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Big Shu Fits in Glenfarclas Cross Country
1 Big Shu 14/1
2 Shakervilz 20/1
3 Outlaw Pete 6/1
Biostons Angel 9/1
16 ran Distances: 4l, 10l, 1¼l
TIME 8m 44.70s (slow by 40.70s)
He may have been trainer Peter Maher's first runner at Cheltenham, but there was no shortage of confidence behind 14/1 chance Big Shu, who landed the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Handicap Chase in good style under Barry Cash.
"This is my first visit to Cheltenham and it feels great. I suppose I'll have to come back again. We're just poor hunting people and I only train a few horses," said Maher, who is based close to Punchestown racecourse in County Kildare.
"Mick Fitzgerald was the only one who tipped us up and it is great to have shown a few people up. They will all have to take him seriously now. He was a Ladies' Cup winner after all.
"I was only giving him a warm-up for this year's Ladies' Cup when he came second (to Arabella Boy) at Punchestown in February. But the winner was favourite for this race so I thought we'd better come here as well."
Asked if he was confident beforehand, Maher responded: "Of course - we backed the shit out of him!"
Cash, who won the 2006 William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle on Brave Inca, commented: "He jumped his way into the race. I got there half a mile too soon but he was getting into it so I let him go on. He picked up over the last and stayed on well.
"Peter said to me 'I promise this horse will win' and he was right. He said the horse was well handicapped coming into it and I haven't done 10st 5lb for seven years."
Glenfarclas Handicap Chase (Cross Country)
£50,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 7f, Class 2
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
|B M Cash
|14 - 1
W P Mullins
|Ms K Walsh
|20 - 1
|Mr Josh Halley
|6 - 1
Mrs J Harrington
|R M Power
|9 - 1
1 1/4 length
H de Bromhead
|A E Lynch
|16 - 1
|8 - 1
|Ms N Carberry
|9 - 4
|A New Story
|A P Heskin
|14 - 1
|9 - 1
R H Buckler
|33 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
K C Bailey
|Miss J Coward
|33 - 1
1 3/4 length
|R P McLernon
|33 - 1
KATIE'S SHAKER SECOND
Katie Walsh was delighted with Willie Mullins-trained Shakervilz's second place in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Handicap Chase. "He was a bit sticky over the first few fences," she said, "but the further he went the better he went. He's a classy horse, which helps, and once he got going he thoroughly enjoyed it.
"I thought I'd catch the winner going to the last, but he kept going, fair play to him."
2012-WINNER-BALTHAZAR KING 8-10-09 Owner-The Brushmakers; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-11/2
2ND-A New Story 14-10-06 Owner-Storey’s Over Syndicate; Trainer-Michael Hourigan IRE; Jockey-Adrian Heskin; SP-20/1
3RD-Wedger Pardy 11-9-08 Owner-Lord Leigh; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Miss Jacqueline Coward; SP-33/1
4TH-Sizing Australia 10-11-01 Owner-Ann & Alan Potts Partnership; Trainer-Henry de Bromhead IRE; Jockey-Andrew Lynch; SP-5/1
16 ran, Time-7m 51.70s, Dist-hd, 5, 2½ 100/30 Fav Scotsirish (PU)
2011-WINNER-SIZING AUSTRALIA 9-10-09 Owner-Ann & Alan Potts Partnership; Trainer-Henry De Bromhead IRE; Jockey-Andrew Lynch; SP-13/2
2ND-Garde Champetre 12-11-12 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Edna Bolger IRE; Jockey-Miss Nina Carberry; SP-5/1
3RD-A New Story 13-10-05 Owner-Storey’s Over Syndicate; Trainer-Michael Hourigan IRE; Jockey-Adrian Heskin; SP-12/1
15 ran, Time-8m 6.22s, Dist 1 ¼, 1 9/2 Fav Maljimar (4th)
2010-WINNER-A NEW STORY 12-9-07 Owner-Storey’s Over Syndicate; Trainer-Michael Hourigan IRE; Jockey-Adrian Heskin; SP33/1 2ND-L’Ami 11-11-04 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-4/1 3RD-Lacdoudal 11-9-12 Owner-Carol Skan; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Rhys Flint; SP-28/1 4TH-Another Jewel 8-10-00 Owner-F Magee; Trainer-Denis Murphy IRE; Jockey-Davy Condon; SP-16/1 16 ran, Time-8m 18.00s, Dist-2½ , 2¾ , nk 7/4 Fav Garde Champetre (5th)
2009-WINNER-GARDE CHAMPETRE 10-11-12 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Miss Nina Carberry; SP-7/2
2ND-L’Ami 10-11-08 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-7/4 Fav
3RD-Drombeag 11-10-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Robert Power; SP-7/1
4TH-A New Story 11-9-11 Owner-Storey’s Over Syndicate; Trainer-Michael Hourigan IRE; Jockey-Jack Doyle; SP-14/1 16 ran, Time-8m 47.54s, Dist-1¾, 14, 24
2008-WINNER-GARDE CHAMPETRE 9-10-13 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Miss Nina Carberry; SP-4/1
2ND-Native Jack 14-10-12 Owner-Gerard Burke/Robert Bagnall/N O’Farrell/K Sexton; Trainer-Philip Rothwell IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-40/1
3RD-A New Story 10-10-08 Owner-Storey’s Over Syndicate; Trainer-Michael Hourigan IRE; Jockey-Andrew McNamara; SP-20/1
4TH-Freneys Well 8-10-05 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr G Mangan (7); SP-25/1 16 ran, Time-8m 39.52s; Dist-10, 1½ , 4½ 5/2 Fav Wonderkid (6th)
ONTHE GROUND 10-10-02 Owner-J P McManus;
Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE; Jockey-Miss Nina Carberry; SP-5/2 Fav
2ND-Silver Birch 10-11-00 Owner-Brian Walsh; Trainer-Gordon Elliott IRE;
Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-14/1
3RD-Le Duc 8-10-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Sam
4TH-Spot Thedifference 14-11-12 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger
IRE; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-6/1
16 ran, Time-8m 43.80s, Dist-3½, 12, 5
JACK 12-10-08 Owner-Gerard Burke/R J Bagnall/N O’Farrell/K
Sexton; Trainer-Philip Rothwell IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-7/2 Jt Fav
2ND-Spot Thedifference 13-11-12 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger
IRE; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-12/1
3RD-Buauiltes And Fadas 11-9-11 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger
IRE; Jockey-Miss Nina Carberry; SP-6/1
4TH-Il De Boitron 8-10-06 Owner-Clonakilty Racing Club; Trainer-Thomas
O’Leary IRE; Jockey-Andrew McNamara; SP-100/1
16 ran, Time-8m 30.10s, Dist-2, 5, 5 7/2 Jt Fav Good Step (6th)
THEDIFFERENCE 12-11-12 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda
Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-4/1
2ND-Luzcadou 12-10-13 Owner-A G Chappell; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Alan
3RD-Mrs Be 9-9-12 Owner-J H Burridge; Trainer-Grant Cann; Jockey-Miss
Polly Gundry; SP-20/1
4TH-Lord Noelie 12-11-08 Owner-Executive Racing; Trainer-Bridget Nicholls;
Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-14/1
16 ran, Time-8m 44.00s, Dist-2.5, 6, .75 100/30 Fav Comanche War Paint
GLENFARCLAS CROSS COUNTRY HANDICAP CHASE
(Glenfarclas Handicap Chase from 2008, BGC Handicap Chase 2008, Sporting Index Handicap Chase 2005-2007, first running in 2005)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2012 Balthazar King 8-10-09 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs The Brushmakers 11/2 16
2011 Sizing Australia 9-10-09 Andrew Lynch Henry De Bromhead IRE Ann & Alan Potts Partnership 13/2 15
2010 A New Story 12-9-07 Adrian Heskin Michael Horuigan IRE Storey’s Over Syndicate 33/1 16
2009 Garde Champetre 10-11-12 Miss Nina Carberry Enda Bolger IRE J P McManus 7/2 16
2008 Garde Champetre 9-10-13 Miss Nina Carberry Enda Bolger IRE J P McManus 4/1 16
2007 Heads Onthe Ground 10-10-02 Miss Nina Carberry Enda Bolger IRE J
P McManus 5/2F 16
2006 Native Jack 12-10-08 Davy Russell Philip Rothwell IRE G Burke/R
Bagnall/N O’Farrell/K Sexton 7/2JF 16
2005 Spot Thedifference 12-11-12 Mr J T McNamara Enda Bolger IRE J P
McManus 4/1 16
The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase was introduced to the expanded four-day Festival in 2005. It is one of three races scheduled over the cross-country course at Cheltenham during the season and follows on from the Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase at The Open in November and the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at The International in December. In the 2004/05 season, all three races were won by Spot Thedifference.
A maximum field of 16 (the current safety limit) has lined up in seven of the eight renewals of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase, with the only exception being 2011, when 15 ran.
Spot The Difference (2005) and Garde Champetre (2009) both carried 11st 12lb to glory, while A New Story benifited from Adrian Heskin’s 7lb claim as he scored with 9st 7lb on his back in 2010.
Garde Champetre is the only horse to win the Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase twice with victories in 2008 and 2009.
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Enda Bolger dominated the early runnings of the Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase with four wins to his name (all for owner J P McManus) - Spot Thedifference (2005), Heads Onthe Ground (2007) and Garde Champetre (2008 & 2009).
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Nina Carberry partnered Heads Onthe Ground (2007) and Garde Champetre (2008 & 2009) to victory, making her the only jockey to have won the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase more than once.
Irish trainers boast a formidable record, having taken seven of the eight renewals. Philip Hobbs broke the Irish monopoly in 2012 as Balthazar King beat the 2010 winner A New Story by a head.
Heads Onthe Ground is the shortest-priced winner, having obliged at 5/2 in 2007. A New Story provided a shock in 2010, scoring at odds of 33/1.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cross Country racing was introduced to Cheltenham in 1995 with the advent of Sunday racing.
Runners have to negotiate 32 obstacles during the race, including banks and ditches. The most recent obstacles to be introduced were ‘the cheese wedges’ (fences 15 & 16), which were first used at The Open in 2009.
Glenfarclas, the sponsor of all three such races held at Cheltenham and one at Punchestown on February 3, is again offering an excellent incentive to the connections of any horse to run at Pau (in France), Cheltenham and Punchestown in designated races this season. Any horse running in at least one of these Cross Country races in all three countries will double any prize money won in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at The Festival. The double prize money incentive goes all the way down to sixth place on March 12.
Silver Birch was runner-up behind Heads Onthe Ground in 2007 before going on to win the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree the following month.