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Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
Cheltenham Free Bets
Grade 1, Cheltenham 13:30
£135,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus,
2m 5f 26y, Class 1    
Wednesday 16th March 2022

1 Sir Gerhard 8/11F
2 Three Stripe Life 8/1
3 Whatdeawant 18/1
9 ran Distances: 3½l, 9l, 8½l
Time: 5m 20.38s (slow by 20.38s

Sent off the 8-11 favourite, Willie Mullins’ Sir Gerhard had to work hard in testing ground, but eventually came home a cosy winner for Paul Townend.

Ahead of racing, conditions changed to soft after heavy rain fell on watered ground, making conditions gruelling, and the early pace did not help the keen Stage Star, who emptied quickly after the third-last.

Rachael Blackmore increased the tempo on Journey With Me approaching the stands for the first time, but was always tracked by Sir Gerhard, who was also very keen in the early stages, and the writing was on the wall turning in.

Townend swept to the front and held off the staying-on Three Stripe Life to score by three and a half lengths. A tired Journey With Me fell at the last, leaving Whatdeawant to fill the minor honours.

Townend said: “He showed his class, as keen as he was, to stay going. I was afraid going around that we were in the wrong race, but he showed his true ability to stay going.

“He jumped the best he has ever jumped on the course. His jumping the last day wasn’t great, but he jumped well there.”

Trainers Quotes

Mullins can now look forward to a huge future with the winner.

“I’m absolutely delighted with that. He did everything we thought he might do,” he said.

“He was a little bit more free than I thought he would be, but then there was probably very little pace. Anyway, Paul kept a lot in reserve and he won as he liked.

“He jumped like a professional the first day, wasn’t so good the second day and then jumped like a professional today. There is obviously a little quirk in him, but he was fantastic today.

“You’d think he’s a chaser, but could he be a Champion Hurdle horse? He could be.”

He added: “I think the rain is good for our horses. We felt the ground was good yesterday, maybe a little too good for us. It’s proper National Hunt weather today, anyway.

“On yesterday’s ground, if we were at home maybe we mightn’t have run. I’m much happier with this.

“I wasn’t disappointed with the ground yesterday. It just walked a little bit slower than maybe it rode on some of our horses.

“When you’re breaking records it means the ground is fast, so there we are.”

Richard Thompson, director of owners Cheveley Park Stud, did not mind welcoming his winner back, despite being drenched by the rain.

He said: “My three sons went to watch it outside so I thought I’d better go watch it with them. What better way to see a winner, who cares about the rain when you’ve won a race like that? Fantastic.

“It’s great to have all the options and we’ll be discussing it in time, my instinct will go with what Willie says, as far as I’m concerned.”

Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
(registered As The Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle)
£135,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m 5f 26y, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Soft

POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1     Sir Gerhard 7 11-7 W P Mullins Paul Townend 8/11F
2
Three Stripe Life 6 11-7 Gordon Elliott Davy Russell 8/1
3
9 Whatdeawant 6 11-7 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 18/1
4
I Am Maximus 6 11-7 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 12/1
5
33 Hemlock 5 11-7 Thomas Gibney Darragh O'Keeffe 200/1
6 6 Haxo 5 11-7 W P Mullins Sean O'Keeffe 125/1
7
4 Scarface 5 11-7 Colin Tizzard Brendan Powell 66/1
FELL Journey With Me 6 11-7 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 5/1
PU Stage Star 6 11-7 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 7/1

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Previous results - BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2021 Bob Olinger 6 11-07 Rachael Blackmore Henry De Bromhead Robcour 6/4F 7
2020 Envoi Allen 6 11-07 Davy Russell Gordon Elliott Cheveley Park Stud 4/7F 12

2019 City Island 6-11-07 Mark Walsh Martin Brassil IRE Bernardine Mulryan 8/1 16

2018-WINNER-SAMCRO 6-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Gordon Elliott IRE; Jockey-Jack Kennedy; SP-8/11 Fav
2ND-Black Op 7-11-07 Owner-Roger Brookhouse; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-8/1
3RD-Next Destination 6-11-07 Owner-Malcolm Denmark; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Ruby Walsh; SP-4/1
14 runners, Time-5m 18.20s, Dist-2¾, 5

2017-WINNER-WILLOUGHBY COURT 6-11-07 Owner-Paul & Clare Rooney; Trainer-Ben Pauling; Jockey-David Bass; SP-14/1
2ND-Neon Wolf 7-11-07 Owner-Masterson Holdings Limited; Trainer-Harry Fry; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-2/1 Fav
3RD-Messire Des Obeaux 6-11-07 Owner-Simon Munir & Isaac Souede; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-8/1
15 ran, Time-5m 8.80s, Dist-hd, 33⁄4

2016-WINNER-YORKHILL 6-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-3/1
2ND-Yanworth 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer Alan King; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-11/10 Fav
3RD-Its’afreebee 6-11-07 Owner-Rebel Jumping; Trainer-Dan Skelton; Jockey-Ian Popham; SP-33/1
11 ran, Time-5m 0.89s; Dist-1¾, 7

2015-WINNER-WINDSOR PARK 6-11-07 Owner-Dr Ronan Lambe; Trainer-Dermot Weld IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-9/2
2ND-Parlour Games 7-11-07 Owner-Bloomfields; Trainer-John Ferguson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-13/2
3RD-Nichols Canyon 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-7/2 Fav
10 ran, Time-5m 7.40s; Dist-3¾, 1¼

2014-WINNER-FAUGHEEN 6-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/4 Fav
2ND-Ballyalton 7-11-07 Owner-John Westwood; Trainer-Ian Williams; Jockey-Will Kennedy; SP-20/1
3RD-Rathvinden 6-11-07 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-11/2
15 ran, Time-4m 54.80s; Dist-4½, ½

2013-WINNER-THE NEW ONE 6-11-07 Owner-Sarah Such; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-7/2
2ND-Rule The World 5-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-5/1
3RD-Pont Alexandre 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/4 Fav
8 ran, Time-5m 16.60s; Dist-4, 4½

2012-WINNER-SIMONSIG 6-11-07 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Felix Yonger 6-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-16/1
3RD-Monksland 5-11-07 Owner-Patricia Hunt; Trainer Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-11/2
17 ran, Time-4m 59.34s; Dist-7, 11

2011-WINNER-FIRST LIEUTENANT 6-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP- 7/1
2ND-Rock On Ruby 6-11-07 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-13/2 3RD-So Young 5-11-07 Owner-Mrs M McMahon; Trainer Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-2/1 Fav
12 ran, Time-5m 10.50s; Dist-sh, 41⁄2

2010-WINNER-PEDDLERS CROSS 5-11-07 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-7/1
2ND-Reve De Sivola 5-11-07 Owner-Paul Duffy Diamond Partnership; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-15/2
3RD-Rite Of Passage 6-11-07 Owner-Dr Ronan Lambe; Trainer-Dermot Weld IRE; Jockey-Mr Robbie McNamara; SP-7/2 Fav
17 ran, Time-5m 2.77s Dist-1½, 3¾

2009-WINNER-MIKAEL D'HAGUENET 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/2 Fav
2ND-Karabak 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-4/1
3RD-Diamond Harry 6-11-07 Owner-Paul Duffy Diamond Syndicate; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-4/1
14 ran, Time-5m 17.10s Dist-1¾, 3¾

2008-WINNER-FIVEFORTHREE 6-11-07 Owner-Olde Crowbars Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-7/1
2ND-Venalmar 6-11-07 Owner-Michael O’Flynn; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Paddy Flood; SP-11/1
3RD-Trafford Lad 6-11-07 Owner-Butler Family Syndicate; Trainer-Eamon Sheehy IRE; Jockey-Tom Doyle; SP-9/1
15 ran, Time-5m 2.20s Dist-nk, 4; 4/1 Fav Aigle D’Or (13th)

2007-WINNER-MASSINI’S MAGUIRE 6-11-07 Owner-Alan Peterson; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
2ND-Tidal Bay 6-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-10/1
3RD-Catch Me 6-11-07 Owner-J P O’Shea; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
15 ran, Time-5m 5.40s; Dist: nk, 1½; 5/2 Fav Aran Concerto (5th)

2006-WINNER-NICANOR 5-11-07 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-17/2
2ND-Denman 6-11-07 Owner-Paul Barber & Maggie Findlay; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/10 Fav
3RD-Refinement 7-11-00 Owner-Michael Tabor; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-11/2
17 ran, Time-5m 1.00s Dist: 2½, 6

2005-WINNER-NO REFUGE 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-17/2
2ND-Racing Demon 5-11-07 Owner-Camilla Radford; Trainer-Henrietta Knight; Jockey-Jim Culloty; SP-14/1
3RD-Our Ben 6-11-07 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-33/1
20 ran, Time-5m 00.00s Dist: ¾, 2½ 9/2 Jt Favs Gold Medalist (5th) & Royal Paradise (7th)

2004-WINNER-FUNDAMENTALIST 6-11-07 Owner-Gripen; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-12/1
2ND-Inglis Drever 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-7/4 Fav
3RD-Grey Report 7-11-07 Owner-Anne La Trobe; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-25/1
15 ran, Time-5m 1.90s, Dist-.5, 4

2003-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 5-11-07 Owner-Laurence Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Kieran Kelly; SP-6/1
2ND-Pizarro 6-11-07 Owner-Edward Wallace; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-2/1 Fav
3RD-Lord Sam 7-11-07 Owner-Plain Peeps; Trainer-Victor Dartnall; Jockey-Warren Marston; SP-10/1
Coolnagorna, finished 2nd, placed last for causing interference 19 ran, Time-5m 5.70s, Dist (as they passed the post)-1¼, 1

2002-WINNER-GALILEO 6-11-07 Owner-Sharon Nelson, Allan Stennett, Terry Warner; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-12/1
2ND-Over The Bar 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-14/1
3RD-Lanzerac 5-11-07 Owner-Cleartherm Ltd; Trainer-John Harris; Jockey-Paul Flynn; SP-66/1
27 ran; Time-5m 19.70s, Dist-3½, sh; 5/1 Fav Classified (4th)

2001-Cancelled (Foot and Mouth Disease)

2000-WINNER-MONSIGNOR 6-11-07 Owner-Malcolm Denmark; Trainer-Mark Pitman; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-5/4 Fav
2ND-No Discount 6-11-06 Owner-Seamus Ross; Trainer-Charlie Swan IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-20/1
3RD-Gentle Rivage 6-11-07 Owner-Geoffrey and Donna Keeys; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; SP-50/1
14 ran, Time-4m 52.0s, Dist-8,5

1999-WINNER-BARTON 6-11-07 Owner-Stan Clarke; Trainer-Tim Easterby; Jockey-Lorcan Wyer, SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Artadoin Lad 6-11-07 Owner-Jim Shaw; Trainer-Jenny Pitman; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-28/1
3RD-Winston Run 7-11-07 Owner-Mr & Mrs John Poynton; Trainer-Ian Williams; Jockey-Glenn Tormey; SP-100/1
18 ran, Time-5m 5.6s, Dist-9, ½

1998-WINNER-FRENCH HOLLY 7-11-07 Owner-Kieran Flood; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Andrew Thornton; SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Torboy 8-11-07 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-8/1
3RD-Cloone Bridge 6-11-07 Owner-Kathleen Gillane; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-8/1
18 ran, Time-4m 59.7s, Dist-14, 2½

1997-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 5-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-6/5 Fav
2ND-Mighty Moss 6-11-07 Owner-Ken Hutsby; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Mr Fred Hutsby; SP-11/1
3RD-Daraydan 5-11-07 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Richard Hughes; SP-16/1
17 ran, Time-4m 58.2s, Dist-1, ¾

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NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

1996 Urubande 6-11-07 Charlie Swan Aidan O’Brien IRE Martin St Quinton 8/1 24
1995 Putty Road 5-11-07 Norman Williamson David Nicholson Lady Harris 7/1 21
1994 Danoli 6-11-07 Charlie Swan Tom Foley IRE Dan O’Neill 7/4F 23
1993 Gaelstrom 6-11-02 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Jenny Powell 16/1 19
1992 Thetford Forest 5-11-07 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Saeed Manana 7/1 27
1991 Crystal Spirit 4-10-12 Jimmy Frost Ian Balding Paul Mellon 2/1F 29
1990 Regal Ambition 6-11-07 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Skeltools Ltd 3/1F 22
1989 Sayfar’s Lad 5-11-07 Mark Perrett Martin Pipe Arthur Whiting 12/1 22
1988 Rebel Song 6-11-07 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 14/1 25
1987 The West Awake 6-11-07 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 16/1 28
1986 Ten Plus 6-11-07 Kevin Mooney Fulke Walwyn Basil Thwaites 5/2F 28
1985 Asir 5-11-07 Mr Ronnie Beggan Paul Kelleway HH Prince Yazid Saud 9/1 27
1984 Fealty 4-10-12 Seamus O’Neill Peter Brookshaw Peter Brookshaw 33/1 29
1983 Sabin Du Loir 4-10-08 Graham Bradley Michael Dickinson Brian Kilpatrick 16/1 27
1982 Mister Donovan 6-11-08 Tommy Ryan Edward O’Grady IRE J P McManus 9/2 21
1981 Gaye Chance 6-11-08 Sam Morshead Fred Rimell Mrs M Curtis 7/1 21
1980 Drumlargan 6-11-08 Tommy Ryan Edward O’Grady IRE Mary Cuddy 5/2F 27
1979 Venture To Cognac 6-11-08 Mr Oliver Sherwood Fred Winter Nat Sherwood 4/1 29
1978 Mr Kildare 5-11-07 Tommy Carmody Liam Browne IRE Owen Canty 8/11F 20
1977 Counsel Cottage 6-11-08 Sean Treacy Paddy Mullins IRE Lady Elizabeth Byng 6/1 26
1976 Parkhill 5-11-07 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs J McGowan 4/1 21
1975 Davy Lad 5-11-07 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs J McGowan 5/2F 20
1974 Brown Lad 8-11-08 Ron Barry Paddy Osborne IRE J Osborne 2/1F 25
1973 Willie Wumpkins 5-11-06 Pat Colville Adrian Maxwell IRE Jane Pilkington 11/1 15
1972 Even Dawn 5-11-06 Ron Hyett Katie Gaze Katie Gaze 40/1 17
1971 Midsprite 5-11-12 Macer Gifford Tom Jones Mrs Ogden Phipps 7/1 20

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