1st (7) Oscar Park
Oscar Cements Ward’s Deal With Arbuthnot 15/03/07
A partnership that was reformed earlier this year struck at the Cheltenham
Festival today when Oscar Park won the final race on day three of the
Owner George Ward, a major sponsor of races through his Grunwick Group - which includes names like Bonusprint and Tripleprint - asked trainer David Arbuthnot to train from his Uplands Stables in Compton after Colin Tinkler opted to look for his own yard.
Oscar Park’s victory in the Pertemps Final was a first at the
Festival for Ward, whose decision to re-engage Arbuthnot was vindicated.
Ward said: “I’ve had winners at Cheltenham, but never at the Festival. It’s a great feeling and a fantastic experience. I’ve been trying for this over many years and it’s been well worth the wait. David used to be my original trainer, and it’s great to have him back.”
“I'm never had such joy! It's fantastic to win here. [Tom] Doyle is a good jockey and I felt if the horse had it, he would have it. I'm so pleased for the horse because he had a terrible crashing fall at Haydock earlier this year, so it's lovely to see him win.”
Arbuthnot, who was also welcoming a first Festival success, said: “George
got me started and had horses with me for 12 years in my early days.
I was fairly confident today, but was becoming less so as the ground
dried up - he’s best with some cut.
“His bravery has got him there, as you could see when the other
horse [Material World] came at him - she wouldn’t have got so close
on softer ground. Tom Malone gave him a very good ride - we discussed
a plan and Tom followed it to the letter.
“This is my third runner for George since I started there in the middle of January. I moved my horses from Saxon Gate into Uplands just before February, and now have 45 in training of which 20 are for George.”
Tom Doyle added “That's brilliant - there's no feeling like it! It what every jockey works for and wants to do. The race went really well - he travelled really sweetly. I was afraid that maybe I'd kicked on a little soon, but when the second horse got to me, he just kept picking up and picking up. He's so tough - he's a real tough horse. What he lacks in ability he makes up for in heart. If every horse had as a big heart it would be an easy game, that's for sure.”
Suzy Smith, trainer of runner-up Material World, said: “She just
never fails to get into the shake-up. Colin [Bolger] said she was hanging
a little, which was a pity and it meant he couldn’t drive her out
as much as possible.
“She’ll go to Aintree again and we’ll see what the handicapper does.”
1. The Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) was introduced to The Festival
in 1974, replacing the George Duller Handicap Hurdle. Until 1993, it
was run under the Coral banner. Other sponsors since then have been American
Express (1993), Hamlet Cigars (1994 & 1996), Astec Vodafone (1995),
Hamlet Extra Mild Cigars (1997), Unicoin Homes (1998) and Stakis Casinos
(1999). Ladbrokes inherited sponsorship in 2000 after acquiring Stakis
Casinos and Pertemps took over in 2002.
2. The Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) is the final of the Pertemps
series, seven qualifiers of which took place at Chepstow (October 21),
Newbury (November 24), Cheltenham (December 8), Wincanton (December 26),
Warwick (January 13), Leopardstown (January 14), and Haydock (February
3. The smallest field was 17 in 1976 when Good Prospect won at 10/1.
4. Willie Wumpkins won in three consecutive years from 1979-81 when
11,12 &13. He died in 1995 at the ripe old age of 27.
5. Forgive ’N’ Forget is the only totesport Cheltenham Gold
Cup winner to have won what is now the Pertemps Final, beating 22 rivals
in 1983 and going on to take the Gold Cup two years later.
6. There have been two 50/1 winners in the past three years, with Creon in 2004 and Kadoun last year scoring for the bookies.
PERTEMPS FINAL (HANDICAP HURDLE)
2006-WINNER-KADOUN 9-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Michael
IRE; Jockey-Tom Ryan; SP-50/1
2005-WINNER-OULART 6-10-02 Owner-Ged Pierse; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE;
Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-10/1
2004-WINNER-CREON 9-10-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O'Neill;
Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-50/1
2003-WINNER-INCHING CLOSER 6-11-02 Owner-Nicola
Spence; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-6/1
2002-WINNER-FREETOWN 6-11-02 Owner-Susan Blumberg and S Nairn; Trainer-Len
Lungo; Jockey-Tony Dobbin; SP-20/1
2001 - No Race (Foot and Mouth Disease)
2000-WINNER-RUBHAHUNISH 9-11-02 Owner-Lone Star Racing Partnership;
Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-8/1
1999-WINNER-GENEROSA 6-10-01 Owner-Trish Hyde; Trainer-John Hassett
IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-12/1
1998-WINNER-UNSINKABLE BOXER 9-10-12 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer- Martin
Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-5/2 Fav
1997-WINNER-PHARANEAR 7-11-09 Owner-Stainless Threaded Fasteners Ltd;
Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Mr Robert Thornton; SP-14/1
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