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racing_news/ Gold Cup 2006

Exotic Dancer

Exotic Dancer

1st 5 Exotic Dancer 8/1
2nd 9 Knowhere 10/1
3rd 3 Taranis 3/1

Jonjo O'Neill's Exotic Dancer completed the Paddy double in fine style.

The Sir Robert Ogden-owned six-year-old appeared to have it to do under a 10lb penalty, but Tony Dobbin was always confident in the plate, moving up the inside to go past Knowhere over the final fence before striding up the hill to a famous victory.

In fact he became only the third horse in history to complete this big-race double in the same season. Taranis overcame a mistake at the second fence to get back into contention, and indeed had every chance two out but could find no extra. Tikram only got going when it was all over, finishing fourth ahead of Thisthatandtother who was prominent throughout. Reveillez is yet to recapture last season's form, and he did not look foot perfect.

He continues to work well at home though, and connections will surely iron him out. However, Tony McCoy's loss was Tony Dobbin's gain, and Exotic Dancer may now go for the King George on Boxing Day.

Taranis & Exotic Dancer Proving Popular In Gold Cup 08/12/06

The £150,000 Gold Cup (2.40pm) has received a £40,000 prize money boost this year, a fact reflected in a superb 15-strong field being declared for the two mile, five furlong handicap chase, headed by top-weight Thisthatandtother (11st 12lb). Paul Nicholls’ charge is joined by stablemates Cerium (11st 9lb) and long-time favourite Taranis (11st 4lb), available at 9/2 with Boylesports.

Nicholls reported: "Taranis was travelling quite nicely when he fell here in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and will hopefully go okay. He’s won all four completed starts over fences and is probably the best handicapped of the trio.

"Cerium won well at Ascot on the soft and Thisthatandtother ran a great race last time, so all three are in good order. I have to say that they’d all prefer better ground. That’s my only concern."

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Exotic Dancer (11st 4lb) landed the Paddy Power Gold Cup at The Open in November and is a 5/1 shot to complete a big-race double last completed by Senor El Betrutti in 1997.

David Pipe has declared three, including the well-supported Bannow Strand (10st 5lb), who is the each-way market mover and now an 8/1 shot, as well as Contraband (11st 4lb) and Madison du Berlais (10st 2lb), 33/1 and 25/1 respectively.

The James Fanshawe-trained Reveillez, an 8/1 chance, and Tony Martin’s Irish raider Ross River, available at 11/2, are among others declared for what promises to be a thrilling spectacle.

Latest Boylesport prices:

9/2 Taranis, 5/1 Exotic Dancer, 11/2 Ross River, 8/1 Bannow Strand, Reveillez, 10/1 Copsale Lad, 12/1 Thisthatandtother, Hasty Prince, 16/1 Cerium, Knowhere, 20/1 Tikram, 25/1 Billyvoddan, Madison du Berlais, Butler’s Cabin, 33/1 Contraband.

Each-Way 1/4 the odds a place - 1, 2, 3, 4



The fantastic seven-race card on Saturday, December 9, day two of the prestigious Boylesports International includes two superb Grade Two hurdle races, the Mears Group Relkeel Hurdle (1.30pm) and the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle (3.45pm).

The £40,000 Mears Group Relkeel Hurdle was won last year by the Henry Daly-trained Mighty Man, who went on to defeat Ladbrokes World Hurdle victor My way De Solzen in the Grade Two John Smith's And Flixton Conservative Club Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree.

This year's renewal of the two mile, five and a half furlong contest is set to be of the highest class, with the brilliant unbeaten Black Jack Ketchum, winner of the Grade Two Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle at The Festival, heading the 11 entries.

Strong opposition to Jonjo O'Neill's charge could include the Philip Hobbs-trained Massini's Maguire, who landed the Gideon Kasler Novices' Hurdle over the course and distance at The Open, as well as the smart Alan King-trained Blazing Bailey, while 2005 Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle victor No Refuge and stablemate Mephisto could represent trainer Howard Johnson.

Massini's Maguire is also one of 14 entered in the £35,000 Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle, which was won last year by Black Jack Ketchum, who, like the Hobbs-trained gelding, won the Gideon Kasler Novices' Hurdle prior to landing this prize.

Opposition could include the classy Howard Johnson-trained Tidal Bay, unbeaten in two hurdle starts, and the same trainer's Hockenhein, who has won his last two races.

Others include Keith Reveley's promising recent Haydock handicap hurdle winner Accordello, the Henrietta Knight-trained Cruising River, the David Pipe-trained duo Joacci and Christdalo, alongside Labelthou from the Emma Lavelle yard, and the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Imperial Commander.

The superb seven-race card also features the £20,000 Juvenile Novices' Hurdle (12.20pm) in which the Alan King-trained Katchit will bid to follow up his success in the Grade Two Ryman The Stationer Juvenile Novices' Hurdle at The Open, while the two mile, five furlong £20,000 Novices' Chase (2.05pm) could see Denman bid to preserve his unbeaten record over fences.

The £20,000 Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase (12.55pm) over an extended two miles has attracted 19 entries, headed by 2005 victor Tysou, trained by Nicky Henderson. Gold Cup The Plan For Exotic Dancer 30/11/06
Paddy Power Gold Cup victor Exotic Dancer is set to bid for further Cheltenham glory in the £150,000 Gold Cup over two miles, five furlongs on Saturday, December 9. [more]

Martin Considering River Raid On Gold Cup 25/11/06
Irish trainer Tony Martin revealed today that the £150,000 Gold Cup is a "big possibility" for Ross River who is currently a 10/1 chance with the sponsor following a winning seasonal debut at Punchestown on November 18. [more] Gold Cup On Agenda For Kill Devil Hill

Irish trainer Paul Nolan revealed today that the £150,000 Gold Cup is under consideration for Grade One winning chaser Kill Devil Hill. [more]

New Alco Pencilled In For Gold Cup

Trainer Ferdy Murphy is hoping that Paddy Power Gold Cup third New Alco can go two places better in the £150,000 Gold Cup over two miles, five furlongs on day two of Cheltenham's Boylesports International, Saturday, December 9. [more]

The Gold Cup 18/10/06

The Gold Cup was introduced at Cheltenham in December, 1963, three years after the successful Mackeson Gold Cup (now the Paddy Power Gold Cup) which is held the previous month.

This year’s renewal of the handicap chase over two miles and five furlongs, the first to be run as the Gold Cup, is worth £150,000, which represents a £40,000 increase on last year.

Originally under the sponsorship of Massey Ferguson, the valuable and prestigious handicap chase had a number of sponsors before settling with the title, the Tripleprint Gold Cup, in 1992.

Last year it was called the Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup, in remembrance of the former Foreign Secretary and great racing enthusiast, who passed away in August, 2005. The Irish took the first three runnings, thanks to the efforts of Limeking, Flying Wild and Flyingbolt.

The Tom Dreaper-trained Flyingbolt was an exceptional horse. After winning the 1965 Gold Cup by 15 lengths under top-weight of 12st 6lb, he went on to The Festival , where he captured the 1966 two-mile Champion Chase and followed up by running third to Salmon Spray in the Champion Hurdle the next day.

Flyingbolt took the Irish Grand National the following month under the huge burden of 12st 7lb to earn comparisons to his illustrious stablemate, Arkle. Illness and injury thereafter prevented the chestnut gelding from realising his full potential.

Bob Turnell had two successes as a trainer, the first with The Laird in 1966 when the jockey was Jeff King. The Laird went on to be second in the 1968 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.

His second winner, Arctic Bow, was ridden by his son Andy Turnell and they easily beat Soloning by six lengths for owner Jim Joel.

Fulke Walwyn, one of the greatest-ever jump trainers, captured the 1968 running with Tassilo, while the admirable Titus Oates, trained by Gordon Richards and ridden by Ron Barry, defied 11st 13lb in 1969. Richards also trained two other winners of the race, Clever Folly (1989) and Addington Boy (1996).

Leap Frog was another Irish success in 1971 off 12st 1lb, after earlier in that year running second to L’Escargot in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The late Fred Winter gained the first of his three Gold Cup wins as a trainer courtesy of the great Pendil in 1973. His other successes were with Observe in 1982 and Fifty Dollars More the following season.

Pendil won back-to-back King George VI Chases at Kempton Park in 1972 and 1973, and was just caught by The Dikler in the 1973 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He is the only winner of the Gold Cup to have also won the other feature race at the meeting, the International, which he did in 1970.

The late David Nicholson was responsible for sending out Another Coral to victory in the 1992 Gold Cup. The nine-year-old received a marvellous ride from Richard Dunwoody to get the better of Second Schedual by five lengths.

Norman Williamson, who retired from the saddle in 2003, was in the plate on Irish challenger Go Roger Go, who triumphed in a great finish in 2000, while the Irish enjoyed further success in last year’s race when the Noel Meade-trained Sir Oj came with a storming late run to land the spoils. His 16/1 success saw him become the longest-priced winner since The Snipe triumphed at 20/1 in 1978.

Richard Johnson captured his second Gold Cup in 2004 when Monkerhostin capitalised on Our Vic’s last fence fall to stride home seven lengths clear of Thisthatandtother to give trainer Philip Hobbs his first success in the race.

Johnson’s previous Gold Cup triumph came aboard Legal Right for trainer Jonjo O’Neill in 1999.

Mick Fitzgerald partnered the Nicky Henderson-trained Iris Royal to a head success over Risk Accessor in 2003 and the same partnership was successful in 2002 with Fondmort, who beat Foly Pleasant by six lengths.

Fondmort became only the seventh horse to win both the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Gold Cup, albeit in different seasons, when he was given another magnificent ride by Fitzgerald to land the first-named contest in 2003 by eight lengths from Poliantas.

Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Pegwell Bay (1988) are the only two horses to have captured the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Gold Cup in the same season.



* The Gold Cup usually takes place over two miles and five furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham. In 2003, because of the lack of rain over the summer and during the autumn, the handicap chase was run over two miles and four and a half furlongs on the Old Course at Cheltenham.

* There have been 37 runnings, the first in 1963. Frost intervened in 2001, 1995 and 1976, snow in 1990 and 1981, while the 1967 event was lost due to a foot and mouth epidemic.

* Limeking, trained in Ireland by Danny Morgan, won the inaugural running, defeating Flying Wild by two lengths.

* In all, there have been six Irish-trained winners of the Gold Cup. The victories of Limeking (1963), Flying Wild (1964) and Flyingbolt (1965) ensured that the first three runnings all went to Ireland. However, no horse hailing from the Emerald Isle was successful between Leap Frog (1971) and Go Roger Go, victorious in 2000. Sir Oj became the sixth Irish-trained winner when successful last year.

* Arkle, the greatest steeplechaser of all time and triumphant in the Cheltenham Gold Cup three times, suffered a rare reversal in the 1964 Gold Cup. Anne Duchess of Westminster’s charge was saddled with the burden of 12st 10lb (which included a 3lb penalty for winning the Hennessy just seven days beforehand) and finished a staying-on third behind the useful Irish mare Flying Wild (receiving 32lb) and Buona Notte (receiving 26lb).

* The highest weight ever carried to victory in the Gold Cup was the 12st 7lb shouldered by Pendil in 1973. Other notable weight-carrying performances were Flyingbolt with 12st 6lb in 1965 and Leap Frog with 12st 1lb in 1971. Pendil is the only horse to have also won the other major race at the Meeting, the International, which he did in 1970.

* In addition to holding the weight-carrying record for the Gold Cup, Pendil also has the distinction of being the shortest-priced winner, being returned at 8/11.

* Nine favourites or joint-favourites have won the Gold Cup - Flyingbolt (1965, 5/2), Titus Oates (1969, 9/4), Leap Frog (1971, 3/1), Arctic Bow (1972, 9/2), Pendil (1973, 8/11), Fifty Dollars More (1983, 3/1), Oregon Trail (1986, 3/1), Kings Fountain (1991, 7/4) and Addington Boy (1996, 7/4).

* A fancied horse - if not the favourite - usually wins the Gold Cup, and 29 victors have been returned at single-figure odds, including nine of the last 10. Sir Oj’s victory last year at odds of 16/1 saw him become the longest-priced winner of the Gold Cup since the 20/1 chance The Snipe obliged in 1978.

* Female trainers have saddled the Gold Cup winner three times - Auriol Sinclair with Simian (1970), Jenny Pitman with Bueche Giorod (1980) and, most recently, Sue Nock with Senor El Betrutti (1997).

* Gordon Richards and Fred Winter were the most successful trainers in the history of the Gold Cup with three winners each. Richards sent out Titus Oates (1969), Clever Folly (1989) and Addington Boy (1996) while Winter had Pendil (1973), Observe (1982) and Fifty Dollars More (1983).

* Among current trainers, Nicky Henderson is the winning-most with two Gold Cup triumphs, courtesy of Fondmort (2002) and Iris Royal (2003). Martin Pipe, who retired at the end of last season, also landed the race twice through Fragrant Dawn (1993) and Northern Starlight (1998).

*Richard Johnson became the third jockey to have ridden more than one Gold Cup winner when partnering Monkerhostin in 2004, having been on board Legal Right in 1999. Mick Fitzgerald won on Iris Royal (2003) and Fondmort (2002), while Brendan Powell scored on Pegwell Bay (1988) and Dublin Flyer (1994).

* Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Pegwell Bay (1988) are the only two horses to have landed the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Gold Cup in the same season.

* Five other horses have won both very valuable handicap chases but in different years. Fondmort took the 2003 Paddy Power and the Gold Cup the previous season, while Dublin Flyer (PP 1995, BC 1994), Another Coral (PP 1991, BC 1992), Beau Ranger (PP 1987, BC 1984) and Fifty Dollars More (PP 1982, BC 1983) also achieved double glory.

* No horse has won the Gold Cup twice.


2005 Sir Oj 8-10-00 Noel Meade (IRE) Paul Carberry 16/1 16
2004 Monkerhostin 7-10-02 Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 4/1 13
2003 Iris Royal 7-10-13 Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 7/1 17
2002 Fondmort 6-10-05 Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 5/1 9
2001 Abandoned
2000 Go Roger Go 6-11-00 Edward O’Grady (IRE) Norman Williamson 7/1 12
1999 Legal Right 6-10-13 Jonjo O’Neill Richard Johnson 6/1 9
1998 Northern Starlight 7-10-01 Martin Pipe Tony McCoy 15/2 13
1997 Senor El Betrutti 8-11-03 Sue Nock Graham Bradley 9/1 9
1996 Addington Boy 8-11-10 Gordon Richards Tony Dobbin 7/4f 10
1995 Abandoned
1994 Dublin Flyer 8-10-02 Tim Forster Brendan Powell 100/30 11
1993 Fragrant Dawn 9-10-02 Martin Pipe Declan Murphy 14/1 11
1992 Another Coral 9-11-04 David Nicholson Richard Dunwoody 11/2 10
1991 Kings Fountain 8-11-10 Kim Bailey Anthony Tory 7/4f 8
1990 Abandoned
1989 Clever Folly 9-10-04 Gordon Richards Neale Doughty 4/1 6
1988 Pegwell Bay 7-10-13 Tim Forster Brendan Powell 7/2 10
1987 Bishops Yarn 8-10-07 Toby Balding Richard Guest 100/30 5
1986 Oregon Trail 6-10-07 Simon Christian Ronnie Beggan 3/1jf 6
1985 Combs Ditch 9-11-09 David Elsworth Colin Brown 13/2 7
1984 Beau Ranger 6-9-10 John Thorne John Hurst 8/1 10
1983 Fifty Dollars More 8-11-10 Fred Winter Richard Linley 3/1f 13
1982 Observe 6-10-11 Fred Winter John Francome 11/2 15
1981 Abandoned
1980 Bueche Giorod 9-10-00 Jenny Pitman Bryan Smart 14/1 15
1979 Father Delaney 7-10-10 Peter Easterby Alan Brown 12/1 12
1978 The Snipe 8-10-00 John Webber Anthony Webber 20/1 14
1977 Even Melody 8-11-02 Neville Crump Colin Hawkins 8/1 11
1976 Abandoned
1975 Easby Abbey 8-11-10 Peter Easterby Ron Barry 5/1 9
1974 Garnishee 10-10-06 Tom Jones David Mould 12/1 9
1973 Pendil 8-12-07 Fred Winter Richard Pitman 8/11f 8
1972 Arctic Bow 7-10-12 Bob Turnell Andy Turnell 9/2 jf 11
1971 Leap Frog 7-12-01 Tom Dreaper (IRE) Val O’Brien 3/1f 12
1970 Simian 8-11-08 Auriol Sinclair David Moore 4/1 7
1969 Titus Oates 7-11-13 Gordon Richards Ron Barry 9/4f 11
1968 Tassilo 10-10-01 Fulke Walwyn Aly Branford 8/1 14
1967 Abandoned
1966 The Laird 5-10-09 Bob Turnell Jeff King 13/2 8
1965 Flyingbolt 6-12-06 Tom Dreaper (IRE) Pat Taaffe 5/2f 11
1964 Flying Wild 8-10-06 Dan Moore (IRE) Tommy Carberry 100/8 7
1963 Limeking 6-10-12 Danny Morgan (IRE) Toss Taaffe 100/9 14

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