Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle - Fri Mar 13th 2009 

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American Trilogy Takes County Cash

1st (15) American Trilogy 20/1
2nd (28) Stradbrook 66/1
3rd (25) Cockney Trucker 17/2
4th (24) Nortonthorpe Lad 50/1
5th (23) Kandari 14/1

Ruby Walsh has never had a Cheltenham Festival like it. Nor has any other jockey in recent times. American Trilogy’s impressive victory in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle brought Walsh his sixth win of this year’s Festival.

“Riding six winners here is not something that you ever think that you are going to do but I am just a very lucky man to be able to ride for such great people in Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls. They are champion trainers in their respective countries and it's an honour to be able to ride for the two of them,” said an ebullient Walsh

“I have never had so many days when things just keep going right for me - something always goes wrong. It's all gone right so far this week and let's just hope it can continue for another hour,” added the jockey.

American Trilogy was also the fourth winner of The 2009 Festival for trainer Paul Nicholls, who was quick to give credit to his all-conquering jockey.

“Ruby been confident all week American Trilogy would run well if the ground was decent. He got off him at Ascot last time and said, ‘If we get him right we can win the County Hurdle with him. Back in trip and with better ground, he’s just the right sort - and Ruby’s been proved right again,” said the trainer.

Nicholls stressed that it had taken some time to get to know the horse and that when he ran at Ascot in February conditions were against him. “All winter we have run him on the wrong ground. I knew that he had been keeping a lot to himself and so we put the blinkers on him at Ascot but it just all went wrong - he ran too free, the ground was too bad and it was too far for him,” said Nicholls.

“It takes you a while to know a horse. In the last three weeks he’s done more work than probably anything. He’s just grafted and grafted and grafted. We’ve really got into him and got him fit and - bingo.”

Nicholls expects the horse will now go to Aintree for the two-mile novice hurdle. “He’s still a novice - we wouldn’t want to go in a handicap I wouldn’t think. Then he’ll go chasing with him,” said Nicholls

The champion trainer added: "The horses are well and they all seem in good order. It's great to be here and we are having an absolutely amazing week."

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
American Trilogy
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 0lbs
20 - 1
Jonjo O'Neill
R P McLernon
10st 6lbs
66 - 1
11 lengths
Cockney Trucker
P J Hobbs
R Johnson
10st 9lbs
17 - 2
3 1/4 lengths
Nortonthorpe Lad
Mrs A M Thorpe
D Jacob
10st 10lbs
50 - 1
1/2 length
N Meade
N P Madden
10st 10lbs
14 - 1
Dave's Dream
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 0lbs
7 - 2
3/4 length
J Howard Johnson
Denis O'Regan
11st 10lbs
40 - 1
1/2 length
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 5lbs
20 - 1
4 lengths
Bedlam Boy
Ferdy Murphy
G Lee
10st 12lbs
50 - 1
1 3/4 length
M Scudamore
J Kington
10st 9lbs
80 - 1
1/2 length
Raise Your Heart
Ms J Morgan
D J Condon
11st 2lbs
11 - 1
Harper Valley
Mrs L Wadham
D Elsworth
11st 8lbs
33 - 1
Sky Hall
N Meade
L Mcniff
10st 13lbs
20 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
Moves Goodenough
Andrew Turnell
T J Murphy
10st 7lbs
100 - 1
2 lengths
Group Captain
H J Collingridge
R J Killoran
11st 9lbs
40 - 1
5 lengths
Silver Jaro
T Hogan
N Fehily
11st 3lbs
33 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
Miss Lucinda V Russell
C I Gillies
10st 11lbs
50 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
Fisher Bridge
N Meade
Emmet Mullins
11st 0lbs
33 - 1
1/2 length
Leo's Lucky Star
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 3lbs
66 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
Miss V Williams
S Thomas
11st 7lbs
10 - 1
4 lengths
Working Title
N J Henderson
Felix De Giles
11st 0lbs
33 - 1
Khyber Kim
N A Twiston-Davies
P J Brennan
11st 9lbs
33 - 1
2 3/4 lengths
Rippling Ring
P F Nicholls
Nick Scholfield
11st 1lbs
33 - 1
6 lengths
Cedrus Libani
Evan Williams
Paul Moloney
11st 3lbs
100 - 1
14 lengths
Jonjo O'Neill
A P McCoy
10st 13lbs
5 - 1
9 lengths
Mrs P Dobbs
P W Flood
11st 0lbs
25 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
E J O'Grady
A J McNamara
11st 12lbs
33 - 1
18 lengths
Non Runner
Take The Breeze
P F Nicholls
Harry Skelton
11st 2lbs




Runner-up Stradbrook belied his 66/1 SP to take second place in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, 11 lengths adrift of runaway winner American Trilogy.

Frank Berry, Racing Manager to owner J P McManus, said: “He disappointed at Sandown on Saturday and we are not sure why, but he came out of the race in great form and we decided to have another go here.

“They went a good gallop which suited him today and I should think he will keep going in these sort of handicaps.

“Kandari (5th) also ran a blinder while Sunnyhillboy (25th) jumped great but just didn’t get home for whatever reason.”

Trainer Philip Hobbs was satisfied with the effort of 17/2 chance Cockney Trucker, who was a further three and a quarter lengths back in third.

The Minehead handler said: “I am delighted. He has run well.

“Ideally, better ground and a bit further would have suited him better today.

“He has not been too busy this season as we have been waiting for the better ground with him and we will look for something else for him now.”



1. Vincent O'Brien's record at The Festival was outstanding with 23 victories, including four Gold Cups, three Champion Hurdles, 10 Supreme Novices’ Hurdles and a flurry of supporting races. This will be the 14th year that the County Hurdle bears the name of Vincent O’Brien, who retired from training in 1994.

2. The first County Hurdle was run in 1920, and won by Trespasser, ridden by George Duller, who until 1973 also had a race named after him at Cheltenham's premier meeting.

3. The County Hurdle has suffered more abandonments than any other race at The Festival. Since the war, the race has been lost on five occasions, most recently in 2001 because of the foot and mouth crisis.

4. The race has been a favourite for the Irish with nine winners since 1953.

6. The fastest time for the winning horse is 3 mins 51.2 secs by Moody Man in 1990.

7. In 1998, Blowing Wind, picked up an additional £50,000 bonus having won the Imperial Cup at Sandown Park the previous weekend. The bonus, worth £75,000 this year, is offered again by Sunderlands, bookmaking sponsor of the Imperial Cup, to any horse that wins the Sandown race and then goes on to success in any contest at The Festival.


Previous Results


2007-WINNER-PEDROBOB 9-10-00 Owner-Barry Connell; Trainer-Tony Mullins IRE; Jockey-Philip Carberry; SP-12/1
2ND-Ouninpohja 6-10-00 Owner-Maggie Findlay; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/2
3RD-Premier Dane 5-10-00 Owner-Jim Ennis; Trainer-Nicky Richards; Jockey-Brian Harding; SP-100/1
4TH-Kawagino 7-10-00 Owner-K Pike; Trainer-Seamus Mullins; Jockey-Wayne Kavanagh; SP-20/1
28 ran, Time-3m 53.90s, Dist 1, nk, ¾ 3/1 Fav Fair Along (25th)

2006-WINNER-DESERT QUEST 6-10-10 Owner-Maggie Findlay; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/1 Jt Fav
2ND-Noble Request 5-10-11 Owner-Karola Vann; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-25/1
3RD-Adamant Approach 12-10-06 Owner-Greenstar Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Richard Kiely; SP-50/1
4TH-Pirate Flagship 7-10-01 Owner-Mark & Tessa Woodhouse; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-10/1
29 ran, Time-3m 52.70s, Dist-2.5, 3.5, 1 4/1 Jt Fav Studmaster (10th)

2005-WINNER-FONTANESI 5-10-00 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-16/1
2ND-Stance 6-10-00 Owner-N J Jones; Trainer-Gary Moore; Jockey-David Casey; SP-11/1
3RD-Borora 6-10-00 Owner-Mrs E M Clarke; Trainer-Richard Lee; Jockey-Tom Doyle; SP-200/1
4TH-Grande Jete 8-10-02 Owner-Lee Westwood, A Chandler & Jeremy Hindley; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey- Mick Fitzgerald; SP-14/1
30 ran, Time-4m 1.30s, Dist-2, 2, 1.5

2004-WINNER-SPORAZENE 5-10-13 Owner-Ged Mason & David Jackson; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP- 7/1 Jt Fav
2ND-Hawadeth 9-9-07 Owner-Nicky Viney; Trainer-Victor Dartnall; Jockey-Mr Tom Malone; SP-50/1
3RD-Copeland 9-10-01 Owner-Professor David and Mrs Heather Silk; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Jamie Moore; SP- 25/1
4TH-Balapour 6-10-00 Owner-Rita Shah; Trainer-Oliver Brady IRE; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-12/1
23 ran, Time-4m 3.70s, Dist-.5, 1.5, nk 7/1 Jt Fav Harchibald (5th)

2003-WINNER-SPIRIT LEADER 7-11-07 Owner-Dil Thompson; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-10/1
2ND-Balapour 5-10-00 Owner-Rita Shah; Trainer-Oliver Brady IRE; Jockey-Martin Mooney; SP-25/1
3RD-Through The Rye 7-10-09 Owner-Nice To See You Euro-Racing); Trainer-Edwin Tuer; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-66/1
4TH-Non So 5-11-05 Owner-ROA Dawn Run Partnership; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick FitzgGerald; SP-10/128 ran, Time-3m 58.60s, Dist-nk, shd, 5 5/1 Fav Mise Rafturai (PU)

2002-WINNER-ROOSTER BOOSTER 8-11-01 Owner-Terry Warner; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-8/1
2ND-The Gatherer 8-10-06 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Arthur Moore IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-12/1
3RD-Ben Ewar 8-10-01 Owner-Tony Richards; Trainer-Ken Cunningham-Brown; Jockey-Barry Fenton; SP-50/1
4TH-Benbyas 5-10-00 Owner-C H Stephenson & Partners; Trainer-Les Eyre; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-12/1
21 ran, Time-4m 5.90s, Dist-1.25, .5, 7 2/1 Fav Polar Red (13th)
2001 - No Race (Foot and Mouth Disease)

2000-WINNER-MASTER TERN 5-10-03 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony Dobbin; SP-9/2 Fav
2ND Danegold 8-10-02 Owner-Circular Distributors Ltd; Trainer-Mick Channon; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-25/1
3RD Spokesman 6-10-02 Owner-Theresa McCoubrey; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE Jockey-Paul Moloney; SP-10/1
4TH Auetaler 6-11-09 Owner-The Anfield Hombres; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Rodi Greene; SP-12/1
21 ran, Time-3m 51.30s Dist-nk, 1, 1

1999-WINNER-SIR TALBOT 5-10-00 Owner-Wally Sturt; Trainer-Jim Old; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-10/1
2ND-Decoupage 7-10-13 Owner-James Dean; Trainer-Charlie Egerton; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-100/30 Fav
3RD-Toto Toscato 5-11-05 Owner-Hilda Clarke; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-25/1
4TH-Sadler’s Realm 6-9-09 Owner-B D Racing; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Robert Widger; SP-25/1
28 ran, Time- 3m 57.8s Dist-6, 10

1998-WINNER-BLOWING WIND 5-11-08 Owner-Peter Deal; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-15/8 Fav
2ND-Advocat 8-10-05 Owner-The High Street Racing Syndicate; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-12/1
3RD-Bless Me Sister 9-10-02 Owner-Bray Partners; Trainer-Richard Rowe; Jockey-Darren O’Sullivan; SP-33/1
4TH-Barna Boy 10-11-06 Owner-Lynn Wilson; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick FitzGerald;
SP-14/1 27 ran, Time- 3m 54.3s Dist-1.75, 2.5

1997-WINNER-BARNA BOY 9-10-12 Owner-Lynn Wilson; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-14/1
2ND-Carlito Brigante 5-10-00 Owner-Lady Carole Bamford; Trainer-Paul Webber; Jockey-Jamie Osborne; SP-13/2
3RD-Penny A Day 7-11-08 Owner-Ian Good; Trainer-Mary Reveley; Jockey-Peter Niven; SP-15/2
4TH-Black Queen 6-10-04 Owner-Heinz Pollmeier; Trainer-John Kiely IRE; Jockey-A J O’Brien;
SP-12/1 20 ran, Time-3m 58.9s, Dist-1, 3, 1 7/2 Fav Tidjani (5th)

1996-WINNER-STAR RAGE 6-10-00 Owner-David Abell; Trainer-Jimmy Harris; Jockey-Dean Gallagher; SP-14/1
2ND-Romancer 5-11-03 Owner-Matt Archer & Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-8/1
3RD-Non Vintage 5-10-13 Owner-A Mann and Mrs T Mann; Trainer-Michael Chapman; Jockey-Billy Worthington; SP-33/1
4TH-Cheryl’s Lad 6-11-05 Owner-Elaine Baines; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-John Kavanagh; SP-5/1 Fav
28 ran, Time-4m 0.8s, Dist-3, 3.5, 2.5


(Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle since 1995, County Handicap Hurdle 1990-1994, Racegoers Club County Handicap Hurdle 1989, County Handicap Hurdle before 1989)

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2008 Silver Jaro
2007 Pedrobob 9-10-00 Philip Carberry Tony Mullins IRE Barry Connell 12/1 28
2006 Desert Quest 6-10-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Maggie Findlay 4/1JF 29
2005 Fontanesi 5-10-00 Timmy Murphy Martin Pipe David Johnson 16/1 30
2004 Sporazene 5-10-13 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Ged Mason & David Jackson 7/1 JF 23
2003 Spirit Leader 7-11-07 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Dil Thompson 10/1 28
2002 Rooster Booster 8-11-01 Richard Johnson Phillip Hobbs Terry Warner 8/1 21
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Master Tern 5-10-03 Tony Dobbin Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 9/2F 21
1999 Sir Talbot 5-10-00 Timmy Murphy Jim Old Wally Sturt 10/1 28
1998 Blowing Wind 5-11-08 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe Peter Deal 15/8F 27
1997 Barna Boy 9-10-12 Richard Dunwoody Nicky Henderson Lynn Wilson 14/1 20
1996 Star Rage 6-10-00 Dean Gallagher Jimmy Harris David Abell 14/1 28
1995 Home Counties 6-10-12 Jimmy Moffatt Dudley Moffatt Roxy Cinemas (Dalton) Ltd 14/1 23
1994 Dizzy 6-10-00 Tony Dobbin Peter Monteith Lt Col Willie Monteith 12/1 24
1993 Thumbs Up 7-10-02 Richard Dunwoody Nicky Henderson Michael Buckley 16/1 21
1992 Dusty Miller 6-10-06 Jamie Osborne Simon Sherwood Watership Down Racing 9/1 27
1991 Winnie The Witch 7-9-08 David Bridgwater Ken Bridgwater Paddocks Thoroughbred Racing 33/1 26
1990 Moody Man 5-11-02 Peter Hobbs Philip Hobbs James Burley 9/1 20
1989 Willsford 6-10-08 Michael Bowlby Jenny Pitman Arnie Kaplan 11/1 21
1988 Cashew King 5-10-04 Trevor Wall Bryan McMahon Peter Moss 9/1 24
1987 Neblin 8-11-00 Richard Guest Toby Balding Skipper Leather 14/1 24
1986 Jobroke 6-10-03 Jonjo O'Neill Peter Easterby Lt Col Dick Warden 6/1F 29
1985 Floyd 5-10-05 Colin Brown David Elsworth Mike Walsh 5/2F 27
1984 Hill’s Guard 5-10-11 Andy Stringer Andy Scott G Shie 6/1 19
1983 Robin Wonder 5-10-03 Jim Davies David Elsworth Anthony Hunt 10/1 29
1982 Path Of Peace 6-10-06 Jonjo O'Neill Chris Thornton Louise Gold 4/1 23
1981 Staplestown 6-10-07 Tommy Ryan Edward O'Grady IRE Mrs I O’Sullivan 11/2F 25
1980 Prince Of Bermuda 5-10-00 Steve Knight Bob Turnell J Harnett 9/1 18
1979 Monte Ceco 6-10-12 Colin Tinkler Fred Rimell J Saunders Jones 6/1 20
1978 No race (Abandoned because of snow)
1977 Kilcoleman 5-10-07 Tommy Kinane Billy Boyers IRE P Clarke 14/1 26
1976 Java Fox 6-10-01 Mr George Jones Roy Cambidge J Caddick 16/1 13
1975 No race (Course waterlogged)
1974 True Song 5-11-02 Gary Old Donald Underwood Mrs J Underwood 14/1 20
1973 Current Romance 7-10-07 David Nicholson Frenchie Nicholson R Warmington 20/1 31
1972 Cold Day 6-10-08 Ron Hyett Katie Gaze Katie Gaze 15/1 25
1971 Carry Off 7-10-01 David Goulding Nigel Angus A M Picken 25/1 24
1970 Khan 6-9-11 Lord Petersham Miss Delmer Harty IRE Lord Petersham 100/8 32
1969 Gay Knight 5-10-03 Aly Branford Les Kennard L E Withers 100/7 27
1968 Jolly Signal 6-10-11 Jimmy Uttley Earl Jones Mrs D Crouch 6/1 16
1967 Cool Alibi 5-10-09 Roddy Reid Rodney Bower H A Moore 20/1 28
1966 Roaring Twenties 6-11-02 George Milburn Ken Oliver Mrs A L G Ogilvy 10/1 16
1965 Mayfair Bill 6-10-04 Andy Turnell Bob Turnell Jim Joel 33/1 19
1964 Icy Wonder 5-10-02 Jeff King Vernon Cross F J Hunt 11/2 17
1963 Bahrain 6-10-06 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Ted Sturman 11/2 19
1962 Sky Pink 5-10-11 Fred Winter Ryan Price Gerry Judd 100/8 20
1961 Most Unusual 6-10-07 Josh Gifford Bill Ransom Bill Ransom 100/7 23
1960 Albergo 6-12-05 Doug Page Clem Magnier IRE Mrs Clem Magnier 7/4F 26
1959 Approval 13-11-02 Derek Leslie Syd Mercer Syd Mercer 10/1 20
1958 Friendly Boy 6-10-05 Liam Brennan Joe Osborne IRE Mrs V Vanden Bergh 3/1F 18
1957 Flaming East 8-10-05 Peter Pickford Ricky Vallance Mrs Ricky Vallance 100/6 19
1956 Pommel 9-10-11 Steve Boddy Jack C Waugh Peter Shepherd 100/7 18
1955 No race (Abandoned because of snow)
1954 Bold Baby 8-12-00 Paddy Powell Michael Dawson IRE Michael Dawson 13/8F 14
1953 Teapot II 8-12-07 Pat Taaffe Clem Magnier IRE Mrs C Magnier 4/1 16
1952 Ballymacan 5-10-12 Bryan Marshall Neville Crump H D Waddington 100/7 21
1951 Southwick 7-10-03 George Spann J Whiting Sonny Hall 100/7 21
1950 Blue Raleigh 7-10-00 Jimmy Power Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 25/1 19
1949 No race (Abandoned because of frost)
1948 Cape Light 5-11-01 Joe Maguire Ivor Anthony Sir Humphrey de Trafford 2/1F 21
1947 No race (Abandoned because of snow and frost)
1946 Vidi 5-11-10 Don Butchers Reg Hobbs A E Saunders 6/1 2

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