1st (4) Denman 6-5 Fav
Denman Delivers in Style 14/03/07
Denman, the week’s banker for many at Cheltenham this year, returned
home to a huge roar after a masterly performance in the Royal & SunAlliance
Chase, when he never gave casue for concern to those that had supported
the 6/5 favourite.
Ruby Walsh coasted home 10 lengths clear of Snowy Morning on the seven-year-old
to land a huge gamble.
“We knew he was decent and I said to Ruby to make plenty of use
of his class and jumping and he’s done that,” said winning
trainer Paul Nicholls.
“He’s just a very good horse and you always want them to
do what you believe they can - until they pass the post you are not there.
“It is a relief. You start to believe all the rubbish written by the doubters, but we've always known we had a good horse. I knew we had him right today - he's never been better.
“He looked great, and he just gallops and jumps. He's still a big baby and he will still improve. Today has always been the plan - starting off the first day at Exeter to winning today, that has been the target all season.”
Walsh added: “He’s improved so much and is a great jumper.
He never lost an inch going down the back and we knew he’d jink
going past the stands, that’s him and it’s just what he does.
“I didn’t mind whether I was sat in first place or seventh, I was just concerned that they went a good even gallop. He was as good on this ground today as he had been any day so I don’t think it matters and he could be a Gold Cup horse. You just never know about that extra quarter mile, remember Florida Pearl won this easily.”
"He's some horse! He's a quirky, lairy horse. I had him grand, settled early on, and then Bobby McNally missed one on front of me, and he got running a bit keen. But he's a hell of a horse. Graham nearly fell, I got left in front, and he was half pulling up.”
Denman is as short as 5/1 for next year’s totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup with Boylesports and William Hill, who offer just 7/4 that Paul Nicholls will train the 2008 victor.”
DENMANIA! ‘ARRY’S WON (JUST UNDER) A MILLION!
Harry Findlay, joint-owner of Royal & SunAlliance Chase winner Denman,
reckons he won “just under £1 million” in bets when
his brilliant horse cruised to victory.
Findlay, a professional punter who lives near Bath and shares ownership
of the seven-year-old with Paul Barber, was surrounded by friends as
Ruby Walsh rode into the winner’s enclosure. Cries of “Denmania,” and “Ruby,
Ruby, Ruby,” rang out before Findlay launched into a staccato analysis
of the race.
Top of the people he wanted to thank was Alan King, trainer of My Way
De Solzen, who was Denman’s biggest rival until being switched
to The Irish Independent Arkle Trophy.
Findlay said: “Ruby was so confident and rode this horse so confidently.
I was sure they would take us on and they did, but Ruby kept him out
of trouble. Before the race I thought Aces Four [Fourth] was the danger,
and they were in front when he [Denman] did that little dwell [rounding
the top bend] which he has done before. But then he ran on and it was
a war, even though you know Aces Four isn’t going to stay.
“Denman’s so safe at his fences and it was a real proper
race. The ante-post gamble was all down to Alan King. After the Festival
last year there were only two horses that could win this race, and suddenly
My Way De Solzen’s not running and we’ve had 10s, 7s, 6s
and all prices down. Thanks to Alan King we’ve landed a massive
“Full credit to Alan King because he’s got a brilliant horse
and now he and Denman are going to take each other on next year. And
if Kauto Star is there as well what a thrill it will be to watch them.
“Now I’m going to lump on Well Chief [for the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase].”
MORNING AND JOHN BOTH RUN WELL
Both Snowy Morning and According To John both pleased their trainers
following the Royal & SunAlliance Chase.
Snowy Morning stayed on well to come home 10 lengths behind the impressive
His trainer Willie Mullins said of the 10/1 chance: “That was
a terrific run - I’m delighted.
“When Cailin Alainn fell on the first circuit he just lost his
concentration and lost his place.
“But I am delighted with the way he ran and the way he jumped.
Before the race, I thought with a bit of luck we might be placed.
“He will probably run again this year. We will have a look but
he could go to both Fairyhouse and Punchestown.
“The winner looked fantastic.”
A further three-and-a-half lengths back in third was According To John,
a 66/1 chance, and his trainer Nicky Richards was in great spirits: “According
To John has run a great race. I am very pleased.
“He might have finished second but for making a mistake near the
finish but I am very pleased as I would have been happy if he’d
finished in the first six.
“Today he travelled well, jumped well and really stayed on. He
has not had much racing and this race should have helped to toughen him
up a bit.
“It will be ground dependent where we go with him as a big horse like him wouldn’t want it too firm. He could go for the Scottish Grand National and we will also look at Sandown.
1. The Royal & SunAlliance Chase had a slight name change in 1998, having been run as the Royal SunAlliance Chase for the first time in 1997. But Sun Alliance, which merged with Royal Insurance in 1996, is among Cheltenham's longest-running sponsors. The Sun Alliance Chase was run for 23 years and Sun Alliance sponsored at Cheltenham for 26 years altogether. From 1971-3, the Foxhunters Chase was titled the "Sun Alliance & London Foxhunters."
2. Sun Alliance & London was the first sponsor outside racing to embrace commercial sponsorship at The Festival. Only the Tote precedes the insurance company. Before 1974 the race was titled the Broadway Novices’ Chase and the Totalisator Champion Novices’ Chase.
3. Since 1960, five horses have won both the Royal & SunAlliance
Chase and totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. They are:
4. The biggest field for the race has been 30, in 1986, and the smallest eight, in 1993.
5. The Royal & SunAlliance Chase is as difficult to win as The Irish Independent Arkle Chase. Only Fred Winter won it more than twice as a trainer with three victories; Killiney (1973), Pengrail (1975) and Brown Chamberlin (1982).
6. Irish-trained winners number eight since 1964, the latest being Rule Supreme in 2004.
7. The most successful jockey in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase has been Peter Scudamore, who notched up a hat-trick from 1991 to 1993 with Rolling Ball, Miinnehoma and Young Hustler. The latter went on to further big-race success while Miinnehoma won the 1994 Grand National.
8. The longest-priced winners since 1964 are Hussard Collonges in 2002 and Canny Danny in 1983, both at 33/1, with Killiney the shortest-priced at 8/15 in 1973.
9. The fastest running of the race was by Lord Noelie in 2000 at 6 mins 5.3s, beating the previous best of 6 mins 6.6s set by Miinnehoma in 1992.
10. The West Awake is the only horse to have won both the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle and the Royal & SunAlliance Chase. He won the hurdle in 1987 and the chase in 1988.
2005-WINNER-TRABOLGAN 7-11-04 Owner-Trevor Hemmings;
Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick FitzGerald; SP- 5/1
2004-WINNER-RULE SUPREME 8-11-04 Owner-John Lynch; Trainer-Willie
Mullins IRE; Jockey-David Casey; SP-25/1
2003-WINNER-ONE KNIGHT 7-11-04 Owner-Robert Gibbs; Trainer-Philips
Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-15/2
2002-WINNER-HUSSARD COLLONGES 7-11-04 Owner-Nick Bannister;
Trainer-Peter Beaumont; Jockey-Russ Garritty; SP-33/1
2000-WINNER-LORD NOELIE 7-11-04 Owner-Executive Racing;
Trainer-Henrietta Knight; Jockey-Jim Culloty; SP-9/2
1999-WINNER-LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE 7-11-04 Owner-Universal
Conference & Incentive Trv Ltd; Trainer-Noel Chance; Jockey-Paul
1998-WINNER-FLORIDA PEARL 6-11-04 Owner-Violet O’Leary;
Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-11/8 Fav
1997-WINNER-HANAKHAM 8-11-04 Owner-Malcolm Brereton;
Trainer-Ron Hodges; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-13/2
1996-WINNER-NAHTHEN LAD 7-11-04 Owner-Jim Shaw; Trainer-Jenny
Pitman; Jockey-Warren Marston; SP-7/1
1995-WINNER-BRIEF GALE 8-10-13 Owner-Carrie Zetter; Trainer-Josh
Gifford; Jockey-Philip Hide; SP-13/2
1994-WINNER-MONSIEUR LE CURE 8-11-04 Owner-Hector Brown;
Trainer-John Edwards; Jockey-Peter Niven; SP-15/2
ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
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