Wholestone (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 10lb Aidan Coleman
13 Yanworth Alan King 11st 10lb Barry Geraghty
14 Apple's Jade (FR) (Tongue Strap) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 3lb Jack Kennedy
15 Augusta Kate W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 3lb David Mullins
16 Colin's Sister Fergal O'Brien 11st 3lb Paddy Brennan
17 Let's Dance (FR) (Sheepskin C/P) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 3lb
4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 4f 166y £110,000
1 Village Vic (IRE) Philip Hobbs 11st 12lb Richard Johnson
2 Go Conquer (IRE) Jonjo O'Neill 11st 7lb Aidan Coleman
3 Last Goodbye (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Miss Elizabeth Doyle, Ireland 11st 6lb Sean Flanagan
4 Tully East (IRE) Alan Fleming, Ireland 11st 5lb Denis O'Regan
5 Ballybolley (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 4lb Daryl Jacob
6 The Storyteller (IRE) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 4lb Davy Russell
7 Oldgrangewood (Tongue Strap) Dan Skelton 11st 4lb Harry Skelton
8 Viconte du Noyer (FR) (Tongue Strap) Colin Tizzard 11st 4lb Robbie Power
9 Traffic Fluide (FR) (Visor) Gary Moore 11st 2lb Joshua Moore
10 Mercian Prince (IRE) Amy Murphy 11st 1lb Jack Quinlan
11 Quite By Chance (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Colin Tizzard 11st 0lb Paddy Brennan
12 Romain de Senam (FR) (Hood, Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 10st 13lb Sam Twiston-Davies
13 Movewiththetimes (IRE) Paul Nicholls 10st 13lb Barry Geraghty
14 Ultragold (FR) (Tongue Strap) Colin Tizzard 10st 13lb Harry Cobden
15 Drumcliff (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Harry Fry 10st 12lb Niall Madden
16 King's Socks (FR) David Pipe 10st 11lb Tom Scudamore
17 Pougne Bobbi (FR) Nicky Henderson 10st 11lb Jeremiah McGrath
18 Midnight Shot Charlie Longsdon 10st 11lb Jonathan Burke
19 King's Odyssey (IRE) Evan Williams 10st 10lb Adam Wedge
20 Guitar Pete (IRE) Nicky Richards 10st 10lb Ryan Day (3)
21 Willie Boy (IRE) Venetia Williams 10st 9lb B. J. Cooper
22 Ballyalton (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Ian Williams 10st 9lb Tom O'Brien
23 Shanahan's Turn (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Colin Tizzard 10st 8lb Paul O'Brien (5)
24 Splash of Ginge Nigel Twiston-Davies 10st 8lb Jamie Bargary (3)
R25 Kilcrea Vale (IRE) Nicky Henderson 10st 8lb
R26 Plaisir d'Amour (FR) Venetia Williams 10st 7lb
Eliminations:Bentelimar (IRE), Cepage (FR), Brandon Hill (IRE), Katachenko (IRE), Patricks Park (IRE), Minella Present (IRE), Pressurize (IRE), Brelan d'As (FR), Clan Legend, Poker School (IRE), Thomas Crapper, Calipto (FR), Orbasa (FR)
4.50pm Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 179y £90,000
1 Cap Soleil (FR) Fergal O'Brien 11st 7lb Paddy Brennan
2 Laurina (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb R. Walsh
3 Maria's Benefit (IRE) Stuart Edmunds 11st 7lb Ciaran Gethings
4 Dawn Shadow (IRE) Mrs D. A. Love, Ireland 11st 5lb Rachael Blackmore
5 Angels Antics Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 2lb Sam Twiston-Davies
6 Champayne Lady (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Alan Fleming, Ireland 11st 2lb Denis O'Regan
7 Countister (FR) Nicky Henderson 11st 2lb Mark Walsh
8 Cut The Mustard (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 2lb Noel Fehily
9 Dame de Compagnie (FR) (Hood) Nicky Henderson 11st 2lb Barry Geraghty
10 Ellie Mac (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 2lb Daniel Holden
11 High School Days (USA) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 2lb Davy Russell
12 Pietralunga (FR) (Tongue Strap) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 2lb
13 Rouergate (FR) Venetia Williams 11st 2lb Aidan Coleman
14 Salsaretta (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 2lb Paul Townend
15 Spice Girl (Tongue Strap) Martin Keighley 11st 2lb Richard Johnson
5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase 3m 2f £70,000
1 Pendra (IRE) (Blinkers) Charlie Longsdon 11st 12lb Mr Derek O'Connor
2 Actinpieces Pam Sly 11st 12lb Miss Gina Andrews
3 Wild West Wind (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Tom George 11st 11lb Mr Noel George (5)
4 Mall Dini (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Patrick G. Kelly, Ireland 11st 10lb Mr P. W. Mullins
5 Double Ross (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 10lb Mr Zac Baker
6 Final Nudge (IRE) David Dennis 11st 10lb Mr Barry O'Neill
7 Tintern Theatre (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 5lb Mr Jordan Nailor (5)
8 Missed Approach (IRE) (Blinkers) Warren Greatrex 11st 5lb Mr N. McParlan
9 Sugar Baron (IRE) (Blinkers) Nicky Henderson 11st 4lb Ms K. Walsh
10 Braqueur d'Or (FR) Paul Nicholls 11st 4lb Mr William Biddick
11 Squouateur (FR) (Tongue Strap) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 2lb Mr J. J. Codd
12 Very First Time Tim Easterby 11st 2lb Mr William Easterby (3)
13 The Young Master (Sheepskin C/P) Neil Mulholland 11st 2lb Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
14 Aubusson (FR) Nick Williams 11st 2lb Mr Chester Williams (3)
15 Marinero (IRE) D. M. Christie, Ireland 11st 1lb Mr David Maxwell (3)
16 Heron Heights (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 1lb Mr Liam Quinlan (5)
17 Pressurize (IRE) Venetia Williams 11st 0lb Miss Lucy Turner (7)
18 Band of Blood (IRE) (Blinkers) Dr Richard Newland 11st 0lb Mr James King
19 Arctic Gold (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 10st 13lb Miss Lilly Pinchin (7)
20 Captain Buck's (FR) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Paul Nicholls 10st 8lb Mr Lorcan Williams (5)
21 Millanisi Boy (Sheepskin C/P) Kayley Woollacott 10st 7lb Mr Michael Legg
22 Racing Pulse (IRE) Turlough O'Connor, Ireland 10st 0lb Mr Turlough O'Connor (7)
23 West Wizard (FR) (Tongue Strap) Sophie Leech 10st 0lb Miss Aine O'Connor (3)
CLAISSE EXPLAINS THE GROUND
The going at Cheltenham is currently HEAVY, SOFT IN PLACES - the first time since 1982 that the word heavy has appeared in the going description on the opening day of The Festival.
Simon Claisse, the Cheltenham Clerk of the Course, explained the background: "The weather has thrown us plenty of challenges this year. Festival Trials Day (January 27) was a wet day and that followed a wet January.
"Our whole management of the track here is based upon having good ground for The Festival. We have to accept that with the Old and New Courses, there is probably some ground at the intersections of the courses that hasn't fully recovered since we raced in January.
"Despite the fact we have been through the Beast from the East, we had temperatures down to minus 17 the week before last, the snow and then the rain, we have been very fortunate. While track preparations have not gone quite as smoothly as they might have done in recent years, we have had it lucky for an awful long time.
"I was surprised, going back through the records, to find it was in 1982 when we last had heavy in the opening day going description.
"The team has done a magnificent job - not just on the track but all the temporary facilities and car parks. Despite the fact it has been a challenge with the weather, we are very pleased with the way the place is looking.
"We cannot make grass grow when the temperatures are cold. In contrast to last year, the place doesn't look as pitch perfect, but many people have been here and had a look a round and been very pleased with what they have seen.
"We have got a lot of fresh ground on the chase and hurdle tracks on Thursday and more fresh ground on the chase course on Friday so we have room to manoeuvre if needed.
"When it is wet, we cannot get out onto the track to do everything we'd like to do. The track had a cut a few weeks ago, but it has not had its second bout of fertiliser, but look it is the winter, and we have to expect it.
"All the forecasts say we are going to have a dry two days, with rainfall forecast after racing on Wednesday. That could be another 9 or 10 millimetres so my hunch is that these conditions are not going to improve right through the week.
"Although we will have a pleasant 11 to 12 degrees, we won't be getting up to 17 or 18 degrees that we sometimes have had.
"The ground is pretty consistent and we have been really delighted that the track has taken the volume of rain and snow that it has had in the last 10 days - over 45 millimetres - without producing patchy or inconsistent ground.
"I love 1.30pm today, when the tapes go up for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, and equally I look forward to the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual on Friday when the last horses cross the line."
Racing Post Arkle Scheme returns at Cheltenham
Race sponsor to reward Arkle-winning stable staff with £2,000 and bumper prize package on opening day of The Festival
The Racing Post will reward the groom who looks after the winner of the Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase (2.10pm) with a substantial cash prize, as well as a special package including an iPad, a range of high-performance equestrian clothing and a luxury spa break.
The Racing Post, who sponsor today's G1 Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase for a seventh year, are putting up £2,000, to be split equally between the individual responsible for the winning horse and the winning yard in question.
In addition to the £1,000 bonus, the winning groom will also take home a special Racing Post subscription including a daily copy of the newspaper and a year's VIP subscription to Racing Post Ultimate Members' Club, as well as a brand new iPad from the Arkle race sponsor.
Furthermore, they will be treated to £300-worth of clothing from leading equestrian clothing company PC Racewear and a voucher to the same value at Spabreaks.com.
The Racing Post will also be recognising all those leading up a runner for the feature novice chase on the opening day of The Festival, by providing each one with a high quality branded jacket.
Racing Post editor Bruce Millington said: "We are extremely proud to be running the Racing Post Arkle Scheme for the second year running and are delighted to recognise the excellence and dedication of those behind the contenders in this afternoon's Racing Post Arkle by offering a special prize to the groom and yard responsible for the winner.
"We extend our grateful thanks to both PC Racewear and Spabreaks.com for generously supporting the initiative and hope that the winner will enjoy the bumper prize package in addition to the pride they will undoubtedly take in leading up the winner of the big race."
Champions old and new in The Festival RoR Parade
Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Stayers' Hurdle winners in line-up
Several Festival heroes already making their mark in new disciplines
Parade again sponsored by the Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust
A new generation of retired racehorses and former Festival favourites feature in this year's Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Parade, held on Champion Day, the opening day of The Festival at Cheltenham today, Tuesday, March 13.
The parade, scheduled to start at 12.30pm, showcases the range of activities open to racehorses when they finish their racing careers and has become an increasingly popular attraction in the build-up to racing on the first day of the meeting.
The RoR Parade is again sponsored by the Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust and among the former Cheltenham winners making their parade debut at The Festival are Annacotty, Any Currency, Dodging Bullets and Hunt Ball. All four horses have made encouraging starts to their new careers and are set to compete this year in a variety of classes staged exclusively for former racehorses by RoR.
There are also some familiar horses from past RoR parades, such as the former Champion Hurdle winner Punjabi and two old sparring partners in Big Buck's and Barbers Shop. The pair first met on the racecourse over 10 years ago when Big Buck's made his British debut in a novice chase at Newbury, winning by a neck from Barbers Shop. Subsequent to their illustrious racing careers, both Big Buck's and Barbers Shop have enjoyed fulfilling second careers in the hunting field and show ring respectively.
Another familiar name in the line-up is Silviniaco Conti, now in the care of Charlotte Alexander, who formerly looked after and rode Denman before his full-time retirement in 2017. Like Denman before him, Silviniaco Conti is enjoying hunting and team chasing and such has been his progress in the latter that he has been fast-tracked from novice to open classes.
There is also the wonderful story of the not un-aptly named Back In Focus, who the despite the loss of an eye in a freak accident has subsequently adapted to a successful second career team chasing. Enormous credit must go to Back In Focus's rider Clare Burrows for taking on the former Willie Mullins trained Festival winner and giving the horse the opportunity to thrive in another discipline.
Scottish Grand National winner Wayward Prince, who is already competing in dressage classes, and Wild West, a maiden under rules but a champion among retrained racehorses, complete the line-up. Last August, Wild West was crowned ROA and Goffs UK Supreme Champion at the RoR National Championships and he also was awarded the 2017 RoR Elite Performance Award for Showing.
Hunt Ball will be ridden by Sarah Henderson, daughter of the horse's former trainer, Nicky Henderson, and she is looking forward to taking the horse back to Cheltenham in his new guise as a hunter.
Sarah Henderson said: "His owners Atlantic Equine very kindly asked if I would like to have him in his retirement. I was over the moon and Hunt Ball returned to Seven Barrows in June.
"Since our reunion nine months ago we have done some cross-country schooling, grid work and flat work to help retrain him for his new life as a hunter. However, it's not all been plain sailing, as hacking out at Seven Barrows on his own often proved a bit much, all he wanted to do was re-join the string. However, since we moved him to a livery yard in Kingston Lisle, he has really blossomed.
"We've been hunting with both the Old Berks and Vine & Craven and when he is out he loves watching hounds. Hunt Ball is hugely intelligent with an abundance of character and this year, after the Cheltenham parade, I am aiming to do some RoR classes and perhaps even a one-day event with him, but our shared number one passion remains hunting."
Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR, added: "It's wonderful how popular the RoR Parades have become and our sincere thanks to Cheltenham for providing the opportunity for the public to see how well these retired racehorses have adapted to a second career.
"Special thanks also to the Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust for their generous support as sponsors of the RoR Parades and Musical Ride for 2018."
The full line-up for the 2018 RoR Parade at Cheltenham, sponsored by the Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust, is as follows:
1. Annacotty (Showing and show jumping) - ridden by Hannah Bishop
10-year-old by Beneficial, formerly trained by Alan King and Martin Keighley
Annacotty provided his owner Liz Prowting with her first Grade 1 win, as well as three memorable victories at Cheltenham, including the 2015 Paddy Power Gold Cup. The decision was taken to retire him last year and since then he has been busy being retrained by Hannah Bishop, Racing Manager to Mrs Prowting. He has adapted well to his second career, even being ridden side-sadldle, and the long-term aim is to compete in working hunter classes, starting with some RoR Challenge classes this season.
2. Any Currency (Show jumping) - ridden by Harley Cornock
15-year-old by Moscow Society, formerly trained by Martin Keighley
A Cheltenham specialist whose feats include being first past the post in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at the 2016 Festival, Any Currency retired from racing in April, 2017. Now in the care of Harley Cornock, Any Currency has been retraining in show jumping, which he thoroughly enjoys. He recently started competing at British Novice level and the aim is to qualify for the RoR Bronze League final at the National Championships held at Stoneleigh.
3. Barbers Shop (Showing) - ridden by Chris Hunnable
16-year-old by Saddlers' Hall, formerly trained by Nicky Henderson
Owned by HM The Queen, since his retirement from racing in 2012, Barbers Shop has been with Katie Jerram and under her schooling he became one of the leading former racehorses to compete in showing classes. Among his many successes was victory at the Hickstead Derby Final and three times winner and champion at Royal Windsor Horse Show. He is now retired from competitive showing.
4. Back in Focus (Team chasing) - ridden by Clare Burrows
13-year-old by Bob Back, formerly trained by Willie Mullins
On the track Back In Focus won a Grade 1 and the 2013 running of the National Hunt Chase, however, a freak accident in 2015 fractured his cheekbone and resulted in him losing an eye, ending his racing career. Clare Burrows took on Back In Focus in December, 2016 and the lack of an eye has not impeded his second career. The pair are now regulars on the team chasing circuit, competing at intermediate level for the 'Why Nots'. He also hunts regularly with both the Fitzwilliam Hunt and the Cambridge University Drag Hounds.
5. Big Buck's (Hunting) - ridden by Lucy Felton
15-year-old by Cadoudal, formerly trained by Paul Nicholls
Winner of the Stayers' Hurdle a record four times, Big Buck's retired from racing in 2014 with a career record of 23 wins from 40 starts and prize money earnings of £1.3m. He still enjoys a day's hunting with Lucy Felton and the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, as well as accompanying her children and their ponies on rides.
6. Dodging Bullets (Dressage and Showjumping) ridden by Lucy Sharp
10-year-old by Dubawi, formerly trained by Paul Nicholls
The pinnacle of Dodging Bullets' racing career was victory in the 2015 Queen Mother Champion Chase, giving his owners Martin Broughton and friends a day to remember. During his six-year spell with Paul Nicholls, Dodging Bullets was looked after by Lucy Sharp and Lucy is now retraining him for a second career following his retirement in 2017. Lucy has been doing plenty of flat work on him and is looking forward to competing in RoR dressage and show jumping events.
7. Hunt Ball (Hunting) ridden by Sarah Henderson
13-year-old by Winged Love, formerly trained by Kieran Burke and Nicky Henderson
In the 2011-12 season Hunt Ball won seven races, including victory at The Festival, and his handicap rating rose a remarkable 85lb, from a mark of 69 to 154. In June, 2017 Hunt Ball was retired and given to Sarah Henderson, primarily as a hunter. The pair have been hunting this season with both the Old Berks and Vine & Craven and Sarah reports that he loves watching hounds and is very intelligent. They are aiming to do some RoR classes and perhaps a one-day event, along with their shared number one passion, hunting.
8. Punjabi (Hunting and hunter trials) - ridden by Rachael Kempster
15-year-old by Komaite, formerly trained by Nicky Henderson and David Pipe
Winner of the 2009 Champion Hurdle, Punjabi retired in 2013 and moved to Kinsale Stud, Shropshire. Under Rachael Kempster Punjabi has competed in unaffiliated dressage competitions as well as going hunting. Due to on-going arthritis in his hock from a previous injury, Punjabi has had to switch his attention from dressage to hunter trials. His enthusiasm for galloping and jumping has not waned and his next outing will be in a pairs' hunter trial at the end of March.
9. Silviniaco Conti (Team chasing) - ridden by Charlotte Alexander
12-year-old by Dom Alco, formerly trained by Paul Nicholls
During an illustrious racing career, Silviniaco Conti won seven Grade 1 races, including two King George VI Chases and over £1.1m in prize money. Since his retirement in 2017, Silviniaco Conti has been team chasing and has already progressed from novice to open classes. He has also been hunting and his other love is being a stock horse, rounding up the sheep on the farm! His rider, Charlotte Alexander, hopes to take him eventing this summer and she credits Brian Hutton at the Talland School of Equitation for helping her nurture Conti's potential in his second career.
10. Wayward Prince - (Dressage and hunting) ridden by Megan Harper
14-year-old by Alflora, formerly trained by Ian Williams and Hilary Parrott
Winner of the 2015 Scottish Grand National and a Grade 2 chase, Wayward Prince was also third in the 2012 RSA Chase. Retired after winning the 2015 Scottish National, he is now at livery with Martin Jones, who broke him in, and is ridden by Martin's Head Girl Megan Harper. He has been hunting and competing in various classes, recently qualifying for the RoR dressage championships (preliminary level). He will be aimed at the RoR dressage and eventing leagues this summer.
11. Wild West (Showing) - ridden by Lizzie Harris
10-year-old by Galileo, formerly trained by Jonjo O'Neill
Despite being in training first with Aidan O'Brien and then Jonjo O'Neill, where he was ridden by A P McCoy, Wild West remained a maiden under Rules. However, he has enjoyed great success in his second career. The highlight was being crowned Supreme Champion at the RoR National Championships in 2017, when ridden side-saddle by Lizzie Harris. He is a very versatile horse, having also hunted, team chased and evented. In the show ring, his victories include the RoR Tattersalls Championship at Hickstead in 2015 and 2017 and he was the winner of the 2017 RoR Elite Performance Award for Showing.
Facts & Figures for the seven races on Ladies Day,
Wednesday, March 14
Ballymore Novices' Hurdle facts & figures
The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle was introduced to The Festival in 1971 as the Aldsworth Hurdle. Sun Alliance, which merged with Royal Insurance in 1996, took it on in 1974, together with the Sun Alliance Chase, having previously sponsored the Foxhunter Chase. Ballymore Properties sponsored the contest between 2007 and 2009. Neptune Investment Management was the backer for 2010 to 2017. Ballymore recommenced the sponsorship in 2018.
The smallest field for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle came in 2013, when eight runners lined up. The most runners was 29, achieved in 1979, 1984 and 1991. The current safety limit is 22.
MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
The most successful owners are Anne-Marie McGowan, Maggie Heath, J P McManus, Susannah Ricci and Andrea & Graham Wylie with two wins each. Ricci is represented tomorrow by Brahma Bull.
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
The most successful trainer is Willie Mullins, with four wins - Fiveforthree (2008), Mikael D'Haguenet (2009), Faugheen (2014) and Yorkhill (2016).
Mullins has Brahma Bull, Duc Des Genievres and Next Destination representing him in 2018.
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Ruby Walsh is the most successful current jockey with four victories - Fiveforthree (2008), Mikael D'Haguenet (2009), Faugheen (2014) and Yorkhill (2016).
Walsh rides Next Destination this year.
The Irish-trained 1994 winner, Danoli, subject of a massive gamble, was sent off the 7/4 favourite. The shortest-priced winner was another Irish victor, Mr Kildare, at 8/11 in 1978.
Favourites have been successful in 15 of the 46 runnings (32.6 per cent).
The longest-priced winner was 40/1 chance Even Dawn in the second running in 1972.
The oldest winner was Brown Lad, an eight-year-old when scoring in 1974.
Four-year-olds Sabin Du Loir (1983), Fealty (1984) and Crystal Spirit (1991) were the youngest winners.
The overall breakdown by age is as follows:
4yo - 3 winners
5yo - 16 winners
6yo - 25 winners
7yo - 1 winner
8yo - 1 winner
The fastest time is 4m 52.0s set by Monsignor in 2000, beating the 4m 56.2s of Regal Ambition in 1990.
The Irish have an excellent record in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle with 19 wins, including six consecutive victories from 1973-78. Their latest success came from the Willie Mullins-trained Yorkhill in 2016.
DID YOU KNOW?
Oliver Sherwood and the late Dessie Hughes won the race as jockeys and trainers. Sherwood was aboard Venture To Cognac in 1979, while his training wins have been with The West Awake (1987) and Rebel Song (1988). Dessie Hughes was twice successful as a jockey on Davy Lad (1975) and Parkhill (1976) and sent out Hardy Eustace (2003) to victory as a trainer.
Istabraq (1997), Hardy Eustace (2003) and Faugheen (2014) all won en route to victory in the Unibet ChampionHurdle, while Davy Lad (1975) went on to take the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup
Only one horse has won both the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and the RSA Chase. The West Awake took the hurdle race in 1987 and the chase event a year later.
Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Roll Of Honour
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Willoughby Court 6-11-07 David Bass Ben Pauling Paul & Clare Rooney 14/1 15
2016 Yorkhill 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Andrea & Graham Wylie 3/1 11
2015 Windsor Park 6-11-07 Davy Russell Dermot Weld IRE Dr Ronan Lambe 9/2 10
2014 Faugheen 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 6/4F 15
2013 The New One 5-11-07 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies Sarah Such 7/2 8
2012 Simonsig 6-11-07 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Ronnie Bartlett 2/1F 17
2011 First Lieutenant 6-11-07 Davy Russell Mouse Morris IRE Gigginstown House Stud 7/1 12
2010 Peddlers Cross 5-11-07 Jason Maguire Donald McCain Tim Leslie 7/1 17
2009 Mikael D'Haguenet 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 5/2F 14
2008 Fiveforthree 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Olde Crowbars Syndicate 7/1 15
2007 Massini's Maguire 6-11-07 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Alan Peterson 20/1 15
2006 Nicanor 5-11-07Paul CarberryNoel Meade IREDes Sharkey 17/2 17
2005 No Refuge 5-11-07 Graham Lee Howard Johnson Andrea & Graham Wylie 17/2 20
2004 Fundamentalist 6-11-07 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Gripen 12/1 15
2003 Hardy Eustace 6-11-07 Kieran Kelly Dessie Hughes IRE Laurence Byrne 6/1 19
2002 Galileo 6-11-07 Jason Maguire Tom George Sharon Nelson, Allan Stennett, Terry Warner 12/1 27
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Monsignor 6-11-07 Norman Williamson Mark Pitman Malcolm Denmark 5/4F 14
1999 Barton 6-11-07 Lorcan Wyer Tim Easterby Stan Clarke 2/1F 18
1998 French Holly 7-11-07 Andrew Thornton Ferdy Murphy Kieran Flood 2/1F 18
1997 Istabraq 5-11-07 Charlie Swan Aidan O'Brien IRE J P McManus 6/5F 17
1996 Urubande 6-11-07 Charlie Swan Aidan O'Brien IRE Martin St Quinton 8/1 24
1995 Putty Road 5-11-07 Norman Williamson David Nicholson Lady Harris 7/1 21
1994 Danoli 6-11-07 Charlie Swan Tom Foley IRE Dan O'Neill 7/4F 23
1993 Gaelstrom 6-11-02 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Jenny Powell 16/1 19
1992 Thetford Forest 5-11-07 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Saeed Manana 7/1 27
1991 Crystal Spirit 4-10-12 Jimmy Frost Ian Balding Paul Mellon 2/1F 29
1990 Regal Ambition 6-11-07 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Skeltools Ltd 3/1F 22
1989 Sayfar's Lad 5-11-07 Mark Perrett Martin Pipe Arthur Whiting 12/1 22
1988 Rebel Song 6-11-07 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 14/1 25
1987 The West Awake 6-11-07 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 16/1 28
1986 Ten Plus 6-11-07 Kevin Mooney Fulke Walwyn Basil Thwaites 5/2F 28
1985 Asir 5-11-07 Mr Ronnie Beggan Paul Kelleway HH Prince Yazid Saud 9/1 27
1984 Fealty 4-10-12 Seamus O'Neill Peter Brookshaw Peter Brookshaw 33/1 29
1983 Sabin Du Loir 4-10-08 Graham Bradley Michael Dickinson Brian Kilpatrick 16/1 27
1982 Mister Donovan 6-11-08 Tommy Ryan Edward O'Grady IRE J P McManus 9/2 21
1981 Gaye Chance 6-11-08 Sam Morshead Fred Rimell Mrs M Curtis 7/1 21
1980 Drumlargan 6-11-08 Tommy Ryan Edward O'Grady IRE Mary Cuddy 5/2F 27
1979 Venture To Cognac 6-11-08 Mr Oliver Sherwood Fred Winter Nat Sherwood 4/1 29
1978 Mr Kildare 5-11-07 Tommy Carmody Liam Browne IRE Owen Canty 8/11F 20
1977 Counsel Cottage 6-11-08 Sean Treacy Paddy Mullins IRE Lady Elizabeth Byng 6/1 26
1976 Parkhill 5-11-07 Dessie Hughes Mick O'Toole IRE Anne-Marie McGowan 4/1 21
1975 Davy Lad 5-11-07 Dessie Hughes Mick O'Toole IRE Anne-Marie McGowan 5/2F 20
1974 Brown Lad 8-11-08 Ron Barry Paddy Osborne IRE J Osborne 2/1F 25
1973 Willie Wumpkins 5-11-06 Pat Colville Adrian Maxwell IRE Jane Pilkington 11/1 15
1972 Even Dawn 5-11-06 Ron Hyett Katie Gaze Katie Gaze 40/1 17
1971 Midsprite 5-11-12 Macer Gifford Tom Jones Mrs Ogden Phipps 7/1 20
RSA Insurance Novices' Chase facts & figures
The Grade One RSA Insurance Novices' Chase, the novice chasing championship race over three miles, is backed by Cheltenham's longest-running sponsor.
It was the RSA Chase from 2017 to 2009, the Royal & SunAlliance Chase up to 2008 and the Royal SunAlliance Chase in 1997. Sun Alliance, which merged with Royal Insurance in 1996, previously backed the Sun Alliance Chase for 23 years and sponsored at Cheltenham for 26 years altogether. From 1971-73, the Foxhunter Chase was titled the Sun Alliance & London Foxhunters.
Sun Alliance & London was the first company outside racing to embrace commercial sponsorship at The Festival. Before 1974, the RSA was titled the Broadway Novices' Chase and the Totalisator Champion Novices' Chase.
The most runners has been 30, in 1986, while the smallest field was eight in 1993, 2015 & 2016. The current safety limit is 20.
MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
Dorothy Paget with three victories - Mountain Prince (1948), On View (1951) and Glenbeigh (1954).
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Fulke Walwyn and Willie Mullins have been the most successful trainers in the history of the race with four wins each.
Walwyn sent out Mountain Prince (1948), On View (1951), Glenbeigh (1954) and Mandarin (1957), while current handler Mullins has scored with Florida Pearl (1998), Rule Supreme (2004), Cooldine (2009) and Don Poli (2015).
Al Boum Photo and Bonbon Au Miel represent Mullins in 2018.
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Pat Taaffe was the most successful jockey with five wins - Coneyburrow (1953), Solfen (1960), Grallagh Cnoc (1961), Arkle (1963) and Proud Tarquin (1970).
Barry Geraghty is the most successful current jockey with three victories - Star De Mohaison (2006), Bobs Worth (2012) and O'Faolains Boy (2014).
In 73 runnings since 1946 (three early races were divided), a total of 20 favourites (27.4 per cent) have prevailed.
The biggest shocks were provided by 33/1 shots Canny Danny (1983) and Hussard Collonges (2002).
Arkle was the shortest-priced winner when scoring at 4/9 in 1963.
The oldest winner was 11-year-old Birthlaw in 1946.
Five-year-olds Manicou (1950, Div 1), Arctic Gold (1950, Div 2) and Star De Mohaison (2006) are the youngest winners.
The overall breakdown by age is as follows:
5yo - 3 wins
6yo - 14 wins
7yo - 36 wins
8yo - 16 wins
9yo - 3 wins
11yo - 1 wins
The fastest running of the race was achieved by O'Faolains Boy in 2014 at 6m 0.32s.
IRELAND (18): Coneyburrow (1953); Great Eliza (1955); Solfen (1960); Grallagh Cnoc (1961); Arkle (1963); Arkloin (1965); Herring Gull (1968); Proud Tarquin (1970); Ten Up (1974); Tied Cottage (1976); Antarctic Bay (1985); Florida Pearl (1998); Rule Supreme (2004); Cooldine (2009); Weapon's Amnesty (2010); Bostons Angel (2011), Lord Windermere (2013) and Don Poli (2015).
DID YOU KNOW?
Since 1959, nine horses have won both the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.
1959 Mandarin (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 1962)
1963 Arkle (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 1964-6)
1974 Ten Up (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 1975)
1979 Master Smudge (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 1980 on the disqualification of Tied Cottage)
1990 Garrison Savannah (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 1991)
1999 Looks Like Trouble (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 2000)
2007 Denman (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 2008)
2012 Bobs Worth (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 2013)
2013 Lord Windermere (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 2014)
To this list might be added the name of Tied Cottage, winner of the RSA Chase in 1976, and the Gold Cup in 1980, before his subsequent disqualification.
The West Awake is the only horse to have won both what is now the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (previously sponsored by RSA) and the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase. He won the Hurdle in 1987 and the Chase in 1988.
The 2010 winner Weapon's Amnesty became the first horse to win both the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and RSA Chase, a feat repeated by Bobs Worth in 2011 and 2012.
The 2017 renewal was remarkable because of the antics of Might Bite, the 7/2 favourite trained by Nicky Henderson, who was 12 lengths clear of his rivals two out. He made a mistake at the last, slowed down and veered sharply right, giving away the lead to stable companion Whisper with just over half a furlong to race, only to rally and get up on the line to win by a nose.
Hollywood legend Gregory Peck owned the 1966 winner Different Class.
RSA Insurance Novices' Chase Roll of Honour
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Might Bite 8-11-04 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson The Knot Again Partnership 7/2F 12
2016 Blaklion 7-11-04 Ryan Hatch Nigel Twiston-Davies S Such & C G Paletta 8/1 8
2015 Don Poli 6-11-04 Bryan Cooper Willie Mullins IRE Gigginstown House Stud 13/8F 8
2014 O'Faolains Boy 7-11-04 Barry Geraghty Rebecca Curtis Trembath, Hyde, Outhart & Hill 12/1 15
2013 Lord Windermere 7-11-04 Davy Russell Jim Culloty IRE Dr Ronan Lambe 8/1 11
2012 Bobs Worth 7-11-04 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson The Not Afraid Partnership 9/2 9
2011 Bostons Angel 7-11-04 Robert Power Jessica Harrington IRE Elder Scouller 16/1 12
2010 Weapon's Amnesty 7-11-04 Davy Russell Charles Byrnes IRE Gigginstown House Stud 10/1 9
2009 Cooldine 7-11-04 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Violet O'Leary 9/4F 15
2008 Albertas Run 7-11-04 A P McCoy Jonjo O'Neill Trevor Hemmings 4/1F 11
2007 Denman 7-11-04 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Maggie Findlay & Paul Barber 6/5F 17
2006 Star De Mohaison 5-10-08Barry GeraghtyPaul NichollsSir Robert Ogden 14/1 15
2005 Trabolgan 7-11-04 Mick FitzGerald Nicky Henderson Trevor Hemmings 5/1 9
2004 Rule Supreme 8-11-04 David Casey Willie Mullins IRE John Lynch 25/1 10
2003 One Knight 7-11-04 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Robert Gibbs 15/2 9
2002 Hussard Collonges 7-11-04 Russ Garritty Peter Beaumont Nick Bannister 33/1 19
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Lord Noelie 7-11-04 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight Executive Racing 9/2 9
1999 Looks Like Trouble 7-11-04 Paul Carberry Noel Chance Universal Conf. & Incentive Trv Ltd 16/1 14
1998 Florida Pearl 6-11-04 Richard Dunwoody Willie Mullins IRE Violet O'Leary 11/8F 10
1997 Hanakham 8-11-04 Richard Dunwoody Ron Hodges Malcolm Brereton 13/2 14
1996 Nahthen Lad 7-11-04 Warren Marston Jenny Pitman Jim Shaw 7/1 12
1995 Brief Gale 8-10-13 Philip Hide Josh Gifford Carrie Zetter 13/2 13
1994 Monsieur Le Cure 8-11-04 Peter Niven John Edwards Hector Brown 15/2 18
1993 Young Hustler 6-11-04 Peter Scudamore Nigel Twiston-Davies Gavin MacEchern 9/4 8
1992 Miinnehoma 9-11-04 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Freddie Starr 7/2F 18
1991 Rolling Ball 8-11-04 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Hilda Clarke 7/2F 20
1990 Garrison Savannah 7-11-04 Ben de Haan Jenny Pitman Autofour Engineering 12/1 9
1989 Envopak Token 8-11-04 Peter Hobbs Josh Gifford Frank Arthur 16/1 15
1988 The West Awake 7-11-04 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 11/4F 14
1987 Kildimo 7-11-04 Graham Bradley Toby Balding Lady Harris 13/2 18
1986 Cross Master 9-11-04 Reg Crank Tom Bill Harlow Bros 16/1 30
1985 Antarctic Bay 8-11-04 Frank Berry Pat Hughes IRE P Meade 6/4F 11
1984 A Kinsman 8-11-04 Geordie Dun John Brockbank Mrs John Brockbank 10/1 18
1983 Canny Danny 7-11-04 Niall Madden Jimmy FitzGerald P Norton 33/1 14
1982 Brown Chamberlin 7-11-04 John Francome Fred Winter Mrs Coral Samuel 7/1 15
1981 Lesley Ann 7-11-04 Colin Brown David Elsworth Brian Gaule 25/1 17
1980 Lacson 8-11-04 Steve Knight Bob Hawker Bob Hawker 16/1 17
1979 Master Smudge 7-11-04 Richard Hoare Arthur Barrow Arthur Barrow 16/1 17
1978 Sweet Joe 6-11-04 Steve Smith Eccles Tom Jones Milton Ritzenberg 12/1 17
1977 Gay Spartan 6-11-04 Michael Dickinson Tony Dickinson M Armstrong 13/2 15
1976 Tied Cottage 8-11-00 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Anthony Stanley Robinson 12/1 15
1975 Pengrail 7-11-00 John Francome Fred Winter Mrs G Morton 12/1 11
1974 Ten Up 7-11-00 Tommy Carberry Jim Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 7/2 12
1973 Killiney 7-11-03 Richard Pitman Fred Winter Enid Boucher 8/15F 9
1972 Clever Scot 7-11-07 David Mould Tom Jones Milton Ritzenberg 11/1 18
1971 Tantalum 7-11-07 David Nicholson Michael Pope Colonel S W Green 14/1 16
1970 Proud Tarquin 7-11-12 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE John Thomson 100/7 17
1969 Spanish Steps 6-11-12 John Cook Edward Courage Edward Courage 100/8 22
1968 Herring Gull 6-11-12 Joe Crowley Paddy Mullins IRE Mrs G A J Wilson 9/1 16
1967 Border Jet 7-11-00 Josh Gifford Ryan Price Lady Weir 4/1F 19
1966 Different Class 6-11-12 David Mould Peter Cazalet Gregory Peck 10/1 17
1965 Arkloin 6-11-07 Liam McLoughlin Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 100/7 17
1964 Buona Notte 7-12-04 Johnnie Haine Bob Turnell Jim Joel 11/8F 16
1963 Arkle 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 4/9F 15
1962 Caduval 7-11-08 Laurie Morgan Bogden Lubecki Bogden Lubecki 11/2 13
1961 Grallagh Cnoc 7-12-01 Pat Taaffe Joe Osborne IRE Mrs K Harper 8/13F 17
1960 Solfen 8-11-12 Pat Taaffe Willie O'Grady IRE B Naughton 5/4F 21
1959 Mac Joy 7-11-12 Arthur Freeman Ken Bailey W C Simpson 4/1 11
1958 Just Awake 6-11-08 Arthur Freeman Peter Cazalet Bill Whitbread 100/7 19
1957 Mandarin 6-12-01 Michael Scudamore Fulke Walwyn Peggy Hennessy 8/1 14
1956 Polar Flight 6-11-08 Tommy Cusack George Spann Mrs P Pleydell-Bouverie 100/7 19
1955 Great Eliza 7-11-13 B Cooper Danny Morgan IRE Mrs N Hope Collins 7/2F 23
1954 Glenbeigh 8-11-13 Dave Dick Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget EvsF 16
1953 Coneyburrow 7-11-03 Pat Taaffe Joe Osborne IRE I E Levy 100/8 13
1952 Good And Plenty 8-11-08 Jimmy Power Jack Fawcus Lady Joicey 8/1 18
1951 On View 8-11-13 Bryan Marshall Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget 8/1 23
1950 (I) Manicou 5-11-06 Lord Mildmay Peter Cazalet Lord Mildmay 2/1F 9
1950 (II) Arctic Gold 5-10-13 Glen Kelly Gerald Balding John Hay Whitney 100/30 9
1949 (I) Glen Fire 6-11-02 Mr J Spencer Syd Mercer J G Greenaway 100/8 19
1949 (II) Comeragh 8-11-02 D Kelly Major Noel Furlong Major Noel Furlong 10/1 10
1948 (I) Blakely Grove 7-11-04 Joe Maguire Ivor Anthony Paul Mellon 5/4F 17
1948 (II) Mountain Prince 9-11-04 Bryan Marshall Fulke Walwyn Dorothy Paget 100/8 15
1947 No race (snow and frost)
1946 Birthlaw 11-11-07 Ted Vinall Tommy Rayson Mrs V Bruce 20/1 16
Coral Cup facts & figures
The Coral Cup was introduced in 1993 and is well established as one of the season's most competitive handicaps. The first winner, Olympian, picked up an additional £50,000 bonus having won the Imperial Cup at Sandown Park the previous weekend. The bonus was put up by Sunderlands, the then sponsor of the Imperial Cup, to any horse that won the Sandown race and went on to success in any contest at The Festival.
30 horses lined up in 1994, 1995, 1999 and 2006, although the current safety limit is 26. The smallest field of 21 went to post in 1993 and 1998.
Sky's The Limit carried 11st 12lb to victory in 2006, while Burntoakboy had 9st 12lb on his back (including Sam Jones' 5lb claim) when winning in 2007.
No horse has been successful in the Coral Cup more than once.
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Martin Pipe is the leading trainer in the contest, having scored three times with Olympian (1993), Big Strand (1997) and Ilnamar (2002). Among current trainers, Edward O'Grady (Time For A Run 1994 & Sky's The Limit 2006), Philip Hobbs (What's Up Boys 2000 & Monkerhostin 2004), Nicky Henderson (Spirit River 2010 & Whisper 2014) and Gordon Elliott (Carlito Brigante 2011 & Diamond King 2016) lead the way.
Nicky Henderson has William Henry, Burbank, Fixe Le Kap and Stowaway Magic set to represent him in 2018. Elliott is set to run Diamond King and Barra, while Hobbs saddles Springtown Lake.
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Davy Russell has ridden three winners - Naiad Du Misselot (2008), Carlito Brigante (2011) and Diamond King (2016). He rides Diamond King in 2018.
Irish-trained horses have won the race on nine occasions, most recently with Supasundae in 2017.
What's Up Boys (2000), Idole First (2005) and Medinas (2013) all scored at 33/1, while Olympian (1993) and Xenophon (2003) were successful at 4/1 and they are also the only two favourites to have obliged.
DID YOU KNOW?
The 2008 winner Naiad Du Misselot was the first Festival scorer to succeed by the then recently-introduced new distance of a nose.
The fastest time in the 22 runnings was set in 2000 by What's Up Boys, who scored in 4m 53.8s, beating the previous best of 4m 57.0s set by Big Strand in 1997.
Coral Cup Roll Of Honour
(Coral Cup since 2003, Coral Eurobet Cup 2002, Coral Cup 1993-2000)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Supasundae 7-11-04 Robbie Power Jessica Harrington IRE Ann & Alan Potts Partnership 16/1 25
2016 Diamond King 8-11-03 Davy Russell Gordon Elliott IRE Diana Whateley 12/1 26
2015 Aux Ptits Soins 5-10-07 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls John Hales 9/1 25
2014 Whisper 6-11-06 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Walters Plant Hire Ltd 14/1 28
2013 Medinas 6-11-10 Wayne Hutchinson Alan King Mr & Mrs F D Bell 33/1 28
2012 Son Of Flicka 8-10-06 Jason Maguire Donald McCain Twenty Four Seven Recruitment 16/1 28
2011 Carlito Brigante 5-11-00 Davy Russell Gordon Elliott IRE Gigginstown House Stud 16/1 22
2010 Spirit River 5-11-02 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Michael Buckley 14/1 28
2009 Ninetieth Minute 6-10-03 Paddy Flood Tom Taaffe IRE Dermot Cox 14/1 27
2008 Naiad Du Misselot 7-10-13 Davy Russell Ferdy Murphy Hill, Trembath, Bryan & Outhart 7/1 24
2007 Burntoakboy 9-09-12 Sam Jones Dr Richard Newland Dr Richard & Laura Newland 10/1 28
2006 Sky's The Limit 5-11-12Barry GeraghtyEdward O'Grady IRERaymond Rooney11/1 30
2005 Idole First 6-10-10 Alan O'Keeffe Venetia Williams Direct Sales UK Ltd 33/1 29
2004 Monkerhostin 7-10-08 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Martin St Quinton 13/2 27
2003 Xenophon 7-11-00 Mick FitzGerald Tony Martin IRE Lane Syndicate 4/1 Fav 27
2002 Ilnamar 6-10-05 Rodi Greene Martin Pipe Joe Moran 25/1 27
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 What's Up Boys 6-10-03 Mr Paul Flynn Philip Hobbs RJB Partners 33/1 26
1999 Khayrawani 7-11-03 Fran Berry Christy Roche IRE J P McManus 16/1 30
1998 Top Cees 8-10-00 Barry Fenton Lynda Ramsden Charlton Bloodstock Ltd 11/1 21
1997 Big Strand 8-10-00 Jamie Evans Martin Pipe E C Jones 16/1 28
1996 Trainglot 9-10-03 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald Marquesa de Moratalla 11/2 20
1995 Chance Coffey 10-10-00 Gerry O'Neill Pat O'Donnell IRE Paddy O'Donnell 11/1 30
1994 Time For A Run 7-11-08 Charlie Swan Edward O'Grady IRE J P McManus 11/1 30
1993 Olympian 6-10-00 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe M & N Plant Ltd 4/1 Jt Fav 21
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase facts & figures
The National Hunt two-mile Champion Chase was first run in 1959 and the Queen Mother's name was added to the race title in 1980, the year of her 80th birthday. The race has been sponsored by Betway since 2015.
The biggest field was in 1999 when 13 went to post, though five took part in 1985, 1972, 1968, 1964, 1963 and 1961.
The race's roll of honour includes many multiple winners, with Badsworth Boy (1983-85) the only three-time scorer.
The 11 dual winners are Fortria (1960 and 1961), Drinny's Double (1967 and 1968), Royal Relief (1972 and 1974), Skymas (1976 and 1977), Hilly Way (1978 and 1979), Pearlyman (1987 and 1988), Barnbrook Again (1989 and 1990), Viking Flagship (1994 and 1995), Moscow Flyer (2003 and 2005), Master Minded (2008 and 2009) and Sprinter Sacre (2013 & 2016).
MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
The most successful owners have been George Ansley, who enjoyed three wins with Fortria (1960 and 1961) and Straight Fort (1970), and Doug Armitage who also had three victories with Badsworth Boy (1983, 1984 and 1985).
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Tom Dreaper had the best record of any trainer in the race, winning six runnings with Fortria (1960 and 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966), Muir (1969) and Straight Fort (1970).
Of current trainers, champion Paul Nicholls (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded & 2015 Dodging Bullets) is leading the way with five wins. Tomorrow he saddles Politologue.
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Pat Taaffe and Barry Geraghty have been the most successful riders with five wins each. Taaffe scored on Fortria (1960, 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966) and Straight Fort (1970), while Geraghty, a current jockey, has won on Moscow Flyer (2003 & 2005), Big Zeb (2010), Finian's Rainbow (2012) and Sprinter Sacre (2013).
No mare has ever won the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The fastest time for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase is 3m 44.70s, set by Edredon Bleu in 2000.
Flyingbolt was the shortest-priced winner when succeeding at 1/5 in 1966, while Another Dolly, who was awarded the 1980 race, started at odds of 33/1 and provided the biggest upset.
In the 58 runnings, 18 favourites (31 per cent) have prevailed.
The two greys to succeed were One Man in 1998 and Call Equiname in 1999.
The oldest horse to have triumphed was the 12-year-old Skymas in 1977, while the youngest was Master Minded, who was just five when winning for the first time in 2008.
The overall breakdown by age is as follows:
5yo - 1 victory
6yo - 3 victories
7yo - 8 victories
8yo - 20 victories
9yo - 12 victories
10yo - 11 victories
11yo - 2 victories
12yo - 1 victory
IRELAND (22): Quita Que (1959), Fortria (1960 & 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966), Muir (1969), Straight Fort (1970), Inkslinger (1973), Lough Inagh (1975), Skymas (1976 & 1977), Hilly Way (1978 & 1979), Drumgora (1981), Buck House (1986), Klairon Davis (1996), Moscow Flyer (2003 & 2005), Newmill (2006), Big Zeb (2010), Sizing Europe (2011), Special Tiara (2017)
DID YOU KNOW?
Michael Dickinson trained the winner for three consecutive years with Rathgorman (1982) and Badsworth Boy (1983 & 1984). His mother Monica had taken charge of the family training operation for Badsworth Boy's final success in 1985.
The 1986 winner Buck House subsequently met with that season's Cheltenham Gold Cup heroine Dawn Run in a special match race over two miles at Punchestown in April the same year. Dawn Run prevailed by two and a half lengths.
The Racing Post Arkle Chase is a good guide for future success in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. A total of 11 horses - Sprinter Sacre (2013 & 2016), Sizing Europe (2011), Voy Por Ustedes (2007), Azertyuiop (2004), Moscow Flyer (2003 and 2005), Flagship Uberalles (2002), Klairon Davis (1996), Remittance Man (1992), Flyingbolt (1966), Ben Stack (1964) and Fortria (1960 & 1961) - all won the novices' event at The Festival before their Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase victory.
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase Roll of Honour
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2017 Special Tiara 10-11-10 Noel Fehily Henry de Bromhead IRE Sally Rowley-Williams 11/1 10
2016 Sprinter Sacre 10-11-10 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Caroline Mould 5/1 10
2015 Dodging Bullets 7-11-10 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls Martin Broughton & Friends 9/2 9
2014 Sire De Grugy 8-11-10 Jamie Moore Gary Moore The Preston Family & Friends Ltd 11/4F 11
2013 Sprinter Sacre 7-11-10 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Caroline Mould 1/4F 7
2012 Finian's Rainbow 9-11-10 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Michael Buckley 4/1 8
2011 Sizing Europe 9-11-10 Andrew Lynch Henry de Bromhead IRE Ann & Alan Potts 10/1 11
2010 Big Zeb 9-11-10 Barry Geraghty Colm Murphy IRE Pat Redmond 10/1 9
2009 Master Minded 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Clive Smith 4/11F 12
2008 Master Minded 5-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Clive Smith 3/1 8
2007 Voy Por Ustedes 6-11-10 Robert Thornton Alan King Sir Robert Ogden 5/1 10
2006 Newmill 8-11-10 Andrew McNamara John Murphy IRE Mary Hayes 16/1 12
2005 Moscow Flyer 11-11-10 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 6/4F 8
2004 Azertyuiop 7-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John Hales 15/8 8
2003 Moscow Flyer 9-12-00 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 7/4F 11
2002 Flagship Uberalles 8-12-00 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Elizabeth Gutner/Michael Krysztofiak 7/4F 12
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Edredon Bleu 8-12-00 A P McCoy Henrietta Knight Jim Lewis 7/2 9
1999 Call Equiname 9-12-00 Mick Fitzgerald Paul Nicholls Mick Coburn, Paul Barber, Colin Lewis 7/2 13
1998 One Man 10-12-00 Brian Harding Gordon Richards John Hales 7/2 8
1997 Martha's Son 10-12-00 Rodney Farrant Tim Forster Paddy Hartigan/Michael Ward-Thomas 9/1 6
1996 Klairon Davis 7-12-00 Francis Woods Arthur Moore IRE Chris Jones 9/1 7
1995 Viking Flagship 8-12-00 Charlie Swan David Nicholson Roach Foods Ltd 5/2F 10
1994 Viking Flagship 7-12-00 Adrian Maguire David Nicholson Roach Foods Ltd 4/1 8
1993 Deep Sensation 8-12-00 Declan Murphy Josh Gifford Robin Eliot 11/1 9
1992 Remittance Man 8-12-00 Jamie Osborne Nicky Henderson Jim Collins Evs F 6
1991 Katabatic 8-12-00 Simon McNeill Andrew Turnell Pell-Mell Partners 9/1 7
1990 Barnbrook Again 9-12-00 Hywel Davies David Elsworth Mel Davies 11/10F 9
1989 Barnbrook Again 8-12-00 Simon Sherwood David Elsworth Mel Davies 7/4F 8
1988 Pearlyman 9-12-00 Tom Morgan John Edwards Valerie Shaw 15/8F 8
1987 Pearlyman 8-12-00 Peter Scudamore John Edwards Valerie Shaw 13/8F 8
1986 Buck House 8-12-00 Tommy Carmody Mouse Morris IRE Mrs Phil Purcell 5/2 11
1985 Badsworth Boy 10-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Monica Dickinson Doug Armitage 11/8 5
1984 Badsworth Boy 9-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Michael Dickinson Doug Armitage 8/13F 10
1983 Badsworth Boy 8-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Michael Dickinson Doug Armitage 2/1 6
1982 Rathgorman 10-12-00 Kevin Whyte Michael Dickinson J Lilley 100/30 9
1981 Drumgora 9-12-00 Frank Berry Arthur Moore IRE D Monahan 25/1 9
1980 *Another Dolly 10-12-00 Sam Morshead Fred Rimell Ian Urquhart 33/1 7
1979 Hilly Way 9-12-00 Mr Ted Walsh Peter McCreery IRE J W Sweeney 7/1 9
1978 Hilly Way 8-12-00 Tommy Carmody Peter McCreery IRE J W Sweeney 7/1 10
1977 Skymas 12-12-00 Mouse Morris Brian Lusk IRE Mathew Magee 7/2 8
1976 Skymas 11-12-00 Mouse Morris Brian Lusk IRE Mathew Magee 8/1 7
1975 Lough Inagh 8-12-00 Sean Barker Jim Dreaper IRE A Martin 100/30 8
1974 Royal Relief 10-12-00 Bill Smith Edward Courage Edward Courage 6/1 6
1973 Inkslinger 6-12-00 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Mrs M Jenney 6/1 6
1972 Royal Relief 8-12-00 Bill Smith Edward Courage Edward Courage 15/8 5
1971 Crisp 8-12-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Sir Chester Manifold 3/1 8
1970 Straight Fort 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 7/4F 6
1969 Muir 10-12-00 Ben Hannon Tom Dreaper IRE Waring Willis 15 11
1968 Drinny's Double 10-12-00 Frank Nash Bob Turnell Paul Mellon 6/1 5
1967 Drinny's Double 9-12-00 Frank Nash Bob Turnell Paul Mellon 7/2 8
1966 Flyingbolt 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Mrs Jean Wilkinson 1/5F 6
1965 Dunkirk 8-12-00 Dave Dick Peter Cazalet Bill Whitbread 8/1 6
1964 Ben Stack 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 2/1 5
1963 Sandy Abbot 8-12-00 Stan Mellor George Owen Mrs J D McKechnie 5/1 5
1962 Piperton 8-12-00 Dave Dick Archie Thomlinson Archie Thomlinson 100/6 7
1961 Fortria 9-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 2/5F 5
1960 Fortria 8-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 15/8F 7
1959 Quita Que 10-12-00 Bunny Cox Dan Moore IRE Mrs D R Brand 4/9F 9
*Another Dolly finished second to Chinrullah, who was subsequently disqualified after failing a post-race test
Records of trainer with declared runners in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
(since 1997 plus any winners beforehand)
Kim Bailey - Charbel
No runners since 1997
Henry de Bromhead IRE - Ordinary World, Special Tiara
2011 1st Sizing Europe (Andrew Lynch) 10/1
2012 2nd Sizing Europe (Andrew Lynch) 4/5F
2013 2nd Sizing Europe (Andrew Lynch) 6/1
2014 4th Sizing Europe (Andrew Lynch) 11/1
2014 6th Special Tiara (Davy Russell) 16/1
2015 3rd Special Tiara (Noel Fehily) 18/1
2015 7th Sizing Europe (Jonathan Burke) 22/1
2016 3rd Special Tiara (Noel Fehily) 16/1
2017 1st Special Tiara (Noel Fehily) 11/1
Tom George - God's Own
2013 6th Mail De Bievre (Paddy Brennan) 20/1
2014 3rd Module (Paddy Brennan) 20/1
2016 4th Gods Own (Paddy Brennan) 20/1
2017 3rd Sir Valentino (Paddy Brennan) 33/1
2017 5th Gods Own (Adrian Heskin) 6/1
Nicky Henderson - Altior
1992 1st Remittance Man (Jamie Osborne) Evsf
2002 5th Tiutchev (Mick Fitzgerald) 5/1
2003 4th Geos (Mick Fitzgerald) 25/1
2009 3rd Petit Robin (Barry Geraghty) 12/1
2011 10th Mad Max (Paul Carberry) 20/1
2011 6th French Opera (Andrew Tinkler) 22/1
2012 1st Finians Rainbow (Barry Geraghty) 4/1
2013 1st Sprinter Sacre (Barry Geraghty) 1/4F
2014 7th Kid Cassidy (A P McCoy) 10/1
2014 PU Captain Conan (Barry Geraghty) 7/2
2015 PU Sprinter Sacre (Barry Geraghty) 9/4F
2016 1st Sprinter Sacre (Nico de Boinville) 5/1
Gary Moore - Ar Mad
2014 1st Sire De Grugy (Jamie Moore) 11/4F
2015 4th Sire De Grugy (Jamie Moore) 5/2
2016 8th Sire De Grugy (Jamie Moore) 16/1
2017 6th Traffic Fluide (Joshua Moore) 50/1