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Cheltenham Handicaps 2006

Cheltenham 2006

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Cheltenham 2006 / running order /

SPORTING INDEX HANDICAP CHASE

1st (8) Native Jack 7-2 Jt Fav
2nd (1) Spot Thedifference 12-1
3rd (16) Buailtes And Fadas 6-1
4th (10) Il de Boitron 100-1
16 ran
Also: 7-2 Jt Fav Good Step

NATIVE JACK A FESTIVAL FIRST FOR ROTHWELL

This week has proved a week of firsts for Irish trainer Philip Rothwell. After the birth of his first child, daughter Kara, on Sunday morning, the 27-year-old enjoyed his first Festival success when Native Jack landed the Sporting Index Cross Country Handicap Case.

It looked as if the cross country specialist Spot Thedifference would win the race for the second year in succession, but a sustained duel after the last saw Native Jack prevail by two lengths, giving jockey Davy Russell his first Festival victory.

Rothwell commented: “This week has seen the birth of my first child and my Festival winner. Hopefully, there is more to come - Festival winners that is!

“The plan today was to drop him in behind and then come late, and that has come off perfectly, I’m also delighted with the way he has jumped.

“This race has always been the plan for him. He’s owned by a syndicate of four owners who each took a share when I telephoned them.

“He will now go for the La Touche Cup at Punchestown next month, where I hear there is a very nice bonus on offer (50,000 Euros). I had thought I might run him over the National fences in the Topham Trophy but I think we will now be going to Punchestown.

“John Cullen usually rides him and would have done today had he not been injured. He will probably be back on him at Punchestown. Davy has given him a superb ride today though - he and I go back a long way and were at college together.”

MORE QUOTES - SPORTING INDEX HANDICAP CHASE - NATIVE JACK

PHILIP ROTHWELL (TRAINER)
“I’m chuffed to bits - it’s absolutely unbelievable! To have a Cheltenham winner is amazing. It’s been a super week for me - I had a baby girl on Sunday morning, and I couldn’t have had a better week! I’m delighted the horse won - I always dreamt of having a winner here. I’m thrilled for Davy Russell - we’ve been friends since college, so it’s lovely the two of us have had a winner together. Davy rode him to perfection - I told not to get there too early, because he’s a funny old horse, and he got a lead up the hill. It’s fantastic, couldn’t be better.”

THE DIFFERENCE IS HE WAS ONLY SECOND

The Enda Bolger-trained Spot Thedifference, who won the inaugural Sporting Index Handicap Chase in 2005, ran a brave race when attempting to defend his title, but had to settle for runner-up spot.

He finished second to Native Jack, but kept his stablemate, Buailtes And Fadas, back in third. Another member of Bolger’s stable, Good Step, who started 7-2 joint-favourite with the winner, was sixth.

Bolger said: “Spot has run a wonderful race - I’m more than happy to take the winner on again in the La Touche Cup [at the Punchestown Festival] because we’ll meet on level terms there. We were trying to give him 18lb here.

“Buailtes And Fadas will go for that race as well. Nina [Carberry] said he just didn’t like the tacky ground. He travelled well and was close enough on the final turn, but didn’t find much.”

Bolger said he had no explanation for Good Step’s effort, but said there were no plans to retire 13-year-old Spot Thedifference. “We’ve not talked about that, but when he runs as well as that why should we? He obviously still enjoys the job.”

SPORTING INDEX HANDICAP CHASE
(Class 2) 3m 7f cross-country course £40,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ (horses must be schooled over the cross-country course prior to running) Minimum Weight 10st Penalties after February 26; a winner of a chase 7lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Spot Thedifference’ds Handicap Mark 144 Entries 43 pay £50 Confirmed 26 pay £150 Penalty Value 1st £25,052 2nd £7,400 3rd £3,700 4th £1,852 5th £924 6th £464

1 NATIVE JACK (IRE) (Mrs J Rothwell) Philip Rothwell IRE 12-10-08 Davy Russell 7/2jf
2 SPOT THEDIFFERENCE (IRE) (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 13-11-12 Mr J T McNamara 12/1
3 BUAILTES AND FADAS (IRE) (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 11-9-11 Miss Nina Carberry (3) 6/1
4 IL DE BOITRON (FR) (Clonakilty Racing Club) Tom O'Leary IRE 8-10-06 Andrew McNamara 100/1
5 KOQUELICOT (FR) (Alan Peterson) Philip Hobbs 8-10-05 Richard Johnson
6 GOOD STEP (IRE) (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 8-10-12 Paul Carberry 7/2jf
7 NEVER COMPROMISE (IRE) (Dermot Desmond) Ted Walsh IRE 11-9-11 Ms Katie Walsh (5)
8 COMANCHE WAR PAINT (IRE) (Tony Fear & Tim Hawkins) Paul Nicholls 9-10-09 Joe Tizzard
9 MRS BE (IRE) (J Burbidge) Grant Cann 10-9-11 Miss Polly Gundry (3)
10 JUST IN DEBT (IRE) (J Hazeldean) Martin Todhunter 10-10-13 Alan Dempsey
11 LORD JACK (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Nicky Richards 10-11-05 Brian Harding
12 TRIBAL VENTURE (FR) (Hill, Trembath, Bryan & Outhart) Ferdie Murphy 8-10-12 Alan O'Keeffe
13 WHEREAREYOUNOW (IRE) (Raymond Mould) Nigel Twiston-Davies 9-10-00 Carl Llewellyn
P COLOURFUL LIFE (IRE) (Andy Peake & David Jackson) Paul Nicholls 10-11-02 Christian Williams
U WHAT ODDS (IRE) (Dee Racing Syndicate) Tucker Geraghty IRE 10-10-01 Ross Geraghty
U I HEAR THUNDER (IRE) (Nick Elliott) Bob Buckler 8-10-07 Ben Hitchcott

16 ran
Time: 8m 29.99s
Distances: 2, 5, 5,.5, 6,.5, 3, 3, 10, 16, 4, 28
Breeder: Billy Carroll
Breeding: br g Be My Native (USA) - Dorrha Daisy
Tote: Win; £3.80 Places; £1.80, £2.90, £1.90, £21.50 Exacta; £66.90

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