Veteran Lands the Spoils and Leads Home Jumping Trifecta
1st 3 Caracciola 50/1
Eleven-year-old Caracciola defied age and odds of 50/1 to record a memorable victory in the totesport.com Cesarewitch. The Nicky Henderson-trained gelding was second in the race last year and has the rare distinction of having won on the Flat, over hurdles and fences.
His delighted owner Piers Pottinger when questioned on the possible retirement of his veteran said: “He doesn’t owe us anything. We’ll have to think about it. I always thought that this would be his last performance on the Flat but if he’s this fit and the ground stays firm for him, there might be the odd hurdle race.
“We’ll see but we’re not going to put him through anything very testing now because he doesn’t need to be tested. He’s been a great character and so courageous and finally his day has come today.
He continued: “I thought 50/1 was an unfair price given his run last year. We kept him fresh for this and I thought he’d have a better than 50/1 chance and he certainly did.
“It’s been a great job by all the team at Seven Barrows to keep this horse on the go for so long. Nicky’s strike rate on the Flat is more impressive than for his jumpers!”
Tom Symonds, assistant trainer to Nicky Henderson who was on duty at Cheltenham, said: “He’s a horse you can set your watch by. He’ll go with any of our horses at home, Champion Hurdlers, anything. He’s been the horse of a lifetime and is a huge credit to Sarah Shreeve who looks after him. He’s never had a lame step, he’s just been a fantastic horse.”
Winning jockey Eddie Ahern received some compensation after missing the ride on Charlie Farnsbarns, who won Friday’s Georgia House Stud Darley Stakes.
He said: “I love riding those type of horses and getting into a rhythm. When a horse is travelling like that it’s brilliant. The first race I ever won in England was a two-and-a-half mile race on San Sebastian at Ascot.”
NO EXCUSES FROM MARTIN AND TREGONING
There were no excuses offered by trainers Tony Martin and Marcus Tregoning after their charges Arc Bleu and Askar Tau finished second and fourth respectively in the totesport.com Cesarewitch.
Tony Martin, who was bidding for a second consecutive triumph in the historic handicap following Leg Spinner’s victory in 2007, said of the three-length runner-up: “He ran a blinder.
“He was very fresh and well today. We were just beaten by a better horse on the day.
“A bit of ease in the ground would have helped, but there are no excuses. I am delighted.”
Askar Tau, the 7/2 favourite, was beaten just over eight lengths in fourth place but his trainer Marcus Tregoning was far from despondent.
He said: “It is a very tough race for a three-year-old. The first three horses home were 11, seven and four!
“He will be better with a bit more experience, but has run well today. He has proved he stays and we can look forward to next year with him now. He should strengthen up over the winter.
“He was just short of room when wanted to go today, but there are no real excuses.”
totesport.com CESAREWITCH HERITAGE HANDICAP
1 CARACCIOLA (GER) (Piers Pottinger) Nicky Henderson 11-9-6 Eddie Ahern  50/1
32 ran Non-runners: 4 Ajaan (ground); 13 Minkowski (going); 34 Greenwich Village
Winning Trainer: Nicholas John Henderson Based: Seven Barrows, Lambourn, Hungerford, Berkshire Date of birth:10/12/50 Date of first licence: July (1978) Previous occupation/ apprenticeship: Amateur jockey, assistant to Fred Winter 1975-78 Aintree Festival wins: Mumm Melling Chase (1992 Remittance Man), Mumm Mildmay Novices’ Chase (1991 Sparkling Flame), John Hughes Memorial Chase (1990 Wont Be Gone Long) Cheltenham Festival wins: (25) County (1997 Barna Boy, 1993 Thumbs Up), Kim Muir (1990 Master Bob, 2002 The Bushkeeper), Mildmay (1985,1986 The Tsarevich), Stayers (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal), Cathcart (1994 Raymylette, 1990 Brown Windsor, 1999 and 2000 Stormyfairweather), Supreme H (1986 River Ceiriog, 1992 Flown), Queen Mother (1992 Remittance Man), Arkle (1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986, 1987 See You Then),Triumph (1985 First Bout, 1987 Alone Success, 1999 Katarino), William Hill National Hunt H’cap Chase (2000 Marlborough) Other major wins include: Desert Orchid South Western Pattern Chase (1992 Remittance Man), Plymouth Gin Haldon Gold Cup Chase (1993/94/95 Travado), First National Bank Gold Cup (1994 Raymylette), Peterborough Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 1993 & 1995 Travado), Long Distance Hurdle (1995 Conquering Leader, 2002 Bachannal), Feltham Novices’ Chase (1991 Mutare, 1997 Fiddling The Facts), Victor Chandler Chase (1996 Big Matt), Agfa Diamond Chase (1996 Amtrak Express), Scottish Champion Hurdle (1986 River Ceiriog), BMW Handicap Chase (1998 Big Matt), Kennel Gate Hurdle (1998 Hidebound), West Yorkshire Hurdle (1999 Silver Wedge), Gerry Feilden Hurdle (1999 Bacchanal), luvbet.com Pendil Novices’ Chase (1999 Makounji, 2000 Serenus), Weekender Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle (1999 Premier Generation), Voice Newspaper Adonis Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (1999 Katarino), Rossington Main Novice’s Hurdle (2000 Dusk Duel), Tote Gold Trophy Hcap Hurdle (1998 Sharpical, 2000 Geos, 2001 Landing Light), AON Chase (2002 Bacchanal), Tripleprint Gold Cup (2002 Fondmort), Ladbroke Hurdle (2002 Chauvinist), Tote Cesarewitch (2003 Landing Light) Major Flat wins: Cesarewitch Handicap (2003 Landing Light, 2008 Caracciola), betdirect.com Stakes (2007 Sentry Duty) Flat wins (2002-2007): 4; 4; 1; 2; 0; 3; Flat wins in 2008: 3
Winning jockey:-Name: Ahern, Edward Delacy Weight: 7st 12lb First Winner: Ardlea House (Dundalk, 1994) Major Achievements: Champion Apprentice and Derrinstown Stud Champion Apprentice in 1997 Major Races Won: Ascot Stakes (1998 San Sebastian), Challenge Stakes (2002 Nayyir), Diomed Stakes (2002 Nayyir), July Stakes (2006 Strategic Prince), Lennox Stakes (2002 and 2003 Nayyir), Richmond Stakes (2007 Strike The Deal), totesport Cambridgeshire (2002 Beauchamp Pilot), totesport.com Cesarewitch (2008 Caracciola), Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes (2006 Strategic Prince), Betfred Silver Bowl (2008 Staying On), TBA Lowther Stakes (2008 Infamous Angel) Wins in Britain (2000-2007): 2; 3; 83; 108; 111; 120; 140; 61; Wins This Season: 71
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