Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Press Release 18th November 2023 Cheltenham

By Graham Clark

Trainer Paul Gilligan insisted teaming up with his son Jack Gilligan to taste victory at Cheltenham was ‘heaven’ after Buddy One opened up the avenue to Grade One targets following a battling success in the Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle. 

Having finished third in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March the six year old gelding confirmed the promise of that effort when following up his recent Galway victory in the three-mile test. 

Well-supported throughout the day the son of Sans Frontieres was backed into 9-4 Favourite to make his return to Cheltenham a triumphant one, which he successfully did under a well-judged ride by Gilligan junior. 

Despite being pushed all the way up the run in by The Newest One victory was to go the way of the Irish raider with a length separating the pair at the line. 

Paul Gilligan said: “We have had a Cheltenham winner before at The Festival which was brilliant, but we come here this weekend and we fancied a couple of horses. 

“To watch your son coming up the hill on a horse you train is heaven. This is a field of dreams. It can be heaven or hell. The dream has come true here. He is owned by great people and he is a really good horse. 

“He was very unlucky in the Martin Pipe, but he was as straight as a gun barrel there today when he jumped the last. This is magic. It is just a pity my wife isn’t here as she is back at home keeping the yard going. 

“I didn’t think he would be beaten today. His Galway run last time was really good. He was winning this race today off top-weight. He has gone out of handicaps now.

“This horse stays and he jumps. He never put a foot wrong. He was very foot perfect around there today and he was getting there too easy if anything. 

While earmarking the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Festival in March, which he was introduced for at 33-1 by the race sponsor. as a long-term target Gilligan hinted that a Grade One outing in the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 3rd could be next on the agenda. 

He added: “Depending how he comes out of today he will go for the Hatton’s Grace and why not. You meet Willie (Mullins) and Gordon (Elliott) wherever you go, but today is so special.

“I thought after Galway he might go for the Pertemps, but he is not going for that now. It is quite possible he will come back for the Stayers’ Hurdle. He is an exciting prospect.”


Cookie Policy

We use “cookies” to help enhance your experience and improve the functionality of our website. You can find out more in our cookie policy. We also serve cookies, some with chocolate chips, on our racecourses.