BETFAIR CHASE DAY, HAYDOCK PARK SATURDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2010
GREAT JUMP RACING IN THE NORTH
Haydock Park’s Managing Director Dickon White was very happy at the conclusion of Betfair Chase Day, which was being run for the sixth year at the course
He said: “It was wonderful to see the Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander make a winning seasonal reappearance at Haydock Park and we extend our congratulations to Our Friends In The North, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Paddy Brennan and everyone associated with the horse. They all have great reason to celebrate.
“We also saw a great performance from Grands Crus in the 40% Better Off On Betfair SP "Fixed Brush" Handicap Hurdle and there were several eye-catching performances from exciting younger horses on the card. In short, today was a tremendous advertisement for Jump racing in the North.”
Race 6 - Betfair Chase (Grade One) - Initial quotes
INITIAL WINNING REACTION - THE BETFAIR CHASE
Paddy Brennan, the winning jockey on Imperial Commander, said: “I was just trying to warm him up, warm him up and warm him up.
“It just took a bit of time getting his confidence back today but it is deep ground. He did get a bit tired but there was no Kauto Star today and he was brilliant.
“He was getting high enough over his fences early on in the race but he really turned it on turning into the straight and showed me what he had - I was trying to nurse him home from there
“He is the Gold Cup winner and we can dream about that again now.
“Tidal Bay flew home at the end - I didn’t actually hear him going to the last - but it was a tremendous race. My horse had a bit left pulling up and I am sure that he will improve a lot for that as well.”
Nigel Twiston-Davies, the winning trainer, said: "I couldn't be happier with Imperial Commander. I know there were some doubters but he has shown them.
"He will definitely come on for the race. There is only so much you can do at home, he was fit but will improve for the run.
"We will go to Kempton (for the King George) now, if everything is all right, as there is nothing else for him really and then the plan is to give him a break before going for a second Cheltenham Gold Cup.”
Race 6 - Betfair Chase (Grade One)
THE COMMANDER RETURNS
If Imperial Commander still had anyone doubting that he is one the very finest chasers of recent years, surely he does not now after an imperious victory in the £200,000 Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock Park today. The nine-year-old was making amends for his narrowest of defeats in this contest last year, when he went down by a nose to Kauto Star.
Partnered by Paddy Brennan, Imperial Commander was always in a handy position behind the early pace setters Atouchbetweenacara and Nacarat. Brennan took the decision to commit at an early stage, sending Imperial Commander to the front seven fences from home. With a clear lead entering the straight, he kept on well to record a length and a quarter victory over the fast-finishing Tidal Bay. This was a third Grade One victory for Imperial Commander, following his triumphs in the 2009 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham and the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
A relieved trainer, Nigel Twiston-Davies, said afterwards: “That was a superb run, just what we wanted. He has jumped really well. It would have been nice to have had something go to him as he has had to make a lot of his own running.
“But he is back and that is just what we hoped for. Roll on the King George!
“We have felt the pressure in the build-up to today, much more than we did last year. Paul Nicholls must have this all the time.
“Denman runs in the Hennessy next week and we will see what he does there but until then you have to say that we still have the best horse around.
“With the way he jumped and relaxed today, hopefully there is better to come. I just wish there had been another horse to come to him and give him a race.
“I was watching the Morning Line for the first time in a long time this morning and the doubters were very worrying.
“I thought that if What A Friend had gone and won after his breathing operation, then Sir Alex Ferguson would be giving breathing operations to all of his Manchester United stars.
“He will certainly come on for that race. He hasn’t had a racecourse gallop or anything like that and there is only so much that you can do at home - he was fit, but not hyper-fit and will improve for the run.
"We will definitely go to Kempton now, if everything is all right, as there is nothing else for him really.
“I’ve no doubt that he can show his best at Kempton - anyone who doesn’t think that can go on to Betfair and lay him.”
Paddy Brennan added: “I was just trying to warm him up, warm him up and warm him up. It just took a bit of time getting his confidence back today but it is deep ground. He did get a bit tired but there was no Kauto Star today and he was brilliant.
He was getting high enough over his fences early on in the race but he really turned it on turning into the straight and showed me what he had - I was trying to nurse him home from there.
“He is the Gold Cup winner and we can dream about that again now.
“Tidal Bay flew home at the end - I didn’t actually hear him going to the last - but it was a tremendous race. My horse had a bit left pulling up and I am sure that he will improve a lot for that as well.
“Imperial Commander was a bit rusty early on and was having a look - I think he maybe hadn’t forgotten what happened at Aintree last year - but he got better as the race went on and his confidence grew.
“I went to the front early as I wanted him to jump better and use his stride. I think he will improve a lot for today - far more than anybody at home would have thought. He is just a dream to be associated with.”
Race 6 - Beaten horses - The Betfair Chase.
SECOND TO FIFTH PLEASED WITH BETFAIR CHASE PERFORMANCES
Graham Wylie, owner of the fast-finishing second Tiday Bay who was beaten a length and a quarter by Imperial Commander, said: “We didn’t know which Tidal Bay would turn up today. Obviously, the real Tidal Bay turned up and with 50 more yards he would have won and that was the Gold Cup winner we were up against.
“Brian (Hughes - the jockey) said when Tidal was hanging left at Wetherby he tried to straighten the horse but here he let him do his own thing.
“Tidal Bay finished like a train. I don’t know where we will be going next with him, but we might mix it up with him.
“Brian said he is a better chaser than hurdler - he is a bit more deliberate and thinks a bit more. So I will see how Howard finds him in the morning.
“On that showing, he is a Gold Cup horse - of course he could come last in the race but that would be him. There is a possibility - he has got the ability.”
Philip Hobbs, trainer of the third Planet Of Sound, said: “I was very pleased with the performance - we just think better ground will help him so hopefully he will have that in the King George where he goes next.
“It was only his second time over three miles and he certainly stays well.
Tom George, trainer of the fourthNacarat, said: “I was thrilled with him - Haydock is not really his track.
“He went with Imperial Commander and just for an inkling it looked like we could beat him.
“Nacarat has run a very solid race and has not quite got home. Kempton is definitely his track, winging around those bends, and we will go there for the King George.”
Paul Nicholls, trainer of 3/1 second favourite What A Friend who finished fifth, commented: “He did not run his race. Sam (Thomas) said What A Friend hated the tacky ground - no excuses bar that.
“On that performance, he is not good enough to win a Gold Cup. He goes well on good ground. He needed to improve on his form last year and does not seem to have done so.
“If you don’t run, you don’t know.”
JOCKEYS’ REACTION AFTER THE BETFAIR CHASEPaddy Brennan, who rode the 10/11 favourite Imperial Commander to win the Betfair Chase by 1 1/4 lengths, said: “I’m very pleased. He’s passed the test. I’d say he was a little bit more rusty than we thought. He will improve a lot for the run. It was deep out there so the ground played a part in why we didn’t go away and win by a few more lengths.”
Brian Hughes, partner of the second Tidal Bay, said: “He ran well. He’s a bit of a monkey, but he’ll be suited by Cheltenham. He’ll stay thee miles and further.”
Richard Johnson, jockey of third Planet of Sound, said: “He ran really well, I’m very pleased with him. It was his first run of the season so hopefully he can improve on that. A bit better ground would help him.”
Paul Moloney, on the fourth home Nacarat, said: “He’s ran a blinder an absolute blinder. I thought he was going to be second all the way. I thought for a second or two that we were going to win. That ground is very dead and tacky and that has just cost me. But he was just brilliant.”
Sam Thomas, rider of fifth What A Friend, said: “The ground didn’t suit him to be perfectly honest. I wasn’t really happy with him with a circuit to go.”
WINNER- IMPERIAL COMMANDER (IRE) FACTFILE
9 b g Flemensfirth (USA) - Ballinlovane (Le Moss)
Form: 146173/114/161/P251U-1 Owner: Our Friends In The North Breeder: Laurence Flynn
The stable star of the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard and the reigning king of the steeplechasers following his thrilling totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph in March, Imperial Commander passed cheaply through the sale ring as a young horse. A 4,000 euro Goffs December Sale yearling, the Flemensfirth gelding made 19,000 euros as a three-year-old when selling at Goffs in June, 2004.
Imperial Commander was an emphatic eight-length winner on his only start in an Irish point-to-point at Summerhill in April, 2005. He was then bought privately form Colin Mckeever for £30,000 by Kevin Ross for Our Friends In The North Syndicate.
Imperial Commander made his debut for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies at Cheltenham in October, 2006, when he posted a convincing eight-length victory in an extended two-mile bumper. He returned to Prestbury Park for The Open the following month but could only finish fourth to Massini’s Maguire in a novice hurdle and made a third consecutive appearance at the course the following month when taking sixth in a Grade Two novices’ hurdle at the International Meeting.
His first success over hurdles came in January, 2007 - a no-nonsense 19-length verdict in a novices’ contest at Newcastle. Imperial Commander ended that season with two good efforts in Grade One company, coming seventh in the Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival and third in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in April.
He made just three appearances in the 2007/08 campaign, all at Cheltenham, including an all-the-way success in a beginners’ chase at The Showcase at Cheltenham, and another front-running victory in a novice contest at The Open. He failed to complete a hat-trick of victories when trailing home last of four in another novice chase at The International, also at Cheltenham.
Growing pains forced Imperial Commander to miss the rest of the season but he returned to Cheltenham for his first start of the 2008/09 term, making his handicap debut in the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup. An official mark of 139 looked generous as Imperial Commander powered to a two and three quarter length victory over Barbers Shop with a further 11 lengths back to the third home Private Be.
Imperial Commander made no impact in the Grade One King George VI Chase at Kempton Park next time, coming home sixth behind Kauto Star, but proved himself to be a chaser of the highest order with a stunning two-length victory over Voy Por Ustedes in the Grade One Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2009. He then failed to cope with the soft to heavy ground in the Punchestown Gold Cup and was pulled up by Paddy Brennan before the final fence.
The 2009/10 season got under way with a stunning effort that saw Imperial Commander almost defeat the great Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 21, as he went down by perhaps the shortest nose in history. For the second year running he failed to show his best at Kempton on Boxing Day as he finished a distant sixth to that old rival in the King George. As he had done the previous season, Imperial Commander enjoyed a break before returning to the fray at The Festival on March 19, when he quickened away from former champion Denman for an impressive seven-length victory in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
He unseated Paddy Brennan on his latest start in the Totesport Bowl at Aintree on April 8. Imperial Commander summered well in Northern Ireland and won the Betfair Chase in good style at Haydock today (20.11.2010).. Race Record: Starts: 19; 1st: 9; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £684,698
Our Friends in the North
The eight-strong partnership is fronted by Newcastle-born and Carlisle-based Ian Robinson, 48, who founded Our Friends In The North, named after the BBC series, in 2003. Robinson is CEO of a marine telecommunications company in the northeast and is joined in the syndicate by his wife, Gillian. They are both Newcastle United season ticket holders.
Ian first went to Cheltenham with his dad as an 11-year-old to see The Dikler win the 1973 Gold Cup, after which he told his father that one day he himself would win the great steeplechase. That assertion came to fruition when Imperial Commander won impressively for the syndicate in March. Our Friends In The North also includes Hugh and Kay Doubtfire. Hugh runs his own corporate entertainment business, as does fellow syndicate member Denise Sheasby.
The syndicate is completed by shop fitters Carston Henrikson and Martin Maxted, and Manchester-based carpet fitter Pete Williams. The syndicate’s first horse, Bobby Dazzler, was a promising novice hurdler who landed a hat-trick in 2004, before his untimely death. The resultant insurance money was used to buy Imperial Commander. Other horses currently under the syndicate’s ownership are smart bumper and novice hurdle winner Definitive Edge (trained by Willie Mullins), young point-to-pointers Highland Flash and Oscar’s Ballad (Mrs J B Ross), and useful handicap hurdler/chaser Valerius (Gordon Elliott). Robinson also runs other ownership entities, including the Jump For Fun Racing Club and the Hollow Bottom Syndicate. Betfair Chase winner - Imperial Commander 2010
NIGEL TWISTON - DAVIES
Nigel Twiston-Davies initially combined training as a permit-holder with his farming interests throughout the 1980s, before the agricultural recession prompted him to make training his full-time profession. He secured his first winner when Last Of The Foxes won at Hereford in March, 1982.
Twiston-Davies took out a full training licence in 1989, recording his first win as a public trainer in December of that year with Babil at Newbury. He has since gone on to register more than 1,250 successes. Born on May 16, 1957, Twiston-Davies rode 17 winners as an amateur jockey under Rules and gained a further 17 point-to-point victories.
He also served as assistant trainer to Richard Head and Fred Rimell. A childhood neighbour and friend of Peter Scudamore, he went into partnership with the former champion Jump jockey to set up stables at Grange Hill Farm, Naunton, Gloucestershire, although Scudamore is no longer involved in the venture.
Twiston-Davies successfully adopted and developed the pioneering techniques of Martin Pipe, such as interval training and regular blood tests for his string, enabling him to rapidly raise his profile among the training ranks. He is the only current trainer to have won the Grand National more than once, saddling Earth Summit to victory in 1998 and Bindaree four years later.
The 2001/2002 campaign had been relatively quiet by Twiston-Davies' high standards before Bindaree provided him with his second John Smith's Grand National success. Afterwards he revealed that he had been intending to give up training, but despite "having a bigger debt than Argentina" after buying out Scudamore, the Aintree victory made him have a change of heart.
Twiston-Davies has gained 13 successes at the Cheltenham Festival, including Imperial Commander’s famous victory in the 2010 totesport.com Cheltenham Gold Cup, the first leg of a treble on the day for the trainer. Immediately after the Gold Cup, his son Sam rode Baby Run to victory in the Christie’s Foxhunter, and the last race, the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase, went to stable stalwart Pigeon Island under Gold Cup-winning stable jockey Paddy Brennan.
Other big-race triumphs include the Sandown Gold Cup with Beau (2000), the Hennessy Gold Cup with King's Road (2000), the Scottish Grand National with Captain Dibble (1992), Earth Summit (1994) and Little Bud (2009), and the Welsh Grand National with Earth Summit (1997) and Bindaree (2003). His best season numerically was the 2007/08 campaign when the stable enjoyed 87 victories.
He ended the 2009/2010 campaign with 70 wins after having joined up with his longstanding stable jockey, Carl Llewellyn, again at the start of the season. Llewellyn, who rode for 19 years for Twiston-Davies, returned to Grange Hill Farm in partnership with the trainer.Twiston-Davies has got off to a fine start to this season, having already sent out 61 winners (before racing on Monday, November 15). Betfair Chase winner - Imperial Commander 2010
Imperial Commander’s victory in the 2010 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup provided Paddy Brennan with what he described as the best day of his life. Brennan was born at Ardrahan in County Galway on April 13, 1981, and spent the summer of 1995 working for County Kildare handler Gerry Stack before embarking on a five-season apprenticeship with the leading Irish Flat trainer Jim Bolger, for whom he rode eight winners.
The first of those came on Ivory Isle at Gowran Park in August, 1998. He became too heavy and tall for the Flat and moved to Paul Nicholls' stable as a conditional jockey in 2001. He stayed there for two and a half years, riding winners for Nicholls and Jeff King, before joining Philip Hobbs in the 2003/04 season as one of that yard's conditionals. Brennan struck up a good rapport with Ashley Brook, on whom he won the Grade One Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree in 2005, and enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival success that year aboard Shamayoun in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
Brennan was appointed as retained rider to owners Andrea and Graham Wylie, who have their horses trained in County Durham by Howard Johnson, for the 2006/07 season and rewarded those connections when guiding Inglis Drever to victory in the 2007 Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival - the gelding's second success in the race.
Brennan parted company with Johnson and joined Gloucestershire-based handler Nigel Twiston-Davies in the 2007/08 season. He has built up an increasingly impressive record of big-race successes, bagging his sixth career Cheltenham Festival victory when Pigeon Island won the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase on the same day as Imperial Commander's gave him his biggest victory in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Friday, March 19, 2010. Other big-race victories for his retained yard have come on Kyber Kim and Hello Bud. Betfair Chase winner - Imperial Commander 2010
SIXTH RACE RESULT
3.25pm BETFAIR CHASE (GRADE ONE) 3m
£200,000 guaranteed. For 5yo+ Weights: 11st 7lb Allowances: mares 7lb Penalty value 1st £112,660.00 2nd £42,440.00 3rd £21,240.00 4th £10,620.00 5th £5,320.00 6th £2,660.00
1) IMPERIAL COMMANDER (IRE) (Our Friends In The North) Nigel Twiston-Davies 9-11-07 Paddy Brennan 10/11 Fav.
2) TIDAL BAY (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 9-11-07 Brian Hughes 16/1
3) PLANET OF SOUND (Charles Llotd-Baker) Philip Hobbs 8-11-07 Richard Johnson 17/2
4) NACARAT (FR) (Simon Clarke) Tom George 9-11-07 Paul Moloney 7/1
5) WHAT A FRIEND (Ged Mason & Sir Alex Ferguson) Paul Nicholls 7-11-07 Sam Thomas 3/1
6) ATOUCHBETWEENACARA (IRE) (Paul Beck) Venetia Williams 9-11-07 Aidan Coleman
7) CHIEF DAN GEORGE (IRE) (Maurice Chapman) James Moffatt 10-11-07 Paddy Aspell
Distances: 1¼, 8, 2¼, 2¾, dist, 27
Breeder: Laurence J Flynn.
Breeding: b g Flemensfirth (USA) - Ballinlovane (Le Moss)
Totes: Win: £1.90; Places: £1.60, £3.70; Exacta: £15.00;
Winning Trainer: NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES Based: Grange Hill Farm, Naunton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Date of birth: 16/5/57 Background: Rode as an amateur for Fred Winter, Fred Rimell and Kim Bailey.
The Gloucestershire handler combined training as a permit-holder with his farming interests throughout the 1980s, having his first winner with Last Of The Foxes, who he also rode, at Hereford in March, 1982, before the agricultural recession prompted him to make training his full-time profession. He took out a full training licence in 1989, recording his first win as a public trainer in December of that year with Babil at Newbury.
Born on May 16, 1957, as an amateur jockey Twiston-Davies rode 17 winners under Rules and gained a further 17 point-to-point victories, and served as assistant trainer to Richard Head and Fred Rimell.
A childhood neighbour and friend of Peter Scudamore, he went into partnership with the former champion jump jockey to set up stables at Grange Hill Farm, Naunton, Gloucestershire, although Scudamore is no longer involved in the venture. Twiston-Davies has adopted and developed the pioneering techniques of Martin Pipe, such as interval training and regular blood tests for his string, enabling him to rapidly raise his profile among the training ranks.
An essentially shy man, he momentarily shocked Des Lynam after Earth Summit’s Grand National success in 1998 by telling the BBC presenter in front of millions of viewers “I don’t do interviews”.
Trained his 1,000th winner at Stratford in October 2006. Big Race Wins Include: Albert Bartlett (Bristol) (1998 Bosuns Mate, 1999 Bindaree), Albert Bartlett (River Don) Novices' Hurdle (2008 Battlecry), Bet365 Gold Cup (2000 Beau), Boylesports.com International (2009 Khyber Kim), Challow Novices' Hurdle (1999 King's Road, 1999 Bindaree), Champion Irish National Hunt Flat Race (1998 King's Road), Charlie Hall Chase (1992 Tipping Tim, 1994 Young Hustler, 2005 & 2007 Ollie Magern), Christmas Hurdle (1997 Kerawi), Classic Chase (2005 Baron Windrush), Cleeve Hurdle (1998 Mistinguett), Dovecote Novices' Hurdle (2008 Pigeon Island), Elite Hurdle (2000 Mister Morose), Feltham Novices' Chase (1992 Dakyns Boy, 2004 Ollie Magern), Finesse Juvenile Novices' Hurdle (2010 Baccalaureate), Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (2009 Khyber Kim), Haydock Park Gold Cup (2001 Frantic Tan), Hennessy Gold Cup (2000 King's Road), Heroes Handicap Hurdle (2000 Rubhahunish), Hyde Novices' Hurdle (2007 Razor Royale), Kingmaker Novices' Chase (1996 Arctic Kinsman), Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle (2000 Rubhahunish), Letheby & Christopher Cotswold Chase (2008 Knowhere), Long Walk Hurdle (1993 Sweet Duke, 1996 Ocean Hawk), November Novices' Chase (1997 Queen Of Spades, 1998 Mister Morose, 2004 Fundamentalist), Old Roan Handicap Chase (2008 Knowhere), Paddy Power Gold Cup (1992 Tipping Tim, 2008 Imperial Commander, 2010 Little Josh), Persian War Novices' Hurdle (2003 Champagne Harry, 2004 Knowhere, 2005 Rimsky), Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (1995 Earth Summit), Punchestown Gold Cup (1998 Mahler), Reynoldstown Novices' Chase (1995 Sweet Duke, 2000 Beau), Rising Stars Novices' Chase (1994 Sweet Duke, 2000 Bindaree), Scilly Isles Novices' Chase (1993 Young Hustler, 1998 Jack Doyle), Scottish Champion Hurdle (1994 Corrouge, 2000 Mister Morose), Scottish Grand National (1992 Captain Dibble, 1994 Earth Summit, 2009 Hello Bud), Servo Computer Services Trophy Handicap Chase (2003 Shardam), totesport.com Becher Chase (1993 Indian Tonic, 1995 Young Hustler, 1998 Earth Summit), Towton Novices' Chase (2005 Ollie Magern), Wayward Lad Novices' Chase (2007 Mahogany Blaze), Welsh National (1997 Earth Summit, 2003 Bindaree), West Yorkshire Hurdle (2006 Redemption, 2008 Pettifour), Winter Bumper (1998 Frantic Tan), Worcester Novices' Chase (1991 Captain Dibble, 1998 Ocean Hawk), Betfair Chase (2010 Imperial Commander) Cheltenham Festival wins (13): totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (2010 Imperial Commander), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2010 Pigeon Island), Christie’s Foxhunter Chase (2010 Baby Run), Ryanair Chase (2009 Imperial Commander), 139th Year Of The National Hunt Chase (2009 Tricky Trickster), William Hill NH Chase (1992 Tipping Tim), Royal & SunAlliance Hdle (1993 Gaelstrom, 2004 Fundamentalist), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (1993 Young Hustler), Letheby & Christopher Supreme H (1994 Arctic Kinsman), JCB Triumph Hurdle (1998 Upgrade), Pertemps Final H’cap Hurdle (2000 Rubhahunish, 2008 Ballyfitz) Aintree Festival wins: John Smith’s Topham Chase (2009 Irish Raptor), John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (1987 Mrs Muck), betfair.com Handicap Chase (1994 Grange Brake), John Smith’s Topham Chase (1994 Indian Tonic), John Smith’s Red Rum Handicap Chase (1996 Arctic Kinsman), John Smith’s Extra Cold H’cp Hurdle (1998 The Proms), John Smith’s Grand National (1998 Earth Summit, 2002 Bindaree), John Smith’s Champion Standard NH Flat Race (1998 King’s Road, 2005 The Cool Guy), Citroen C5 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (1999 King’s Road, 2008 Petitfour), S&N Aintree Hurdle (2000 Mister Morose, 2010 Khyber Kim), John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle (2001 Docklands Limo) Wins (1982/3-2008/09): 0, 0, 4, 4, 1, 3, 2, 8, 19, 31, 76, 72, 81, 74, 52, 69, 65, 87, 47, 35, 31, 79 ; 69; 59; 60; 87; 83; 70; Wins this Season: 64
Winning Jockey: Paddy J Brennan Born: Ardrahan, Galway, April 13, 1981 Background: Brennan spent the summer of 1995 working for County Kildare handler Gerry Stack before embarking on a five season apprenticeship with the leading Irish trainer Jim Bolger, for whom he rode eight winners. The first of those came on Ivory Isle at Gowran Park in August, 1998.
He became too heavy and tall for the Flat and moved to Paul Nicholls' stable as a conditional jockey in 2001. He stayed there for two and a half years, riding winners for Nicholls and Jeff King, before joining Philip Hobbs in the 2003/4 season as one of that yard's conditionals.
Brennan was appointed as retained rider to owners Andrea and Graham Wylie for the 2006/7season after dropping by trainer Howard Johnson's County Durham yard for a cup of tea and toast. He rewarded those connections when guiding Inglis Drever to victory in the 2007 Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham. Brennan, who wanted to return to the south of England, left Johnson at the end of the 2006/07 season and joined Naunton-based handler Nigel Twiston-Davies at the start of the 2007/08 campaign. Cheltenham Festival Wins (6): totseport Cheletenham Gold Cup (2010 Imperial Comander), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2010 Pigeon Island), Ryanair Chase (2009 Imperial Commander), Pertemps Final (2008 Ballyfitz), Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2006 Shamayoun), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2007 Inglis Drever) First Winner: Ivory Isle (Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap, Gowran Park, August 12, 1998) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Topham Chase (2009 Irish Raptor), John Smith’s Manifesto Novices’ Chase (2009 Tartak), Citroen C5 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Petitfour), John Smith’s Citroen C4 Picasso Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Tidal Bay), John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (Ashley Brook 2005), John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle (2006 Wellbeing), John Smith's Aintree Hurdle (2010 Khyber Kim) Other Big Race Wins: Dovecote Novices' Hurdle (2008 Pigeon Island), Hyde Novices' Hurdle (2007 Razor Royale), Letheby & Christopher Cotswold Chase (2008 Knowhere), Scottish Grand National (2009 Hello Bud), Wayward Lad Novices' Chase (2007 Mahogany Blaze), West Yorkshire Hurdle (2008 Pettifour); Grand Sefton Handicap Chase (2005 Hakim); intercasino.co.uk Molyneux Novices’ Chase (2006 Lennon); Sea Pigeon Handicap Hurdle (2002 Benbyas); Wensleydale Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Degas Art) Charlie Hall Chase (2007 Ollie Magern), Boylesports.com International Hurdle (2007 Osana), Old Roan Chase (2008 Knowhere), John Smith’s Hurdle (2008 Pettifour), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2008 Imperial Commander), Greatwood Hurdle (2009 Khyber Kim), Betfair Chase (2010 Imperial Commander) Number of Wins (2000/01-2009/10): 3; 9; 15; 19; 67* (*Champion Conditional Jockey); 60; 80; 104; 84; 67; Wins This Season: 51
Race 1 - Coronation Street 50 Anniversary Novices’ Hurdle (Listed Race)
SO EASY FOR TOUBAB
Betfair Chase Day has been a happy hunting ground for Paul Nicholls over the past few years and the 2010 edition began perfectly for the champion trainer as Toubab was the facile winner of the opening Coronation Street 50th Anniversary Novices’ Hurdle, a Listed contest run over two miles.
Partnered by Sam Thomas, the four-year-old grey travelled well throughout and after taking up the running at the final flight, cruised away to win by an effortless eight lengths. He was returned at 7/2.
Paul Nicholls said: “He is a real, proper horse now. I have always liked him but he has always just been weak. He ran three really good races last year, including when finishing fourth in the Swinton Hurdle as a baby, and he just wasn’t getting home because he was weak.
“I feel that this season we are starting from scratch with him. He has now started to settle and worked well with Master Minded on Wednesday - as well as he has ever worked in fact - but the girl who rides him said that he wanted another week. We were always going to go to Newbury with him but I just felt that it was going to be a small field today, it’s an easy track and it is good prize money, so we let him take his chance.
“I thought that he would run well today but I just thought that he might need the run a little bit. He a big, quite lean, four-year-old and he has taken a bit of time to come into himself.
“He had some good pieces of form last season, including when he was second to Soldatino (who subsequently won the Triumph Hurdle). He is a horse we have just had to be patient with, as he will be a two-mile chaser in time. We feel he is among our best novice hurdlers and I think the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle could be the aim. As I said, we always thought a lot of him but he was just weak, keen and silly last season.
“I don’t know where we go now, but we don’t want to over run him. If we just look after him this year - I am obviously going to run him in better races - what a cracking two-mile chaser he will be this time next year. He has probably never jumped a hurdle at home - all he does is jump is baby fences - but he jumps really well and it has never been an issue with him.
William Hill make Toubab 16/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle while
Paddy Power go 12/1.
First race - Coronation Street 50th Anniversary Novices’ Hurdle - more quotes
DUNRAVEN STORM DISAPPOINTS IN FOURTH
The 1/2 favourite Dunraven Storm disappointed when fourth of the four runners in the opening Coronation Street 50th Anniversary Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock Park on Betfair Chase Day.
Richard Johnson, his jockey, commented: “He was a bit disappointing.”
Philip Hobbs, Dunraven Storm’s trainer, added: “He was very geed up beforehand - he has been fine at home - and he was bit keen in the race. He appears fine after the race and we will now give him a bit of a break.”
Dunraven Storm finished a good second eight days ago to Cue Card at Cheltenham.
JOCKEYS’ THOUGHTS ON THE GOING AFTER THE FIRST RACE
Sam Thomas, rider eight-length winner Toubab, said: “It is slow on the hurdle course.”
Jason Maguire, on board the second Drill Sergeant, described the going as: “Good to soft and a bit slow.”
Brian Hughes, partner of third home Pure Faith, said: “Good to Soft.”
Richard Johnson, rider of the fourth 1 / 2 favourite Dunraven Storm, said: “Good to soft.”
Race 2 - Follow Paul Nicholls On Facebook & Twitter Handicap Chase
ANOTHER WIN FOR STAGECOACH PEARL
Stagecoach Pearl gained the fourth win of the season when putting up a gutsy performance to land the Follow Paul Nicholls On Facebook And Twitter Handicap Chase in the hands of talented conditional Shane Byrne.
The grey led for much of the two-mile contest, but was headed after making a mess of the third last. However, he rallied gamely and soon got back into a challenging position. He looked to have the measure of My Moment, who fell at the last after slipping on landing when jumping boldly at the third last.. The winner was returned at 7/2.
Harvey Smith, husband and assistant trainer to Sue Smith, said: “He is a good horse and is developing nicely. We have spent time with him and the jockey has struck up a good partnership with him. Hopefully, he should go on from here.
“He jumps well and we have spent a lot of time schooling him. You see now when he runs and people think that he has made a mistake, he hasn’t - he pops out grand because he has had a lot of experience.
“He is coming along nicely but I just hope that the handicapper doesn’t murder him and leaves him to develop himself. The horse was taking him on at the final fence but unfortunately he fell, so you just don’t know what the outcome would have been.
“He is a little bit harem-scarem and he can be a bit of a handful going out exercising but Shane gets on with him particularly well and he claims 5lb as well, which always helps. Shane is a class horseman but he is one of those jockey who wouldn’t know that he is a class horseman - he is a natural. When he come to a fence, he just ignores them - he lets the horse jump them.
“We are used to making novice jumpers. All of our life we have made novice showjumpers and we have always started at the bottom with them and brought them through to the top. We are doing the same with racehorses - we spend a lot of time with them - and most days they have a schooling session.
“He has been left in front before when he won (at Worcester in July), so the handicapper can’t keep giving him lumps of weight.
“This horse is very gutsy and jumps well. He is still a novice, although I think he has now run eight or nine times over fences. As I say he is a horse we have had to spend time with and he has needed his apprenticeship.
“We will just take it one race at a time with him. If the handicapper decides to stop him by putting him up with lumps of weight, we will put him away and bring him back in the spring.”
Jockey Shane Byrne added: “The ground is a bit dead and I had to ask him more than normal at his fences
“He missed the third last, but he went on again and just kept coming.”
Race 3 - Betfair iPhone & Android App Hurdle
CARLITO ON THE UP
Carlito Brigante, trained by Gordon Elliott, gave the Irish a winner on Betfair Chase day when taking the £40,000 Betfair iPhone & Android App Hurdle, a contest for four-year-olds over two miles, in the hands of Jason Maguire.
The 11/4 chance was held up but began to make significant progress as the field turned for home. Moving into a challenging position at the last, he ran on well to register a two-length victory over 66/1 shot Bocamix.
Gordon Elliott said: “He has probably improved a lot since last year and we came over in search of better ground - I think that we just got away with it because the ground was a little bit on the soft side for him.
“He is a hard horse to keep fit, as he is quite lazy at home and that is why we gave him a run on the Flat at Dundalk last week. He needed that run and Jason said he had a good blow when he pulled up today. Jason has given him a great ride.
“He is probably a horse who you might see over here a bit this season - we are lucky enough to have good owners who don’t mind coming over here for a bit of good ground. He won’t be abused this year but we will see what happens. We will see what happens now. The better the ground, the better he is. We will now look at either Leopardstown or Kempton over Christmas for him.”
“He keeps improving and he is a smashing horse. I think that he is a horse who you might see stepping up in trip - two and a half miles won’t be an issue for him and he could even go up to three miles. I will talk to Michael and Eddie (O’Leary) before making a plan for him.
“Jason and myself go back a long way - we were friends at school - and he rides most of what I sent over here. He is riding very well since he came back from injury and it’s great to have him.”
Jason Maguire added: “He has done it well. They went a good gallop out in front which set it up for us.
“I sat quite close to the leaders, but didn’t want to get there too soon. I knew turning in that we were going well, but he is just a horse that doesn’t want to hit the front too soon. He jumps well.”
More quotes - third race - Betfair iphone & Android App Hurdle
TACKY GROUND FINDS OUT MARKET LEADER CLERK’S CHOICE
Michael Banks, trainer of 10/11 favourite Clerk’s Choice who could only finish fourth in the Betfair iphone & Android App Hurdle, blamed the ground and slow pace for his horse’s first defeat of the season.
He said: “The ground was the issue. It was tacky and they went no pace at all.
“We had to try this sort of ground - he won on good to soft on the Flat but that is decent jumping ground.
“We have proved that we don’t want to run on this sort of ground again. We will see how he comes out of this race before making plans.
“The Champion Hurdle dreams have always been something that other people have talked about - I can dream about it.
“If you ask me, Liverpool (Aintree in April) over two and a half miles, where they go a good clip, might be better.
“He didn’t jump today but you should seen him school on the Links (at Newmarket) on Tuesday when the ground was good - he just whizzed over them. We all learn."
THREE-DAY BAN FOR MOLONEY
Jockey Paul Moloney picked up a three-day ban following his ride on Barizan, who finished third in the Betfair iPhone and Android App Hurdle.
The stewards held that Moloney had used his whip with excessive frequency.
The ban takes effect on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, December 5, 6 and 7.
Race 4 - betfair.com/paulnicholls Handicap Chas
KING FONTAINE COMPLETES FOUR-TIMER
Owner Trevor Hemmings is a big supporter of Haydock Park and he saw his famous emerald green, yellow and white colours carried to victory in the betfair.com/paulnicholls Handicap Chase by 7/2 shot King Fontaine.
The seven-year-old, who has now won his last four starts of which the last two came at Haydock Park, was partnered by Graham Lee. He moved into contention entering the straight in the three-mile contest and powered right away after the last to record a comfortable 11-length victory over Dance Island.
Winning trainer Malcolm Jefferson said: “The fences here are big but he is a pretty safe jumper.
“GRAHAM LEE even said the fences look big and he was up on top of the horse!
“I don’t know where we will go next, today was the aim. The only plan at the minute is to take him home and see how he is tomorrow, that is all you can do.
“He is such a good jumper. He could maybe be a horse for the Grand National one day, who knows.”
JOCKEYS TALK ABOUT THE GROUND ON THE CHASE COURSE AFTER THE FOURTH
GRAHAM LEE, rider of the winner KING FONTAINE, said: “It is really hard work to jump out of, though it isn’t really what I would call soft.”
Charlie Poste, rider of second Dance Island, said: “Very holding.”
Andrew Tinkler, jockey of the third Wogan, described the ground as: “It rides like it is heavy ground. It is like glue. It is really hard work”
Paddy Brennan, rider of Rory Boy, said: “Very, very soft.”
Andrew Glassonbury, on board Carrickmines, said: “It is very holding and a bit soft.”
Race 5 - 40% Better Off On Betfair SP “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race)
SO EASY FOR GRANDS CRUS
The 40% Better Off On Betfair SP “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle, run over three miles and with a field of 18 runners, looked a competitive contest on paper but was turned into a procession by 6/4 favourite Grands Crus, who powered to an impressive 10-length victory in the hands of Tom Scudamore.
This was the second major victory in less than a week for the talented five-year-old, who also scored in a competitive handicap hurdle at Cheltenham last Sunday for which he carried a 6lb penalty.
Always in a handy position, Grands Crus hit the front as the field entered the straight for the final time and was clear from three out.
David Pipe, the triumphant trainer, was not in attendance, but Roger Stanley and Yvonne Reynolds, who own the horse in partnership, were both at Haydock for the £75,000 contest.
Roger Stanley said: “The plan was to go chasing but I wouldn’t want to get too involved with future plans. He looks like he could also make a top-class hurdler.
“The thing he does want is soft ground. My only concern about going to Cheltenham in March with him is that the ground could turn against him. Let us hope he just stays in one piece.
“We have been patient with this horse as we have had him foe two and a half years. We had to pull him out of races a few times last year as the ground turned against him,
“I think the progeny of his sire (Dom Alco) tend to want soft ground in their younger days but can maybe handle different types of ground as they get older.
“I think we will just bide our tiime with him now. I thought we would win today, although you never want to say you will win. There was much more pressure coming here today than at Cheltenham last week.
“It was a very nice prize today and well done to the Pipes. I think they told us this was the plan after he won at Cheltenham last week!
“We will keep to conditions when there is soft in the description. With soft ground and wonderful prize money, taking him to France could be an option.”
Tom Scudamore added: “He has done it nicely, hasn’t he? He jumps well and travels well - they have gone a real good gallop so I was just able to suit on him. They got racing a long way out and I was just able to pick up the pieces.
“He is a good horse and the tram has done a great job. He can be very, very keen at home and they have done a really good job of settling him - he was a lot more settled today, even over the three miles, and he has jumped superbly.
“His form was there from last season - he was second to Sanctuaire and Wishfull Thinking - and he has improved through the summer. It has been a good week for him.
“Whatever he does over hurdles will be a bonus - the way he jumped those you can see that he will jump a fence and it is nice to have such a nice horse to ride.”
The going at Haydock Park for Betfair Chase Day, Saturday, November 20, is:
Chase Course: Good to Soft, Soft in places
Hurdle Course: Good to Soft, Good in places
All hurdle races will be run on the inner hurdle course.
Bends have been moved out by six metres for the first five races, increasing race distances from innermost rail position by 38 metres per circuit.
The false rail will be dropped for final two races, so that bends are out by three metres, increasing race distances from innermost rail position by 18 metres per circuit.
Kirkland Tellwright, Haydock Park’s Clerk of the Course, reported this morning: “The going description is unchanged.
“Conditions were dry overnight and we are set for a dry day today.”
PRESS RELISHING IMPERIAL RETURN BUT TIPSTERS SIDING WITH FRIEND
Racing’s scribes are relishing today’s Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, which sees the return of last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Imperial Commander. The nine-year-old went down by a nose to Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase of 2009 and Andrew Scutts in the Racing Post notes: “Today, the hunter becomes the hunted” - a point which perfectly encapsulates Imperial Commander’s role today.
Greg Wood in The Guardian also notes the reversal of roles for Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge: “Imperial Commander was a 9/1 chance for the Betfair Chase last year, with little obvious chance on form against the finest chaser for decades. Brennan’s mount seemed to surpass himself to get as close to Kauto Star as he did, but as time was to show, there was no fluke about it....Today, at Haydock Park, though, Imperial Commander must play the role of defending champion, seemingly sure to start as the odds-on favourite as a gang of up-and-comers led by What A Friend, who is co-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, attempts to bridge the gap.”
A similar point is taken up by Jim McGrath in The Daily Telegraph: “Flashback a year ago today, and Imperial Commander, the great underdog, gave Kauto Star, the champion, the fright of his life when running him to a nose in the Betfair Chase at Haydock. It became the defining race of the season, yet few fully recognised its relevance at the time....Despite subsequently falling at Aintree, Imperial Commander is the defending champion and he and his trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies no longer have the luxury of merrily sailing along under the publicity radar. He is top dog and getting the deserved attention.”
A number of tipsters have sided with the Paul Nicholls-trained What A Friend as the value bet to upset Imperial Commander and indeed he is recommended by Tom Segal in his Pricewise column in the Racing Post. He notes: “I am pretty sure that What A Friend is a top-class staying chaser, too, and is going to prove himself a Gold Cup contender at some stage this season....I have a strong feeling he could show that today, because he is deadly fresh, has had a wind operation which might have cured what was holding him back at the end of his races last season, and is a brilliant jumper....A small field like this is perfect, and Paul Nicholls has had this race in mind for him for ages.”
Rob Wright of The Times is also a fan: “Ideally suited by a flat, left-handed track, What A Friend has his ideal conditions and, with regular partner Sam Thomas back in the saddle, he can make a winning return.”
Mark Winstanley, in his View From The Couch in the Daily Star, also sides with What A Friend: “With Imperial Commander having fallen at Aintree on his last trip to the belt and braces, I reckon the 7/2 about the progressive What A Friend is the value bet in this race, especially as we know that Paul Nicholls will be extra keen to put one over the Gold Cup winner.”
Steve Jones, Templegate in The Sun, reminds us that Imperial Commander has not won over fences away from Cheltenham: “What A Friend has won five of his seven chases and was the only one to give Denman a race in last year’s Hennessy....Imperial Commander will be a tough nut to crack. But incredibly ALL of his five chase wins were at Cheltenham....His Gold Cup triumph is fresh in the memory but so too is the laboured display before crashing out at Aintree in April. At odds-on Nigel Twiston-Davies’ ace is one to take on.”
However, over in the Daily Mail, Marcus Townend reminds us that What A Friend is not yet a proven performer at the very top level and makes an appropriate comparison with football, given that the gelding is part-owned by Manchester United supremo Sir Alex Ferguson: “Sir Alex Ferguson knows it’s too early to draw meaningful conclusions on the battle for the Premier League but he should have an idea by half-time of United’s clash with Wigan how realistic the Cheltenham Gold Cup claims are for his chaser What A Friend. Officially, he’s 16lb inferior to reigning champion Imperial Commander - quite a gulf. But, only a seven-year-old, he sat on the subs bench during the biggest matches last year, being nurtured like an Old Trafford rookie for this season. Defeat would not be a disaster but What A Friend must now show he can be a first-team regular.”
Bev Swingell in the Daily Express thinks that Imperial Commander is still the one to side with, although he too thinks What A Friend could prove a danger. He opines: “Nigel Twiston-Davies predicts a huge run from Imperial Commander in the Betfair Chase at Haydock....The Gold Cup winner is said to be in better shape than when he was narrowly beaten by Kauto Star in last year’s race. If that is the case today’s race should be a penalty kick for him, but he does have two ways of running....On his last start, Imperial Commander was going knowhere when unseating Paddy Brennan in the totesport Bowl at the Grand National meeting. What A Friend went on to win the race and is the one likely to come out on top today, should the selection not put his best foot forward.”
Those looking for a view from the saddle can find such an opinion in the Daily Mirror, where Richard Johnson, partner of Planet Of Sound, says in his column: “If Planet Of Sound can produce the form of his win in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April, he can definitely give Imperial Commander a race....I’ve schooled him for the last four weeks and I said to Philip Hobbs that he feels like he’s ready for a run. He’s from a family that take time to come to themselves, so there is room for improvement, and he has done very little wrong.”
NICHOLLS HAS A FRIEND TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS AFTERNOON
Trainer Paul Nicholls, who took part in a Betfair Q & A session before racing at Haydock Park today, is looking forward to running What A Friend in the £200,000 Betfair Chase at 3.25pm.
Nicholls, who saddled the great Kauto Star to win the Betfair Chase in 2006, 2007 and 2009, said: “The Betfair Chase is a great race for a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner to come to, but it is also a great race for an aspiring youngster.
“We have won it before so knows what it takes, and I think that What A Friend has every chance.
“He ran a blinder first time out last year when he was second to Denman in the Hennessy, so we just hope the track suits him.
“Ruby (Walsh) said last year that he had a breathing problem, so he has had a wind op during the summer (soft palate and hobday) and hopefully he will come on from that.
“I think other than Imperial Commander the danger horse today would be Planet Of Sound, who is improving.”
FIRST RACE RESULT
12.40pm CORONATION STREET 50TH ANNIVERSARY NOVICES’ HURDLE (LISTED) 2m110y
£17,500 guaranteed. For: 4yo+ Weights: 11st Penalties: a winner of a Class 5 hurdle 4lb; of a Class 4 hurdle 6lb; of a Class 1 to 3 hurdle 8lb. Allowances: fillies and mares 7lb. Penalty value 1st £10,412.50 2nd £3,899.00 3rd £1,947.75 4th £973.00
1) TOUBAB (FR) (Hills Of Ledbury (Aga)) Paul Nicholls 4-11-00 Sam Thomas 7/2
2) DRILL SERGEANT (Tim Leslie) Donald McCain Jnr 5-11-06 Jason Maguire 13/2
3) PURE FAITH (IRE) (P Bowling, R Harvey & K Bowen) Peter Bowen 6-11-08 Brian Hughes
4) DUNRAVEN STORM (IRE) (Karola Vann) Philip Hobbs 5-11-08 Richard Johnson 1/2 Fav
Non Runner: LATERLY (Self cert - off colour)
Distances: 8, 9, sh
Breeder: Bertran De Balanda & F Hoffet
Breeding: gr g Martaline - Tabachines (FR) (Art Francais (USA))
Totes: Win: £4.90; Exacta: £23.20;
Winning Trainer: PAUL NICHOLLS Date of birth: 17/05/62 Based: Heighes House, Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset Background: Paul Nicholls, the son of a policeman, was born in Olveston, Bristol, on April 17, 1962, and has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991.
He started out as a jump jockey and twice rode the winner of the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury, in 1986 and 1987. He partnered 130 winners between 1980 and 1989, and nominates the best horses he rode as Broadheath, Playschool and Seagram. Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to former Devon-based David Barons, who sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during that time.
Having strongly challenged Martin Pipe for the jump trainers’ championship for several years, most notably when pushing his great rival right to the last day of the 2004/05 campaign, he claimed his first title in the 2005/06 season.
Nicholls pulled off the amazing feat of saddling seven winners and three seconds from his 10 runners on Saturday, November 7, 1998, and made history when he became the first trainer to saddle six winners on the same card, at Wincanton, his local track, on Saturday, January 21, 2006. Aintree Festival Wins include: John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2010 & 2009 Big Buck’s), John Smith’s Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle (2008 Forest Pennant), Littlewoods Direct Appeal Top Novices’ Hurdle (2008 Pierrot Lunaire), John Smith’s Topham Chase (2008 Gwanako), John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2002 Armaturk, 2003 Le Roi Miguel, 2007 Twist Magic, 2010 Tataniano), John Smith’s Melling Chase (2001 Fadalko), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2006 Star De Mohaison, 2008 John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase), Citroen C5 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Natal, 2008 Elusive Dream)), John Smith’s Fox Hunter Chase (2002 Torduff Express), Totesport Bowl (2010 What A Friend, 2000 See More Business) Cheltenham Festival Wins (27): Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2010 Sanctuaire), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2009 & 2010 Big Buck’s), Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2009 Chapoturgeon), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2008 Celestial Halo), Irish Independent Arkle Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2003 Azertyuiop), Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman), Christie’s Foxhunter Chase (2004 Earthmover, 2005 Sleeping Night), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2004 St Pirran, 2007 Andreas), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (2004 Sporazene, 2006 Desert Quest, 2009 American Trilogy), Ryanair Chase (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis), Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Noland), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2006 Star De Mohaison, 2007 Denman) First Trainer to Saddle Six Winners on One Card: Saturday, January 21, 2006, at Wincanton Number of Winners (1992/03-2009/10): 20; 29; 28; 53; 56; 82; 110; 71; 83; 136; 152; 127; 152; 148*; 124*; 151* (first trainer to win more than £4 million in prize money in a season);155*;115* *Champion Trainer Wins this Season: 53
Winning Jockey: Sam Thomas Born: June 22, 1984 Background: Thomas hails from a family of school teachers, with both his parents and his sister engaged in that profession but bucked the trend by forging a successful career as a jump jockey.
Born in Abergavenny (father is a maths teacher), he began riding ponies at the age of four before graduating to the Welsh point-to-point circuit. After training at the British Racing School in Newmarket, he joined Welshpool trainer David Evans.
Initially he rode on the Flat, but after 20 winless rides, decided to turn to jump racing and joined the Hereford yard of Venetia Williams. He broke his duck on Indian Sun in a Ludlow selling hurdle in April, 2003.
His first professional victory came in November, 2003, when he rode I Tina to glory in a Chepstow selling hurdle, and the jockey went on to be runner up champion conditional jockey twice, before moving on to the powerful Paul Nicholls’ yard in 2006. Thomas - who was short-listed for the Bachelor of the Year award, organised by woman's magazine, Company - is second rider behind Ruby Walsh at Paul Nicholls’ yard. While Walsh was injured in thw 2007/08 season, he enjoyed a great spell aboard some of the Nicholls stable stars - landing the Betfair Chase on Kauto Star, the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup on Denman and Tingle Creek Chase on Twist Magic. He kept the ride on Denman in the 2008 totesport Gold Cup and the pair recorded a scintillating seven-length success over Kauto Star.
Appointed as number one jockey to Tom George for the 2009/10 season, but became freelance again after one season. Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): totesport Gold Cup (2008 Denman) First Cheltenham Festival Winner: Denman, totesport Gold Cup, March 14, 2008 Big Race Wins: Amlin 1965 Chase (2006 Cerium); Berkshire Novices' Chase (2006 Denman), Paddy Power Amateur Riders Handicap Chase (2003 Its Onlyme - last ride as amateur); Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (20004 Limerick Boy); Pendil Novices’ Chase (2005 Limerick Boy); Betfair Chase (2007 Kauto Star); Becher Chase (2007 Mr Pointment); Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (2007 Denman); paddypower.com Tingle Creek Chase (2007 Twist Magic), totescoop6 Heroes Handicap Hurdle (2008 The Tother One), totesport.com Challengers Novices’ Chase (2008 Silverburn), Aon Chase (2008 Denman), Henry VIII Novices' Chase (2007 Marodima), Hyde Novices' Hurdle (2009 Tell Massini), Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase (2008 Tatenen), John Durkan Memorial Chase (2008 Noland), Persian War Novices' Hurdle (2008 Hell's Bay), bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (2010 Nacarat) First Winner Under Rules: Indian Sun (Western Wines Selling Hurdle, Ludlow, April 2, 2003) First Professional Winner: I Tina (G D Environmental Services Selling Hurdle, Chepstow, November 26, 2003) Wins (2002/03-2009/10): 1; 47; 55; 55; 73; 88; 78; 27; Wins This Season: 15
SECOND RACE RESULT
1.15pm FOLLOW PAUL NICHOLLS ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER HANDICAP CHASE 2m
£25,000 guaranteed. For 4yo+ Rated 0-140 Minimum weight: 10st. Penalties: after November 13th, each chase won 7lb. Penalty value: 1st £16,262.50 2nd £4,775.00 3rd £2,387.50 4th £1,192.50
1) STAGECOACH PEARL (John Conroy & Jacqueline Conroy) Sue Smith 6-11-07 Shane Byrne (5) 7/2
2) TARA ROYAL (Tim Leslie) Donald McCain Jnr 5-11-05 Jason Maguire 11/4 Fav
3) SMACK THAT (IRE) (Christopher Shankland & Ruth Nelmes) Milton Harris 8-10-06 Jimmy Derham (3) 20/1
4) PRET A THOU (FR) (C J Tipton) John Groucott 7-11-00 Harry Challoner (7)
5) GRINGO (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 8-11-04 Brian Hughes
6)OCKEY DE NEULLIAC (FR) (Ferdy Murphy) Ferdy Murphy 8-10-11 Graham Lee
7) DOUBLE VODKA (IRE) (Steve Wilson) Chris Grant 9-10-09 James Reveley
F last MY MOMENT (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Henry Daly 7-10-12 Richard Johnson
Distances: 15, 12, 18, 2½, 19, 3¾,
Breeder: R F Broad
Breeding: gr g Classic Cliche (IRE) - Linwood (Ardross)
Totes: Win: £4.60; Places: £1.50, £1.70, £5.20; Exacta: £15.50;
Winning Trainer: SUE SMITH Based: Craiglands Farm, Bingley, W Yorkshire Married: to Harvey Smith Background: Born on February 23, 1948, and raised on a Sussex farm. Although she rode (as Susan Dye) in Britain’s first ladies’ race and her late father owned horses with Arthur Pitt, she was brought up on showjumping, and met her future husband, the world famous show jumper Harvey, at Hickstead, moving north to Craiglands Farm, from which Harvey has never lived more than three miles away in his life - he was born in the neighbouring village of Gilstead.
The Smiths share duties, with Sue looking after the day-to-day training and the entries, and Harvey taking care of the gallops, feeding and driving the box to the races. Harvey Smith personally laid down 18 furlongs of all-weather gallops made of a mixture that includes pig hair.
First Cheltenham Festival Winner: Mister McGoldrick, Racing Post Plate, March 13, 2008 Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): Racing Post Plate (2008 Mister McGoldrick) Aintree Wins Include: John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle (2008 Auroras Encore), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2004 Simply Supreme) Other major wins: Castleford Chase (2005 Mister McGoldrick), Cleeve Hurdle (2005 Patriarch Express), Future Champion Novices' Chase (1998 Eirespray), Haydock Park Gold Cup (2000 The Last Fling), Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (2000 The Last Fling), Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (2004 Artic Jack), Rendlesham Hurdle (2006 Royal Emperor), Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle (1999 Tonoco), totesport.com Becher Chase (1992 Kildimo, 2002 Ardent Scout), Towton Novices' Chase (2004 Royal Emperor), Wayward Lad Novices' Chase (1991 Poetic Gem) Number of Winners (1995/96-2009/10): 25; 42; 52; 38; 39; 33; 27; 74; 69; 60; 60; 51; 49; 48; 30; Wins this Season: 19
Winning Jockey: Shane W Byrne Based: c/o Sue Smith, Craiglands Farm, Bingley, W Yorkshire Background: Former amateur, now a conditional with Sue Smith. First Ride: D J Flippance (second), D & C Mitchell Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle, Carlisle, November 25, 2005 First Winner: Jupiter’s Fancy, Anderson Strathern Hunters’ Chase, Musselburgh, February 15, 2006 Wins (2005/06-2009/10): 1; 5; 6; 6; 5; Wins This Season: 8
THIRD RACE RESULT
1.50pm BETFAIR iPHONE & ANDROID APP HURDLE 2m
£40,000 guaranteed. For: 4yo Weights: 10st 12lb Penalties: a winner of a Class 2 weight-for-age hurdle, or of a Class 1 handicap hurdle 4lb; of a Class 1 weight-for-age hurdle 8lb Allowances: fillies 7lb Penalty value 1st £25,048.00 2nd £7,400.00 3rd £3,700.00 4th £1,852.00 5th £924.00 6th £464.00
1) CARLITO BRIGANTE (IRE) (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 4-11-06 Jason Maguire 11/4
2) BOCAMIX (FR) (Helen Sinclair) Andy Crook 4-10-12 Fearghal Davis 66/1
3) BARIZAN (IRE) (P Conway & John Lee Jones) Evan Williams 4-11-06 Paul Moloney 5/1
4) CLERK'S CHOICE (IRE) (Michael Banks) Michael Banks 4-11-02 Tom Molloy 10/11 Fav
5) ULTIMATE (Dan Gilbert) Brian Ellison 4-10-12 Dougie Costello 7/1
Non runner: ANDHAAR (Vet’s cert - bruised foot)
Distances: 2, 2¼, ½, hd
Breeder: Ballylinch Stud
Breeding: b g Haafhd - Desert Magic (IRE) (Green Desert (USA))
Totes: Win: £3.50; Places: £1.80, £5.20; Exacta: £171.50;
Winning Trainer: GORDON ELLIOTT Based: Capranny, Trim, Co Meath, Ireland Background: Former point-to-point rider. Started out at Tony Martin’s Meath stables. Moved to Martin Pipe in 2002 and rode one winner from six amateur rides.
Began training in 2006 at Capranny Stables, owned by Barry Callaghan, head of the Dun Doire Syndicate. Won the John Smith’s Grand National in 2007, despite not having recorded a victory in Ireland. Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Grand National (2007 Silver Birch) Big Race Wins Include: Tipperary Hurdle (2007 Salford City), Betfair iphone & Android App Hurdle (2010 Carlito Brigante) Wins in Britain (2006/07-2009/10): 4; 8; 24; 36; Wins in Britain This Season: 29
Winning Jockey: Jason Maguire Born: April 13, 1980 Background: Jason is the nephew of former top-jockey-turned-trainer Adrian Maguire. He started out in Irish pony races and partnered his first British winner, the Tony Martin-trained Search For Peace, at Cheltenham on November 12, 1999. He began riding for Gloucestershire trainer Tom George shortly after coming to Britain and enjoyed a seven-year partnership that yielded a Cheltenham Festival victory in 2002 when Galileo took the Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle.
Maguire's working relationship with George, which was never contractually formalised, ended in January, 2007, and he is now attached to Donald McCain’s Cheshire stable. First Winner at Cheltenham: Search For Peace, Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, November 12, 1999 Cheltenham Festival Wins (3): Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross); David Nicholson Mares Hurdle Race (2008 Whiteoak), Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Galileo) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith's Mersey Novices' Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross) Other Big Race Wins: John Smith’s Midlands Grand National (2007 Baron Windrush), Coolfun Ltd Grimthorpe Chase (2008 Cloudy Lane), Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (2009 Cloudy Lane), Blue Square Novices´ Chase (2009 Will be Done), Rising Stars Novices' Chase (2009 Red Admiral), Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross), Airshow 100 Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (2010 Barizan) Number of Wins (1999/2000-2009/10): 8; 9; 23; 25; 47; 36; 42; 38; 44; 70; 108; Wins This Season: 36
FOURTH RACE RESULT
2.20pm Betfair.com/paulnicholls HANDICAP CHASE 3m
£30,000 guaranteed. For: 4yo+ Rated: 0-145 Minimum weight: 10st Penalties: after November 13, each chase won 6lb Penalty value: 1st £18,786.00 2nd £5,550.00 3rd £2,775.00 4th £1,389.00 5th £693.00 6th £348.00
1) KING FONTAINE (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Malcolm Jefferson 7-11-01 Graham Lee 7/2
2) DANCE ISLAND (IRE) (Lady Jane Grosvenor) Ben Case 7-11-11 Charlie Poste 14/1
3) WOGAN (Pater Deal) Nicky Henderson 10-11-10 Andrew Tinkler 9/2
4) ETXALAR (FR) (Elizabeth Ferguson) Lucinda Russell 7-11-02 Peter Buchanan
5) RORY BOY (USA) (Colin Cornes) Nigel Twiston-Davies 5-11-05 Paddy Brennan
6) NEVADA ROYALE (FR) (Maggie Findlay) Tim Pitt 9-11-12 Aidan Coleman
F 7 PALYPSO DE CREEK (FR) (Alan Halsall) Charlie Longsdon 7-11-10 Richard Johnson 5/2 Fav
PU CARRICKMINES (IRE) (Dr Richard & Laura Newland) Dr Richard Newland 8-10-08 Andrew Glassonbury
Distances: 11, 3½, 14, 24, ½
Breeder: Peter McCarthy
Breeding: b g King´s Theatre (IRE) - Kerfontaine (Lafontaine (USA))
Totes: Win: £3.60; Places: £1.10, £3.70, £2.70; Exacta: £45.00;
Winning Trainer: MALCOLM JEFFERSON Based: Newstaed Cottage Stables, Norton, Malton, North Yorkshire Date of birth: 1/12/46 Background: Born into a farming family in Skelton, Malcolm began his working life as a farmhand before joining up with Gordon W Richards at Greystoke aged 20, where he spent 13 years.
Date of first licence: 1981 Cheltenham Festival wins (2): Stakis Casinos Final (1994 Tindari), Champion Bumper (1995 Dato Star) Other big wins: Albert Bartlett (River Don) Novices' Hurdle (2009 Cape Tribulation), Castleford Chase (2006 & 2007 Calatagan), Champion Hurdle Trial (1998 & 2000 Dato Star), Christmas Hurdle (1999 Dato Star), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (1998 & 1999 Dato Star), Heroes Handicap Hurdle (1997 Tullymurry Toff), Long Distance Hurdle (1997 Go-Informal), Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle (2005 Roman Ark) Jump Wins (1990/91-2009/10): 5; 3; 14; 11; 16; 14; 24; 29; 15; 26; 12; 26; 20; 12; 21; 28; 31; 17; 30; 19; Wins this Season: 13
Winning Jockey: GRAHAM LEE Born: December 16, 1975 Background: Irish pony-racing circuit, left school at 15 to join handler Noel Meade. Five rides for Meade then joined Dessie McDonogh in County Meath. Ger Lyons then obtained Lee a position with Mary Reveley when he was 17.
Began riding out for Bill Haigh, before joining Malcolm Jefferson. He was stable jockey for Howard Johnson between 2003-2006, and now rides predominately for trainer Ferdy Murphy. Trains with Middlesbrough football club to keep fit. Missed the final three months of the 2007/08 season (and Ferdy Murphy-trained winners at the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals) after suffering a fractured jaw at Huntingdon in February, 2008. First Winner: Navan, November 7, 1992, Blushing Pearl Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (2009 Kalahari King), John Smith’s Beefeater Restaurants Handicap Hurdle (2004 Zibeline), John Smith’s Grand National (2004 Amberleigh House), Betfair Bowl (2005 Grey Abbey), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2007 Aces Four) Cheltenham Festival Wins (4): Letheby & Christopher Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Arcalis), Royal & Sunalliance Novices’ Hurdle (2005 No Refuge), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever), Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2007 L’Antartique) Leading Rider at The Festival: 2005 (3). Big Race Wins: Albert Bartlett (Prestige) Novices' Hurdle (2004 Royal Rosa), Ascot Hurdle (2005 No Refuge), Bet365 Gold Cup (2007Hot Weld), Ballymore Properties Long Distance Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever), Champion Hurdle Trial Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever), Charlie Hall Chase (2003 Ballybough Rasher, 2004 Grey Abbey), Classic Chase (2004 Southern Star), Eider Chase (2006 Philson Run), Elite Hurdle (2005 Royal Shakespeare); Finesse Juvenile Hurdle (2005 Akilak); John Smith’s West Yorkshire Hurdle (2003 Gralmano, 2005 Inglis Drever) Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Inglis Drever, 2005 No Refuge); Letheby & Christopher Cotswold Chase (2005 Grey Abbey), Lightning Novices' Chase (2007Another Promise), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2007 L'Antartique), Premier Kelso Novices' Hurdle (2003 Covent Garden), Peterborough Chase (2006 Racing Demon), Peter Marsh Chase (2005 Lord Transcend); Prestige Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Royal Rosa); Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (2006 LeadingMan); Scottish Grand National (2004 Grey Abbey); Servo Trophy Handicap Chase (2009 Galant Nuit), Swinton Handicap Hurdle (2005 Coat Of Honour, 2008 Blue Bajan); Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase (2007 Another Promise), Towton Novices’ Chase (2007 Heltornic); Winter Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Inglis Drever), Galway Hurdle (2010 Overturn) Number of Wins (1993/94-2009/10): 6; 20; 11; 16; 21; 24; 28; 25; 58; 66; 94; 100; 108; 89; 67; 65; Wins This Season: 40
FIFTH RACE RESULT
2.50pm 40% BETTER OFF ON BETFAIR SP “FIXED BRUSH” HANDICAP HURDLE (LISTED)
£75,000 guaranteed. For: 4yo+ Minimum weight: 10st Penalties: after November 13, each hurdle won 6lb Penalty value 1st £42,757.50 2nd £16,042.50 3rd £8,032.50 4th £4,005.00 5th £2,010.00 6th £1,005.00
1) GRANDS CRUS (FR) (Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds III) David Pipe 5-10-10 (6 ex) Tom Scudamore 6/4 Fav
2) BARAFUNDLE (IRE) (Judith Ratcliff) Jennie Candlish 6-10-08 Alan O'Keeffe 16/1
3) PEVERIL (Trevor Hemmings) Nicky Henderson 6-11-04 Andrew Tinkler 15/2
4) BALLYFITZ (F J Mills & W Mills) Nigel Twiston-Davies 10-11-12 David England 40/1
5) HILLS OF ARAN (David Hughes, Mike Evans & Partners) Keith Goldsworthy 8-11-11 Rhys Flint
6) THE SHY MAN (IRE) (Sean Graham) George Moore 7-10-07 Barry Keniry
7) RED HARBOUR (IRE) (Chris Giles) Paul Nicholls 6-10-03 Ryan Mahon (5)
8) CAPTAIN AMERICO (IRE) (M Tedham) James Ewart 8-10-13 Nick Scholfield
9) THELOBSTERCATCHER (G A Moore) Peter Bowen 6-10-00 Donal Devereux (3)
10) FRUITY O'ROONEY (Heart Of The South Racing) Gary Moore 7-10-10 Andrew Glassonbury
11) ACCORDING TO PETE (P Nelson) Malcolm Jefferson 9-10-10 Graham Lee
12) BACKBORD (GER) (Mr & Mrs J Timmons) Lucy Wadham 8-10-08 Dougie Costello
13) JAMES DE VASSY (FR) (Jakeman, Barrett, Booth & Ferrand) Nick Williams 5-11-08 Daryl Jacob
14) AURORAS ENCORE (IRE) (Alicia Skene & W S Skene) Sue Smith 8-10-13 Tjade Collier
15) KHACHATURIAN (IRE) (Brendan Richardson) Donald McCain Jnr 7-10-13 Jason Maguire
16) CHESTER LAD (John Henderson (Co Durham)) George Charlton 5-10-05 Jan Faltejsek
PU TASHEBA (Terry Benson) Nicky Henderson 5-11-07 David Bass (5)
PU LORD GENEROUS (Walters Plant Hire Ltd) Nigel Twiston-Davies 6-10-13 Paddy Brennan
Distances: 10, 14, 2¾, 3, nk, ¾, 7, 7, 1, 2½, 1½, dist, 29, dist, 12
Breeder: Jean-Marie Prost Alamartine
Breeding: gr g Dom Alco (FR) - Fee Magic (FR) (Phantom Breeze (8.8f))
Totes: Win: £2.20; Places: £1.10, £4.40, £2.30, £8.50; Exacta: £33.50; Trifecta: £315.20;
Winning Trainer: DAVID PIPE Born: February 7, 1973 Based: Pond House, Nicholashayne, Wellington, Somerset Background: David Pipe is the son of 15-times champion jump trainer Martin Pipe. He started out riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to record 22 wins over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup.
After finishing as a rider, he had spells with Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling the likes of Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold, who went on to have successful careers under Rules when transferred to his father’s yard.
Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, with Well Armed successful 15 times. He took over the reins at Pond House in Somerset following the retirement of his father on the last day of the 2005/06 jump season - Saturday, April 29. First Trainer’s Licence: May 2006 First winner under rules: Standin Obligation in the ‘Persimmon Homes Novices’ Chase’ at Kelso, May 9, 2006 - his first runner under rules Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Grand National (2008 Comply Or Die), totesport Bowl (2008 Our Vic, 2009 Madison Du Berlais) Cheltenham Festival Wins (5): Byrne Group Plate (2010 Great Endeavour), Pertemps Final (2010 Buena Vista), Ryanair Chase (2008 Our Vic), William Hill Trophy (2008 An Accordion), Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurde (2007 Gaspara) Big Race Wins: Boylesports.com Gold Cup (2007 Tamarinbleu), Boylesports.com International Hurdle (2007 Osana), Charlie Hall Chase (2006 Our Vic), Dipper Novices' Chase (2010 Seven Is My Number), Eider Chase (2008 Comply Or Die), Game Spirit Chase (2007 Well Chief), Haldon Gold Cup (2007 Pablo du Charmil), Hennessy Gold Cup (2008 Madison du Berlais), Holloway's Handicap Hurdle (2008 & 2009 Lough Derg, 2010 Mamlook), Imperial Cup (2007 Gaspara, 2008 Ashkazar), Kingwell Hurdle (2009 Ashkazar), Levy Board Chase (2009 Madison du Berlais), Long Walk Hurdle (2007 Lough Derg), National Spirit Hurdle (2008 & 2009 Lough Derg), Newbury Gold Cup Handicap Chase (2007 Madison du Berlais), Peter Marsh Chase (2010 Our Vic), Victor Chandler Clarence House Chase (2008 Tamarinbleu), bet365 Celebration Chase (2010 I’m So Lucky), Betfair “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle (2010 Grand Crus) Wins (2006/07-2009/10): 134; 100; 76; 102; Wins This Season: 24
Winning Jockey: Tom Scudamore Born: May 22, 1982 Background: Tom Scudamore was appointed stable jockey to David Pipe for the 2006/07 season, marking a return to Pond House in Somerset where he began his career as an amateur for Pipe's father Martin, and where his own father Peter Scudamore, was also stable jockey.
Tom comes from an illustrious line of jockeys. His great-grandfather Geoffrey rode winners as an amateur, grandfather Michael was Oxo's pilot when winning the 1959 Grand National and his father was eight-times champion jockey, but never won the John Smith's Grand National. Tom has made a big impression since leaving Cheltenham College after A-levels in 2000.
He won the amateur riders' title in the 2000/01 season and also landed the 2001 Flat amateur championship. After 52 unpaid successes, he turned professional in October, 2001, and alongside the backing of Martin Pipe (to whom he was a conditional upon turning professional) he was supported by Nigel Twiston-Davies, to whom his father was formerly assistant.
He also rides for his brother Michael, who took over his grandfather’s licence in April 2008. Aintree Festival wins: totesport Bowl (2009 Madison Du Berlais) Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): William Hill Trophy (2008 An Accordion) First Cheltenham Festival Winner: An Accordion, William Hill Trophy, March 11, 2008 First Professional Ride: Naughty Dandy (West Midland Light Kit Selling Handicap Chase, Hereford, Thursday, October 4, 2001 (6th)) First Professional Victory: Belle D’Anjou (ladbrokes.com Free Handicap Hurdle, Chepstow, Saturday, October 6, 2001) - only second ride since joining paid ranks First Professional Double: Belle D’Anjou (ladbrokes.com Free Handicap Hurdle) and Champagne Lil (Caenarvon Castle Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race), Chepstow, Saturday, October 6, 2001 Big Race Wins: Agfa Diamond Chase (2003 Iris Bleu); Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle (2006 Desert Air), Contenders' Hurdle (2006 Royal Shakespeare), Eider Chase (2007 Nil Desperandum), Haldon Gold Cup (2007 Pablo du Charmil), Haydock Park Gold Cup (2007 Heltornic), Hennessy Gold Cup (2008 Madison du Berlais), Holloway's Handicap Hurdle (2008 & 2009 Lough Derg), Levy Board Chase (2009 Madison du Berlais), Long Walk Hurdle (2007 Lough Derg), National Spirit Hurdle (2008 & 2009 Lough Derg), Newbury Gold Cup Handicap Chase (2007 Madison du Berlais), Victor Chandler Clarence House Chase (2008 Tamarinbleu), Celebration Chase (2010 I’m So Lucky), Betfair “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle (2010 Grand Crus) Wins (2001/2002-2009/10): 32; 32; 27; 47; 35; 59; 51; 62; 73; Wins This Season: 39
SEVENTH RACE RESULT
3.55pm TIMEFORM BETFAIR RACING CLUB STANDARD OPEN NATIONAL HUNT FLAT RACE
£7,000 guaranteed. For: 4-6y-o which have not run under any recognised Rules of Racing except NH Flat Races, INH Flat Races or French AQPS Flat Races Weights: 11st Penalties: a winner of a race 7lb; of 2 races 10lb; of 3 races 14lb Allowances: fillies and mares 7lb 1st £4,553.50 2nd £1,337.00 3rd £668.50 4th £333.90
1) CHARMINSTER (IRE) (Tony Meehan) Donald McCain Jnr 4-11-00 Jason Maguire 15/8
2) HERDSMAN (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Philip Hobbs 5-11-07 Richard Johnson 8/11 Fav
3) FLAYGRAY (Alison Lee) Chris Grant 6-11-02 Alex Voy (5) 20/1
4) FORCEFIELD (Stuart & Emma Earley, Dan & Michelle Macdonald) Nick Alexander 4-11-00 Miss Lucy Alexander (7)
5) MR ONE TOO (IRE) (The H & H Partnership) Keith Goldsworthy 11-0-00 Daryl Jacob
6) A PATCHY DANCER (IRE) (Alicia Skene & W S Skene) Sue Smith 5-10-09 Shane Byrne (5)
Distances: 6, 4½, 2¾, 17, 6
Breeder: Raymond Cahalane
Breeding: b g Broadway Flyer (USA) - Monteleena (IRE) (Montelimar (USA))
Totes: Win: £2.90; Places: £1.50, £1.20; Exacta: £2.80;
Winning Trainer: DONALD MCCAIN JNR Born: March 13, 1970 Based: Bankhouse, Cholmondley, Cheshire Background: Donald McCain Jnr is the son of Ginger McCain, trainer of the legendary Red Rum, the only horse to win the John Smith’s Grand National three times (1973, 1974 and 1977) and also Amberleigh House, the 2004 victor. Donald learnt to ride on his sister Joanne’s pony Gambol and rode in his first race on the Flat aged 15 (his father told a few white lies so he could ride) at Haydock Park.
He subsequently became a jump jockey, firstly as an amateur and then a professional, riding around 40 winners under Rules. He rode several times over the Grand National fences, finishing fifth aboard Harley in the 1992 Fox Hunters’ Chase and 17th on Sure Metal in the 1996 Grand National. He also spent time working in the stables of Luca Cumani, Sir Michael Stoute and Oliver Sherwood. Donald subsequently became assistant trainer to his father at Bankhouse Stables at Cholmondeley in Cheshire and played a significant role in Amberleigh House’s Grand National victory in 2004.
He was expected to take over the licence from his father at the start of the 2006/7 jump season, but had to wait until June, 2006, before he was able to train in his own name as he needed to complete the appropriate British Horseracing Authority courses. Donald is assisted by Ginger McCain, while his wife Sian trains point-to-pointers Date of First Trainer’s Licence: June 2006 First Winner as a Licenced Trainer: Bearaway, Newton Abbot, June 8, 2006 Cheltenham Festival Wins (4): Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross), David Nicholson Mares Hurdle (2008 Whiteoak), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Handicap Chase (2007 Cloudy Lane, 2010 Ballabriggs) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith's Mersey Novices' Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross) Big Race Wins: Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (2006 Ebony Light, 2009Cloudy Lane), Altcar Novices' Chase (2009 Will Be Done), Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross), Prestige Novices' Hurdle (2010 Wymott), Scottish Champion Hurdle (2010 Overturn), Galway Hurdle (2010 Overturn), Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle (2010 Any Given Day) Wins (2006/07-2009/10): 40; 58; 62; 88; Wins This Season: 44
Winning Jockey: Jason Maguire Born: April 13, 1980 Background: Jason is the nephew of former top-jockey-turned-trainer Adrian Maguire. He started out in Irish pony races and partnered his first British winner, the Tony Martin-trained Search For Peace, at Cheltenham on November 12, 1999. He began riding for Gloucestershire trainer Tom George shortly after coming to Britain and enjoyed a seven-year partnership that yielded a Cheltenham Festival victory in 2002 when Galileo took the Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle.
Maguire's working relationship with George, which was never contractually formalised, ended in January, 2007, and he is now attached to Donald McCain’s Cheshire stable. First Winner at Cheltenham: Search For Peace, Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, November 12, 1999 Cheltenham Festival Wins (3): Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross); David Nicholson Mares Hurdle Race (2008 Whiteoak), Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Galileo) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith's Mersey Novices' Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross) Other Big Race Wins: John Smith’s Midlands Grand National (2007 Baron Windrush), Coolfun Ltd Grimthorpe Chase (2008 Cloudy Lane), Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (2009 Cloudy Lane), Blue Square Novices´ Chase (2009 Will be Done), Rising Stars Novices' Chase (2009 Red Admiral), Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Peddlers Cross), Airshow 100 Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (2010 Barizan) Number of Wins (1999/2000-2009/10): 8; 9; 23; 25; 47; 36; 42; 38; 44; 70; 108; Wins This Season: 37