1st (4) Cork All Star
Cork All Star Rating in Bumper 14/03/07
Cork All Star remains unbeaten in four starts after collecting the Weatherbys
Champion Bumper in great style for owner Cathal Ryan, trainer Jessica
Harrington and jockey Barry Geraghty.
The five-year-old was landing his second bumper at Cheltenham this season,
having won the Tiger Developments Open Bumper at The Open back in November.
He was always prominent today and stayed on resolutely to score by a
length and a quarter from Sophocles with Aranleigh another length and
a half back in third.
Mrs Harrington said: “He is some horse and really travelled well
“Barry (Geraghty) only sat on the horse for the first time yesterday and said he gave him no feel at all!
“However, when he was going to the start he said ‘Jesus this feels like a machine!
“He was always travelling today and I couldn’t believe how
well he was going when he turned in - I was shouting so loud I think
Barry must have heard me.
“I don’t think he will run again this season as he has now
won four bumpers and so I don’t think he will be eligible to be
run at Punchestown.
“Anyway, he is well schooled over hurdles. I don’t keep
him all the time as he spends a lot of time at home (owner Cathal Ryan’s
Swordlestown Stud, where the winner was bred).
“To win two bumpers at Cheltenham in a season is just amazing.”
Barry Geraghty added: "He travelled brilliantly. I hadn't planned
on taking him up there turning in, I was going to wait a little longer,
but I was travelling so well, and I knew he would stay going. There was
no way he was going to get done for pace. He picked up and when the second
horse came to him he went on again. He was idling in front.
"He's a fair horse with a lot of pace, and although I haven't schooled him, I've heard he jumps very well. It was a smart bumper with plenty of fancied horses in it in good from. He travelled so easily through the race that he made it an easy ride.
"Jessie and myself have been having winners for the last good few years, she's good for me, and we get on well."
SOPHOCLES MAKES CORK PROVE HE’S A STAR
Cork All Star proved best of the season’s bumper horses, but a
late rattle from the Pauline Ryan-ridden Sophocles, a 40/1 chance, made
the winner work hard for the line.
In a contest in which Irish horses filled the first five places, Sophocles
was beaten one and a quarter lengths by Cork All Star, and was one and
a half lengths ahead of third-placed Aranleigh.
Curragh trainer James Leavy said of Sophocles: “We’re thrilled with that effort. This was a very hot race and he’s acquitted himself well.
“Pauline gave him a great ride, as good as any professional -
she won on the horse at Thurles and deserved to keep the ride, even though
she couldn’t use her claim. She was formerly with John Oxx, but
is now with Jessica Harrington, who’s beaten her in this race.
When you’ve ridden work with Mick Kinane and Johnny Murtagh and
so on you can’t get any better than that.
“Sophocles is one of 14 horses I train. He is not an out-and-out National Hunt-bred horse and we’ll probably mix races on the Flat and over hurdles.”
Tony Mullins, trainer of Aranleigh, said: “Tony [McCoy] said things
just happened a little quickly for him. When he got to the hill he came
into his own, but they had gone by then. Tony’s very disappointed
not to have won.
“I’ll discuss plans with J P [McManus] but this horse won’t run anywhere unless there’s cut in the ground. I’m not saying he won’t go on faster ground, but he’s a young horse and I don’t want to risk giving him a leg. He might go to Punchestown, but it’s certainly not important.”
WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER PAST RESULTS
MOLLY 6-11-05 Owner-F T B Syndicate; Trainer-Joe Crowley
IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-33/1
THAT 6-11-05 Owner-Violet O’Leary;
Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-7/2 Fav
2004-WINNER-TOTAL ENJOYMENT 5-10-12 Owner-It Will Never Last Syndicate;
Trainer-Tommy Cooper IRE; Jockey-Jim Culloty; SP-7/1
2003-WINNER-LIBERMAN 5-11-06 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe;
Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-2/1 Fav
2002-WINNER-PIZARRO 5-11-06 Owner-Edward Wallace;
IRE; Jockey-Jamie Spencer; SP-14/1
2000-WINNER-JOE CULLEN 5-11-06 Owner-Jackie Mullins; Trainer-Willie
Mullins IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-14/1
1999-MONSIGNOR 5-11-06 Owner-Malcolm Denmark; Trainer-Mark Pitman; Jockey-Brendan
1998-WINNER-ALEXANDER BANQUET 5-11-06 Owner-M Swarbrick; Trainer-Willie
Mullins IRE; Jockey-Mr Ruby Walsh; SP-9/1
1997-WINNER-FLORIDA PEARL 5-11-06 Owner-Violet
Mullins IRE; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-6/1
1996-WINNER-WITHER OR WHICH 5-11-06 Owner-Robert Sinclair; Trainer-Willie
Mullins IRE; Jockey-Mr Willie Mullins; SP-11/4
1995-WINNER-DATO STAR 4-10-12 Owner-Kath Riley & Joe
Donald; Trainer-Malcolm Jefferson; Jockey-Mark Dwyer; SP-7/2
1994-WINNER-MUCKLEMEG 6-11-05 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Edward O'Grady
IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-7/2 Fav
1993-WINNER-RHYTHM SECTION 4-10-11 Owner-Robert Sinclair; Trainer-Homer
Scott IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-16/1
1992-WINNER-MONTELADO 5-11-13 Owner-Ollie Hannon; Trainer-Pat Flynn
IRE; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-8/1
WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER
(Weatherbys Champion Bumper since 1997, Bi Group Festival Bumper 1996, Prestige Medical Festival Bumper 1995, Bromsgrove Industries Festival Bumper 1994, Guinness Festival Bumper 1993, Tote Festival Bumper 1992)
Year Winner Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP Ran
WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER FACTS & FIGURES
1. Other than the contests added to The Festival in 2005 when it went
to four days, the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, run for the first time
in 1992, is the second-newest race at The Festival after the Coral Cup
which was introduced the following year.
2. The first winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper was Montelado,
who achieved what is thought to be the unique feat of winning two consecutive
Festival races. The Bumper, now run on Wednesday, was originally the
last race of the Festival. Montelado went on to win the opening race
of the 1993 Festival, the Trafalgar House Supreme Novices' Hurdle, which
is now sponsored by Anglo Irish Bank.
3. Irish-trained runners have a great record in the race, accounting for 11 of the 14 winners. Willie Mullins has incredibly saddled five of the last 10 winners. The three horses to have kept the trophy at home were Dato Star in 1995, Monsignor, who sprang a 50/1 surprise in 1999, and Liberman, who gave Martin Pipe his first and only win in the race in 2003.
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