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National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup - Thu Mar 13th 2008 

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cheltenham 2008 / 2008 news /


Old Benny Best in National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup
13/03/08

1st (17) Old Benny 9-1
2nd (5) Over The Creek 7-1
3rd (15) Back On Line 8-1
20 ran
Also: 9-2 Fav Ornais, 66-1 Niche Market 4th

Old Benny
© racing-images.co.uk

Old Benny

Trainer Alan King, successful in Tuesday’s Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle with Katchit, started Thursday in fine form when Old Benny was the decisive seven-length winner of the four-mile Peter O’Sullevan National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup.

The winner, racing in the famous colours of Trevor Hemmings, stayed on resolutely to get the better of Over The Creek.

Alan King said: “It’s easy to say, but Charlie Huxley has given him a wonderful ride.

“Charlie has so much natural ability and is very relaxed - he almost had me worried he was so relaxed today.

“He is a very talented young lad from a good racing family.

“Old Benny can jump a bit too deliberate, but he was very good today. All he does is stay.

“The blinkers have helped him.

“We will now look at the Scottish Grand National for him.”

Charlie Huxley, who hails from Shropshire, added: “It was my grandfather Roy Edwards who really got me into racing.

“He rode the 1967 Champion Hurdle winner Saucy Kit and has been a real inspiration. This is for him because he's not very well.

"Its unbelievable! A dream! It's surreal really. I'd like to say thanks to the governor (Alan King) for giving me the opportunity because I never thought I would be doing this a couple of years ago.

“It's just super. You work hard and its unbelievable that it’s paid off for me.”

 

OVER THE CREEK JUST LOSES OUT

The David Pipe-trained Over The Creek failed by seven lengths to catch Old Benny in the marathon Peter O’Sullevan Chase Challenge Cup and - although cut to 33/1 from 40/1 with William Hill for the John Smith’s Grand National - is not certain to head to Aintree.

“He jumped, he travelled and he ran a great race but maybe was just done for a bit of toe at the finish,” said Pipe. “This race was tailor made for him, he relishes these long distances. He is in the Grand National but I’m not sure where he’ll go - he’ll be entered in all the long-distance races. He jumps and stays well.

Back On line delighted trainer Venetia Williams when finishing third. “She’s such a game mare and run a smashing race. Will (Biddick) gave her a great ride, he went on the inside for the first circuit but then had to switch to the outside because he was not getting much room.

“I think this race has got better since the conditions changed and this was the strongest renewal they have ever had and she finished third behind two terrific horses.

“I’d like to go for the mares’ chase final at Newbury but you always worry about the ground at that time of year, the trip is a bit shorter and the handicapper is likely to give her top weight. I would like to see some conditions races for mares.”

Graham Regan, the owner of fourth placed Niche Market, had expected his horse to run well. "We fancied him rotten. He was only half a length behind Old Benny at Lingfield, and we’ve been backing him for weeks," he said.

Though Regan lost his bets, with only three places paying, it was of no consequence to the euphoric owner. "I’ve got just two horses with Bob [Buckler], we are genuine small owners and look where we are," he said. "This is only our second-ever runner at The Festival. The first was She’s Our Daisy in the Supreme Novices last year and she’’s still out there in the country. If you see her, let us know," he joked.

 

Peter O’Sullevan National Hunt Chase - Analysis
26/02/08

The Peter O’Sullevan National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, named to honour racing’s most famous commentator’s 90th birthday, has attracted 56 entries, which includes 18 from Ireland. The race is for amateur riders and is run over four miles on Wednesday, March 12.

Among David Pipe’s four entries is Over The Creek, who has taken well to the larger obstacles this season, winning two of his six starts and posting a placing of fourth or better in the rest. The Pond House handler’s team is completed by the useful My Immortal, Nobody Tells Me and Nacadour.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has entered both dual novice chase winner Ornais and lightly-raced Leading Attraction.

Alan King is set to be represented by Old Benny, who has been placed on all three starts over fences this season. "He was second at Newbury the other day to Ornais and it is the logical place for him as he stays very well,” said King.

Jonjo O’Neill, winner of four of the last six renewals of this race, most recently with Butler’s Cabin 12 months ago, has entered five for the £75,000 contest. His team includes promising chaser Nor’Nor’East, formerly Irish-based pair of Olay Olay and Firth Of Forth, along with The King Of Angels and Pass It On.

The Irish contingent includes Sean Aherne’s Beantown, who has only raced twice since finishing a close second to Hot Weld in the 2006 renewal of this race. Since making his comeback fourth on New Year’s Eve, he scored an easy victory in Navan on January 26, when he had Parrot Cay, the seven-length runner-up, and Gilligans Hall behind.

Henry de Bromhead has entered Sizing Africa, while other leading Irish challengers include Noel Meade’s Whataboutya, Dessie Hughes’ former Festival winner Oulart and Jessica Harrington’s Badgerlaw.

Other notable entries from Britain include Victor Dartnall’s Here’s Johnny, Ferdy Murphy’s Top Cloud and Philip Hobbs’ Minella Tipperary.

Venetia Williams has entered both Back On Line and Ma Yahab and Nigel Twiston-Davies has both Beat The Boys and Rimsky among the 56 entries. Nicky Henderson has entered Menchikov, who was a winner on his first outing of the season on February 6 on his chasing debut.

 

PETER O’SULLEVAN NATIONAL HUNT CHASE FACTS & FIGURES

1. The National Hunt Chase has been run more times than any other race at The Festival, and is in its 138th year in 2008. Until the 1930s, only the Grand National was more important than the National Hunt Chase in the jump calendar. The race had been run at a number of venues until it became a part of the new two-day National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham in 1911. It had also been run at Cheltenham in 1904 and 1905.

2. The four-mile National Hunt Chase is the longest race run at The Festival. The race has been reduced in distance by a furlong this year and reverts back to the old course.

3. The race is usually one of the best supported at The Festival, with very competitive fields each year. The largest post-war field size is 37 (1948) and the smallest 13 (1993). There is now a safety limit of 20 runners.

4. Flimsy Truth, a 33/1 chance, set a record post-war time of 8 mins 11.09 secs in 1998 but that was beaten by Relaxation in 2000, who scored in 8 mins 0.60s.

5. Flimsy Truth is not the longest priced post-war winner - that honour goes to Topsham Bay, successful in 1990, and 2005 winner Another Rum, who were both returned at 40/1. Castledermot, 6/4 favourite in 1949, is the shortest-priced victor.

6. The contest is run in honour of Sir Peter O’Sullevan. The former BBC commentator and “Voice Of Racing” celebrates his 90th birthday on March 3. It was at his request that “Sir” was not included in the race title.

7. The race has proved a good guide to future success in recent seasons. Last year’s winner Butler’s Cabin subsequently won the Irish Grand National while 2006 victor Hot Weld landed a memorable double in 2007 by collecting the Scottish National and the Betfred Gold Cup in the space of a week. 2007 John Smith’s Grand National victor Silver Birch finished fourth in 2004.

PETER O’SULLEVAN NATIONAL HUNT CHASE CHALLENGE CUP PAST RESULTS

2007-WINNER-BUTLER’S CABIN 7-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr Alan Berry; SP-33/1
2ND Character Building 7-12-00 Owner-Mrs E Wright; Trainer-John Quinn; Jockey-Mr Derek O’Connor; SP-7/1
3RD Countess Trifaldi 7-11-00 Owner-C Wilkinson; Trainer-Michael Phillips IRE; Jockey-Mr Colman Sweeney; SP-100/1
19 ran, Time-8m 38.70s; Dist-¾, 10 2/1 Fav Gungadu (Fell)

2006-WINNER-HOT WELD 7-11-11 Owner-S Hubbard Rodwell; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Mr Richard Harding; SP-33/1
2 Beantown 8-11-07 Owner-Eoin Barry; Trainer-Sean Aherne IR; Jockey-Mr Paul Tobin; SP-40/1
3 Far From Trouble 7-11-11 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-7/2 Fav
22 ran, Time-8m 33.20s; Dist-nk, 1

2005-WINNER-ANOTHER RUM 7-11-07 Owner-Ronald Lilley; Trainer-Ian Duncan IRE; Jockey-Mr Mark O’Hare; SP-40/1
2ND Caislean Ui Cuain 9-11-11 Owner-Seamus O’Farrell; Trainer-Jim Lambe IRE; Jockey-Mr J P O’Farrell; SP-150/1
3RD Control Man 7-12-00 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Mr Gordon Elliott; SP-11/1
20 ran, Time-8m 49.90s; Dist-7, .5 100/30 Fav Point Barrow (5th)

2004-WINNER-NATIVE EMPEROR 8-11-11 Owner-J C, J R & S R Hitchins; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr Robert Widger; SP-5/1 Jt Fav
2ND Celestial Gold 6-11-11 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Mr Ashley Farrant; SP-33/1
3RD Drombeag 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-8/1
22 ran, Time-8m 12.10s; Dist-1.75, 6 5/1 Jt Fav Silver Birch (5th)

2003-WINNER-SUDDEN SHOCK 8-11-07 Owner-Darren Mercer; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr Denis Cullen; SP-25/1
2ND Stormez 6-12-00 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Mr Jamie Moore; SP-7/4 Fav
3RD Young Ottoman 7-11-11 Owner-D G Staddon; Trainer-Victor DartnAll; Jockey-Mr Julian Pritchard; SP-10/1
24 ran, Time-8m 21.80s; Dist-1, 13

2002-WINNER-RITH DUBH 10-11-11 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-10/1
2ND-Timbera 8-12-00 Owner-Josephine Breen; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Mr Davy Russell; SP-8/1
3RD-Silver Steel 7-12-00 Owner-Thomas Harty; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Mr Alan Crowe; SP-12/1
26 ran, Time 8m 46.40s; Dist-hd, 13 6/1 Fav Mister Bigtime (8th)

2001-Race Cancelled

2000-WINNER-RELAXATION 8-12-00 Owner-Sir Philip Payne-Gallwey and Mrs Vicky Wiggin; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Mr Mark Bradburne; SP-8/1
2ND-Inch Rose 6-11-13 Owner-E Hunston, P White and Mrs V Griffiths; Trainer-Noel Chance; Jockey-Mr Tom Doyle; SP-9/1
3RD-Mister One 9-12-07 Owner-Colin Tizzard; Trainer-Colin Tizzard; Jockey-Mr J D Moore; SP-11/2
21 ran, Time-8m 0.60s, Dist-6, 5 4/1 Fav Fandango De Chassy (PU)

1999-WINNER-DEEJAYDEE 7-12-00 Owner- Mrs M Devine; Trainer-Michael Hourigan IRE; Jockey-Mr Tony Martin; SP-13/2
2ND-Riot Leader 9-12-07 Owner-Mrs & Mrs D A Gamble; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Mr Alan Dempsey; SP-10/1
3RD-Spot Thedifference 6-12-04 Owner-Mrs S Bolger; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr Paul Moloney; SP-13/2
21 ran, Time-8m 33.7s, Dist-nk, 6 6/1 Fav Derrymore Mist (4th)

1998-WINNER-WANDERING LIGHT 9-12-7 Owner- Anne Duchess of Westminster; Trainer-Tim Forster; Jockey-Mr Rupert Wakley; SP-10/1
2ND-Thatswhatithought 6-12-0 Owner-Joy Valentine; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Mr Ruby Walsh; SP-20/1
3RD-Torduff Express 7-12-7 Owner-Two Plus Two; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Mr Joe Tizzard; SP-7/1
24 ran, Time-8m 21.1s, Dist-16, 7 100/30 Fav Farfadet V (BD)

1997-WINNER-FLIMSY TRUTH 11-12-07 Owner-Martin Weston; Trainer-Martin Weston; Jockey-Mr Mike Harris; SP-33/1
2ND-Vol Par Nuit 6-12-04 Owner-D O McIntyre; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Mr Thierry Doumen;SP-13/2
3RD-Robsand 8-12-00 Owner-Sir Brian McGrath; Trainer-Toby Balding; Jockey-Mr Andrew Balding; SP-9/1
23 ran, Time-8m 11.09s, Dist-1.25, 27 6/1 Fav Random Harvest (PU)

1996-WINNER-LOVING AROUND 8-11-13 Owner-Lord Tavistock; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Mr Philip Fenton; SP-10/1
2ND-Fellow Countryman 9-12-07 Owner-A D Wardall; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Mr Marcus Armytage; SP-10/1
3RD-Class of Ninetytwo 7-12-07 Owner-Lord Cadogan; Trainer-Tim Forster; Jockey-Mr Jim Culloty; SP-3/1 Fav
22 ran, Time-8m 34.7s, Dist-13, 6

1995-WINNER-FRONT LINE 8-12-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr John Berry; SP-7/1
2ND-Keano 6-12-00 Owner-Midavon Partnership; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Mr Sean Mulcaire; SP-8/1
3RD-Lacken Cross 7-12-04 Owner-John J Howlett; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Mr Henry Cleary; SP-7/1
25 ran, Time-8m 55.5s, Dist-dist, 7 13/2 Fav Extra Special (PU)

1994-WINNER-CHRISTMAS GORSE 8-12-04 Owner-David Stoddart; Trainer-Nick Gaselee; Jockey-Mr Marcus Armytage; SP-14/1
2ND-Extra Special 9-12-00 Owner-Robert Ogden; Trainer-Gordon Richards; Jockey-Capt Adam Ogden; SP-25/1
3RD-Nearly Splendid 9-12-04 Owner & Trainer-Roy Stevens; Jockey-Mr Tom Greed; SP-14/1
19 ran Time-8m 36.8s, Dist-3.5, 4 11/4 Fav Front Line (PU)

 

NATIONAL HUNT CHASE CHALLENGE CUP (AMATEUR RIDERS) ROLL OF HONOUR

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2007 Butler’s Cabin 7-12-00 Mr Alan Berry Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 33/1 19
2006 Hot Weld 7-11-11 Mr Richard Harding Ferdy Murphy S Hubbard Rodwell 33/1 22
2005 Another Rum 7-11-07 Mr Mark O’Hare Ian Duncan IRE Ronald Lilley 40/1 20
2004 Native Emperor 8-11-11 Mr Robert Widger Jonjo O’Neill J C, J R & S R Hitchins 5/1JF 22
2003 Sudden Shock 8-11-07 Mr Denis Cullen Jonjo O’Neill Darren Mercer 25/1 24
2002 Rith Dubh 10-11-11 Mr J T McNamara Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 10/1 26
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Relaxation 8-12-00 Mr Mark Bradburne Henry Daly Sir Philip Payne-Gallwey/Vicky Wiggin 8/1 21
1999 Deejaydee 7-12-00 Mr Tony Martin Michael Hourigan IRE Mrs M Devine 13/2 21
1998 Wandering Light 9-12-07 Mr Rupert Wakley Tim Forster Anne Duchess of Westminster 10/1 24
1997 Flimsy Truth 11-12-07 Mr Micky Harris Martin Weston Martin Weston 33/1 23
1996 Loving Around 5-11-06 Mr Philip Fenton Edward O’Grady IRE Lord Tavistock 10/1 22
1995 Front Line 8-12-07 Mr John Berry Jonjo O'Neill J P McManus 7/1 25
1994 Christmas Gorse 8-12-04 Mr Marcus Armytage Nick Gaselee David Stoddart 14/1 19
1993 Ushers Island 7-12-04 Mr Noel Wilson Howard Johnson Bob Bowden 15/2 13
1992 Keep Talking 7-12-07 Mr Marcus Armytage Tim Thomson Jones Jim Joel 5/2F 24
1991 Smooth Escort 7-12-00 Mr Tony Martin Di Haine A F Budge (Equine) Ltd 7/1 18
1990 Topsham Bay 7-12-00 Mr Paul Hacking David Barons Michael Marsh 40/1 25
1989 Boraceva 6-12-07 Mr Seamus Mullins Toby Balding Duke of Atholl 4/1F 21
1988 Over The Road 7-12-04 Mr Tom Costello Terry Casey John Upson 10/1 28
1987 Mighty Mark 8-12-07 Mr Jimmy Walton Frank Walton Frank Walton 8/1 30
1986 Omerta 6-12-07 Mr Lorcan Wyer Homer Scott IRE Mrs J McMorrow 9/4F 22
1985 Northern Bay 9-12-04 Mr Tony Fowler Tom Bill Twycross Frozen Food Centre Ltd 12/1 20
1984 Macks Friendly 7-12-07 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins IRE John Mulhern 11/4 18
1983 Bit Of A Skite 7-12-00 Mr Frank Codd Edward O'Grady IRE J P McManus 5/1F 29
1982 Hazy Dawn 7-12-07 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins IRE R Daniels 8/1 26
1981 Lucky Vane 6-12-07 Mr Stephen Bush Toby Balding Bridget Swire 13/1 21
1980 Waggoners Walk 11-12-04 Mr Tony Fowler Caroline Mason George Mason 10/1 23
1979 Artic Ale 8-12-00 Mr John Fowler Dan Moore IRE Anthony Robinson 20/1 25
1978 Gay Tie 5-11-09 Mr John Fowler Mick O'Toole IRE Dr P Morrissey 10/1 17
1977 Alpenstock 10-12-04 Mr Dick Saunders Stan Mellor Harron Thompson 14/1 21
1976 Sage Merlin 8-12-07 Mr Peter Greenall Jack Hardy John Bingham 5/2F 22
1975 Abandoned (course waterlogged)
1974 Mr Midland 7-12-04 Mr Mouse Morris Edward O’Grady IRE B Naughton 7/2 17
1973 Foreman 7-12-01 Mr Bill Shand Kydd Tom Jones R Dean 11/2F 25
1972 Charley Winking 7-12-00 Mr Derrick Scott Leslie Scott Leslie Scott 20/1 23
1971 Deblin’s Green 8-11-07 Mr Derek Edmunds George Yardley George Yardley 9/2F 20
1970 Domason 7-12-01 Mr Robert Alner Harry Dufosee Harry Dufosee 10/1 18
1969 Lizzy The Lizard 10-12-00 Mr Grant Cann Tony Hartnoll Tony Hartnoll 10/1 35
1968 Fascinating Forties 9-11-07 Mr Michael Dickinson George Owen Lord Leverhulme 9/1 22
1967 Master Tammy 9-11-07 Mr Brian Fanshawe George Guilding George Guilding 100/7 24
1966 Polaris Missile 7-11-09 Mr John Thorne John Thorne John Thorne 100/6 29
1965 Red Vale 11-12-00 Mr George Small Albert Piper Mrs C Smith 100/8 26
1964 Dorimont 10-12-01 Mr Charles Vaughan Tom Taaffe IRE M A Walshe 4/1 30
1963 Time 8-12-00 Mr Ian Balding Willie Stephenson John Cheatle 8/1 35
1962 Go Slow 7-12-07 Mr George Small Albert Piper Mrs I R Millar 10/1 26
1961 Superfine 8-12-04 Sir William Pigott-Brown Frank Cundell I Kerwood 10/1 33
1960 Proud Socks 8-12-00 Mr H Thompson Vivian Bishop Vivian Bishop 100/6 22
1959 Sabaria 8-12-00 Mr John Lawrence Bob Turnell Bob Turnell 5/2F 17
1958 Spud Tamson 7-12-04 Mr Geordie Dun Tommy Dun Mrs T D C Dun 13/2 28
1957 Kari Sou 8-12-00 Mr Alan Lillingston Archie Thomlinson Archie Thomlinson 100/6 24
1956 Rosana III 7-12-00 Mr G Everitt G Everitt G Everitt 9/1 22
1955 Reverend Prince 9-12-00 Mr C Pocock P Dufosee P Dufosee 33/1 26
1954 Quare Times 8-12-04 Mr Bunny Cox Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs R Smyth 5/2F 26
1953 Pontage 7-12-04 Mr Bunny Cox Dan Moore IRE Lady Honor Svejdar 9/4F 22
1952 Frosty Knight 6-12-00 Mr Charles Straker Ian Straker Ian Straker 15/2 19
1951 Cushendun 6-12-04 Mr Peter Chisman Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 10/1 18
1950 Ellesmere 7-12-07 Mr Atty Corbett Ken Cundell Lord Bicester 100/30F 26
1949 Castledermot 7-12-07 Lord Mildmay Vincent O'Brien IRE Mrs Harry Keogh 6/4F 17
1948 Bruno II 8-12-03 Major Guy Cunard William Anstruther-Gray William Anstruther-Gray 20/1 37
1947 Maltese Wanderer 8-12-03 Major Dermot Daly Tom Yates G J Wells 6/1 20
1946 Prattler 11-12-03 Major Dermot Daly Tom Yates E Manner 33/1 20

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