Sporting Index Handicap Chase 13/03/07
1st (11) Heads Onthe Ground 5-2 Fav
Nina provides Carberry Double 13/03/07
The victory completed a wonderful day for the Carberry family - Nina’s
brother, Philip, had ridden Sublimity to victory in the Smurfit
Kappa Champion Hurdle.
Bolger was full of praise for Nina Carberry, who was recording her second
Festival win - she landed the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle
in 2005 on Dabiroun. Bolger said: “Nina rode a brilliant race and
deserves all the credit. She was squeezed up at one point, but she’s
some rider, and that seemed to wake the horse up. He grabbed hold of
the bit with her and she was able to ride him for home.
“I was also watching for Spot - J T [McNamara] said he missed
the bank the final time and that put him further back than he wanted.
He’s 14 but I don’t think he’s finished yet and at
level weights he’s very difficult to beat. The race back here in
November is tailor-made for him.
“I have one of the best owners in the world [J P McManus, owner of both Bolger runners] and he lets me get on with the job. I must also thank Dessie Hughes who had Heads On The Ground before me and has given me plenty of help in telling me about the horse. The lads at home are a great help, too, but this was Nina’s day.”
Nina Carberry: “If you could have these days every day it would be great! The gap was there turning into the straight and that's the way race-riding goes - I was just lucky I had enough horse underneath me to get there. He did stop with me [when he hit the front] but he had enough there to keep going.”
Runner-up Silver Birch is now bound for the John Smith’s Grand National. “He ran a blinder and the winner was getting a lot of weight from us,” said trainer Gordon Elliott. “I couldn’t be happier and he’ll go to Aintree now. The Pardubice is the long-term plan.”
Bookmakers cut Silver Birch for the John Smith’s Grand National. Totesport now offer 25-1 from 40-1, while Paddy Power make Silver Birch a 33-1 shot from 40-1.
Facts and Figures:
1. The Sporting Index Handicap Chase was introduced to the expanded four-day Festival in 2005
2. It is one of three races run over the cross-country course at Cheltenham
during the season and follows on from the Sporting Index Chase at The
Open in November and the Sporting Index Handicap Chase at the Boylesports
International in December.
3. In the 2004/05 season, all three races were won by Spot Thedifference.
4. Cheltenham’s cross-country course was established in 1995.
Sporting Index Handicap Chase Previous Results
(First running in 2005)
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
THEDIFFERENCE 12-11-12 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda
Bolger IRE; Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-4/1
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