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Press Release 13th March 2024 Cheltenham



Wednesday 13th March

Langer Dan created history on Style Wednesday at the Cheltenham Festival by becoming the first dual winner of the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle, as he repeated his success of 2023.

Winning jockey Harry Skelton said: “It feels brilliant. He’s a wonderful little horse. You ride him in amongst them like that and he thrives off it. He was getting knocked about up the top of the hill, but was following the three horses I really thought… The Gigginstown horse, Built By Ballymore and Willie’s horse, so I was happy where I was, but today he travelled really well and for a lot longer than he did last year, and it was just a question of me not really letting him go too soon, but he’s magic. He’ss not very big, but he’s been superb.

“We’ve gone through a few little issues with him, like the last day  he had a bit of blood from the nostril, which was stated on the day. He just hadn’t been firing like we really wanted him to, but in the last month, three weeks we’ve managed to get him out on to our grass gallops. That’s really turned him on, you know, and really brought out the improvement in him, and we obviously left plenty to work on for the day - that’s what you do to train these horses for these big handicaps like that. Dan’s done a fantastic job, and Amber Blyth, our  head girl, who looks after him - magnificent job with him all year.

“What he thrives on is when you ride him in amongst them all a bit more, and when you’re allowed to do that in a bigger field - he loves that. And when that happens, he’s very good.

“There’s no hiding what Cheltenham is. Cheltenham is a very, very important four days of our calendar.  It’s our Olympics. We want to win 365 days of the year,,  but these four days are just a little bit more important. It’s where everyone who comes into National Hunt racing strives to win. Look at this - it’s a theatre. It is like no other Festival; it is like no other meeting. We shouldn’t get away from how special this place is - and how hard it is to win. We want to thrive and we want to go to the very top, and we keep trying to do so, we just keep building to try to get so. To have a winner is very special.

Successful trainer Dan Skelton said: “That’s remarkable really, and all credit to the horse. I’ve never been prouder of a result than this. We have some big winners and Grade 1s and everything else, but I’ve never been prouder of a result than this because what people don’t know is that he had a surgery after winning this last year and so never made it to Aintree.

“Colm (Donlon) his owner loves Cheltenham and unfortunately two of his big hopes went wrong two weeks ago so we were relying on this little horse. He had a terrible winter and bled on one occasion. We gastroscoped him and found ulcers, and it was a massive team effort to get him right.

“He won’t train at our main yard because he’s a quirky little customer and just won’t join in. Amber (Bly), who is leading him up, runs our second yardand when we worked him on Saturday and I told her to find the slowest horse we’ve got and somehow beat him on the gallops. He only won by a head, which just shows you what he’s like. He’s a little character, but what a character.

“He’s got his own clock and trains himself. He just doesn’t play ball in the winter - he’s a nightmare.”

Henry de Bromhead, trainer of runner-up Ballyadam, said: “That was a savage run. We were giving away plenty of weight unfortunately, but fair play to the winner. He's so consistent and turns up every day, here at Cheltenham in particular.”

3.15pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) 2m 5f

1 Langer Dan 13-2

2 Ballyadam 13-2

3 Shanbally Kid 12-1

4 Lucky Place 25-1

21 ran

Distances: 3½, 1¼, shd

Time: 5m 32.44s

6th winner at The Festival for jockey Harry Skelton

7th winner at The Festival for trainer Dan Skelton


Ireland 8

Great Britain 2


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