Cheltenham Handicaps 2006

Cheltenham 2006


Cheltenham 2006 / running order /


1st (2) Sky's The Limit 11-1
2nd (9) Strangely Brown 25-1
3rd (1) Dom d'Orgeval 20-1
4th (11) Phar Bleu 10-1
30 ran
Also: 5-1 Fav No Where To Hyde


Some long-term planning from trainer Edward O’Grady paid dividends when Sky’s The Limit defied top weight of 11st 12lb in some style to land the Coral Cup by an effortless four lengths.

The five-year-old has not run since winning a conditions hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 3 and O’Grady said: “We wanted to preserve his handicap mark so he has not run since December, we hoped he’d improve from four to five and perhaps he has! He may just be on the upgrade - he’s only five and is obviously improving.

“Nobody expects a horse to win that easily, I’d like the handicapper to not put him up too much but I suspect we might have to go for conditions hurdles now. Aintree would be a possibility.”

Jockey Barry Geraghty added: “He’s still only five and you could go wherever you want with him after that. We were concerned when the weights went up at the overnight declaration stage but it also meant the bottom weights had to carry more so I suppose that helped.”

It was owner Ray Rooney’s first Festival runner since Golden Cygnet was trained by O’Grady to win the 1978 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Strangely Brown does McNamara proud

Eric McNamara, who trains at Rathkeel in County Limerick, ran two horses in the Coral Cup, runner-up Strangely Brown and faller Good Thyne Jack.

McNamara, from Rathkeel in County Limerick, said of Strangely Brown, who lost a hind shoe: “He ran a blinder, jumped superb, but was beaten by a better horse on the day. I had him entered in the [Ladbrokes] World Hurdle, but just felt two miles five furlongs was the right trip. He’s only a five-year-old and the longer race and better horses would have been too much for him.

“Brian Byrnes, who rode the horse, works in my yard and is a good lad. He claims 5lb and as Strangely Brown is not a big horse it made sense to take the weight off his back. We’ll consider Aintree or Punchestown for him.

“I’ve not spoken to Paul Carberry, who rode Good Thyne Jack, but the horse ran no sort of race. I’ve been told he made a mistake at the first, but I’ve not checked that out.”

Nick Williams, whose Dom D’Orgeval finished third under joint top-weight, said: “We’re disappointed because we came to win, but I’m always happy when they run well and finish in the frame. You’ve got to fancy a horse that’s on a roll like that.

“If he comes out of the race okay he could run in a hurdle race at Auteuil in April. He handled this quicker ground, but he’s better on soft ground and we should get that in France. He’s big enough to jump fences but we’re not in a rush. He’s so quick over a hurdle that we’ll stick to this.”


“That was a serious performance under that weight. They didn’t go that quick, which suited him, and I had a great run round the inside. He travelled and jumped brilliantly and I was always going to hack up. He could be a Ladbrokes World Hurdle horse next year.”

“I don’t think anyone expected a performance like that. All I was ever hoping was that he might win.”

“That was my first runner here since Golden Cygnet in 1978 - it’s a long time to come back here and stand in this ring.

“Edward is a wonder trainer - he’s minded this horse at home for the last three or four months. That was a tremendous performance from a five-year-old carrying 11st 12lb - I don’t think it’s ever been done before here. He’s a serious horse.”


The stewards considered the running of Commercial Flyer, ridden by Timmy Murphy and trained by Martin Pipe, who started favourite and pulled up. The jockey reported that he pulled the gelding up after making two mistakes. The veterinary officer reported that during routine testing after the race he found that Commercial Flyer had lost a front shoe.

Grade 3 (Class 1) 2m 5f, Old Course, £75,000 guaranteed For 5yo+ Weights raised 8lb Minimum weight 10st Penalties after February 26, a winner of a hurdle 4lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Dom d’Orgeval’s handicap mark 144 Entries 150 pay £90 Confirmed 83 pay £270 Penalty value 1st £42,765; 2nd £16,042.50; 3rd £8,032.50; 4th £4,005; 5th £2,010; 6th £1,005

1 SKY'S THE LIMIT (FR) (Raymond Rooney) Edward O'Grady IRE 5-11-12 Barry Geraghty 11/1
2 STRANGELY BROWN (IRE) (We Didn’t Name Him Syndicate) Eric McNamara IRE 5-11-03 Brian Byrnes (5) 25/1
3 DOM D'ORGEVAL (FR) (Jane Williams) Nick Williams 6-11-12 Richard Johnson 20/1
4 PHAR BLEU (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 5-11-06 Ruby Walsh 10/1
5 VERASI (F Ledger, J Bateman) Gary Moore 5-11-00 Philip Hide
6 UNGARO (FR) (Sir Robert Ogden) Keith Reveley 7-11-03 Jim Crowley
7 INCH PRIDE (IRE) (David Johnson) Martin Pipe 7-10-11 Timmy Murphy
8 MUGHAS (IRE) (B Winfield, C Fenton & A Longman) Alan King 7-11-10 Wayne Hutchinson
9 VALLEY RIDE (IRE) (George Ward) Colin Tinkler 6-11-06 Tom Doyle
10 MANORSON (IRE) (Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited) Oliver Sherwood 7-11-00 Leighton Aspell
11 DESERT AIR (JPN) (Belinda Harvey) Martin Pipe 7-11-09 Tom Scudamore
12 FAIT LE JOJO (FR) (M Ephgrave) Liam Corcoran 9-11-00 Howie Ephgrave (5)
13 DANCING BAY (Elite Racing Club) Nicky Henderson 9-11-11 Andrew Tinkler
14 POLE STAR (Paul Green) James Fanshawe 8-11-06 Liam Heard (5)
15 TURTLE SOUP (IRE) (M George) Tom George 10-11-04 William McCarthy (7)
16 NATHOS (GER) (J Davies, A Merritt & J Sunley) Charlie Mann 9-11-07 Paddy Brennan
17 FAIR QUESTION (IRE) (The Merseyclyde Partnership) Venetia Williams 8-10-12 Sam Thomas
18 ROYAL PARADISE (FR) (Patrick Delaney Jr) Tom Foley IRE 6-11-05 Conor O'Dwyer
19 PRINS WILLEM (IRE) (Chris Von Hoorn) James Fanshawe 7-11-08 Carl Llewellyn
20 IL DUCE (IRE) (Mrs Peter Prowting) Alan King 6-11-05 Robert Thornton
21 MISTER QUASIMODO (J Dare, T Hamlin, J Snook) Colin Tizzard 6-11-01 Joe Tizzard
22 PADDY THE PIPER (IRE) (Mr & Mrs Raymond Green) Len Lungo 9-11-03 Tony Dobbin
23 ONLY VINTAGE (USA) (Lady Bamford & Alice Bamford) Henrietta Knight 6-11-04 Paul Moloney
24 AFRAD (FR) (The Not Afraid Partnership) Nicky Henderson 5-11-06 Mick Fitzgerald
25 AKILAK (IRE) (Ada Partnership) Howard Johnson 5-11-05 Graham Lee
F NO WHERE TO HYDE (IRE) (J P McManus) Christy Roche IRE 6-11-01 Tony McCoy 5/1f - deceased
F GOOD THYNE JACK (IRE) (J Doherty) Eric McNamara IRE 8-11-02 Paul Carberry
F PENNY PICTURES (IRE) (Terry Neill) Martin Pipe 7-10-11 Andrew Glassonbury (7)
F TWO MILES WEST (IRE) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-00 David Casey
RO ALL STAR (GER) (Lynn Wilson, Nick Wilson, Martin Landau) Nicky Henderson 6-10-12 Marcus Foley

30 ran
Time: No official time
Distances:4, 3/4, nk, 3/4, 4, sh, 1 1/4, 1 3/4, 2, 3.5, 1 1/4, 3/4, 0.5, hd, 4, nk, 4, 8, 5, 10, 2, 11, 8, 1 1/4
Breeder: D Merian-Fricker & EARL Haras du Logis
Breeding: gr h Medaaly - Highness Lady (GER)
Tote: Win; £11.60 Places; £3.70, £5.00, £7.20, £3.50 Exacta; £421.10

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