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Press Release 14th March 2024 Cheltenham



Thursday 14th March

Shakem Up’Arry gave football yet another winner at The Festival 2024 when taking the Trustatrader Plate Handicap Chase for Harry Redknapp and local trainer Ben Pauling. It was also a first Festival triumph for jockey Ben Jones.

A delighted Redknapp said: “This is an incredible day and Ben [Jones] gave him a fantastic ride. He travelled so well and I thought, ‘Please don’t stop now’. People behind me were going, ‘Go on Harry, he’s won!’ and I thought, ‘No he ain’t until he has passed the line’.

“To have a winner at the Cheltenham Festival has been my dream. I wouldn’t like to find out how my heart rate is. I’m so pleased that I’m lost for words.”

Talking about his love of racing and its connection with football, he said: “I’ve grown up with racing being a big part of my life. My old nan was the bookie’s runner down our street in the East End and she used to get locked up every day for taking bets. To be here now in this position is incredible. When I was at West Ham [United] as a player, we had a team of punters as that was how it was back in those days. We all loved a bet and we all loved racing.

“I’ve been lucky to be able to get into racing as an owner. It is really incredible for me. It was special today. You buy horses, and get horses, and you dream of having a winner at Cheltenham.

“Me and [Sir] Alex [Ferguson, who part-owned winners Monmiral and Protektorat today] have had some great days. Going to Old Trafford I used to go in his office at 2.15pm when the teams had been sent out and we would then watch a bit of racing for 15 minutes. We would then go out and I would do my best to try and pull off a miracle and get a result at Old Trafford, as it was that difficult in them days.

"We would watch a bit of racing beforehand as we both loved the racing, and we both loved the football. It is great to see him have two winners today. It was lovely to get that sort of reception.”

Ben Pauling, for whom it was a fourth Festival winner in his 10-year training career, said: “I campaigned him [Shakem Up’Arry] very badly in the early part of his career and put him against horses like Shishkin, so he’s deserved his big day and that’s that.

“The past two days have been really tough and there’s been a lot of talk about the Irish and the English, but to say that we don’t have the hunger for the game is so wrong. We have as much hunger as anyone, and Dan [Skelton]’s proved that. I think Dan is a superb fella and I’m chuffed to pieces for him, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t want one".

I turned up with three horses yesterday who I thought would be in the [first] three, and I think we beat three horses home, so you have doubts about this and that - have I done too much with them and that sort of thing. This is where it matters and to have got one with his head in front means you can breathe. We came here with a good team and the old stalwart has chucked his head in front.

“It was a change of tactics as I told Ben [Jones] to go for it early as he always comes there travelling, looking like the winner, but doesn’t always go through with it. So I said, ‘If you turn for home going well, put some distance between yourself and then see if you can hang on.’ It’s great for Ben and it’s great for the team.”

Ben Jones – whose victory on Shakem Up’Arry on New Year’s Day was his first ever at Cheltenham – said: “I was thinking that what we did the last day worked a treat - biding our time and  making sure he got up the hill - but Ben [Pauling] had it in his head that if we sent him on as he hasn’t got a turn of foot, then the others would push us along. I kind of went along with it and the race worked out perfectly. I had a lovely position, kicked for home and when I gave him a squeeze I can’t tell you what I was thinking. Luckily, he was just idling in front and the line came quick enough.

“I punched the air crossing the line. A lot of jockeys get criticised for celebrating like that, but wins like this don’t come along every day and you have to cherish every single one of them.

This horse means a lot to me and he’ll be on my wall for many years to come. All I wanted to do growing up was to ride big winners, and after I had a little taste on this horse here last time, I couldn’t wait to get back in the winners’ enclosure.” 


4.10pm Trustatrader Plate Handicap Chase 2m 5f

  1. Shakem Up’Arry 8/1
  2. Crebilly 7/2
  3. Straw Fan Jack 28/1
  4. Life In The Park 28/1


21 ran

Distances: 11/4l, nk, 11/4l

Time: 5m 29.11


1st winner at The Festival for jockey Ben Jones

4th winner at The Festival for trainer Ben Pauling

1st winner at The Festival for owner Harry Redknapp


Ireland 11

Great Britain 7


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