Une Artiste Rocks Up in Fred Winter
1 Une Artiste 40/1
Nicky Henderson continued his spectacular afternoon as Une Artiste gave him his fourth winner in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The Simon Munir-owned mare took Henderson’s tally this week to five and his overall record at the meeting to 44 victories. The four-timer paid a sparkling 3,381.5/1.
Victory in this race was especially sweet for the Lambourn-based Henderson, for it commemorates the great jockey and trainer Fred Winter, to whom Henderson was an assistant before branching out on his own.
In the winner’s enclosure, Henderson revealed that he was wearing a suit owned by his late father Johnny. He had suspected today would be a good one for the yard, so wore the suit as a mark of respect for a man who he said “had been instrumental in the success of Cheltenham”. Johnny Henderson, who died in 2005, helped save Cheltenham Racecourse when a member of the Jockey Club in 1963. Together with other members of the Jockey Club, he raised £240,000 to purchase the course and established Racecourse Holdings Trust to run it. RHT, now Jockey Club Racecourses, has 14 racecourses today.
Nicky Henderson said: “It’s been one of those days - we’ll probably wake up and find it’s been a good dream. We’ve had a lot of great days, but Cheltenham comes round once a year and to everyone here it’s the best four days of the year. It doesn’t get any better and it’s lovely to win the Fred Winter, who was friend, boss, mentor and tutor.
“Dad and Fred Winter were the two most influential people in my life.”
Simon Munir had suffered disappointment when his Grandouet was ruled out of the Festival four weeks ago through injury, but this win was some consolation. He said: “Racing is a great leveller. We were in two minds about running this mare because she was quite disappointing when she ran in the Adonis Hurdle [at Kempton]. We decided to give her a chance and look what happened.
“This takes me back to Soldatino’s win in the Triumph Hurdle two years ago, but when your expectations are low the upside is massive. I didn’t have a penny on her.”
Jeremiah McGrath rode Une Artiste to victory up Cheltenham’s famous hill and added yet another win to the remarkable haul of Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows stable which celebrated its fifth win of the 2012 Festival and fourth of the day.
The delighted 21-year-old conditional jockey said: “That was my first Festival winner and the last day I was here at Cheltenham was back in December when I took a really bad fall on my birthday. This has definitely made up for it. It’s unbelievable.
“I’d like to thank [owner] Mr Munir and Mr Henderson. We’ve had a fantastic day. There’s an awful lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and it’s paid off for everybody back at the yard. It’s absolutely brilliant.
“Believe it or not there was less pressure on me after the three winners earlier. He’ll probably kill me for saying this but the boss is in great form so anything I could do was a bonus.”
Paying tribute to his winning mount, he added: “She’s a tough little filly. She hasn’t been in the yard for long and I rode her for the first time at Haydock when she won on heavy ground. That’s the doubt I had in my mind, whether she’d like the better ground, but she scooted up the hill and I knew I was getting there. She absolutely winged the last and she won going away. For a juvenile she jumped very well and galloped right to the line. She did it easily.”
YOU CAN’T FIGHT FIRE
Tony Martin, trainer of runner-up Edeymi, said:
“He’s run a blinder, just met a better one on the day. Unfortunately, Nicky Henderson [trainer of the winner Une Artiste] is on fire. I thought he might have gone to the bar and stopped after three. I’d have bought him a case of champagne to keep him there.”
Alan King, trainer of third-place Vendor, the 3/1 favourite, said:
“He’s still a baby, still learning. I don’t think he’s ever been crowded in a pack like that and you could see him just looking a bit timid for a stride or too, although he finished the race off well. Ideally, I probably would have liked to give him another race after Newbury, just to get the experience into him, but the handicapper would have had a say.
“It’s always a bit disappointing when a favourite you really fancy gets beaten. But he’s a bloody nice horse for the future, one for the long term. And there are far worse things to worry about.”
THE FRED WINTER JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
FRED WINTER JUVENILE NOVICES’ HANDICAP HURDLE PAST RESULTS
2011-WINNER-WHAT A CHARM 4-10-06 Owner-Chris Jones; Trainer-Arthur Moore IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-9/1
2010-WINNER-SANCTUAIRE 4-11-02 Owner-Jared Sullivan; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/1 Fav
2009-WINNER-SILK AFFAIR 4-10-04 Owner-Liam Mulryan & Michael Fahy; Trainer-Mick Quinlan; Jockey-Tom O’Brien; SP-11/1
2008-WINNER-CRACK AWAY JACK 4-11-10 Owner-GDM Partnership; Trainer-Emma Lavelle; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-14/1
2007-WINNER-GASPARA 4-10-11 Owner-Martin Pipe; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Andrew Glassonbury;
SP-9/2 Joint Fav
2006-WINNER-SHAMAYOUN 4-11-03 Owner-Ronald Brimacombe; Trainer-Charles
Egerton; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-40/1
2005-WINNER-DABIROUN 4-11-04 Owner-Donal O’Gorman;
Trainer-Paul Nolan IRE; Jockey-Miss Nina Carberry; SP-20/1
FRED WINTER JUVENILE NOVICES’ HANDICAP HURDLE ROLL
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2011 What A Charm 4-10-06 Paul Townend Arthur Moore Chris Jones 9/1 23
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