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Press Release 17th November 2019 Cheltenham

The Pipe family has always had a strong affinity with The November Meeting, and winners here are just as important to David as they were to his father Martin.

That much was evident when David Pipe greeted the JP McManus-owned Duc De Beauchene after the 100/30 favourite, who had been as short as 7/4 in the morning, came home three lengths clear of Ozzy Thomas (33/1) in the opening Cheltenham Club Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

He said: "Winners here are always special and we've had this race in mind for a while. We got lucky with the ground, as he loves it soft, and the wind operation has obviously helped.

"He's a big horse - a cart horse really - and he's taken a long time to develop. Hopefully he'll make a nice three-mile chaser one day, but I imagine he'll stay over hurdles for now."

Pipe, who was winning the race for the fourth time in 10 years, has the option of running Duc De Beauchene without a penalty over the next 12 days, but he said that he is unlikely to do so.

He recalled: "I did it with another of JP's, Unique de Cotte, after he won here. He went to Newbury without a penalty and didn't run too well, so I doubt if we'll be doing that. Today was the plan."


Jonjo O'Neill Jr scored for the second year in a row in the Cheltenham Club Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, this time aboard Duc De Beauchene for David Pipe.

The hard-pulling six-year-old, owned by J P McManus, was the 100/30 favourite and beat Ozzy Thomas by three lengths.

O'Neill said: "He pulled my arms out for a good way. He has definitely got ability, he just needs to learn to settle a little bit more. But he jumps very well and handles the ground well. Hopefully, there is more to come.

"That's probably as fast as he goes. He tries very hard and he was all out. It's very testing conditions and he just probably handled it better than everyone else.

"I think he feels like a three-mile chaser. He's got plenty of scope, jumps very well and that's definitely the way I think he'll go."


Clues from the betting ring suggested Duc De Beauchene (100/3f) was the one to beat in the Cheltenham Club Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, the first race on Sunday's card at The November Meeting, and so it proved.

However, both the second and third placed horses out-ran their odds, with Ozzy Thomas (33/1) taking the runner-up spot, beaten three lengths, for trainer Henry Oliver and 10lb claimer Nathan Brennan. The winner crossed in front of Ozzy Thomas, but Brennan was clear that the best horse won, and said: "When Jonjo's [O'Neill Jr, jockey on the winner] horse came to me, my fella went for his girths but the winner has gone away and won well.

"He has run a cracker. We fancied him a bit today on some of his old form, but he had a setback 18-months ago and we thought he might need the run, but in fairness he was pretty fit there."

Henry Oliver trains the nine-year-old and was equally satisfied with the performance of Ozzy Thomas, and commented: "We are over the moon with our horse, and Nathan has given him a lovely ride. I've left a little to work on and we haven't rushed him - potentially he is still on a nice work so we should have a bit of sport with him.

"Our main aim this year is to aim him at the military race at Sandown [Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Memorial in March] and I'm planning for my brother to ride him."

Third place went to Electron Bleu (16/1) for trainer Tim Vaughan, who was in jovial mood after his son Ed won the pony race before the start of racing at Cheltenham.

Vaughan Snr joked that Ed had 'done a Barzalona and celebrated a little early' on passing the line.

Vaughan said: "I think our horse has a fair engine, we thought we were reasonably treated on his hurdles mark and he was going nicely at Musselburgh until the race was voided [after a horse was fatally injured during the race], so we had high hopes coming into this race.

"We probably want to go up to three miles now and see how we go."


Jonjo O'Neill Jr, partnering the three-length winner Duc De Beauchene, said: "It is very testing conditions."

Nathan Brennan, rider of second-placed Ozzy Thomas, commented: "It is testing."

Charlie Price, jockey of third-placed Electron Bleu, said: "Tough work."

Bryan Carver, jockey of fourth-placed Demon Fou, commented: "It's very testing."

Isabel Williams, jockey of Voodoo Doll (5th), said: "Soft."

Darragh O'Keeffe, jockey of Mc Alpine (6th), commented: "Heavy."

Ben Jones, aboard Volcano (7th), said: "It is testing."

Max Kendrick, partnering Sammylou (8th), said: "It's hard work."

Alexander Thorne (6lb), aboard Colditz Castle (9th), said: "It's hard work."


12:45pm Cheltenham Club Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle 2m 5f

1 DUC DE BEAUCHENE (J P McManus) David Pipe 6-11-06 Jonjo O'Neill Jr 100/30 Fav

2 Ozzy Thomas (H J Oliver) Henry Oliver 9-10-09 Nathan Brennan (10) 33/1

3 Electron Bleu (B Jones & Son) Tim Vaughan 5-11-00 Charlie Price (6) 16/1

4 Demon Fou (Friends From Insurance) Jeremy Scott 6-11-03 Bryan Carver (3) 7/1

Time: 5m 30.27s

Distances: 3, 2¼, 4½

Tote Win: £3.20 Places: £1.60, £6.80, £4.40, £2 Exacta: £193.60


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