So how did local trainers fare at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival?

06-April-2020
06-April-2020 17:37
in General
by Admin

Barbury and the surrounding area is something of a hotspot for the training of National Hunt racehorses. The premier event in the season last month, the Cheltenham Festival, is where everyone involved in the sport wants to have a winner. Lambourn Downs trainers were well represented, with 46 runners and 5 winners, whilst Wiltshire drew a blank from 19 runners.

Let's take a look at how they got on.

Henderson big guns deliver by and large

Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson is used to having good Cheltenham Festivals and sent a typically strong team there this year,trying to add to his tally of 64 Festival winners. That h did so through two winners on each of the first two days speaks volumes for his love of top flight competition and his consistency over 35+ years of training.

Shishkin endured a nightmare passage through the Supreme Novices' Hurdle which opened the Festival, but still got up on the line to win and belie market weakness during the minutes before the off. Henderson also had Chantry House and Allart placed third and fifth, respectively, in-behind.

Epatante, meanwhile, completed an opening day double for Seven Barrows, justifying her place at the head of the horse racing betting on the Champion Hurdle. The mare, owned by JP McManus, celebrating his 69th birthday on Champion Hurdle day, is also fancied at 4/1 to win that feature race at Cheltenham again next year, but may find the 2021 renewal is more competitive.

Henderson and McManus teamed up again the following day with a Ladies Day double. Quite how Champ was able to make up the ground in the home straight up the famous Cheltenham hill and get his head in front in-between two tired rivals to land odds of 4/1 in the RSA Novices' Chase still takes some believing.

On the pick of her form, Dame De Compagnie looked a very well-handicapped mare for the Grade 3 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle and so it proved. She justified a major market gamble to land the spoils and give Henderson a fourth Festival winner in the first 10 races and a second Coral Cup in as many years.

Other runners from his yard were far from disgraced by taking minor honours. Mister Fisher was a fine fourth in the Marsh Novices' Chase on Thursday, but Floressa disappointed in the Grade 2 Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

On Gold Cup day, Santini was a gallant runner-up to defending champion Al Boum Photo. Henderson also had the likes of Elusive Belle (fifth in the County Hurdle), Theinval (fifth in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase) and Mill Green (sixth in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle) all run solid races. The Grand Annual is a race Nicky loves to win, named after his father, who saved Cheltenham and created the modern day Jockey Club Racecourses. 

Whittington and Greatrex represent the young pretenders

Sparsholt handler Harry Whittington had a first Cheltenham Festival winner courtesy of Simply The Betts in the Grade 3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. He was sent off a warm favourite and delivered on that status over the same course and distance where Saint Calvados ran a huge race in defeat chasing home Min in the Ryanair Chase just 40 minutes or so earlier.

Whittington also had Rouge Vif finish third in the Arkle Challenge Trophy for novices. Warren Greatrex also trains at Lambourn and had two horses placed at the Festival this year in Bob Mahler, who placed third in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, and Emitom, who placed fourth in the Stayers' Hurdle.

We can't let commentary on that race pass without highlighting how odds-on favourite and Marlborough trainer Emma Lavelle's stable star Paisley Park flopped, finishing seventh. He never recovered from his customary flat spot in the defence of his Stayers' Hurdle crown with first place going to 50/1 outsider Lisnagar Oscar.

There was also disappointment for Alan King. The master of Barbury Castle saw Edwardstone run well enough to be sixth in the Supreme, but Sceau Royal trailed in last of five in a Queen Mother Champion Chase renewal that was hit by late withdrawals from Henderson's mighty Altior and leading Irish contender Chacun Pour Soi. 

Next Event

When?

Barbury fixtures 2020-21:

International - Sunday December 13

Vine & Craven - Sunday February 7

Tedworth - Sunday April 11

 

 

 

 

Where?

Barbury, 3m N of Marlborough, off A346, Jn 15 M4

 

Latest News

So how did local trainers fare at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival?

06-April-2020
06-April-2020 17:37
in General
by Admin

Barbury and the surrounding area is something of a hotspot for the training of National Hunt racehorses. The premier event in the season last month, the Cheltenham Festival, is where everyone involved in the sport wants to have a winner. Lambourn Downs trainers were well represented, with 46 runners and 5 winners, whilst Wiltshire drew a blank from 19 runners.

Let's take a look at how they got on.

Henderson big guns deliver by and large

Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson is used to having good Cheltenham Festivals and sent a typically strong team there this year,trying to add to his tally of 64 Festival winners. That h did so through two winners on each of the first two days speaks volumes for his love of top flight competition and his consistency over 35+ years of training.

Shishkin endured a nightmare passage through the Supreme Novices' Hurdle which opened the Festival, but still got up on the line to win and belie market weakness during the minutes before the off. Henderson also had Chantry House and Allart placed third and fifth, respectively, in-behind.

Epatante, meanwhile, completed an opening day double for Seven Barrows, justifying her place at the head of the horse racing betting on the Champion Hurdle. The mare, owned by JP McManus, celebrating his 69th birthday on Champion Hurdle day, is also fancied at 4/1 to win that feature race at Cheltenham again next year, but may find the 2021 renewal is more competitive.

Henderson and McManus teamed up again the following day with a Ladies Day double. Quite how Champ was able to make up the ground in the home straight up the famous Cheltenham hill and get his head in front in-between two tired rivals to land odds of 4/1 in the RSA Novices' Chase still takes some believing.

On the pick of her form, Dame De Compagnie looked a very well-handicapped mare for the Grade 3 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle and so it proved. She justified a major market gamble to land the spoils and give Henderson a fourth Festival winner in the first 10 races and a second Coral Cup in as many years.

Other runners from his yard were far from disgraced by taking minor honours. Mister Fisher was a fine fourth in the Marsh Novices' Chase on Thursday, but Floressa disappointed in the Grade 2 Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

On Gold Cup day, Santini was a gallant runner-up to defending champion Al Boum Photo. Henderson also had the likes of Elusive Belle (fifth in the County Hurdle), Theinval (fifth in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase) and Mill Green (sixth in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle) all run solid races. The Grand Annual is a race Nicky loves to win, named after his father, who saved Cheltenham and created the modern day Jockey Club Racecourses. 

Whittington and Greatrex represent the young pretenders

Sparsholt handler Harry Whittington had a first Cheltenham Festival winner courtesy of Simply The Betts in the Grade 3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. He was sent off a warm favourite and delivered on that status over the same course and distance where Saint Calvados ran a huge race in defeat chasing home Min in the Ryanair Chase just 40 minutes or so earlier.

Whittington also had Rouge Vif finish third in the Arkle Challenge Trophy for novices. Warren Greatrex also trains at Lambourn and had two horses placed at the Festival this year in Bob Mahler, who placed third in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, and Emitom, who placed fourth in the Stayers' Hurdle.

We can't let commentary on that race pass without highlighting how odds-on favourite and Marlborough trainer Emma Lavelle's stable star Paisley Park flopped, finishing seventh. He never recovered from his customary flat spot in the defence of his Stayers' Hurdle crown with first place going to 50/1 outsider Lisnagar Oscar.

There was also disappointment for Alan King. The master of Barbury Castle saw Edwardstone run well enough to be sixth in the Supreme, but Sceau Royal trailed in last of five in a Queen Mother Champion Chase renewal that was hit by late withdrawals from Henderson's mighty Altior and leading Irish contender Chacun Pour Soi. 

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